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What If Low Interest Rates Don't Matter?

Friday Link Fest: What If Low Interest Rates Don't Matter? How the Government is Creating Another Housing Bubble. (The American) Thanks to expanded government lending, 60 percent of home purchase loans now have down payments of less than 5 percent, compared to 40 percent at the height of the bubble. Time to restart the mortgage implode-o-meters.

Fannie and Freddie Suspend Foreclosures (Consumerist) Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are issuing a brief moratorium—December 20 through January 3—on evicting people from foreclosed properties during the holiday season.

NYC’s Got A New FinTech Incubator (Venture Capital Dispatch) The New York City Investment Fund is teaming up with consulting firm Accenture to launch FinTech Innovation Lab, a seed program that will provide work space, $25,000 in funding and advice from banking technology executives and venture capitalists to financial start-ups.

Do Low Interest Rates Matter? (pdf via Journal of Economic Perspectives via Tyler Cowen) Everyone attributes the credit boom (at least in part) to the Federal Reserve having kept the federal funds rate "too low for too long," but in reality the increase in lending was greatest in 2006 and the first half of 2007, after the federal funds rate had already returned to a level consistent with normal benchmarks.

How Banks Pawned Junk to the Fed (DealBook) The day after Lehman’s collapse JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley collectively pledged more than $100 million in collateral that was rated Triple-c or below.

Nothing Is More Noticeable In America Than The Level Of Inequality (Business Insider) Are you a low-skilled worker? Move to Australia, where you’ll have a much easier time earning a living wage.

Keeping up with the Jones: Billionaire lights up the night (Greenwich Time via DealBreaker) Paul Tudor Jones is putting the final touches on his annual Christmas spectacular.