Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Richard K. Green (George Washington) and Susan M. Wachter (Wharton) have posted The Housing Finance Revolution on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
While other countries dismantled their segmented housing finance systems and linked housing finance to capital markets through deregulated depositories, the US linked housing finance to capital markets through depository deregulation and securitization. Elsewhere securitization has not developed. The US provided the underpinnings for its mortgage security infrastructure with the creation of FNMA in 1938 and in order to create liquidity in the mortgage market required the standardization of mortgage documentation and more fundamentally required that home mortgages within securities would be sufficiently homogeneous that they could trade in liquid markets. These developments allowed 22 years of uninterrupted liquidity in the market for conventional conforming mortgages, to be followed by the creation of a subprime mortgage market backed by securities that were illiquid, nonstandardized and marked to model not to market which allowed systemic underpricing of risk. This paper presents the recent history of the linkage of mortgage funding to financial markets in the US and elsewhere and specifically in the US suggests how the housing finance revolution resulted in the "terror" which has brought down global financial markets.
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