Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Daily 2¢ - Mortgage Tsar?

In terms of government response to crisis, you know things are really going haywire when they anoint a new Tsar.

And so it goes for the housing-mortgage meltdown.

Not satisfied with intervening in the “free” market through mere Fed rate cuts and a potentially (in the bag) dramatic expansion of Freddie Fannie and FHA, Congress seems so bent on attempting to prevent a correction in the nation’s housing markets that they are now proposing the “temporary” creation of the position of “Mortgage Tsar”.

Furthermore, Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, offered up his pick for the spot, former Congressman Jack Kemp.

I think, at this point, it’s safe to say that Congress is getting a little carried away.

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) even suggested that the current circumstances in the housing-mortgage market are akin to a “slow-motion, 50-state Katrina, taking people's homes one-by-one, deva­stating their lives and destroying their communities.”

So, what are the expectations for a “Mortgage Tsar” anyway?

Here is a possible “Mortgage Tsar” credo:

“Willing to combat foreclosure wherever it should strike the innocent and further to prevent the unwitting debt getter from making bad decisions. Stops at nothing to eliminate pre-payment penalties… Able to make a large Jumbo loan conform in a single bound!... look up in the air… it’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s… it’s… The Mortgage Tsar!”

Congress… Put your hands down and slowly back away from the legislation.