While I agree that the foreclosure crisis was not caused by subprime event, the article leaves out that The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission’s report (you can get it online) on the housing meltdown found most of the blame with risky lending practices by the banks, inflated home values by appraisers, and banks making money from originated fees by bundling and selling off a lot of the risk as MBS mixed with good and bad loans and getting the blessing of an A+ rating by the credit rating agencies.
Each month, the NBER Digest summarizes several recent NBER working papers. These papers have not been peer-reviewed, but are circulated by their authors for comment and discussion. With the NBER’s blessing, Making Sen$e is pleased to begin featuring these summaries regularly on our page.
The following summary was written by the NBER and doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of Making Sen$e. We will tell you, however, what the takeway is: The U.S. foreclosure crisis, so commonly referred to subprime mortgage crisis, was not in fact, just a subprime event. While it began that way, it became a much broader phenomenon and mainly included prime mortgages. The findings suggest that effective regulation cannot just focus on restricting risky subprime contracts.