Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Government Intervention and Mortgages: Buckley

I was particularly surprised today, when http://blog.pmarca.com tipped me off to an article written by William F. Buckley, Jr. the Conservative icon, columnist and founder of The National Review. In this article Buckley argues that the government should have more closely regulated mortgage lending, and now in retrospect must step in and forbid "the liquidation of mortgages until the disparity between true value and hypothetical value is pounded away by time and inflation." Aggressive lending practices, he argues, are now causing a rash of foreclosures which in term are lowering the values of all homes.

I had to re-read the article twice to make sure I had not misread a father of modern conservative politics arguing for government intervention of such a drastic sort. Did he not forget that these same aggressive lending practices fueled the run-up in property values that is now deflating?

Who knows, maybe he's been smoking something over bridge with septuagenarian Jimmy Cayne.

1 comment:

John C said...

It does seem a little hypocritical that such a conservative would blame much of the fall on a consumer's "insouciant greed." I am sure he is referring to the how many consumers bought more house than they could afford with low, adjustable rate mortgages. It’s almost as if he is purporting "welfare," for mortgages; ironic for such a hard-line conservative.