How Government Housing Policy Distorts the American Dream

We discuss the federal housing policy and homeownership in America. What political forces helped create our modern housing policy?

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This week we’re talking with Mark Calabria about homeownership and federal housing policy in the United States and its role in the 2008 financial crisis. Why does homeownership seem to be so important in the U.S.—or at least so important to our politicians? How do mortgages work, and how has the government been involved in tinkering with the mortgage market? What do Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration do? How do inflation rates and interest rates affect Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s loan guarantees? How do people respond to these incentives? And finally, what caused the 2008 financial crisis and how can we avoid a repeat crisis?

Show Notes and Further Reading

Randal O’Toole, American Nightmare: How Government Undermines the Dream of Homeownership (book)

Peter Wallison, Thomas Stanton, and Bert Ely, Privatizing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks: Why and How (book)