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Cures for Our Economic Disease

February 8, 2009
Rep. Ron Paul
2/5/2009

ron-paulI have recently had several opportunities on various news programs to discuss the economy and what is wrong with the so-called economic stimulus package. I have said over and over what we shouldn’t be doing, and now I’d like to explain what we should be doing.

But to improve the situation, you must first have a solid grasp of how we got here. Government policies and central planning created the housing bubble, now going bust. About a decade ago the government made expanded homeownership and affordable housing a public goal. Through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the secondary mortgage market the government incentivized creative, low down-payment, more widely available mortgage products, and discouraged the market-proven lending standards of the past. The Federal Reserve kept interest rates artificially low, which added more fuel to this fire. Many related sectors temporarily flourished because of this, and many people got into homes they otherwise could not have afforded. The increased demand for housing sent prices soaring until in many markets housing became even more unaffordable, necessitating even more creative mortgages, and impossibly leveraging homeowners. Many risky investment vehicles such as mortgage-backed securities, derivatives, credit default swaps grew out of this unsustainable situation. As the foreclosures began, the house of cards started to tumble. Too many people have confused the symptoms and the pain of the bust with the problematic policies that caused the bubble, which is really what needs to be treated.

The story continues …..

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