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September 21, 2008

Why The Bailout Plan CAN'T Work

-- by Dave Johnson

Here is the justification for The Plan:

If the plan works, it will attack the central cause of American economic distress: the continued plunge in housing prices. If banks resumed lending more liberally, mortgages would become more readily available. That would give more people the wherewithal to buy homes, lifting housing prices or at least preventing them from falling further. This would prevent more mortgage-linked investments from going bad, further easing the strain on banks. As a result, the current downward spiral would end and start heading up.
Sorry, if houses are overpriced because of the bubble, then they are overpriced. This idea that people are not buying houses that cost $300, $400, $500, $600,000 because banks can't lend them the money is just preposterous! Even if a bank can lend the money, they can't lend the money because TOO FEW PEOPLE MAKE ENOUGH TO QUALIFY. The other day I showed that you have to have an income of $12,000 a month to buy a low-end house in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The idea that you can stop housing prices from falling back to where they should be is like the idea that you could have stopped the stock of golfballs.com from falling after the dot com bubble. I worked at a company where the stock went up to $35 a share for no reason, and then after the crash the stock went back to WHAT IT WAS WORTH: five cents a share.

You CAN'T prop up the price of house ABOVE WHAT THEY ARE WORTH. This is why the bailout plan can not work.

Posted by Dave Johnson at September 21, 2008 7:21 AM


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