Eric Posner Offers a Better, Cheaper Mortgage Fix

The Better, Cheaper Mortgage Fix
Eric Posner and Luigi Zingales
March 2, 2009

Earlier this month, President Obama announced a homeowner-relief plan that would offer $75 billion in subsidies to homeowners who have trouble making mortgage payments. The problem with the president's plan is that it does little to address the principal source of the housing crisis—the fact that the bursting of the housing bubble has plunged millions of homeowners into negative equity. Their houses are worth less than their mortgages, or "underwater." What's still needed is an approach to mortgage forgiveness that will give homeowners the right to force mortgage holders to accept terms that both sides can live with. Executed correctly, this could resolve the crisis without costing the taxpayer any money. Really.

Eric Posner