26 Apr 2010

Financial Reform Bill To Be Voted on Today

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Arnold Kling on the democrats’ “financial reform” bill. Let’s hope they can’t get any Republican votes.

My instinct is to call the proposed legislation a “blame deflection bill” rather than financial reform. But I admit that I have not read the whole bill. Has anyone?…

I have to rant about the notion of a consumer financial protection agency. I know that it’s axiomatic that poor people are helpless victims. But in the case of these mortgages, that is a really hard sell. The banks did not take from poor people. They gave to poor people. If you were lucky enough to get one of these exotic mortgages when house prices were still going up, then you got to reap a nice profit on your house. If you were not so lucky, you lost…close to nothing. I’m sorry, but if you borrowed up to 100 percent of the value of the house or more, then all you really lost were your moving expenses.

What about predatory lending? As I understand it, the idea of predatory lending is to saddle the borrower with an expensive mortgage so that you can foreclose on the property and sell it at a profit. How many times did that happen? Have you read of a single instance in the past three years where the bank made a profit on a foreclosure?

I am always ready to feel sorry for poor people because of their poverty. But I cannot feel sorry for somebody who was given a basically free option on a house and the option didn’t happen to come into the money.

The reason that those of us on the right are left somewhat speechless by the financial reform bill is that it seems to us to be based on premises that strike us as preposterous.

Hat tip to the News Junkie.

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