Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Much, Much, Much Shorter

Do mortgage modifications help the homeowner or the economy? Megan McArdle has a post up that exhaustively studies the matter.

Is the mortgage modification program making things worse? An article in the New York Times gives voice to fears that by encouraging homeowners to stay in homes that they cannot really afford, Obama's Making Home Affordable program is actually increasing the agony of homeowners, who pour money down the rat hole of their mortgage rather than recognizing the loss and starting over.

1,500 words and 19 paragraphs later, McArdle comes up with an answer to her dilemma.

So to answer the question I posed at the beginning: there's not much evidence that the current scheme of mortgage modification is making things worse. But there's also not much evidence that any differently designed system would have made things any better. We may have to look for other ways to ease the pain of those whose houses are more than they can afford.

McArdle recommends faster short sales to deal with the bursting bubble economy. It is left to RW and JoshinHB in comments to explain conservative banking principles to the economic conservatives, to their blank disbelief. McArdle's post adds little except the knowledge that she very much wants the housing problems to go away so she can buy a house.

UPDATE: A commenter tells McArdle to do her research--new guidelines for short sales are already in place.


Downpuppy said...

Tanta is dead. McArdle is fighting her ghost. The ghost wins:

Ken Houghton said...

What Downpuppy Said. But:

"cArdle's post adds little except the knowledge that she very much wants the housing problems to go away so she can buy a house."

I understand that she believes, since she's living in sin, she might as well do so in Gaithersburg. But she makes $X from the Atlantic, at least $25K more from that Foundation, and P.S. is on Wingnut Welfare as well.

Unless they're looking for a $750K house, they certainly should qualify for a loan right now, based on income and credit--IF we assume that she manages her money as carefully as she claims she does.

If we don't make that assumption, it's another story. But there's no reason to assume she might be distorting the truth, is there?

Clever Pseudonym said...

McArdle's fustian writing is too painful to bear in those longer posts. She mentions a conversation with her father about a New Yorker with a tough mortgage, admitting her interest is because she herself was a longtime New Yorker. All the while, her true curiosity lies in her own desire to buy a house. I really don't understand how anyone can find her absurd, self-absorbed navel gazing the slightest bit interesting.

Malaclypse said...

I wish Tanta could, just once, pull a "picking on poor Gretchen" on Megan. It would have been a thing of beauty.