John Stossel puts the kabosh on all the screaming headlines about the looming financial meltdown due to the subprime mortgage mess. Words like “disaster” and “crisis” are not justified by the facts.
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s 2007 fourth-quarter survey reports that foreclosures came to 2.04 percent of all mortgages. Many of those were speculators seeking flip profits rather than homeowners losing a dream house. During the quarter, only 0.83 percent of homes entered the foreclosure process. It may get worse — in March, “foreclosure filings, default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions rose 5 percent,” Reuters reports. But let’s keep things in perspective: Ninety-eight percent of borrowers are not in foreclosure. Only a small percentage of them are even late in payments.
So why all the wringing of hands in the media and among politicians? Simple — it gins up support for the government to “do something.” Which means another grab for your wallet.
Sigh. When will Americans learn that the government is the problem, not the solution?