Federal Housing Policy and the 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages

Robust mortgage financing exists in virtually every developed nation of the world without the degree of government involvement found in the U.S. Yet, many groups argue that eliminating the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would imperil mortgage financing in the U.S., and some even claim that a government guarantee is needed to ensure the widespread availability of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM). Advocates of these federal guarantees argue that the 30-year FRM provides borrowers with long-term security, but they often fail to mention any of the risks associated with these long-term fixed-rate mortgages. These risks exist, however, and government policies tend to shift these risks from financial markets to taxpayers. Even though no one policy guarantees the existence of the 30-year FRM, we argue that it is misguided to justify broad government intervention and taxpayer guarantees to preserve any one type of mortgage product.

via Federal Housing Policy and the 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages.

 

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