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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 13, 2007 / 4 Teves, 5768

The Subprime ‘Crisis’ — Time for Government Intervention?

By Larry Elder


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Our catastrophe-obsessed traditional media calls it the subprime mortgage "crisis" or "meltdown." Here's what happened:


Borrowers with shaky creditworthiness received low interest "teaser" rates. No problem, as long as housing prices continue to rise. But with house prices stagnating, if not declining, this places some borrowers and the holders of their "paper" on financial shaky ground. In other words, lenders lent and borrowers borrowed. Some borrowers took on debt only to find themselves unable to pay their mortgages, and the carriers of their debt now find their holdings less valuable.


But what about the responsibility of both lender and borrower? The Media Research Center examined news coverage of the subprime "crisis." Of 156 stories broadcast between November 2006 and August 2007, 62 percent "ignored the consumer's responsibility for debt."


No one put a gun to either lenders' or borrowers' heads, and now both sides of the transaction find themselves in financial difficulty. Lawmakers scream for more laws. Never mind lenders already operate under many regulations including, but not limited to, full disclosure requirements.


Democrats, and many Republicans, cry for some sort of government (read "taxpayer") bailout. A New York Times editorial demands legislation, "including a rule that lenders must verify a borrower's ability to pay"!?


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., seek legislation to make Federal Housing Authority "loans more widely available in order to help both new homeowners and those struggling with abusive mortgages." They also demanded that President Bush fund nonprofit foreclosure prevention counseling, and appoint a senior administration official to oversee federal response to the "crisis."


Instead, the President has offered a sort of middle ground, suggesting a five-year freeze on mortgage rates for some subprime borrowers facing default on their mortgages.


Suppose you stayed on the sideline and rented or stayed in a smaller home in order to move up? Too bad, for the Bush plan artificially props up home prices. The President's plan also enables some homeowners to receive Federal Housing Authority loans in which the government — taxpayers — pay lenders in the event of a default. The plan also does nothing to prevent lawsuits by investors who hold the mortgaged securities in expectation of a certain return.


George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen says, "We've all heard about the defaults on subprime mortgage loans. But so far, the real story is how little the broader American economy has suffered. Today, banks usually sell their loans to third parties. You might have originally borrowed money from Wells Fargo, but now a bank overseas cashes your mortgage checks.


"If a large group of people can't pay their mortgages, they may lose their homes. But the banks don't suffer as they used to — local American lenders have already converted those loans into cash and sold off their risk. In fact, German regional banks suffered some of the most significant losses from bad American mortgages. Other European and Asian banks and hedge funds took their lumps as well. American banks essentially bought insurance by exporting their risk overseas."


Let's not minimize the trouble faced by thinly collateralized borrowers and their lenders, given the soft housing market. But the financial difficulties affecting both sides of transactions voluntarily entered into do not warrant a taxpayer bailout.


U.S. homeowners' equity today equals almost $11 trillion. Price declines for this year and next year may amount to $6 billion, or a 0.05 percent decline — a worry, but hardly Judgment Day.


Christopher Cagan, of First American Real Estate Solutions, estimates that "the impact of rate sensitivity and subsequent defaults will be well below one-half percent of total mortgage debt outstanding" and spread out over several years.


Donald Trump, who knows a bit about crisis management, having dealt with his own financial "meltdown," suggested a simple, direct approach: Cut a deal with your lender. Similarly, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has already urged banks and borrowers to get together and renegotiate the terms of their loans.


So what would a bailout say to those who avoided the subprime lending fervor? The Wall Street Journal reports that unlike Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs "maintain(ed) relatively small holdings of collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, the complex mortgage-related securities whose rapid devaluation prompted the massive writ-downs at other firms." Should government reward the shortsighted losers and, by extension, punish firms such as Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers that had the foresight to protect themselves?


People in the insurance business use a term called "moral hazard." This means actions, however well-intended, that shield people from the consequences of their behavior lead to even more irresponsible behavior. Secretary Paulson recently said, "I have no interest in bailing out lenders or property speculators."


OK, then butt out!

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JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR) Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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