management by matrices

a fresh perspective on management.

Fixing the subprime mess

Firstly, I'm no expert on this subject, but here's something I've been thinking of as a possible solution to the crisis.

Make all mortgage payments of existing homeowners in the US to be 100% tax free for a period of say 5 years. This would make the net cost of payments lower for the end customer and hopefully reduce foreclosure rates. It would also provide an incentive to households to divert as much of their income as possible to mortgage payments (after all they get to own their houses as well as pay less tax to the government). This in turn may help housing prices to stabilize instead of going down, and all those potentially worthless mortgage backed securities may finally have some value.

(PS: This is just an idea that popped into my head - haven't quite done enough research on the financial crisis to verify if this will work)

Very interesting news item on the CNBC site on the increasing rate of foreclosures in the US.
McCain wants the government to actually buy out mortgages.
"The administration is not doing what I think they should do, and that's go in and buy out these bad mortgages, give people mortgages they can afford, stabilize home values and start them back up again," McCain said in a live interview with his vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin.

It looks like McCain is approaching this problem from the right direction in so far as recognizing that a possible solution likes in 'bailing' out end customers which sets a virtuous cycle in motion, as opposed to just bailing out financial institutions.