Blame the Government for the Housing Bubble

"To me, the unsung villain of the mortgage crisis is the 30-year fixed rate self-amortizing mortgage with no prepayment penalty," says Megan McArdle at The Atlantic.

"To me, the unsung villain of the mortgage crisis is the 30-year fixed rate self-amortizing mortgage with no prepayment penalty," says Megan McArdle at The Atlantic. "This hothouse creature is beloved of liberals, who like any product that gives the consumer the power to shaft banks whenever it is to their advantage. And it is beloved of conservatives because it smacks of sober citizens taking on modest, stable obligations they can meet. But this product is about as stable as a nitroglycerine shot with a TNT chaser. The 30 year fixed rate mortgage was ultimately at the heart of the Savings and Loan crisis."

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