Regulators – absentee parents

September 20, 2008 at 7:03 pm | Posted in credit, economics, Housing, regulations | Leave a comment
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I think regulations and regulatory agencies failed to create an adequate framework for the credit markets.

In essence, while lenders invented 5% down, even the 0% down, no documentation, stated-income loans with down payment assistance, regulations allowed lenders and investors to get away with similar low equity / high leverage balance sheets. Lehman, for example, had a debt-equity of 30-40x (admittedly boosted by prior write-downs of its assets).

This is just like parents raising kids – Some parents regulate kids more than others (I think less- but not too much less- is better, generally), but if you fail to regulate them, sooner or later, they are going to need rescuing – whether you rescue them or want to teach the kids a lesson.

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