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Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

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Chapter 5

Mortgage Lenders and Securitizers

Housing is one of the most fundamental of economic needs. The need for housing tends to come at an early point in the life of a family, when it first has children or sees the immediate prospect of them, yet when resources may be low. There is a strong motive for the financial industry to help with this fundamental problem. Society, as we have already noted, regards the subsidizing of homeownership as beneficial, and so sees a public good in promoting mortgage lending.

And yet, particularly in the United States, public disgust has been directed toward mortgage lenders and securitizers today. They are seen as the instigators of the financial crisis that has spread from America around the world. The crisis ...

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