Bush on Housing
President Bush has been talking about the housing market for two days now, and appears to believe there is no need for a significant federal response at the moment. Highlights of what's he's been saying:
Yesterday, on the weakness in the housing market: “In a way it’s a necessary reaction to a flood of liquidity that came into the market in the past couple years.”
At today's press conference, asked "are you considering some kind of government bailout for people who might lose their homes?: "... I am told there is enough liquidity in the system to enable markets to correct. One area where we can help consumer -- and obviously anybody who loses their home is somebody with whom we must show enormous empathy.
"The word "bailout," I'm not exactly sure what you mean. If you mean direct grants to homeowners, the answer would be no, I don't support that. If you mean making sure that financial institutions like the FHA have got flexibility to help these folks refinance their homes, the answer is yes, I support that.
"One thing is for certain, is that there needs to be more transparency in the -- in financial documents. In other words, a lot of people sign up to something they're not exactly sure what they're signing up for. More financial literacy, I guess, is the best way to put it. We've had a lot of really hardworking Americans sign up for loans, and the truth of the matter is they probably didn't fully understand what they were signing up for. And therefore, I do believe it's a proper role for government to enhance financial education initiatives, and we're doing that, we've got money in the budget to do that."
MORE: "I talked about the different scenarios that I had been briefed on about whether or not there would be a precipitous decline in housing or whether it would be what one would call a soft landing, and it appeared at this point that it looks we're headed for a soft landing. And that's what the facts say."
Thoughts? Comments? Insights?