In this column, Neal Peirce argues that the country needs to take a step back in time to the regulations and policies of the early 1970s to solve the current mortgage meltdown.
"Houses vacated by foreclosures are deteriorating into eyesores, encouraging crime, depressing property values, costing localities revenues they need for schools, police and other vital services."
"Is there a villain in this story? Yes, and he's hidden in plain view: a heavily lobbied federal government that lost sight of ordinary Americans' interests."
"That's the story told in The American Prospect magazine by John Atlas of the National Housing Institute and Peter Dreier, a professor of politics at Occidental College in Los Angeles. The problem, they say, is that Washington succumbed to pressure from Wall Street and other financial players and deregulated a once stable, smoothly functioning American housing finance market. And that the only way out is a U-turn, back to circa 1970 or earlier in national regulation."