Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The upside of risk

Former student John Tamny has a nice piece on the unintended consequences of a housing bailout supported by Rep. Barney Frank and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

... investment of any kind is uncertain. If housing, equity or art purchases offered only rising returns, those seeking to enter any of those markets would frequently be shut out. It is because investment is uncertain that markets have traditionally been allowed to clear at lower prices such that the distant object of home, equity and yes, art ownership, has become a reality for Americans to varying degrees.

Efforts to insulate the property markets from what some deem their sharper edges will enervate the economy first for encouraging all manner of speculation on what would become a “protected” industry and sector. ... If housing is turned into a certain bet, a great deal of capital will be reoriented toward the ground rather than to entrepreneurs ...

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