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Money for Nothing and Checks for Free; Recent Developments in U.S. Subprime Mortgage Markets

  • Paul S. Mills
  • John Kiff

After a number of warning signs, the U.S. "subprime mortgage crisis" became a headline issue in February 2007. Notwithstanding the bankruptcy of numerous mortgage companies, historically high delinquencies and foreclosures, and a significant tightening in subprime lending standards, the impact thus far on core U.S. financial institutions has been limited. This paper reviews the history and structure of the subprime market. The results suggest that new origination and funding technology appear to have made the financial system more stable at the expense of undermining the effectiveness of consumer protection regulation. Potential solutions to the management of this trade-off are then explored.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 07/188.

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Length: 18
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:07/188
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  1. Quigley, John M., 2006. "Federal Credit and Insurance Programs: Housing," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt41d5k3bd, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  2. Mark Doms & Meryl Motika, 2006. "The rise in homeownership," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue nov3.
  3. Chari, V V & Jagannathan, Ravi, 1989. " Adverse Selection in a Model of Real Estate Lending," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(2), pages 499-508, June.
  4. Vladimir Klyuev & Paul Mills, 2007. "Is Housing Wealth an “ATM”? The Relationship Between Household Wealth, Home Equity Withdrawal, and Saving Rates," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(3), pages 539-561, July.
  5. Souphala Chomsisengphet & Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2006. "The evolution of the subprime mortgage market," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 31-56.
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