Download Affordable Housing Finance by Kim Hawtrey (auth.) PDF

By Kim Hawtrey (auth.)

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Example text

According to another official commentary (Schich, 2008): [t]raditional distinctions between different financial activities, including banking, securities dealing, and asset management, have become more blurred. As well, closer and more complex inter-linkages in the financial system have facilitated spillover effects and implied that the systemic risk factors that (commercial) banks are exposed to are more universal. That is to say, the subprime crisis of 2008 stemmed, to a significant degree, from a breakdown in credit risk information and lack of transparency.

Undoubtedly, many of the “usual suspects” played some part in the crisis, such as unchecked balance sheet growth, conflicts of interest, and a complex web of business deals. Yet all of these are responsible at par for the course in the world of banking most of the time, and do not by themselves fully account for what happened. The 2008 credit crisis points beyond these factors, to market failure in the provision of affordable housing finance. As many as five years earlier, some observers had expressed fears that Fannie and Freddie were adding to the risks that might be posed to the US Treasury by displaying inadequate accounting and financial controls 36 Affordable Housing Finance (Poole, 2003).

Another reliable source similarly estimates that 95 million people, or 30 percent of the population, have housing problems including a high-cost burden, overcrowding, poor quality shelter, and homelessness. One in seven spends more than 50 percent, around 40 million Americans (National Low Income Housing Coalition, 2004). In the euro area, taking the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) as reference, analysis of the nature and extent of the persistence of housing deprivation using a cross-sectional view shows that around 20 percent of the population appears to be experiencing housing stress at a given point in time.

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