Washington to host mortgage and housing symposiumby Tim Manni
Unemployed? Underwater? Can’t refinance? If so, why not head to the D.C. area next week and voice your struggles and concerns to our people in power.
Beginning on Monday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Federal Reserve are hosting a two-day symposium regarding the future of the mortgage and housing markets. From October 25-26, professionals from the public, private and academic sectors will meet to discuss everything from loan mods to mortgage securitization.
Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke will kick off the free event (which is open to the public), and FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair will be a keynote speaker:
Chairman Bair said, “The housing sector, one of the main engines of our economy, has seen positive signs, but there are many hurdles yet to overcome. It is very clear that as a country we need to aggressively examine the incentives of our system of mortgage finance to ensure that the problems that contributed to the financial crisis are addressed. It will be difficult to restore stability and normalcy to the housing finance system – and thus the broader economy – without reform. Over the next two days we will hear from experts across the housing spectrum to help identify solutions to these vital issues.”
While the agenda and the professionals put together for this event looks quite impressive on paper, I’ve grown very skeptical of the results that these types of meetings tend to produce. Whether this symposium is politically or policy driven, our hope is that the attendees can find new, viable solutions to the current problems facing the markets.
For example, we’re still waiting for a viable solution to help the nation’s underwater borrowers refinance. Judging from the reactions and comments we get from our readers on a daily basis, unless you’ve already fallen behind on your mortgage payments, there’s little to no assistance available for you at the present time. This must change. I have a feeling that if a lot of homeowners showed up, this symposium could take quite a different turn.
If you can’t make it there in person, you can see both Mr. Bernanke’s and Chairman Bair’s remarks via webcast.