Bailing Out Homeowners

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A realty sign stands outside a new home for sale in southeast Denver on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
A realty sign stands outside a new home for sale in southeast Denver on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008. (AP)

What about the little homeowner whose mortgage is sinking the family budget? The millions and millions of homeowners facing woe and foreclosure, whose collective problem is drowning the national economy?

There is still a raging debate over whether homeowners should get a lifeline at all. But plans are being made. Super-low mortgage interest rates or new tax breaks may be on the way.

But for whom? New homeowners? Struggling homeowners? Can we afford this?

This hour, On Point: Bailing out the home-owning world.

You can join the conversation. Would bargain-basement mortgage interest rates and foreclosure relief turn your town, your life, the national economy around? Do you want your failing neighbors to get a helping hand from Washington? Do you want a piece of that pie, too?Guests:

Joining us from New York is Michael Corkery, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal covering housing and home-building. His most recent piece, looking at the Treasury Department's proposal to push down mortgage rates, was headlined "Lower Rates Help Sell Houses, but Market Faces Broader Ills."

Also from New York, we're joined by Dwight Jaffee, a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently visiting at New York University's Stern School of Business.

And from Wellesley, Mass., we're joined by Karl Case, professor of economics at Wellesley College. A national authority on the economics of housing and real estate, he collaborates with economist Robert Shiller to produce the Case-Schiller Home Price Index, the most widely used database of housing prices in the U.S.

This program aired on December 9, 2008.


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