Very Bad Things Happen When We Depend on the Same People Who Caused the Foreclosure Crisis to Track Its Destruction
There is not a single federal agency that has tracked foreclosures comprehensively, a massive information gap that prevents the work of journalists, advocates and policymakers alike.
Nationally, there is not a single federal agency that has taken the initiative to track foreclosures comprehensively, a massive information gap that prevents the work of journalists, advocates and policymakers alike.
The government is instead relying on the expensive, potentially biased and seemingly inaccurate information amassed by mortgage bankers, real estate hawks and credit reporting agencies. How this happened is a story of congressional warnings and broken promises, of lack of funding, and ultimately, the increasing dependence on the for-profit sector to quantify and analyze our lives. In this sense, it’s not only a story of the government’s failure, but also of Wall Street’s almost unquestioned power to determine not only value, but reality itself.
The story begins in March 2009, near the peak of the foreclosure crisis, when the government admitted that it was being blindsided.
“The failure of federal banking and housing regulatory agencies to gather and analyze quality market intelligence is striking,” the Congressional Oversight Panel reported. “Absent more complete and accurate information, legislators, regulators, and market participants are flying blind.”
Full report here…