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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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According to a report commissioned by the Government from the former HBOS chief executive, Sir James Crosby, and published with the pre-Budget report, net new mortgage lending may next year shrink to below zero, a situation quite without precedent even during the last housing market crash of the early 1990s, when the problem was never lack of mortgage finance but rather its cost. Today it is the reverse.
The main reason for this intensification in the mortgage famine is that lenders have approximately £160bn of mortgages to refinance next year, yet beyond the Government, no obvious way of doing so. Nobody is prepared to finance or buy mortgage assets right now. The securitisation markets remain closed.
Sir James suggests the Government guarantees £100bn of mortgage-backed securities as one way out of this downward spiral of decline. Yet Mr King doesn't like this solution at all, as subsidisation of mortgage lending may end up only crowding out small business and other forms of lending. As can readily be seen, there is no magic wand that can be waved to get rid of the deleveraging process.
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