President Obama Treated the Housing Market & Wall Street Differently

August 23, 2012 / Russell Legato, Residential Property Analyst

The first day that President Obama crossed the threshold of the oval office, he stepped into the middle of the worst financial mess since the Great Depression. Soon the blame was placed on his shoulders just as if he’d stepped into owning a dirty restaurant and the health inspector blamed him without allowing him time to clean it up. The abominable financial straits in the U.S. were not precipitated or entrenched in the country by Obama. He deserved time to clean it up.

President Obama Treated the Housing Market & Wall Street Differently

Now the pundits say he had his first term chance to do so. Not to name names, but a certain two-term president had two terms to facilitate change. And he did. He made it worse.

Obama spent the first half of his term assessing all possible bailout strategies. He chose to start a program to help homeowners facing foreclosures. However, it was too limited and there were too many struggling homeowners by then. Yes, it was a decision that is regrettable. Now it is reported that hundreds of billions of dollars allocated for the purpose of buying up mortgages were left unused when they could have facilitated a bailout.

Many taxpayers would be interested to hear a report on the current whereabouts of that money. Or, where was it going to come from? Could it be privatization of Social Security? Or, would those little old ladies be asked to give up a portion of their Medicare benefits?

Back to the race for the White House. The slow speed of the recovery is detrimental to Obama’s campaign. Those in the know say his mistake in bailing out banks and car manufacturers and not homeowners will slam the White House door in his face.

While the first two bailouts did propel the economy upwards, why wasn’t the third one used? Is it possible, even likely that once, twice three times a bailout would have interrupted the crisis in the housing market. Could the Housing Market & Wall Street along with the banks all have been revived? And will that single bad decision keep Obama from a second term in the role of the president?

The advice of then Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Lawrence H. Summers, who directed the NEC at the time, predicted no block to recovery. Officially, the recession receded in June of 2009 and there was an immediate upswing in housing prices. Obama’s steps were taken based on their expert advice. Upon realization that they predicted it wrong, he took immediate steps to stem the flow of foreclosures.

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