The housing crisis that isn’t

The only beneficial side-effect of Dartmouth’s deplorable decision to throw Todd Zywicki off of its Board of Trustees would occur if Todd decided to write a book about his experiences on the Board. It’s a book I’d love to read, but Todd’s commitment to his legal scholarship pretty much guarantees that he will not be writing about Dartmouth any time soon.

Todd does have a new book coming out though. It is called Bankruptcy Law and Policy in the Twenty-First Century. Peter Robinson, who fortunately has not been kicked off Dartmouth’s board of trustees, previews the book here.

Peter tells us that Todd has picked some interesting fights in his book. One is with Alan Greenspan, whom he says inadvertently created the housing bubble. Another is with President Obama’s economic team which claims that the bursting of the housing bubble amounts to a national tragedy. Todd identifies three distinct types of housing markets, only one of which shows real signs of distress. And even in that market, he argues, the distress is confined to a limited number of areas.

Based on this analysis, Todd contends that the Obama administration should resist the temptation to intervene in the housing market as a whole. “Assistance for the relatively small number of people who are facing really tragic circumstances makes sense,” he acknowledges, “but if the administration tries to push overall housing prices back up, it will only be asking for trouble.”


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