Industry NewsMortgage

Bring on the short sales, foreclosures

Commentary: Tough love is what housing market needs

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Mortgage rates are sliding below 6 percent on a stock market fade, that in turn caused by credit crunch reality: Fear of big-firm dominoes is past, but credit will be scarce and expensive for another year or more. No dominoes, but many, many shoes yet to drop. Now $125 oil and resulting inflation has everybody rattled, blowing ultimate-top forecasts to $150-$200 (which means nobody knows). Central bankers worldwide are linked by euphemism: "We are prepared to deal with inflation as necessary." However, they can't deal with it by issuing rules, enforcing regulation, passing legislation, or spraying Raid! or Agent Orange. There are only two ways out. The first, underway: Exert monetary restraint and hope to blazes that a gentle global slowdown leads to a collapse of overshot commodity prices. Despite rate cuts and lending-of-last-resort, even our Fed is on the tight side. If that doesn't work, turn to the Grim Reaper of economics: Central banks must "destroy ...