Somewhere I once read a description of homeowners' habitual equity-tapping before the bubble burst so vivid it embossed an image permanently on my brain. The exact words I don't remember, but my mental image is of a scientific laboratory, full of cages containing miniaturized homeowners, each pressing away at a lever on their mini homes to get their addictive fix of cash from their homes. Some of them go so far as to resemble Homer Simpson after scoring a doughnut, tongues lolling out as they drool, "Moneeeeeey. Goooooood."
That image came back to me afresh when I first read the title of Johan Norberg's new book, "Financial Fiasco: How America's Infatuation with Homeownership and Easy Money Created the Economic Crisis."