Mortgage

What’s worse: mortgage fraud or overreaction?

Whenever something bad happens, we will overreact -- overreaction in direct proportion to how bad the bad was

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Mortgage fraud is serious business, harmful to the public and financial markets. And it will always be with us, like cheating at cards and taxes. Both vigilance and punishment are permanent necessities. Unfortunately, other behaviors are just as common. Whenever something bad happens, we will overreact -- overreaction in direct proportion to how bad the bad was. The regulatory reaction to stock market and banking abuses and failures leading to the Great Depression stayed in force for 40 years (and more or less forgotten altogether by the 70-year mark). The overreaction to the Credit Bubble and Great Recession will last as long. But overreaction it is today -- heavy, crazy, and an impediment to recovery, and far stronger than the Depression aftermath. Embedded in the overreaction: those who would profit as over-reactors, commercial ventures or regulators. Some new market cops are useful, and their overuse is not the fault of the providers. Another layer: Everyone toda...