Readers of this site are in or near the real estate business. What is the single most-important thing to us? Money. What kind? Loans. Real estate is more dependent on credit than the rest of the economy put together.

  • As all old-time real estate people know, banks are where the money isn’t. The most important source of real estate credit in the U.S. by a huge margin: Fannie and Freddie.

First, a few basic rules for writing about this topic.

I don’t mean to offend any reader (except possibly the candidates, in the unlikely event that one found this piece). Disclosure: My own politics align with Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive Republicans, but I’m the last one — the one-man Bull Mouse Party. Think of me as a centrist, either hopelessly undecided or positioned to annoy everyone.

The most important election rule for a publication like this: stay strictly with business self-interest. Don’t fool with social policy, hair-dos or funny accents.

Readers of this site are in or near the real estate business. What is the single most-important thing to us? Money. What kind? Loans. Real estate is more dependent on credit than the rest of the economy put together.

Who of the surviving five candidates would do the least harm?

I was astounded this weekend to see (very) conservative activist Charles Koch jump to the correct answer. This is a very strange election year in many ways, and more scattered than re-aligning.

Before repeating Koch’s verdict, a brief analysis.

Sutton’s Law applies. When asked why he robbed so many banks, Wille Sutton said, “Because that’s where the money is.”

It is clear that Sanders has it in for banks and would do the most harm. Clinton would at least be responsive to the Warren wing, defending Dodd-Frank. The three Republicans would be most likely to provide regulatory relief to banks.

But, as all old-time real estate people know, banks are where the money isn’t.

If you don’t believe us, go argue with a bank. Total U.S. bank loans and leases are a smaller sum than all the residential loans in the U.S. Not counting commercial or multi-family. Chew on that one for a moment.

The most important source of real estate credit in the U.S. by a huge margin: Fannie and Freddie. Who is at the top of the Fannie-Freddie hate list? Republicans. Perhaps more in the Tea Party than the dwindling mainstreamers, the Republican mantra has become: Get government out of everything. Privatize! Even though private issuance of MBS got us the Bubble…even though there is no conceivable supply of private credit to fund housing…shut Fannie and Freddie! Says so in The Wall Street Journal every other day.

So to Koch’s conclusion: Asked by ABC’s Jonathan Karl, “So is it possible another Clinton could be better than another Republican?”

Long pause. Koch: “It’s possible.”

Wow.

Hillary Clinton — The Best Republican Available!

Lou Barnes is a mortgage broker based in Boulder, Colorado. He can be reached at lbarnes@pmglending.com.

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