Industry NewsMortgage

Bailout incites ‘grassroots rage’

Commentary: A mismatch of politics and economics

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Mortgage rates are unchanged, about 6.125 percent, just one aspect of completely frozen credit markets, hostage to a political moment without parallel. The real economy is tipping over: New claims for unemployment insurance last week jumped to 493,000 from the 450,000 range. Orders for durable goods in August plunged 4.5 percent, double the forecast decline, and sales of new homes free-fell 11 percent. When financial events move into politics, this column is relentlessly anti-partisan -- not "non-", but anti. Nothing below is intended to favor either party or candidate. Any large-scale federal financial rescue was certain to face political chaos. However, within hours of rollout last Thursday this rescue collided with two linked and disastrous forces that may yet defeat immediate rescue. When Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke went to the political authorities last week, Bernanke's "Tales From The Crypt" risks t...