Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

April 1, 2008
No solution in sight for foreclosures

One of the most sobering things about listening to leading experts in the U.S. talk about foreclosures is how little they seem to know about what to do.

I am just back in town after sitting through two sessions on foreclosures during a conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The speakers had lots of charts about the specifics of the problem - particularly, that we are in unmapped and dangerous territory.

But when the questions in a big conference room at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco were about solutions, then the talk got vague and roundabout. The consensus always seemed to be that it is extremely complicated and we need to keep talking about ideas to resolve it.

In short, even when Federal Reserve staffers speak, it is easy to get the sense that there are no big solutions now in motion that will stop this any time soon.

There was other talk about numbers - people counseled, workout sessions held, money allocated. Yet when you think about it, the most important number - that of those losing their homes - keeps soaring. It is easy to wonder sometimes if the plan is to tinker at the edges, save the easiest cases and let the market do its unpleasant work for the next couple of years. I will have a more detailed look at this in my Friday Home Front column in The Bee.

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