For most home buyers, title insurance represents just one more annoying charge that appears on the closing statement and often throws budgets into disarray if the cost was unexpected. However, like most forms of insurance, a title policy seems like a bargain when it is actually needed. In this article we examine Investors Title Company, a title insurer that appears to be trading at a significant discount to intrinsic value.
Reforms targeting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were not included in the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory act signed into law by President Obama last month. To many observers, this was a glaring omission given the fact that the two government sponsored entities have required massive injections of government funds currently totaling $145 billion and projected to rise much further. As The Economist described last week, government intervention in the U.S. mortgage market dominates home financing in a manner far exceeding typical government housing support in other developed countries. Read this article for more information on Freddie Mac’s ill advised promotion of home ownership to those who cannot qualify for conventional mortgages.
Perhaps no other government policymaker has suffered as much reputational damage due to the housing collapse as former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Mr. Greenspan has defended his record in recent months and recently published a paper outlining his views regarding the housing bubble and subsequent crash. In Mr. Greenspan’s view, Fed policy actions had little to do with the crash. Read this article for more details and a link to Michael Burry’s recent New York Times op-ed article.
In this Fox Business News interview, Prof. Robert Shiller comments on the current state of the housing market, the impact of the upcoming expiration of the $8,000 home purchase credit, and prospects for a price recovery over the next several years. Prof. Shiller is one of the economists who developed the Case-Shiller home price indices which are often cited in media reports covering housing prices. Read this post for more details.
I first became familiar with Thomas Sowell’s work when I read The Vision of the Anointed over a decade ago. Dr. Sowell has written a new book focusing on the recent (and still ongoing) housing debacle in the United States. In this video interview, Dr. Sowell speaks at length about the housing market but he goes far beyond the recent crisis and also speaks about the economic philosophy that sowed the seeds for the crisis.