According to this article in today’s Washington Post, the the Treasury Department met with representatives of the NAR a few weeks ago and told them that they are considering a plan to intervene directly in the mortgage industry to force down rates and stimulate the housing market.
A source said Treasury officials suggested at the meeting that the Realtors start a grass-roots campaign to press the mortgage rate plan with lawmakers.
This story comes on the tail of the NAR campaign for its Four Point Plan, an economic stimulus plan for the housing market.
Since Federal manipulation of the mortgage market is what poisoned the capital markets to begin with, I doubt any of these plans are sustainable and the additional interference only pushes back the day we finally reach bottom and start recovering.
I’ve often been suspicious of “grass roots” campaigns, and this is a case in point. By definition, grass roots movements can’t be dictated from the top down, and the Federal Treasury is about as high as one can get. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it is natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures like, in this case, the Federal Treasury. Jeez.