Serious Concern? or ....
.....Passive Agressive Shake-down for Campaign Contributions?
(Reuters) - "U.S. lawmakers will question some leading government and industry economists about the perils of a possible 'housing bubble' in a Wednesday hearing."
"Lawmakers wanted the session "because we've heard a great deal about the possibility of a housing bubble for several years now," said Sen. Wayne Allard, a Republican from Colorado.
The hearing, "The Housing Bubble and its Implications for the Economy," will be held in an open session of the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m." (today)
"Lawmakers behind Wednesday's hearing said that they were concerned that a steady flow of soft housing data could put the nation's economy in peril."
"House prices increased by their smallest margin in over six years during the second quarter of 2006, a recent government study found. Sales of new and existing homes, too, are much slower than their recent break-neck pace."
'"The economy has been buoyed for some time by unrealistic expectations about the appreciation of housing prices," said Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, who is helping sponsor the meeting. "Now that the housing market is cooling, the economy may be headed for a bumpy landing."'
"The lawmakers will hear from several chief economists like Richard Brown of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Patrick Lawler of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, Dave Seiders of the National Association of Homebuilders and Tom Stevens of the National Association of Realtors."
"Next week, the same committee will hold a hearing on the growth of innovative mortgage products that have mushroomed along with the housing sector."
"The witness list has not been confirmed for the hearing on non-traditional mortgages tentatively scheduled to be held next Wednesday, September 20."
"Sen. Allard said that hearing would help lawmakers who "want to get a better understanding of these (mortgage) products and what they mean for the homebuyer, the financial institutions and the economy."'