"There is a real structural problem with the mortgage industry that hopefully will be addressed in the wake of the collapse of the bubble (mortgage issuers make money on selling the mortgage, not holding it), but there is a more fundamental policy question that needs to be asked. Politicians routinely hawk homeownership as an end in itself and have pushed policies that are designed to maximize homeownership. (They have also been assisted in these efforts by private foundations that are committed to assisting moderate-income families.) This has often meant promoting policies that provide large subsidies to homeowners, and implicitly neglecting renters. This is what happens when sound policy is subjugated to political ideology. For many people, in many circumstances, homeownership is a good idea. But it is not everywhere and always better for people to own than rent. With the unwinding of the housing bubble, and the millions of tales of families in distress that will be part of this picture, it will be important for the media to examine the policies that got us here. This means that reporters should go after the ownership at all costs crowd. These people have a lot to answer for."