Economist and writer Katerina Alexandraki has launched a creative idea for easing the housing crunch this holiday season. She’s asking Wall Streeters getting big bonuses to contribute them to folks in danger of losing their homes.
Wall Streeters are expected to get a lot of heat this bonus season, both for creating the loose lending standards and securitization of loans that fueled the housing bubble and now for making a killing with stocks and distressed assets surging in value thanks largely to the trillions of dollars in government support. Check out the Web site for Katerina’s campaign, which she called Bonus for Homes.
Katerina hopes to distribute the money to low-income earners and the unemployed., specifically folks who were victims of predatory lending or who are facing foreclosure. She describes it as “a private-sector initiative to address the anomaly that, while everyone, from top to bottom, public and private, is to blame for the financial crisis, some of us have fared much better than others.”
She’s looking for volunteers to contribute or to nag their fellow high-earners. Of course you could just as easily donate to local housing-related charities. Maybe even with company matching funds!
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.