Economist and writer Katerina Alexandraki has come up 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. See her Web site for the campaign which she calls Bonus for 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 off of stocks and distressed assets that surged in value this year, largely thanks to trillions of dollars in government support.
Katerina hopes to distribute the money to low-income earners and the unemployed. She’s specifically looking for 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 help contribute or nag their fellow high-earners. Of course, you can always just take the thought and contribute to housing-related charities on your own. 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.