Housing rescue bill now official
"President George W. Bush signed into law legislation that helps 400,000 homeowners facing foreclosure and extends a lifeline to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Bush signed the measure at the White House about 7 a.m. today, spokesman Tony Fratto said.
"We look forward to putting in place new authorities to improve confidence and stability in markets, and to provide better oversight for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,'' Fratto said.
The law is aimed at stemming foreclosures and halting a free-fall in housing prices by providing federal insurance for refinanced 30-year mortgages for homeowners struggling to make their monthly payments.
The measure also is designed to restore confidence in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by tightening regulations and authorizing the Treasury secretary to inject capital into the two biggest U.S. providers of mortgage money."
This bill will help some borrowers and some lenders put some foreclosures and losses behind them. But it isn't a cure all, as I've noted before. The big-picture problem for the housing market is quite simple: Too much housing supply, not enough housing demand. It will take time to bring the equation back into balance.