If and when the Federal Reserve moves out of the mortgage backed securities field -a move expected in the first quarter of 2010-, will private investors step in? Well, why should they? What profit can they expect to reap? US housing prices have been kept artificially high for at least the past two years (if not the past 70) by the combination of the Fed's recent $1.25 trillion MBS purchases and the aggressive securitization policies of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA/Ginnie Mae team.

But this can't go on forever. As the Washington Post says, the government has lost its "huge federal gamble on the politically popular cause of homeownership". And the administration may try to paint rosy and green pictures of an economic recovery, and the stocks markets may seem to be doing relatively well, but none of it means a thing with the housing market in a death spiral.

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