Kashkari: Lower Mortgage Rates Needed
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) just asked Neel Kashkari, Treasury's man in charge of the $700 billion bailout/rescue, what advice he would give President-elect Barack Obama if he asked Kashkari for his best advice on how to keep homeowners in their homes.
"The best thing we can do as a country is to bring down mortgage rates so [homeowners] can refinance and get into long-term mortgages they can afford," Kashkari said, during a hearing of a subcommittee of the oversight committee underway now on the Hill.
"Congressman, I'm being very candid with you. As you know, the Fed has cut interest rates, but that has not led to lower mortgage rates because the markets are stuck," Kashkari said.
Cummings then asked Kashkari whether he would stay on at Treasury if Obama asked him to.
Kashkari paused, looked down, smiled a bit and said: "I would be very honored if the president-elect asked me, but I'd have to talk to my wife. It's been a hard two and a half years for her."
-- Frank Ahrens
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