Randal O’Toole at the Cato Institute has the most unique take on the housing bubble I’ve seen. He blames the housing bubble on land use restrictions:
The credit crisis has led to numerous calls for bigger government. Yet the truth is that big government not only let the crisis happen, it caused it.
This truth is obscured by most accounts of the crisis. “I have a four-step view of the financial crisis,” says Paul Krugman. “1. The bursting of the housing bubble.”
William Kristol agrees. His account of the crisis begins, “A huge speculative housing bubble has collapsed.” “The root of the problem lies in this housing correction,” said Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson.
So it all started with the bubble. But what caused the bubble? The answer is clear: excessive land-use regulation. Yet while many talk about re-regulating banks and other financial firms, hardly anyone is talking about deregulating land.
He makes a good case. Read the whole thing.