Oct 29, 2007

Ben Stein: Subprime "tiny in the context of the economy"

I'm not at all worried about the stock market despite the recurrent panic about subprime mortgage problems and resistance to some loans by lenders in private equity deals (which used to be called, appropriately, leveraged buyouts, or LBOs).

Subprime is a small sector of the mortgage market, as I've said before. It might be 15 percent at most. The defaults and delinquencies in this sector might be roughly 15 percent, which makes for a total problem rate of about 2.25 percent of the whole mortgage market.

If all this goes into foreclosure (which is unlikely), it will realize about 60 percent upon liquidation at the very least. That means the real loss might be about .9 percent, or less than 1 percent. That's a large number, but tiny in the context of the economy.

~ Ben Stein, "A View of the Economy from Abroad," Yahoo! Finance, July 5, 2007

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