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Archive for Monday, October 27, 2008

Kansas banking expert to discuss housing crisis

October 27, 2008

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September home purchases may have been up by more than 5 percent from August, but the see-sawing stock market, coupled with a dim outlook on the housing market, is making home-buyers jittery.

Andrew Jetter, president and CEO of Federal Home Loan Bank in Topeka, will lay out the housing crisis scenario in a speech at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kansas University's Lied Center.

Jetter, who has held a variety of leadership positions at the bank during more than 20 years, will speak on "Looking Ahead: The Future of Housing Finance in America." In it, he will discuss the structure and regulation of housing finance, and what changes must be made to keep the system working.

Toni Dixon, director of communications for KU's School of Business, said the speech will be based on the latest financial figures, which show new home purchases growing.

"Perhaps there's a little bit of ray of hope from that," she said.

The speech, which is free and open to the public, provides a glimpse into how the housing crisis affects Kansans.

"It's one thing listening to national reports, and it's another to listen to someone who actually has his finger on the pulse of what's happening here in Kansas," Dixon said.

Jetter said many factors went into creating the housing crisis, and many of the terms in the news can be confusing.

"Essentially, you had what is somewhat common historically," he said. "A boom-bust created a bubble in home prices."

Jetter said he will explain in layman's terms the various factors that caused the housing crisis, and propose several solutions that could alleviate home-buyers' pain.

He said the problem has been less evident in Kansas than in other parts of the country.

"You just didn't see the kind of price appreciation and poor lending practices in Kansas that you saw in any of these other areas," he said.

Jetter's speech is part of the Anderson Chandler Lecture Series, which began in 1997.

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