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The Central Role Of Credit Crunches In Recent Financial History

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http://www.brookings.edu/about/projects/bpea/editions/~/media/Projects/BPEA/1980%202/1980b_bpea_wojnilower_friedman_modigliani.PDF

The underlying reality is that single-family homes make no private or public technological sense-enormous efficiencies in private and social
capital could be realized if people would live in small apartments near their work places (actually in factory dormitories, as once was common).
However, in expression of the deep human craving for personal space, it is precisely this "inefficient" form of tenure, homeownership, that is heavily subsidized throughout the industrial world. The dependence on subsidy is evidence of the inefficiency. In view of housing's "constitutional weakness," it is to be expected that freeing the financial markets-which in the United States is tantamount to shrinking the housing subsidy by withdrawing preferences hitherto accorded mortgage-lending institutionswill reduce home building. Freeing the thrift and mortgage markets from
governmental subsidy and guarantee is like freeing family pets by abandoning them in the jungle.

Wojnilower.

Currently reading this and found this comment interesting, from 1980.

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What are the factories making, if not things that satisfy 'human cravings'?

If the free market ends up with the whole world run like a Chinese sweatshop then who on earth is buying?

Are there no feedback mechanisms ensuring that the financial markets invest in things people actually want?

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