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In a Reuters article about the mortgage mess, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson blamed a "dramatic weakening" of underwriting standards for lower-quality home loans for helping trigger turmoil in credit markets. Interesting. Didn't this Johnny Come Lately say late last summer that the crisis was contained to sub-prime?

Now he knows the solution:

"Among recommendations from a top-level Presidential Working Group that he heads, Paulson said he wanted "strong nationwide licensing standards" for mortgage brokers as part of an effort to ward off future housing crises and reassure investors"

Licensing standards for brokers? Really? How about changing the way brokers are compensated? As a broker, your only concern is getting the deal closed, no matter how bad the deal is. Rather than paying brokers up-front, pay them a small recurring fee every time the borrower makes a payment on the loan. That way, brokers have a stake in only pursuing good deals. Problem solved!

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