Wall Street and the Housing Bubble

Social Science Research Network

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Date Published 2013
Primary Author Ing-Haw Cheng
Other Authors Sahil Raina; Wei Xiong
Theme Real Estate Cycles and Bubbles


We analyze whether mid-level managers in securitized finance were aware of the housing bubble and a looming crisis in 2004-2006 using their personal home transaction data. To the extent that the practice of securitization may have led to lax screening of subprime borrowers, we find that the average person in our sample did not expect it to lead to problems in the wider housing market. Certain groups of securitization agents were particularly aggressive in increasing their exposure to housing during this period, suggesting the need to expand the incentives-based view of the crisis to incorporate a role for beliefs.

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