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The New Deal and the Origins of the Modern American Real Estate Loan Contract in the Building and Loan Industry

Jonathan Rose () and Kenneth Snowden ()
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Jonathan Rose: Federal Reserve Board

No 12-6, UNCG Economics Working Papers from University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics

Abstract: We treat the direct reduction loan contract as an instance of financial innovation and describe its adoption within the building and loan (B&L) industry beginning in the 1880s and culminating in the 1930s. A long chain of complementary innovations at B&Ls gradually reduced the costs of adoption, leading to moderate use by the 1920s and potential for far greater use. In the 1930s, extreme dissatisfaction with other contracts radically altered the adoption calculus, as did new competition from FHA-insured lenders. Federal savings and loan charters built upon the accumulated innovations at B&Ls by emulating the small segment of the industry that had adopted direct reduction lending by the 1920s. Other policies helped restructure the liabilities of B&Ls to accommodate the loss of credit risk sharing and mutuality inherent to older contracts. New Deal policies therefore built upon and facilitated the ongoing process of financial innovation that brought the familiar modern loan contract to the conventional loan market.

Keywords: New Deal; Building and Loan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2012-05-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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