Government Information has wide impacts

Anyone paying attention to the news recently ahs noticed that the topic of home mortgage foreclosures is hot. Lots of ink (and electricity for pixels) has been used to document the tide of mortgage foreclosures and their impact on families, cities and the international financial markets.

If you (as a memebr of the public) want to udnerstand where all this is coming from, you need government information. Data on foreclosure sales comes from local sheriff’s departments (Hennepin & Ramsey Counties locally). Data on home mortgages, borrowers and lenders comes from Home Mortgaged Disclosure data (HMDA) compiled by the federal government.

Analyses of these data show who is being afffected, how it is impacting our communities and what’s likely to happen in the next few years.

If you want to do something about this problem (either as a softhearted liberal or a tough minded investor), you should thank the public agencies who collect and report this information.

Public access – it’s not academic, it’s the real world, the real economy.

Imagine if this information was NOT public!