Real estate finance is so important that it has a very long and complex history. Describing the history of mortgage financing, Professor Shiller highlights the historical development of well-institutionalized property rights for mortgage contracts.
Subsequently, he focuses on modern financial institutions for commercial real estate, elaborating on Direct Participation Programs and Real Estate Investment Trusts as means for its financing. The distinction between short-term, balloon-payment mortgages before the Great Depression and long-term, amortizing mortgages thereafter shapes the discussion of residential real estate.
His discussion of mortgage securitization and government support of mortgage markets centers around Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, from their inception in 1938 and 1970, respectively, to the U.S. government’s decision to put them into federal conservatorship in 2008. Finally, Professor Shiller covers collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) and elaborates on moral hazard in the mortgage origination process.