Mortgage Bailout Doesn't Address Root Cause of Financial Crisis, Says SmartHippo CEO

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Consumer empowerment and transparency is needed urgently.

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But injecting $700 billion into the market does absolutely nothing to stop this from happening again in the future.

The U.S. economy is on a collision course, and the $700-billion bailout approved by Congress last week does nothing to address the root cause, CEO George Favvas said today.

"We all know we got into this crisis because too many consumers took on loans they couldn't afford to pay," said Favvas. "But injecting $700 billion into the market does absolutely nothing to stop this from happening again in the future."

The bailout plan enables the federal government, through the treasury, to buy assets.

Favvas said shopping for a mortgage has gotten so complicated that many consumers end up using brokers or web sites that steer them towards lenders and products that pay them the most commission, not necessarily those which are the best match for their needs.

"Social media and other web technologies hold the promise, for the first time ever, to empower consumers with the information and tools they need to make better financial decisions," said Favvas, whose site is the first ever to let people use the power of the community to find the best deals and make better financial decisions.

According to Favvas, the industry needs more transparency, which will only come when consumers have the ability to compare deal terms and lender and broker experiences with other consumers, rather than relying exclusively on intermediaries to make decisions for them.

About SmartHippo, Inc. is the first-ever website that uses the power of community to help consumers find the best mortgage rates and save money. SmartHippo allows any individual to post information and feedback on the rate they received, and to compare rates with other members of the community with similar profiles. Members of SmartHippo can see real rates reported by real consumers, and sort through banks based on feedback posted by other members of the community. The company, which is privately held, launched the beta version of its web site on Sept. 17, 2007.


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Kelly Rusk
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