Thursday PM October 2nd, 2008

One local economist says Houston is not escaping the nation's financial crisis, because it's getting harder to borrow money no matter where you go. He thinks the bailout bill Congress is debating isn't the "best" way out of the crisis, but it will help. Jim Bell has today's business report.
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Dr. Ted Jones of Stewart Title says Houston's strong economy is the reason this area isn't getting the full monty of the financial crisis.

"Unlike most of the rest of the United States, the states of Washington and Texas have been having some relatively robust job growth. And so we have not seen the economic downturn as much here as the rest of the country has seen it."  

Politics may be local, but Jones says the economy is national.

"It is much more difficult today to qualify for a house. We may be living here in Houston with a very good economy, but these lending standards are set on a national basis."

Jones says the bailout bill the Senate has passed and sent to the house has some good things in it, and some not so good things.  He's disgusted by all the earmarks in the bill, but even with the earmarks, he says if this bill is applied as intended, the economic crisis should ease up over time. 

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.