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In the News
Presented by Prairie Title
Commentary by Frank Pellegrini, Prairie Title CEO
May 14, 2015 – I was recently thinking about an old “friend” of mine. I put that in
quotes because I’ve never actually met him, though I’ve admired the man’s work for
years. His name is Hernando de Soto. Mirroring the curiosity-driven nature of the
famous Spanish explorer with whom he shares a name, our Hernando de Soto is an
explorer in his own right. Rather than land itself, he explores land-oriented
economic concepts. Today’s de Soto is a globally respected Peruvian economist whose advice is
sought by heads of state and world leaders, including many U.S. politicians, economists and business
leaders. So why should we, as real estate professionals, be interested in de Soto’s economic musings?
De Soto believes that a very important characteristic of capitalism is the ability to protect individual
property rights through an established system based on “economic facts” in which transactions are
formally documented and recorded and ownership and other rights may be clearly determined. He
argues strongly that a formal land title system empowers economically disadvantaged people by
assuring them rights and assets that are critical to becoming economically self-sufficient.
“Until you have universal, well-protected, clear, and transferable
private property rights, you cannot have a market economy in Peru
… or anywhere else,” de Soto once told Reason magazine. His
strong belief in private property rights reflects the long-established
position of those of us who work in the U.S. real estate industry.
Private ownership of real estate is a bedrock of our economy and
the foundation upon which developed nations have been built.
We see reports in the mainstream and industry media every day about the real estate market —
interest rate movement, or lack thereof, price changes, home sales, new home construction, etc.
Why is real estate such a popular subject? Because it matters. Real estate ownership and the transfer
of ownership rights is one of the main engines that can drive our economy forward. In today’s
market, with real estate helping lead the way back to a stable, growing national economy, ensuring
that property rights are respected and enforced has never been more important
Real Estate agents, lenders, lawyers, appraisers and other professionals who work in our industry
make vital contributions every day to our economy. In the title insurance industry, our focus is on
protecting the integrity of vital land records and providing the assurances that make the ability to
clearly establish formal property rights possible. We are proud to provide that service.
Let’s keep the conversation going. Call or email me: 708-386-7900; [email protected]
Other stories we’re following:
Bankers Concerned about TILA-RESPA Impact.
Realtors Ask for TRID Grace Period.
Commercial, Multi-Family Thriving.
Prepared Remarks by CFPB Director Cordray at NAR.