SAN DIEGO - Never before has the mortgage market played such a significant role in the macro economic landscape, so it's hardly surprising that last week's annual Mortgage Bankers Association convention kicked off with this sentiment.

MBA 2003 Chairman John Courson said that, in his 45 years of industry experience, he has not seen the mortgage industry drive the economy to the extent that it has in this cycle. However, said Courson, when homeowners put $200 billion of their discretionary income back into the economy "people did listen."

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