Nobel award-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said Wednesday that President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had failed to mention the housing market recovery because both were afraid of upsetting big banks, who are major campaign contributors.

Stiglitz told Reuters TV it was "shocking" that the housing issue hadn't been brought up in any of the three presidential debates.

"It is one of the things that obviously precipitated the [2008 financial] crisis. I think the reason, in some sense, is they don't want to offend the banks. The banks have been a major block to doing something about the issue."

Stiglitz noted that banks had foreclosed on millions homeowners without providing adequate records, wrongly forcing residents out of their home. He said it was a "gross miscarriage of justice" that none of the major banks have been held responsible.

"As soon as you start talking about mortgages and the housing problem, both sides feel uncomfortable," Stiglitz said. "Obama hasn't done enough, Romney doesn't have any proposals."

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