Barney Frank Is Anything But On Housing

October 20, 2010 05:36

No one contributed more to the policies behind the housing boom and bust, which led to the economic disaster we are now in, than Frank.

Thomas Sowell at IBD Editorials


To those who warned of the risks in the new policies, Frank replied in 2003 that critics “exaggerate a threat of safety” and “conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see.” Far from being reluctant to promote risky practices, Frank said: “I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation.”

In 2004 he said: “I believe that we, as the federal government, have probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing.” He went further: “I would like to get Fannie and Freddie more deeply into helping low-income housing.”

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were crucial to these schemes to force lenders to lend to those whom politicians wanted them to lend to, rather than to those who were most likely to pay them back. So it is no surprise that Barney Frank was very protective toward these two government-sponsored enterprises that were buying up mortgages that banks were willing to make under political pressure, but were often unwilling to keep.

Barney Frank was all over the media, pointing the finger of blame at everybody else. When CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo asked Frank who was responsible for the financial crisis, he said “right-wing Republicans.” It so happens that conservatives were the loudest critics who had warned for years against the policies that Frank pushed, but why let facts get in the way?


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