The Cynically Ruthless Barney Frank, Enabler Of The Mortgage Meltdown

October 20, 2010 05:28

Among longtime politicians who are being seriously challenged for the first time this election year, Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts best epitomizes the cynical ruthlessness that hides behind their lofty rhetoric.

Thomas Sowell at IBD Editorials


Having been a key figure in promoting the risky mortgage lending practices imposed by the federal government on lenders, and on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy these risky mortgages from the lenders, Frank blamed the resulting collapse of financial markets and the economy on everybody except Barney Frank.

Congressman Frank has never hesitated to use his power ruthlessly. On one occasion, he threatened bankers with summoning them before his committee and forcing them to reveal their home addresses — which would of course put their spouses and children at the mercy of any kooks that might come along.

These were not just idle words. The dirty little secret that few in the media seem to want to discuss is that community activists, including Jesse Jackson, have over the years extracted literally billions of dollars from financial institutions, as the price of peace and of not challenging these institutions in hearings before federal regulators, as these groups are empowered to do under the Community Reinvestment Act.

Politicians who say we need more regulation almost never mean regulation in the sense of impartially enforcing explicit rules, such as the accounting rules that Fannie Mae was violating to cover up its own risks. They mean regulation with arbitrary powers, such as those under the Community Reinvestment Act, which enable regulators to carry out the agendas that politicians give them.

A reining in of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be a reining in of Barney Frank’s power.


Help Make A Difference By Sharing These Articles On Facebook, Twitter And Elsewhere:

Interested In Further Reading? Click Here