You may be wondering what I thought of the debate. Didn't see it. Sorry, but life got in the way. I'll catch up with a rebroadcast or an online version.
Meanwhile, Anglachel (who took my previous post in the right spirit) sent me a link to this amazing article
, which provides the Ultimate Slapdown to anyone trying to sell the idea that Bill Clinton or the CRA (the minority home loan program) caused the mortgage meltdown. A few samples:
• Did the 1977 legislation, or any other legislation since, require banks to not verify income or payment history of mortgage applicants?
• 50% of subprime loans were made by mortgage service companies not subject comprehensive federal supervision; another 30% were made by banks or thrifts which are not subject to routine supervision or examinations. How was this caused by either CRA or GSEs ?
• What about "No Money Down" Mortgages (0% down payments) ? Were they required by the CRA? Fannie? Freddie?
• Explain the shift in Loan to value from 80% to 120%: What was it in the Act that changed this traditional lending requirement?
• How exactly did legislation force Moody's, S&Ps and Fitch to rate junk paper as Triple AAA?
• What about piggy back loans? Were banks required by Congress to lend the first mortgage and do a HELOC for the down payment -- at the same time?
• Internal bank memos showed employees how to cheat the system to get poor mortgages prospects approved that shouldn't have been: Titled How to Get an "Iffy" loan approved at JPM Chase. (Was circulating that memo also a FNM/FRE/CRA requirement?)
• The four biggest problem areas for housing (by price decreases) are: Phoenix, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Miami, Florida, and San Diego, California. Explain exactly how these affluent, non-minority regions were impacted by the Community Reinvesment Act ?
It's obvious, isn't it? The housing boom was the only bright spot in the economy for roughly six years. Without it, we would have had deflation and an intractable recession. So the nation's financial infrastructure and the Bush administration did everything they could to keep the party going as long as possible. And now that the party has ended, they're singing "Blame Bill; blame blacks."