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2003, that is, when the New York Times ran this article on proposed reforms to Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac: The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago. Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry. The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios. The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt -- is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates. ... The proposal is the opening act in one of the biggest and most significant lobbying battles of the Congressional session. ... ''The current regulator does not have the tools, or the mandate, to adequately regulate these enterprises,'' Mr. Oxley said at the hearing. ''We have seen in recent months that mismanagement and questionable accounting practices went largely unnoticed by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight,'' the independent agency that now regulates the companies. ... Significant details must still be worked out before Congress can approve a bill. Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing. ''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing." Maybe it's too much to expect anyone to remember the distant past--2003--but still, it seems remarkable that Barney Frank can make the rounds of the television talk shows, pontificating on the current crisis, without being reminded of his own role. read the rest...
This whole thing started out with a noble concept: Making the American dream of home ownership available to everyone. It ran amok because the greedy and unsavory among us saw it as a way to make money off of the less fortunate without actually victimizing them (in their minds). Add to the mix people with reasonable credit who found out they could buy a house bigger and better than they had ever dreamed of just by being a little "creative" with the loans, and there was even more money to be made and even less of an incentive to pull the plug. This is another example of there being no such thing as a victimless crime, as so many people face futures without homes of their own and with ruined credit ratings, not to mention what it's done to the rest of the country. I believe violating the public trust and purposely mismanaging a government agency ought to be a federal crime, and I hope charges will be brought. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but there is a lot to be said for being content with what you have and not overextending yourself for the purpose of feeling better about your life and impressing others. This desire to appear well off appeals to Americans, and what better way to achieve this than by owning a home, especially a big, beautiful one? I'm not too proud to admit I've felt pangs of jealousy from time to time when I see people who earn less than we do living in a better house than ours. I want to move out of my home for many reasons, and I'm working on making that happen right now. It may not work out for me, but that's okay. When it comes down to it, I have everything I need and enough of what I want, and when I wake up in the morning I remind myself that I have absolutely nothing to complain about. My opinion of the article: Outstanding. I first learned about questionable lending and predatory lending several years ago by asking friends in the business how a family whom I know for a fact earns $60,000 a year purchased a $400,000 home. People I talked to back then, about four or five years ago, said this was a house of cards, and I find it impossible to believe that Congress didn't know it too.
The problem started in sub-prime mortgages. Fannie and Freddie were not legally allowed to buy those mortgages at the time. If Fannie and Freddie had not been allowed to buy more and more good mortgages (rated AAA) then house prices would've collapsed sooner.
Yes I briefly saw Barney Frank on something while flipping channels. What a hypocrite. However, this is another thing Bush will get blamed for by the dems and Obama because they need a scapegoat.
Too bad that Bush is such an ineffective "most powerful man in the free world". Maybe the problem could have been avoided considering that the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress. Yep...just a cryin' shame.
That report actually resulted in a bill being presented to the banking committee in 2005 co authored by... McCain... and voted down in sub committee by care to guess kiddies.. Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama
If this would have happened we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now. Of course it could never be the fault of the democrats, right?
Liberals are plugging their ears singing, "LA California LA California LA California LA!" While their distracted, empty their pockets and call them patriots!
Don't confuse dimtards with facts and history