Sunday, October 14

Blame Cuomo, Bush and Clinton for the Meltdown

As the title Clinton’s Legacy: The Financial and Housing Meltdown indicates, Sheldon Richman blames Clinton. First, he explains,
The meltdown was the consequence of a combination of the easy money and low interest rates engineered by the Federal Reserve and the easy housing engineered by a variety of government agencies and policies. Those agencies include the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and two nominally private “government-sponsored enterprises” (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The agencies — along with laws such as the Community Reinvestment Act (passed in the 1970s, then fortified in the Clinton years), which required banks to make loans to people with poor and nonexistent credit histories — made widespread homeownership a national goal. This all led to a home-buying frenzy and an explosion of subprime and other non-prime mortgages, which banks and GSEs bundled into dubious securities and peddled to investors worldwide. Hovering in the background was the knowledge that the federal government would bail out troubled “too-big-to-fail” financial corporations, including Fannie and Freddie.
Then he later adds,
Clinton’s contribution to the crisis lay in his appointment of Cuomo to HUD. Cuomo became HUD secretary in 1997 after becoming assistant secretary in 1993.
So, yes, it was Clinton's fault for the appointment, but even more Cuomo's. Then Richman quotes from "a heavily researched 2008 article in the Village Voice" by Wayne Barrett which also puts the onus primarily on Cuomo, but also on George Bush and Bill Clinton.

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