This is high-test hooey. This was not some criminal activity that the Bush administration should have been investigating more thoroughly; it was a thorough, massive, systemic mispricing of the risk attendant on lending to people with bad credit. . . .
. . . Perhaps [Bush] should not have reappointed Greenspan, or appointed Ben Bernanke? Both moves were widely hailed at the time. Moreover, to believe that a Democrat could have done better is to assert that a Democratic president would have found a Fed chair who would pay less attention to unemployment, or a bank regulator who would have tried harder to prevent low-income people from buying homes. Where is this noble creature? And why didn’t Barack Obama push for him at the time?
Indeed, I ask the Senator to name one significant thing that Bush has done to create this crisis that couldn’t also be laid at the feet of St. William of Little Rock. If Democratic policy is so good at protecting the little guy from asset price bubbles, how come the stock market crashed in 2000?
This kind of foolish grandstanding is not the change we need. It’s just more of the same
One of my commenters blames Bush for gutting the predatory lending laws at the state level. A wicked pundit would note that this is a project near and dear to the heart of one Senator Joe Biden, (D-MBNA). A less divisive voice would point out that predatory lending laws are aimed mostly at payday loans and credit cards, not housing loans. The fraud problems in the housing market seem mostly to have been perpetuated by mortgage brokers, who are still regulated at the state level. The worst problems are in Democratic-dominated California.
[My emphasis. – NPO]
Let’s not forget about Senator Obama’s love-fest with Fannie and Freddie:
The next question is: Why was the Obama campaign so keen on getting advanced word about the bailout?
“They have a huge problem with the mortgage and housing market story, and everyone is missing it,” says a Republican political media consultant with ties to the Obama campaign due to the bipartisan nature of the firm he does work with.
“You look at Obama’s economic advisers, the guys he has counted on from day one and who have raised him a ton — and I mean a ton — of money: Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, both of them are waist to neck deep in the mortgage debacle.”
Both Raines and Johnson have served as CEO of Fannie Mae, with Raines taking over from Johnson. Both are key political and economic advisers to Obama.
“How can Obama go out with a straight face and saw it was Republicans who made this mess, when it is his key advisers who ran the agencies that made the big mess what it is?” says a Democrat House member who supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. “It’s his people who are responsible for what may well be the single largest government bailout in history. And every single one of them made millions off the collapse that are lining Obama’s campaign coffers. If the McCain campaign lets this one go, they deserve to lose.”
It isn’t just Fannie Mae where Obama has a problem. Another close political adviser, in fact the one man responsible for rallying support for Obama early on among Congressional Democrats, is Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who served on the Board of Directors for Freddie Mac after leaving the Clinton White House. According to Freddie Mac insiders, Emanuel during his time on the board opposed every reform proposed by the Bush Administration that would have impacted Freddie and Fannie Mae.
[My emphasis. – NPO]
(McArdle hat tip: Rod)