Human Events Blog

New Study Finds Democrats Fully to Blame for Subprime Mortgage Crisis

In his early activist days, Barack Obama the community organizer sued banks to ease lending practices.

State Sen. Barack Obama and Fr. Michael Pfleger led a protest against the payday loan industry demanding the State of Illinois to regulate loan businesses in January 2000. During his time as a community organizer Barack Obama led several protests against banks to make loans to high risk individuals. (NBC 5 Week of January 3, 2000)

Here’s something that won’t get any play in the liberal media…
A new study by the respected National Bureau of Economic Research found that Democrats are to blame for the subprime mortgage crisis.
Investor’s Business Daily reported:

Democrats and the media insist the Community Reinvestment Act, the anti-redlining law beefed up by President Clinton, had nothing to do with the subprime mortgage crisis and recession.

But a new study by the respected National Bureau of Economic Research finds, “Yes, it did. We find that adherence to that act led to riskier lending by banks.”

Added NBER: “There is a clear pattern of increased defaults for loans made by these banks in quarters around the (CRA) exam. Moreover, the effects are larger for loans made within CRA tracts,” or predominantly low-income and minority areas.

To satisfy CRA examiners, “flexible” lending by large banks rose an average 5% and those loans defaulted about 15% more often, the 43-page study found.

The strongest link between CRA lending and defaults took place in the runup to the crisis — 2004 to 2006 — when banks rapidly sold CRA mortgages for securitization by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Wall Street.

CRA regulations are at the core of Fannie’s and Freddie’s so-called affordable housing mission. In the early 1990s, a Democrat Congress gave HUD the authority to set and enforce (through fines) CRA-grade loan quotas at Fannie and Freddie.

It passed a law requiring the government-backed agencies to “assist insured depository institutions to meet their obligations under the (CRA).” The goal was to help banks meet lending quotas by buying their CRA loans.

But they had to loosen underwriting standards to do it. And that’s what they did.

Republicans warned Democrats of the impending doom in 2004.

But Democrats wouldn’t budge.

Read the rest here.

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