HOUSE OF CARDS
Liberals Fueled Wall St. Woes
By Stan Liebowitz
HOW did America wind up in its worst financial crisis in decades? Sen. Barack Obama explained it this way last week: "When sub-prime-mortgage lending took a reckless and unsustainable turn, a patchwork of regulators systematically and deliberately eliminated the regulations protecting the American people."
That's exactly backward. Mortgage lending took that "reckless and unsustainable turn" because of regulation - regulation driven by liberals and progressives, not free-market "deregulators."
Pushed hard by politicians and community activists, the regulators systematically and deliberately altered financially sound lending practices.
The mortgage market was humming along just fine when, in the late 1980s, progressives decided that it needed to be "fixed." Their complaint: Some ethnic groups got approved for mortgages at lower rates than others.
In reality, mortgage lenders were simply being prudent - taking care to provide mortgages to those who could best afford to make the payments.