#OccupyFannieMae: Government Policy Caused the Subprime Crisis

From Investors Business Daily:

While not blameless, Wall Street is an easy scapegoat. And investment houses that made billions slicing and dicing mortgages into CDOs, derivatives, credit default swaps and other exotic paper are easy to demonize. But the problem wasn’t these financial instruments. Or even the obscene profits they generated. Mortgage-backed securities were nothing new, and we’ve always had speculation in the market.

The problem was the underlying assets: low-quality mortgages. We’ve never had so many junk home-loans poisoning the financial well before. And who poisoned the well? Washington and its affordable-housing policies.

It was Washington that declared prudent home-lending standards racist and gutted traditional underwriting rules in the name of diversity. It was government that created the risk on Main Street.

Yes, Wall Street spread it, with the help of Treasury-backed Fannie and Freddie. But who’s at greater fault for harming the village — the person who poisons the well or the one who distributes the water?

Read more here.

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