NYC Mayor Bloomberg recently blamed the financial crash on Congress and government-sponsored housing lenders, despite clear evidence that bankers were the primary cause of the collapse. Gene Lyons writes in his new column, “Mike’s Bloomin’ Subprime Lie”:
So here’s my question: If the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 effectively caused the Wall Street meltdown of 2007 by forcing banks to make bad home loans to improvident poor people (and we all know exactly who I mean), how come it took 30 years for the housing bubble to burst?
Next question: If fuzzy-thinking Democratic do-gooders enacted such laws in defiance of common sense and sound economics, why didn’t Republican presidents Reagan, Bush I or Bush II do something? Was Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., secretly running the country?
Exactly how did the wealthiest and most powerful individuals in the United States — the investment bankers and corporate execs who host the $1,000-a-plate fundraisers, scoop up the Cabinet appointments and ambassadorships, and party down at White House galas — end up having less power over the U.S. economy than unskilled day laborers in Newark, N.J., or Oakland, Calif.?
Maybe some “resident scholar” at the American Enterprise Institute, or another of the comfortable Washington think tanks devoted to keeping Scrooge McDuck’s bullion pool topped-up, can teach us how things got so upside-down. Because under normal circumstances, the national motto is neither “E Pluribus Unum” nor “In God We Trust.”
It’s “Money Talks.”