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Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer’s Role in the Fannie Mae Failure

Below is an editorial that appeared in the New Hampshire Union Leader that talks about Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer and their roles in the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Here is the editorial in it’s entirely:
One month from tomorrow, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., will be the keynote speaker at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner. It is a coveted and high-profile role previously filled by such notables as Hillary Clinton and Al Gore. The Democrats’ choice of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank is, therefore, very revealing.
The party announced Frank as the keynote speaker on Sept. 11 — three days after the U.S. government took control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, costing taxpayers untold billions. That takeover probably could have been prevented had Frank not worked to thwart every attempt to limit the risks taken on by the two government-sponsored mortgage giants.
For 16 years reformers in Congress have tried to improve oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and prevent the government-chartered companies from putting the housing market and the whole economy at risk. All that time, Frank was involved in efforts to block those attempts, and in the last eight years he was a leader of those efforts.
In 2002, shortly before accounting irregularities were exposed at both companies, Frank said, “I do not regard Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as problems,” The Wall Street Journal reported. After the Freddie Mac accounting scandal in 2003, Frank said, “I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis.”
But there was a crisis, thanks in large part to Frank, Sen. Charles Schumer and others on the leash of these companies. In Congress, they made sure there was no additional oversight, no additional limit on executive behavior and compensation, and no further restraint on the growth of the companies’ mortgage-backed-securities portfolios, among other changes.
(All of these needed reforms, by the way, have been championed for years by Sen. John Sununu.)
In fact, Frank & Co. made matters worse by pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to take on greater risk. They wanted more loans to people who might not qualify for traditional bank financing. And, as The Wall Street Journal has pointed out, Frank “pressured regulators to ease up on their capital requirements — which now means taxpayers will have to make up that capital shortfall.”
Even now, after the government took the companies over (which Frank repeatedly said over the years was not a possibility), Frank opposes limits on the amount of money they can risk on mortgage backed securities — the one reform that might have done the most to prevent the current meltdown and probably would do the most to keep it from happening again.
Barney Frank is the very symbol of Washington’s deliberate refusal to prevent the collapse — the predicted collapse — of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And this is the guy the New Hampshire Democratic Party showcases at its most prestigious annual event. That ought to tell you a lot right there.
Besides their total ignorance about the troubles that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were headed towards is the fact that these two men, and other Democrats, helped to make the problem worse.
In fact, Frank & Co. made matters worse by pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to take on greater risk. They wanted more loans to people who might not qualify for traditional bank financing. And, as The Wall Street Journal has pointed out, Frank “pressured regulators to ease up on their capital requirements
These companies were forced to loan money to people who couldn’t afford it in the interest of “being fair.” Rules were relaxed and money was loaned and predictably low income families defaulted on loans that they never had any business getting in the first place and now you and I have to pay for it.
Another liberal policy and another liberal failure. And now we must all pay for it. But hell, they meant well.

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