Monday, December 15, 2008

There's always been Subprime in Eastasia

Great catch by John Hood at NRO.

In a ridiculous 1984-esque moment, Barney Frank tries to B.S. Maria Bartiromo on the history of subprime:

[MB] With all due respect, congressman, I saw videotapes of you saying in the past: "Oh, let's open up the lending. The housing market is fine."

[BF] No, you didn't see any such tapes.

I did. I saw them on TV.

Yeah, well, I never said open up the housing market, the market is fine. In 2005 a group of us in Congress were trying to pass a bill to restrict subprime lending, and we were opposed by right-wing Republicans led by [former House Majority Leader] Tom DeLay, and I don't remember us being able to get any media attention. No, I have been on the record as saying repeatedly that pushing people into homeownership when they can't afford it is a bad idea for them and the economy. In 1994, in fact, Democrats in Congress passed a bill giving the Fed the authority to restrict subprime lending. Alan Greenspan, as he later admitted, refused to use it.

Except for the bit about Greenspan, that's almost the exact opposite of what actually occurred.

I'll be the first to say it, a lot of Republicans are to blame too. But the Democrats uniformly opposed greater oversight over Fannie and Freddie, and the only people calling for it were Republicans.

Who ya gonna believe, Barney Frank or your lying eyes?

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