Thursday, August 19, 2010

Barney Frank reverses course on Freddie, Fannie

I've always known that Barney Frank (D-Mass) had a hand in the financial meltdown. (See my post from Sept. 26, 2008.) No, he wasn't entirely to blame, but he was wrapped up in Democratic group-think for several years that Freddie and Fannnie were untouchable and were essential in expanding home ownership.

Now, in an interview with FoxNews, as reported by Investor's Business Daily, Frank says:

After years of dissembling and denial, Rep. Barney Frank has finally come out. He now says bankrupt government mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "should be abolished." Better late than never.

'There were people in this society who for economic and, frankly, social reasons can't and shouldn't be homeowners," Frank said in an interview with the Fox Business Network and sounding a lot more like an elephant than a donkey. "I think we should, particularly, stop this assumption that you put everybody into homeownership."

After years of blaming heartless Republicans and Wall Street for the crisis caused by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — and their predominantly Democratic supporters in Congress — it's refreshing to hear a member of the Democratic Party admit his mistakes.
You have to give credit where credit is due. He has the guts to say, "maybe we were wrong."
As late as 2008, after the tide of losses and foreclosures washed away Fannie's and Freddie's remaining capital, Frank was adamant that it was all Wall Street's fault: "The private sector got us into this mess ... the government has to get us out of it."

Of course, he had it exactly backward. We've already spent $148 billion of taxpayer money on the two losers. The Congressional Budget Office estimates it will ultimately cost taxpayers $389 billion to bail them out.
Now if your buddies will go along with you, that would be great. Good luck on that, Mr. Frank.

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