Friday, December 30, 2011

Bill Black Takes on the "Fannie and Freddie Did It" Meme

I really enjoyed this piece for its knowledgeable, historical analysis. Black doesn't exactly side with the "It Wasn't Fannie and Freddie" crowd, but he's more unsparing in his criticism of ideologue Peter Wallison, whose position "It Was All Fannie and Freddie" is laughable (and Black shows us even more reasons why).

I'm willing to move up Fannie and Freddie on my list of causes of the crisis to, say, number 6 or 7 from number 11. ;)

Black frames the problem well, I think. What caused problems wasn't Fannie and Freddie's mandate to help the poor -- in other words, all those do-good liberals trying to put welfare Moms in houses they couldn't afford. It was, plain and simple, accounting fraud to lavish bonuses on the top echelon of executives -- the same problem found at investment banks that were more direct causes of the crisis.