There has been a flurried onslaught from Republicans, perpetuated by talk radio, pundits, surrogates, and gullible bloggers hoping to pin the lending meltdown and economic downturn on Fannie and Freddie Mac, the Community Reinvestment Act, and by proxy, Bill Clinton. Once again, those meddling facts are getting in their way. McClatchy:
WASHINGTON — As the economy worsens and Election Day approaches, a conservative campaign that blames the global financial crisis on a government push to make housing more affordable to lower-class Americans has taken off on talk radio and e-mail. [...]One in 25 operated under the Community Reinvestment Act. One. In 25.
Federal housing data reveal that the charges aren't true, and that the private sector, not the government or government-backed companies, was behind the soaring subprime lending at the core of the crisis. [...]
Federal Reserve Board data show that:
_ More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions.
_ Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year.
_ Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that's being lambasted by conservative critics.