Documents reveal how Clinton administration caused the housing crisis and financial meltdown
Newly released memos from the Clinton presidential library reveal evidence the government had a big hand in the housing crisis. The worst actors were in the White House, not on Wall Street.Is it any wonder that Democrats tried to avoid responsibility for the debacle by blaming the banks that were the victims of their policy? The Dodd-Frank legislation was a vehicle for dodging responsibility. The Democrats are still engaged in a cover up and trying to shift responsibility to the Bush administration. They have had remarkable political success with this strategy, but it will be much harder for them to hide from history.
During the 1990s, former Clinton aides bragged that more aggressive enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act pressured banks to issue riskier mortgages, lending more proof the anti-redlining law fueled the crisis.
A 2012 National Bureau of Economic Research study found "that adherence to that act led to riskier lending by banks," with "a clear pattern of increased defaults for loans made by these banks in quarters around the (CRA) exam, (and) the effects are larger for loans made within CRA tracts," or low-income and minority areas.
To satisfy CRA examiners, Clinton mandated "flexible" lending by large banks. As a result, CRA-approved loans defaulted about 15% more often, the NBER found.
Exhibit A in the 7,000-page Clinton Library document dump is a 1999 memo to him from his treasury secretary, Robert Rubin.
"Public disclosure of CRA ratings, together with the changes made by the regulators under your leadership, have significantly contributed to ... financial institutions ... meeting the needs of low- and moderate-income communities and minorities," Rubin gushed. "Since 1993, the number of home mortgage loans to African Americans increased by 58%, to Hispanics by 62% and to low- and moderate-income borrowers by 38%, well above the overall market increase.
"Since 1992, nonprofit community organizations estimate that the private sector has pledged over $1 trillion in loans and investment under CRA."
Other documents reveal how the community-activist group ACORN and other organizations met with Rubin and other top Clinton aides on "improving credit availability for minorities."
Clinton's changes to the CRA let ACORN use the act's ratings to "target merging firms with less-than-stellar records and to get the banks to agree to greater community investment as a condition of regulatory approval for the merger," White House aide Ellen Seidman wrote in 1997 to Clinton chief economist Gene Sperling.