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Don’t Be Downwind From Barney Frank

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 26, 2009 9:04 AM |

Barney Frank may try to rewrite his Congressional record on housing finance, but he will forever be linked to supporting the activities of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which drove irresponsible sub-prime lending. A review of a WSJ article, What They Said About Fan and Fred, is truly damning. I strongly recommend your reading it. Who can ever forget back in 2003 Barney Frank stating in Congressional testimony addressing Freddie and Fannie specifically and housing finance:

House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 10, 2003:

Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.): I worry, frankly, that there’s a tension here. The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios. . . .

Tension? Threat of safety and soundness? Financial losses? Fundamentally sound? Disaster scenarios? With a “watchdog” like Barney is there really any surprise how and why Freddie and Fannie were plundered by their own executives and the sub-prime lending industry? It is not a stretch in stating that Barney had the welcome mat out and held the door open.

I am not stating that Barney was directly complicit in the fraudulent sub-prime lending, but he certainly defines naivete and incompetence on this front. His Democratic sidekicks – Dodd, Schumer, and Waters -were complicit and also drinking from the same punch bowl.

What about Barney’s comment regarding oversight of Freddie and Fannie:

House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 25, 2003:

Rep. Frank: I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing. . . .

Again in 2005, Barney continued to stand his ground on the housing front despite rampant signs at that point of irresponsible lending and incipient fraud:

Well now that Barney and our entire country have “crapped out” on his roll of the dice, Barney decides homeownership may not be the best thing for all concerned. In a height of pandering well beyond the Washington norm, Barney offers the following in this excerpt from an interview on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS on April 20, 2009:

Is there any doubt that the burgeoning wind power industry in our country should engage Barney as their spokesperson? In so doing, Barney’s hot air may actually become a source of revenue for our great country rather than such an enormous expense.

Barney’s hot air should come with a warning, though, “Don’t Be Downwind!!”


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