From the Wall Street Journal:
Back when the housing mania was taking off, Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank famously said he wanted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to “roll the dice” in the name of affordable housing. That didn’t turn out so well, but Mr. Frank has since only accumulated more power. And now he is returning to the scene of the calamity — with your money. He and New York Representative Anthony Weiner have sent a letter to the heads of Fannie and Freddie exhorting them to lower lending standards for condo buyers.
You read that right. After two years of telling us how lax lending standards drove up the market and led to loans that should never have been made, Mr. Frank wants Fannie and Freddie to take more risk in condo developments with high percentages of unsold units, high delinquency rates or high concentrations of ownership within the development.
Fannie and Freddie have restricted loans to condo buyers in these situations because they represent a red flag that the developments — many of which were planned and built at the height of the housing bubble — may face financial trouble down the road. But never mind all that. Messrs. Frank and Weiner think, in all their wisdom and years of experience underwriting mortgages, that the new rules “may be too onerous.”
Here we go again… Umm, congressman you do remember we how got into this mess don’t you? On the off chance you’ve forgotten it was, among other things, lowered lending standards that helped inflate the housing market to unrealistic levels.The last thing we thing we should be doing is repeating the mistakes that got us here.
Simply put Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are political creature and they have no better friend than Barney Frank. Congressman Frank needs to explain why he pushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into underwriting loans to people who couldn’t afford them and then resisted every attempt to to tighten oversight of Fannie and Freddie.
Until he’s called to account for his actions in helping to create this mess he’s free to keep pushing the same bad ideas over and over.