Deregulation Didn’t Cause the Financial Crisis, But It Might Help Solve It
Banking expert Peter Wallison explains why deregulation didn’t cause the financial crisis, while Steven Malanga explains how government regulators foolishly pressured banks to drop prudent lending criteria as “discriminatory,” resulting in risky lending that caused the crisis.
Peter Wallison was one of the few people who warned for years about the risky practices of the government-sponsored mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which helped spawn the mortgage crisis. Liberal Congressional leaders turned a deaf ear to his pleas for reform, blocking reform legislation and claiming that the leadership of the fraud-ridden Fannie Mae was “outstanding,” while Fannie Mae was busy engaged in accounting fraud to enrich its managers (who remain liberal power-brokers), and political bullying. (Congressman Barney Frank’s role in causing the mortgage crisis is chronicled in the Boston Globe).
Yesterday, the SEC reformed mark-to-market accounting rules to make them less rigid. [CORRECTION: THE SEC JUST “CLARIFIED” THE RULES. IT’S NOT CLEAR THAT THE SEC CHANGED THE RULES SUBSTANTIVELY AT ALL. THE NEWS STORY I LINKED TO MADE IT SEEM LIKE A REFORM, BUT IT WASN’T MUCH OF A REFORM]. Those rules have apparently contributed to the financial panic and frozen credit markets. The SEC should also revisit wasteful regulations governing the minutiae of companies’ “internal controls,” which cost the economy $35 billion per year.
Community organizers like the fraud-ridden ACORN used regulations like the Community Reinvestment Act to pressure lenders into making billions of dollars worth of bad loans.