We Sacrificed Sound Credit Policies For Social Activism And Endangered Entire Mortgage Market
While many pundits are pointing to corporate greed and a lack of government regulation as the cause for the American mortgage and financial crisis, some analysts are saying it wasn't too little government intervention that cased the mortgage meltdown, but too much, in the form of activists compelling the government to pressure Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into unsound – though politically correct – lending practices.
Stan J. Liebowitz, economics professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, in his forthcoming book, Housing America: Building out of a Crisis, puts forward an explanation that he admits is "not consistent with the nasty-subprime-lender hypothesis currently considered to be the cause of the mortgage meltdown."
In a nutshell, Liebowitz contends that the federal government over the last 20 years pushed the mortgage industry so hard to get minority homeownership up, that it undermined the country's financial foundation to achieve its goal.
"In an attempt to increase homeownership, particularly by minorities and the less affluent, an attack on underwriting standards was undertaken by virtually every branch of the government since the early 1990s," Liebowitz writes. "The decline in mortgage underwriting standards was universally praised as 'innovation' in mortgage lending by regulators, academic specialists, GSEs and housing activists."
"Although a seemingly noble goal, the tool chosen to achieve this goal was one that endangered the entire mortgage enterprise. As homeownership rates increased there was self-congratulation all around. The community of regulators, academic specialists, and housing activists all reveled in the increase in homeownership."
~From the WorldNetDaily article "Guess again who's to blame for U.S. mortgage meltdown? Analysts point not to greed, but to social activist politics"