Congressman Barney Frank, D-MA, is the Representative for Massachusetts 4th congressional district, serving since 1981. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He won his first full term in 1980 and has been re-elected ever since by wide margins.
From 2007 to 2011, Frank was the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees the entire financial services industry including the securities, insurance, banking, and housing industries and was considered to be one of the most powerful members of Congress.
As Chairman of this committee, Frank had a key role in creating all the rules and regulations that forced banks to write bad loans.
He was the architect of the 2008 housing market collapse and financial meltdown, but took absolutely no responsibility for it. He blamed everyone but himself for the crisis.
Congressman Frank then assumed the posture of an innocent bystander rather than a powerful head of the House Financial Services Committee, saying:
'The private sector got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it. The current financial crisis is the spawn of the free market run amok, with the political class guilty only of failing to rein the capitalists in. The Wall Street meltdown was caused by bad decisions that were made by people in the private sector,"But was this true?
Lets look at some things Barney Frank told us before the housing market collapse:
"The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial loses to the Treasury, which I do not see." Sept 10, 2003
"These two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis." Sept 11, 2003
"I want to roll the dice a little more in this situation towards subsidizing housing." Sept 25, 2003The roots of this crisis go back to the Carter administration. That was when government officials, egged on by left-wing activists, began accusing mortgage lenders of racism and "redlining" because urban blacks were being denied mortgages at a higher rate than suburban whites.
"Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, they are not in danger of going under... I do think their prospects going forward are very sound." July 14, 2008
The pressure to make more loans to minorities (read: to borrowers with weak credit histories) became relentless. Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, empowering regulators to punish banks that failed to "meet the credit needs" of "low-income, minority, and distressed neighborhoods."
Later, President Clinton and the Democrat Party expanded the CRA, and Attorney General Janet Reno even threatened to throw bank CEOs in prison if they failed to write enough loans to minorities.
Congressman Frank was the chairman of the committee that wrote the rules, and was supposed to regulate and provide oversight for banks. Frank and his party created this mess, and now they act like innocent bystanders. Never before in our history has anyone had as much control and influence over a problem they created, and has so completely disavowed any responsibility for it.