Gruesome details of crisis described 8 years ago


I found this excellent article in the comment section of the ‘economists viewpoint’ blog.

http://city-journal.org/html/10_1_the_trillion_dollar.html

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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One Response to “Gruesome details of crisis described 8 years ago”

  1. Judicious Asininity Says:

    […] Diddly’s Weblog links to The Trillion-Dollar Bank Shakedown That Bodes Ill for Cities, a 2000 City Journal article that describes the genesis and operation of the Community Reinvestment Act. I’ve pulled a few quotes but you should read the whole article:The Clinton administration has turned the Community Reinvestment Act, a once-obscure and lightly enforced banking regulation law, into one of the most powerful mandates shaping American citiesand, as Senate Banking Committee chairman Phil Gramm memorably put it, a vast extortion scheme against the nation’s banks. Under its provisions, U.S. banks have committed nearly $1 trillion for inner-city and low-income mortgages and real estate development projects, most of it funneled through a nationwide network of left-wing community groups, intent, in some cases, on teaching their low-income clients that the financial system is their enemy and, implicitly, that government, rather than their own striving, is the key to their well-being….The insular world of the savings banks collapsed in the early nineties, however, the moment it was exposed to competition. Banking today is a far more wide-open industry, with banks offering mortgages through the Internet, where they compete hotly with aggressive online mortgage companies. Standardized, computer-based scoring systems now rate the creditworthiness of applicants, and the giant, government-chartered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have helped create huge pools of credit by purchasing mortgage loans and packaging large numbers of them together into securities for sale to bond buyers….A September 1999 study by Freddie Mac, for instance, confirmed what previous Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation studies had found: that African-Americans have disproportionate levels of credit problems, which explains why they have a harder time qualifying for mortgage money. As Freddie Mac found, blacks with incomes of $65,000 to $75,000 a year have on average worse credit records than whites making under $25,000. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas had it right when it saidin a paper pointedly entitled “Red Lining or Red Herring?””the CRA may not be needed in today’s financial environment to ensure all segments of our economy enjoy access to credit.” True, some householdsthose with a history of credit problems, for instance, or those buying homes in neighborhoods where re-selling them might be difficultmay not qualify for loans at all, and some may have to pay higher interest rates, in reflection of higher risk. But higher rates in such situations are balanced by lower house prices. This is not a conspiracy against the poor; it’s how markets measure risk and work to make credit available….There is no more important player in the CRA-inspired mortgage industry than the Boston-based Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America. Chief executive Bruce Marks has set out to become the Wal-Mart of home mortgages for lower-income households. Using churches and radio advertising to reach borrowers, he has made NACA a brand name nationwide, with offices in 21 states, and he plans to double that number within a year. With “delegated underwriting authority” from the banks, NACA itselfnot the banksdetermines whether a mortgage applicant is qualified, and it closes sales right in its own offices. It expects to close 5,000 mortgages next year, earning a $2,000 origination fee on each. Its annual budget exceeds $10 million. Marks, a Scarsdale native, NYU MBA, and former Federal Reserve employee, unabashedly calls himself a “bank terrorist”his public relations spokesman laughingly refers to him as “the shark, the predator,” and the NACA newspaper is named the Avenger. They’re not kidding: bankers so fear the tactically brilliant Marks for his ability to disrupt annual meetings and even target bank executives’ homes that they often call him to make deals before they announce any plans that will put them in CRA’s crosshairs. A $3 billion loan commitment by Nationsbank, for instance, well in advance of its announced merger with Bank of America, “was a preventive strike,” says one NACA spokesman.The only thing Howard Husock got wrong was failing to realize that activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would threaten the world’s financial system in a few short years. Posted by: Pat on Oct 05, 08 | 10:51 am | [0] comments [0] Views | Permalink | [0] TrackBack | Go to Main Page Random Posts Christmas Decorations Bucking the Ayatollah Pamela Anderson Gets PETA var site=”sm6blogger” Judicious Asininity >>www.asininity.com 2004PHP […]

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