The financial crisis cost Americans trillions in investment losses, home equity declines, and unemployment and lost wages. The crisis and those losses were caused not by deregulation or tax-rate cuts, but by the benighted market interventions of the last three presidents.
The roots of the financial crisis began with the excessive overregulation of President Clinton's National Home Ownership Strategy, unveiled June 5, 1995, though the same policies had been building for almost 20 years.
That involved more than 100 regulatory initiatives to force banks to abandon their traditional lending standards and create the subprime mortgage market. Included were a vastly beefed up Community Reinvestment Act, actual or threatened discrimination suits by Justice and HUD to enforce regulations, and regulatory mandates on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to finance trillions in mortgage securities backed by subprime mortgages.
The depreciated lending standards spread throughout the mortgage market, including higher-income borrowers speculating in second and third homes. All this extra mortgage money flowing into housing gave birth to the housing bubble.
The government sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac attracted trillions in financing because their securities were seen as government guaranteed. That pumped up the housing bubble further.
The leading credit rating agencies failed to do their job in rating these Fannie and Freddie subprime mortgage securities AAA, misleading everybody as to the real risks involved.
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