I realize I already discussed this moment in an earlier post, but there are just so many juicy ways to interpret it — I hope you’ll forgive me for being unable to resist the temptation to use it just once more. At a campaign event in Ohio last week, President Obama lectured the crowd about all of the ostensibly failed policies that landed us in this economic mess, and smugly declared that when he does something “boneheaded,” he’s not stubborn enough to try it again.
Mm hmm. Funny you should mention that, because I can’t even count the number of times that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result” has sprung to my mind throughout President Obama’s tenure. Case in point: What, pray tell, is his administration doing to relieve the pain in the housing market?
With studies showing home foreclosures hitting blacks and Latinos hardest, the Obama administration’s answer is baffling as well as destructive — to lend them more money, repeating the cycle of easy credit that led to the housing boom and bust.
A new AARP report finds that even elderly minorities are facing serious mortgage delinquencies. Fifty-and-over African-Americans, for example, are almost twice as likely to lose their home as older whites. …
President Obama’s solutions, however, look a lot like the original problems that landed minorities in the financial mess they’re in today.
For starters, his new consumer credit watchdog agency has quietly adopted weaker, minority-friendly mortgage underwriting guidelines first published in a landmark 1994 policy statement released by the little-known Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending.
The 20-page “Policy Statement on Discrimination in Lending” — signed by the heads of 10 federal agencies, including then-Attorney General Janet Reno — warned banks that “the agencies will not tolerate lending discrimination in any form.”
It was a noble goal — undercut by the fact that the statement also set lower standards by which banks could qualify low-income minorities with spotty credit. …
The policy planted the seeds of the mortgage crisis, as lenders abandoned prudent underwriting standards altogether. Yet the 1-year-old Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, has dusted off the Clinton-era regulation.
Oh, I see: More market-distorting, interfering, social-agenda pushing, big-government crapola. As wont as the president is to blame big finance for the problems of the financial crisis, he never seems to give the federal government any credit for their many programs and entities that incentivized private institutions to take on more risk. And yes, I know President Obama didn’t start a lot of these programs, but he sure as heck isn’t finishing them, and the consequences are enormous. If the government doesn’t get off its ideological tear and stop trying to “help” people, using our money in an attempt to remake the world based on how the current political regime thinks that world should look, we’re just going to be stuck with more of the same financial and regulatory rigmarole that’s currently holding us back.