••can ye pass the acid test?••

ye who enter here be afraid, but do what ye must -- to defeat your fear ye must defy it.

& defeat it ye must, for only then can we begin to realize liberty & justice for all.

time bomb tick tock? nervous tic talk? war on war?

or just a blog crying in the wilderness, trying to make sense of it all, terror-fried by hate radio and FOX, the number of whose name is 666??? (coincidence?)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

more delingpole BS (no, that doesn't stand for bachelor of science, and yes, they come fast and furious):

No. 284 of 365

Conservative history:
Never let liberals forget that the sub-prime mortgage disaster was Bill Clinton's fault. In 1995 President Clinton's changes to the Community Reinvestment Act enabled ACORN to run a politically correct extortion campaign against mortgage lenders, compelling them by force of law to make unsound (sub-prime) loans to poor minorities who never stood a hope of repaying them.

and here's a quote from wikipedia's article on the CRA that exposes the lies about clinton and ACORN [it's a sad reality that it often takes a lot of words to refute a short irresponsible allegation]:

Housing advocacy groups

CRA regulations give community groups the right to comment on or protest about banks' non-compliance with CRA.[7] Such comments could help or hinder banks' planned expansions. Groups at first only slowly took advantage of these rights.[45] Regulatory changes during President Bill Clinton's administration allowed these community groups better access to CRA information and enabled them to increase their activities.[4][40][99]
In an article for the New York Post, economist Stan Liebowitz wrote that community activists intervention at yearly bank reviews resulted in their obtaining large amounts of money from banks, since poor reviews could lead to frustrated merger plans and even legal challenges by the Justice Department.[100] Michelle Minton noted that Chase Manhattan and J.P. Morgan donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to ACORN at about the same time they were to apply for permission to merge and needed to comply with CRA regulations.[85]
According to the New York Times, some of these housing advocacy groups provided early warnings about the potential impact of lowered credit standards and the resulting unsupportable increase in real estate values they were causing in low to moderate income communities. Ballooning mortgages on rental properties threatened to require large rent increases from low and moderate income tenants that could ill afford them.[101]
Housing advocacy groups were also leaders in the fight against subprime lending in low- and moderate-income communities, "In fact, community advocates had been telling the Federal Reserve about the dangers of subprime lending since the 1990s", according to Inner City Press. "For example, Bronx-based Fair Finance Watch commented to the Federal Reserve about the practices of now-defunct non-bank subprime lender New Century, when U.S. Bancorp bought warrants for 24% of New Century's stock. The Fed, rather than take any action on New Century, merely waited until U.S. Bancorp sold off some of the warrants, and then said the issue was moot." However, subprime loans were so profitable, that they were aggressively marketed in low-and moderate-income communities, even over the objections and warnings of housing advocacy groups like ACORN.[102]

Predatory lending

In a 2002 study exploring the relationship between the CRA and lending looked at as predatory, Kathleen C. Engel and Patricia A. McCoy noted that banks could receive CRA credit by lending or brokering loans in lower-income areas that would be considered a risk for ordinary lending practices. CRA regulated banks may also inadvertently facilitate these lending practices by financing lenders. They also noted that CRA regulations, as then administered and carried out by Fannie Mae and Freddie MAC, did not penalize banks that engaged in these lending practices. They recommended that the federal agencies use the CRA to sanction behavior that either directly or indirectly increased predatory lending practices by lowering the CRA rating of any bank that facilitated in these lending practices.[103]
The FDIC has tried to address this issue by "stopping abusive practices through the examination process and supervisory actions; encouraging banks to serve all members and areas of their communities fairly; and providing information and financial education to help consumers make informed choices". FDIC policy currently states that "predatory lending can have a negative effect on a bank's CRA performance."[104]

Relation to 2008 financial crisis

Some economists, politicians and other commentators[105][106] have charged that the CRA contributed in part to the 2008 financial crisis by encouraging banks to make unsafe loans. However, every empirical study that has looked at CRA loans has concluded that they were safer than subprime mortgages that were purely profit driven, and CRA loans accounted for a tiny fraction of total subprime mortgages. [107]

Up to 2007 FDIC has been criticising banks for having "a substantially deficient record of helping to meet the credit and community development needs (...) including low-and moderate-income neighborhoods" and "not making use of innovative and/or flexible lending practices"[108]
Economists, including those from the Federal Reserve and the FDIC, dispute this contention. The Federal Reserve, having examined the evidence, holds that empirical research has not validated any relationship between the CRA and the 2008 financial crisis.[109] At the FDIC, Chair Sheila Bair delivered remarks noting that the majority of subprime loans originated from lenders not regulated by the CRA, calling it a "scapegoat" and declaring it "NOT guilty."[110]
Economist Stan Liebowitz wrote in the New York Post that a strengthening of the CRA in the 1990s encouraged a loosening of lending standards throughout the banking industry. He also charges the Federal Reserve with ignoring the negative impact of the CRA.[100] In a commentary for CNN, Congressman Ron Paul, who serves on the United States House Committee on Financial Services, charged the CRA with "forcing banks to lend to people who normally would be rejected as bad credit risks."[111] In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece,Austrian school economist Russell Roberts wrote that the CRA subsidized low-income housing by pressuring banks to serve poor borrowers and poor regions of the country.[112]
However, many others dispute that the CRA was a significant cause of the subprime crisis. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman[113] noted in November 2009 that 55% of commercial real estate loans were currently underwater, despite being completely unaffected by the CRA.[114] According to Federal Reserve Governor Randall Kroszner, the claim that "the law pushed banking institutions to undertake high-risk mortgage lending" was contrary to their experience, and that no empirical evidence had been presented to support the claim.[109] In a Bank for International Settlements (BIS) working paper, economist Luci Ellis concluded that "there is no evidence that the Community Reinvestment Act was responsible for encouraging the subprime lending boom and subsequent housing bust", relying partly on evidence that the housing bust has been a largely exurban event.[115] Others have also concluded that the CRA did not contribute to the financial crisis, for example, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair,[110] Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan,[116] Tim Westrich of the Center for American Progress,[117] Robert Gordon of the American Prospect,[118] Ellen Seidman of the New America Foundation,[119] Daniel Gross of Slate,[120] and Aaron Pressman from BusinessWeek.[121]
Legal and financial experts have noted that CRA regulated loans tend to be safe and profitable, and that subprime excesses came mainly from institutions not regulated by the CRA. In the February 2008 House hearing, law professor Michael S. Barr, a Treasury Department official under President Clinton,[63][122] stated that a Federal Reserve survey showed that affected institutions considered CRA loans profitable and not overly risky. He noted that approximately 50% of the subprime loans were made by independent mortgage companies that were not regulated by the CRA, and another 25% to 30% came from only partially CRA regulated bank subsidiaries and affiliates. Barr noted that institutions fully regulated by CRA made "perhaps one in four" sub-prime loans, and that "the worst and most widespread abuses occurred in the institutions with the least federal oversight".[123] According to Janet L. Yellen, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, independent mortgage companies made risky "high-priced loans" at more than twice the rate of the banks and thrifts; most CRA loans were responsibly made, and were not the higher-priced loans that have contributed to the current crisis.[124] A 2008 study by Traiger & Hinckley LLP, a law firm that counsels financial institutions on CRA compliance, found that CRA regulated institutions were less likely to make subprime loans, and when they did the interest rates were lower. CRA banks were also half as likely to resell the loans.[125] Emre Ergungor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland found that there was no statistical difference in foreclosure rates between regulated and less-regulated banks, although a local bank presence resulted in fewer foreclosures.[126]
During a 2008 House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the financial crisis, including in relation to the Community Reinvestment Act, asked if the CRA provided the "fuel" for increasing subprime loans, former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines said it might have been a catalyst encouraging bad behavior, but it was difficult to know. Raines also cited information that only a small percentage of risky loans originated as a result of the CRA.

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