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GLENN: Today I want to lay the case out to you, because we have to know what happened to the economy. You have to know that they are printing money as we speak at the Treasury. You have to know what you know and know who caused it, how did it start, and you’ve got to bring yourself up to speed rapidly to be able to share with your friends the truth so they know how to make a decision on which one of these candidates, if either of them, was responsible. Which one of these candidates can help us get out of the mess.
Yesterday Barack Obama said, and I quote: Senator McCain bragged about how as chairman of the commerce committee in the Senate he had oversight of every part of the economy. Well, I can say to Senator McCain, nice job, nice job. He was in Vegas and he said, quote: I will crack down on predatory lenders, the all too often target the African American community, the one that targets the Hispanic community with tough new penalties that treat mortgage fraud like the crime that it is. And the crowd went wild.
It is important that you hear, "I will crack down on predatory lenders." Have you heard that before? The people that often target the African American community, target the Hispanic community with tough new penalties. Got it? Okay.
Today I’m going to lay out the case for you in the next 10 minutes and I think you’re going to understand who is responsible for this credit crunch and this credit crisis, and you ain’t gonna like the answer, but this I believe is a big part of the answer. The Community Reinvestment Act. It was started, it was a "Feel good" measure back in the 1970s and Jimmy Carter started it, "We’ve got to invest in our communities again." Well, in 1992 Boston’s Federal Reserve did a study. They funded this study and in this study they found subtle racism in the banking system, discrimination in lending. This is again from the Boston race study, discrimination in lending. There were a couple of things in there that were stark. For instance, they showed a white guy and a black guy. Both went in to buy a house for $60,000. The black man didn’t get the loan even though his assets, his net worth was stated as $10 million. The bank didn’t give a $60,000 loan to a guy who had $10 million in assets. How did that happen other than you didn’t want to lend to a black man. Well, the Fed used this study and they brought it to congress and congress just latched onto this thing. Unfortunately within just a couple of months, another group, another university came in and looked at this study and said, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, we’ve looked at the raw data; these are mistakes in here. First of all, the analysis is wrong, but the facts are wrong. In the one that everybody was using, the black guy with the $10 million in assets that didn’t get a loan, it wasn’t $10 million. When you looked at the raw data, it was $1,000. He had $1,000 in assets. So the subtle proof that was left to stand, because nobody went back and revised it. Nobody went back and said, oh, well, okay, we have to throw this study out because it is so wrong. They just let the subtle proof, and here was the subtle proof.
The discrimination in lending, see if any of these sound familiar in 1992. Discrimination in lending was that banks wouldn’t make loans in low income areas. So if you were in Detroit and you had a house that was selling for $100,000 last year and is now worth $10,000, the banks were like, no, we’re not going to loan anybody any money; it’s a bad section of town. The other subtle proof, banks had minimum lending requirements. So in other words, they could say we only lend $10,000 because there’s no money in it for us at $2,000. We only lend 20 because there’s no money in $10,000. That was racism. The application fee was racist. The fact that you had to actually say "Could you verify your income" was racist. That was 1992.
In 1992 again they wanted to revise the Community Reinvestment Act and they wanted to put in all of these penalties if you were being racist. Now, under the CRA, the banks had to convince a set of bureaucracies that they weren’t engaging in discrimination, and the discrimination could be called by anybody. You could just raise your hand and say they’re discriminating. ACORN was a big one that said discrimination. But again what counted as discrimination after 1992, arbitrary or outdated criteria. That outdated or arbitrary criteria income level, income verification, credit history and savings history. Do any of those things sound familiar? So to satisfy the demands of what now had been passed into law, lenders developed a sub prime mortgage. Didn’t have sub prime before. That way potential borrowers who couldn’t qualify for the 30 year traditional fixed mortgage had a way, so the bank wasn’t being racist. In 1994 less than 5% of mortgage were sub prime. By 2006 20% of new mortgages were sub prime. Politicians and the Fed, they were excited about this, this is fantastic. It’s a new mortgage that puts families in homes, gives them a piece of the American dream. How many times did you hear people say that? In 1994 Janet Reno said the Justice Department was going to go after banks that were racists. They said today’s actions demonstrate we will attack lending discrimination wherever it is and whatever form it appears. No loan is exempt. No bank is immune. For those who thumb their nose at us, I promise vigorous enforcement. Sounds a little like Barack Obama today. Just so you know, there were no fines. You didn’t even have to report this information to the government, but here’s what happened. If you didn’t, you were called racist. That’s your fine. You were called a racist bank. If you wanted to open a branch, if ACORN decided to come against you, they would protest your opening up of a branch in that area and they would say you were a racist lender. If you wanted to do a merger, you couldn’t do a merger because you hadn’t played ball. You hadn’t done the low interest rate, the mortgage with no income verification. Those in Washington stood in your way on any business you wanted to do.
Why do you think when J.P. Morgan and Chase teamed up, when they merged together, why do you think the first thing they did when they announced that merger was to make a gigantic donation to ACORN? It was extortion. Everybody was excited about this. Alan Greenspan came out in support of the mortgage options. He said Americans, consumers I’m quoting might benefit if lenders provided greater mortgage product alternatives to the traditional fixed rate mortgages. The chairman and CEO of Freddie Mac made affordable housing a priority and created new mortgage products that allowed for lower down payments. This was in 2004. Ten years, ten years after they enacted all of these laws to make sure that nobody was being discriminatory.
President Bush in 2004 launched his down payment initiative which provided assistance to low income families to help them with their initial down payment, which was quickly followed by his zero down payment initiative which eliminated the requirement of a minimum 3% down payment for FHA insured single family mortgages. If you were a first time buyer, zero down. In 2005 Barack Obama said it’s not good enough that the real estate market is prospering for some. Everyone has to be able to get affordable housing.
Barney Frank said no one wants to be called out for racism by opposing any of these requirements. In 2007 Barney Frank went on to say the data showing serious housing discrimination in the granting of mortgages in Boston is very troubling. The serious housing discrimination in Boston is troubling and must be addressed. Same year, Senator Chris Dodd proudly took credit for helping pass a revised Community Reinvestment Act with the help of Reverend Jesse Jackson. Earlier this year Senator John McCain responded to a question by Larry Kudlow. He said, "Absolutely there were people that predicted that the Community Reinvestment Act might lead to reckless and unsound lending practices just short of a fill in the amount of I don’t like to use the word quota, but certain percentages of a home of the bank’s lending practices, it has to be reexamined. It has to be judged by its effect. We need to find out how this particular system affected the overall insolvency of the subprime lending issue and I think I’m not saying it needs to be repealed but it certainly needs to be examined and what its effects have been and we’ll be able to figure that out. Really. As Nancy Pelosi says, along with Harry Reid, that we need to create yet another government agency to handle these situations. That we need another federal agency now to help bail out the people that got these loans because there wasn’t any oversight. I contend it was the politicians that pushed people into this situation. It was the politicians that made this possible, and it was not just the Democrats. It was the Republicans as well.