And lest that not make the point clear enough, here's Mike Konczal at Rortybomb emphasizing the point that, no it wasn't the government forcing business to help the poor, the blacks, the Latinos, the dirty fucking hippies, the unwed mothers, or the non-college degreed that drove our economy into the toilet:
For fun, we should mention that the conservative think tanks spent the 2000s saying the exact opposite of what they are saying now, and the opposite of what Bloomberg said above. They argued that the CRA and the GSEs were getting in the way of getting risky subprime mortgages to risky subprime borrowers.That's right...the right-wing WANTED that poor people market! I've read a lot of essays arguing that Bloomberg is just ignorant and buying into the Koch/Scaife/Murdoch snake oil. I don't believe that for a heartbeat. No one as smart and educated as Bloomberg got where he was by buying other people's bullshit. He knows which story makes his ass smell fresher, and that story is the one saying his class didn't do anything wrong, except to try to help the government help poor people.
My personal favorite is Cato’s Should CRA Stand for “Community Redundancy Act?”, (2000, here’s a writeup by James Kwak), arguing a position amplified in Cato’s 2003 Handbook for Congress Financial Deregulation Chapter: “by increasing the costs to banks of doing business in distressed communities, the CRA makes banks likely to deny credit to marginal borrowers that would qualify for credit if costs were not so high.” Replace “marginal” with Bloomberg’s “on the cusp” and you get the idea.
Bill Black went through what AEI said about the GSEs during the 2000s here and it is the same thing – it was blocking subprime from being made. Peter Wallison, 2004: “In recent years, study after study has shown that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are failing to do even as much as banks and S&Ls in providing financing for affordable housing, including minority and low income housing.”
When's the last time the wealthy of this country made a point of going out and trying to help the government help poor people? Name five.
I rest my case.