The last big crash in the American housing industry, running roughly from the end of 2007 well into Barack Obama’s first term as president, has been blamed on a number of different factors. But nearly every assessment cites the government’s lowered standards for loaning money as a contributor. In fact, Peter Wallison, a member of the Financial Inquiry Commission that reviewed the disaster, contends that without the government’s actions, there would have been no housing crisis.
In the Atlantic magazine in 2011, he cited pressure from Democratic U.S. Rep. Barney Frank and others to have government mortgage institutions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, move aggressively into the market for “no-downpayment loans,” “subprime” loans and “low quality” loans. “There is no doubt that the government created the demand for these weak loans; less than 30 percent (7.8 million) were held or distributed by the banks, which profited from the opportunity created by the government,” he wrote then. FULL REPORT