Root Causes

Our friends at BBC News explain what caused the global financial crisis, mortgage crisis, and lending crisis in a great and simple way:

Here’s the written testimony of Eric Kolchinsky before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations last week who, during the majority of 2007, was the Managing Director in charge of the business line which rated sub-prime backed CDOs at Moody’s Investors Service.

Confirming what most analysts knew, both before and after 2007, a Senate panel investigating the causes of the nation’s financial crisis on Thursday unveiled evidence that credit-ratings agencies knowingly gave inflated ratings to complex deals backed by shaky U.S. mortgages in exchange for lucrative fees.

The federal government and states are girding themselves for the next foreclosure crisis in the country’s housing downturn: payment option adjustable rate mortgages that are beginning to reset.

In an article titled “They Gave Your Mortgage To A Less-Qualified Minority” we see the effect of Clinton-era changes. Did these changes set the stage for the subprime crisis? You be the judge, but the system was abused, and went well beyond minorities. “Under Clinton, the entire federal government put massive pressure on banks to grant more mortgages to the poor and minorities. Clinton’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Andrew Cuomo, investigated Fannie Mae for racial discrimination and proposed that 50 percent of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s portfolio be made up of loans to low- to moderate-income borrowers by the year 2001.

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