Town Square

Post a New Topic

In 1999: Clinton pressures Fannie Mae: Ease Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending

Original post made by Ralphie, Canyon Oaks, on Feb 18, 2009

In 1999, under pressure from the Clinton administration, Fannie Mae, the nation's largest home mortgage underwriter, relaxed credit requirements on the loans it would purchase from other banks and lenders, hoping that easing these restrictions would result in increased loan availability for minority and low-income buyers. Putting pressure on the GSE's (Government Sponsored Enterprise) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Clinton administration looked to increase their sub-prime portfolios, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development expressing its interest in the GSE's maintaining a 50% portion of their portfolios in loans to low and moderate-income borrowers.


In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

The New York Times; September 30, 1999
Web Link

Comments (10)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm

It is too convenient to ignore the fact that since 1999 a Republican majority in Congress and a Republican president failed to act on this.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hurray!
a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Feb 18, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Yay Clinton! Thanks for helping us make our millions! ;)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 18, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Of course, our powerful free enterprise financial system, no-government-oversight, trickle-down-theory-put-in-practice, shareholders-watching-the-management, Alan Greenspan-dominated-financial-hand-on-the-tiller, Bush-controlled and Republican-controlled management of financial policy, system was completely and utterly undone by Clinton and Fannie Mae in 1999. What a great and powerful and sturdy system they gave us! A breath of ill wind sends us into the next great depression! What a strong, powerful economic ideology we have lived under since Reagan. Vote Republican!!!!

The Republican attack machine continues to live in the blogs of the PW.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 19, 2009 at 1:49 am

News tonight said the Feds are pouring funds from the "package" into Freddie and Fannie to be spread among those that are about to be foreclosed and those having trouble making their mortgage payments...

In my opinion, just handing buckets to a sinking oceanliner. If one can't make the payments without help now, what happens when the pot runs dry...

Wasn't Freddie and Fannie a large contributor to the current "crisis".

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2009 at 10:05 am

Look, this whole problem has been caused by both Democrats and Republicans thinking otherwise is just being biased. If Greenspan was still head of the FED we would probably be alot better off. Don't believe the press, Greenspan handled ever other problem during is tenure as Fed chief. A Berkeley economist.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:04 am

Greenspan absolutely has to take some blame for this. He even admits that himself:

Greenspan admits mistakes in subprime mess
Former Fed chief says he didn't grasp risks in mortgage meltdown
Web Link

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2009 at 11:23 am

Yes Greenspan did admit he didn't understand how bad the mortgage mess was going to be but he could still fix it better than the clowns that are working on it now in Bush's or Obama's administration. Bernanke is clueless.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Feb 20, 2009 at 11:46 am

Every time I read about an interview of Greenspan I always laugh. Does anyone seriously believe that such an intelligent person as Greenspan would not understand risk? Highly doubtful.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Feb 20, 2009 at 10:13 pm

History will show Greenspan was the biggest jerk in the whole debacle. This disciple of Milton Friedman will become the central historical figure who was the key implementor of the ideology that produced the Second Great Depression. Reagan and the two Bush's, along with Clinton, will be his accomplices.

Rick, did you have any ancestors on the Titanic?

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Obviously too many people without Economics degrees speaking about nothing they know anything about.......why we are in this mess and same people keep electing people that don't know anything either.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Baker bill targets BART strikes
By Tim Hunt | 2 comments | 1,383 views

The House of Representatives performs history’s first repeat hara-kiri
By Tom Cushing | 11 comments | 1,339 views

Old Memories and iMemories
By Roz Rogoff | 2 comments | 707 views

Net Neutrality a win or loss for open Internet and First Amendment?
By Gina Channell-Allen | 2 comments | 634 views