During the Presidential Campaign I got an earful one evening about the Clinton Adminstration’s fault in bringing on the credit and housing crisis etc., how they put pressure on the industry to give loans to people who couldn’t really afford them. I didn’t really argue the point, because for one thing I wasn’t that hip on the details of the Clinton Admin.’s involvement, but also because it wouldn’t have surprised me to discover that Bill and his crew were at least in part to blame. My point was, even if Clinton set up rules for this kind of thing to happen why didn’t Bush do anything about it? I mean, Bush was supposed to be the MBA President, the Commander in Chief that new about such things blah blah blah. Clearly he didn’t.
An article on the front page of today’s (Sunday’s) front page explores significant depth Bush’s role and that of his cronies in this crisis. It begins with a quote from our MBA President himself early on in his tenure in the White House:
“We can put light where there’s darkness, and hope where there’s despondency in this country. And part of it is working together as a nation to encourage folks to own their own home.” — President Bush, Oct. 15, 2002.
After which it jumps to the present:
WASHINGTON — The global financial system was teetering on the edge of collapse when President Bush and his economics team huddled in the Roosevelt Room of the White House for a briefing that, in the words of one participant, “scared the hell out of everybody.”
After having the impending economic shit storm spelled out for him, how does Bush respond:
“How,” he wondered aloud, “did we get here?”
Discouraging to say the least, but still a legit question, which is more than it seems one has come to expect from this President.
Of course Bush came into office with the idea of making it easier for people to buy and own homes, a noble intent one can suppose, although one can also suppose that the intent was also significantly if not mostly politically — you can win support among poor Blacks and Hispanics if you help them to buy their own home. Perhaps….if ultimately if effort hadn’t made matters worse. Too many of these people have had their credit severely damaged thus lessening the possibility of ever owning a home in the future.
There are plenty of culprits, like lenders who peddled easy credit, consumers who took on mortgages they could not afford and Wall Street chieftains who loaded up on mortgage-backed securities without regard to the risk.
But the story of how we got here is partly one of Mr. Bush’s own making, according to a review of his tenure that included interviews with dozens of current and former administration officials.
And that is what this article details in full, to pretty damning effect.
I’d like to pass this article along to the parties that pissed in my ear about Clinton’s culpability, which I still do not refute, if for no other reason than to sort of say, suck on that, Bush is to blame too, although I’m inclined to think that it would be a pointless effort.
Clinton may have laid a path toward the brink but Bush and his ilk rustled the cattle and drove them over it. Move along little dogies.