Friday, October 3, 2008

Battle of the Petulant All-Stars

Bill O'Reilly asks Representative Barney Franks (D-Mass) to take a little responsibility for the bailout mess:

For better quality video, you can also watch this on Fox News.

Barney Frank does have an inconvenient history of supporting Fannie and Freddie, the two government sponsored companies whose financial failure is at the center the of the home mortgage lending crisis.

Barney Frank at House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 10, 2003:

“The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios.”

Barney Frank at House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 25, 2003:

“I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing.”

Barney Frank at House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 25, 2003:

Frank: Let me ask [George] Gould and [Franklin] Raines on behalf of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, do you feel that over the past years you have been substantially under-regulated?

Mr. Raines?

Raines: No, sir.

Frank: Mr. Gould?

Gould: No, sir. . . .

Frank: OK. Then I am not entirely sure why we are here. . . .I believe there has been more alarm raised about potential unsafety and unsoundness than, in fact, exists.

Barney Frank was interviewed on CNBC about Freddie and Fannie on July 14, 2008:

“I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They're not the best investments these days from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward. They're in a housing market. I do think their prospects going forward are very solid. And in fact, we're going to do some things that are going to improve them.”

Fannie and Freddie were seized by the federal government on September 8, 2008.

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