Thursday, October 8, 2009

Barney Frank

Barney Frank is a Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts. He is a liberal favorite but his appeal escapes me. He was deeply complicit in the housing bubble which led to the recent financial crisis. Here is a short YouTube video of Frank on the House floor in 2005 spouting nonsense about how we can't be in a housing bubble because housing is not leveraged.

Of course many people erred during this period but Frank does not seem to have learned anything. Today I am reading a maddening NYT article about how the FHA is continuing to squander our tax money guaranteeing high risk mortgages when I encounter this Frank quote:

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing that the bad loans occurred,” he said. “It was an effort to keep prices from falling too fast. That’s a policy.”

In other things Frank thinks it was good public policy to guarantee loans people couldn't afford so they could buy overpriced houses in a futile attempt to keep the housing bubble inflated. Now predictably these loans are going bad and the government is on the hook. And the government is still guaranteeing high risk loans:

“I knew in my heart I could not really afford the house, but they gave it to me anyway,” said Mr. Fullenkamp, 22. “I thought, ‘Wow, I’m surprised I pulled that off.’ ”


  1. I was to make a more relevant comment here, but just read the stunning news about this year's nobel peace prize, and I think in a very sarcastic way it, by analogy, answers your implied rhetorical question "what is this politician's appeal?"

  2. Yes, Frank is probably liked for who he is. On the other end of the political spectrum I think this is a big part of Palin's appeal as well.