Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tremendous Foresight

Back in 2000, a man named Howard Husock wrote an article on the possible ramifications of the Community Reinvestment Act; how it was structured and what it would do. Considering what is now happing in the financial sector, I wish he was listened to:

The Trillion-Dollar Bank Shakedown That Bodes Ill for Cities
"The Clinton administration has turned the Community Reinvestment Act, a once-obscure and lightly enforced banking regulation law, into one of the most powerful mandates shaping American cities—and, as Senate Banking Committee
chairman Phil Gramm memorably put it, a vast extortion scheme against the nation's banks. Under its provisions, U.S. banks have committed nearly $1 trillion for inner-city and low-income mortgages and real estate development projects, most of it funneled through a nationwide network of left-wing community groups, intent, in some cases, on teaching their low-income clients that the financial system is their enemy and, implicitly, that government, rather than their own striving, is the key to their well-being.

The CRA's premise sounds unassailable: helping the poor buy and keep homes will stabilize and rebuild city neighborhoods. As enforced today, though, the law portends just the opposite, threatening to undermine the efforts of the upwardly mobile poor by saddling them with neighbors more than usually likely to depress property values by not maintaining their homes adequately or by losing them to foreclosure. The CRA's logic also helps to ensure that inner-city neighborhoods stay poor by discouraging the kinds of investment that might make them better off."
And here is one more article from CNN politics , here is a U.S. senator talking about it, and here is a Forbes article on where that ‘700’ billon figure come from; if what I have been posting is not enough for you.


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