This story appeared in Bank Digest.
Barney Frank, D-Mass., The Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, has clarified what he deems an inaccuracy in Peter Wallison's dissent to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report. According to Frank, Wallison quotes Frank, who in an appearance on the CNBC program The Kudlow Report, said that “it was a great mistake to push lower-income people into housing they couldn't afford...” and implies that Frank was claiming the mistake was his own.
Frank points to his opposition to this policy, as promulgated by the Clinton and Bush administrations, asserting that, in 2004, during the Bush administration, HUD significantly increased targets for purchases by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of home mortgages fitting certain criteria for affordability. “I opposed those increases, and was quoted at the time in Bloomberg News as saying that the White House “could do some harm if you don't revise the goals.”“ Frank goes on to point out that Larry Lindsey, adviser to Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, later wrote that Frank “was the only politician [he knows] who has argued that we needed tighter rules that intentionally produce fewer homeowners and more renters.” Frank contends that “The distinction between support of rental housing and of homeownership is critical, and Mr. Wallison's critique is based on conflating the two. This is an obvious error that cannot stand, especially as we begin to debate national housing policy.”