It’s good to know that Democrats are no longer rolling over and taking it like they used to. Here’s Rep. Barney Frank addressing Republican revisionist history and their claim that this situation is mostly his fault.
In recent weeks, my friends across the aisle have expended a lot of breath proclaiming that the Democrats caused the present financial crisis by failing to pass legislation to regulate financial services companies in the years 1995 through 2006.
There is only small one problem with this story -- throughout this entire period the Republicans were in complete charge of the House and for the most critical years they controlled the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.
The Republicans can claim some supposed successes despite my awesome power. In 1999 they passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which overturned a Depression-era law preventing commercial banks from acting like investment banks. In 2000, they passed another bill which loosened regulation of derivative markets. I voted against these bills -- but to no avail.
Under Republican President George W. Bush, many federal agencies turned a blind eye to activities which would later precipitate the global financial meltdown. The Securities and Exchange Commission decided to allow the nation's largest financial institutions to "self-regulate;" the Federal Reserve under Alan Greenspan declined to use its power to regulate subprime mortgages; the Comptroller of the Currency decided to preempt state consumer laws on subprime mortgages.
Meanwhile, President Bush himself demanded that Fannie and Freddie increase the percentage of subprime loans they purchased, supposedly because of his belief in an "ownership society." Incidentally, increased lending to subprime borrowers would also fuel astronomical profits by the financial services industry. I publicly opposed giving mortgages to unqualified borrowers because I believed that some families are better off renting.
Yet somehow none of this was recorded in the Republican collective memory.
Read the whole thing and feel the burn! As we used to say in seventh grade…FAAAACCCCEEEE! FACIAL! IN YOUR FACE!