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Report: Don’t blame Fannie, Freddie

McClatchy examines claims of GSEs' critics

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Loosely regulated subprime lenders and investment firms that bundled loans into private-label mortgage-backed securities -- not Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or banks subject to the Community Reinvestment Act -- were the main drivers of the housing boom and bust. That's the assertion of a McClatchy Newspapers story published Sunday that examines the emergence of "a conservative campaign that blames the global financial crisis on a government push to make housing more affordable to lower-class Americans."In 2005 and 2006, private-label lenders securitized almost two-thirds of all U.S. mortgages, the story noted, surpassing Fannie and Freddie for the first time. In 2006, more than 84 percent of subprime mortgages were made by private-label lenders, the story said, citing Federal Reserve data. During the boom, Fannie and Freddie employed tighter underwriting standards than many private-label lenders, many of whom have since gone out of business. According to a study by researchers at ...