Our favorite Congressman from MA is back in the news again.
No, there’s not a male escort service operating out of his townhouse this time. That’s so 1989.
This time, Barney is pushing for, you guessed it, relaxed mortgage standards.
Since that worked out so well for our country the first time, Barney wants an encore:
Rep. Barney Frank says that unless Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac relax their recent tightening of mortgage standards on new condominiums, the economic recovery could be threatened.
That would be the same Barney Frank who famously boasted that the two federal agencies — which lost billions by making improvident loans — were “fundamentally sound financially and [can] withstand . . . disaster scenarios.”
Then came the disasters.
But to Barney Frank, Fannie and Freddie are essentially taxpayer-funded social-service agencies whose mission is to turn all Americans into homeowners — whether or not they can afford it.
Fannie and Freddie recently announced that they would no longer guarantee mortgages on condos where fewer than 70% of the units have been sold; the previous threshold was 51%.
The agencies also said they’d no longer guarantee mortgages in buildings where 15% or more of the owners are behind in their condo dues or where more than 10% of the units are held by a single owner.
And they’ve raised fees on buyers whose down payment is less than the standard 25%.
The tightened standards are intended to limit the exposure of the two agencies — which purchase or guarantee most US mortgages — in buildings with potential financial problems.
Obviously, this means that some condo owners may find it more difficult to sell their units — because buyers will find it more difficult to get mortgages.
Enter Barney Frank — backed by New York’s own Rep. Anthony Weiner, who aspires someday to be mayor.
Here we go again.
Frank, it should be noted, declared last fall that “we’ll have to raise taxes, ultimately” to pay for all the increased government benefits he’s also demanded in order to alleviate the crisis his bad advice helped create.
To say that Barney Frank has a bad track record here is putting it mildly.
Problem is, he’s also chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, so his “suggestions” have political muscle behind them.
But following Barney Frank’s advice is a prescription for disaster.
Some people never learn.
The Congressman, and the voters, of MA are prime examples.