Bad Actors

No one pushed harder than Barney Frank to force banks and other financial institutions to reduce their mortgage-lending standards in order to meet government-set goals for more home ownership. Those lower mortgage-lending standards are at the heart of the increased riskiness of the mortgage market and of the collapse of Wall Street securities based on those risky mortgages.

Sen. Christopher Dodd has played the same role in the Senate as Barney Frank played in the House of Representatives. Now both are summoning government employees and the officials of financial institutions before their committees to be lambasted in front of the media.

Dodd and Frank know that the best defense is a good offense. Both know how hard it would be to defend their own roles in the housing debacle, so they go on the offensive against others who are in no position to reply in kind, given the vindictive powers of Congress.

This political theater is in one sense cheap beyond words. In another sense, it is costly beyond words.

via Bad Actors by Thomas Sowell on National Review Online.

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