American Economy: Why Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Are Not Responsible for the Economic Financial Crisis. [46]

Congressman Barney Frank
Congressman Barney Frank | Source

The Whipping Boy

More than one Hubber has made comments on my hubs or on other hubs or have written their own hubs laying the blame for the 2008 US economic catastrophe on three components. According to many Social Dominators and their Right-wing Authoritarian followers, but for these three boogie-men, we would have just had a mild recession. Who are these dastardly villains set on America's destruction? They are the Government-sponsored Enterprises (GSEs - Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae), the Housing and Urban Development Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), and, the most villainous of them all, Representative Barney Franks, D-NY.

What the Conservatives Think Caused The Financial Meltdown

THE Conservative theory is most recently presented by Mr. Peter J. Wallison, a member of the "National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States" (NCCFECUS) who wrote a dissenting opinion to the finding of the majority of the Commissioners in the "The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report" (FCIR), February 2011. To quote Mr. Wallison,

"There are always many factors that could have caused an historical event; the difficult task is to discern which, among a welter of possible causes, were the significant ones - ones without which history would have been different. Using this standard, I believe that the sine qua non of the financial crisis was U.S. government housing policy, which led to the creation of 27 million sub-prime and other risky loans - half of all mortgages in the United States - which were ready to default as soon as the massive 1977-2007 housing bubble began to deflate. If the U.S. government had not chosen this policy path - fostering growth of a bubble of unprecedented size and an equally unprecedented number of weak and high risk residential mortgages -the great financial crisis of 2008 would never had occurred."

This is what we have been hearing from Conservatives since January 2009 and the Tea Partiers since their inception. They don't ignore the other ingredients:

  • Low interest rates and flow of funds from abroad
  • Deregulation and lax regulation
  • Shadow banking business
  • Failures in risk management
  • Securitization and structured products
  • Credit default swaps and other derivatives
  • Predatory lending

But, he does give them short shrift. The most curious statement Mr. Wallison made in dismissing these other reasons was for Predatory Lending, he said,

"This undoubtedly occurred (predatory lending), but it also appears that many people who received high-risk loans were predatory borrowers, or engaged in mortgage fraud, because they took advantage of low mortgage underwriting standards to benefit from mortgages they knew they could not pay unless rising housing prices enabled them to sell or refinance."

In the nine pages he was allowed for his dissent in the FCIR, Mr. Wallison spends six paragraphs explaining his reasoning why the GSEs and CRA are the true cause and one paragraph each to why the rest of the reasons combined would not have caused the great recession. He then spends seven more paragraphs complaining about the process the commission used to reach its conclusions and how it excluded the commissioners, including him, from the process. If true, then their certainly were flaws but, I have my doubts. Since I have just begun the 500 pages, it will be a bit before I really know.

Those are the broad statements of fact supporting their position. Mr. Wallison promises more detail behind the numbers in his quote in his full dissenting opinion that you can find at this FCIC link. I took a bit of time to read through some of his more detailed analysis to get the thrust of it. He does present a lot of facts and figures, primarily derived by his conservative "American Enterprise Institute" think tank colleague Edward Pinto, who, at one time, was a former chief credit officer at Fannie Mae.

Mr. Wallison's fundamental points are three-fold: 1) the government's 1990s policy to increase home ownership among the low and middle income Americans with below median income levels 2) drove the GSEs to lower the underwriting standards and make 27 million sub-prime and Alt-A loans which became the foundation of the 2000 - 2007 housing bubble, and 3) that non-GSE banks were forced to make sub-prime mortgages to be in compliance with the CRA that overwhelmed the number on non-GSE/CRA related mortgages in the system. As a consequence, it is clear that but for these actions by the government, there would not have been a financial crisis.

Most of the data supported their claim that the GSE's controlled the sub-prime market prior to 2000, which is probably true. Data was also presented relative to the financial activities of the GSEs, HUD, and FHA for after 2000, but not for the non-government institutions. Without comparative information, my 25 years experience as a government cost analyst tells me you can't draw any meaningful conclusions for the period between 2000 - 2008.

I can stop at this point because the Conservative reasoning and logic is complete; Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the government housing policy ... as simple as that. Oh yeah, and Congressman Barney Frank, former chairman of the House Finance Service Committee, apparently single handily orchestrated the whole affair even though the Conservatives controlled Congress from 1994 until 2006.

Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

Exoneration of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

THERE has been a lot of finger pointing as to who or what was really at fault for the epic financial disaster that America visited upon itself and the world. I have my favorite theories, which I think are well founded and well supported by facts. In brief, I lay the fundamental reason for the economic meltdown at the doorstep of the Conservative economic philosophy of laissez-faire meaning as little regulation of business practices as humanly possible. But for the successful application of this philosophy over the last 4 decades, the cratering of our economy we just experienced would not have happened. That, however, is not what this article is about and will have to wait until another time.

What I really want to discuss in this hub is part of the results of the just released "Financial Crisis Inquiry Report " from the "National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States ". One of the subjects the commission looked at very closely in the investigation that resulted in this report, was what role did Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have in causing or exacerbating the 2007 - 2008 financial crises. This, of course, is of particular interest because the Conservatives claim they ARE the reason, the only reason, for the crisis. In fact, one Commissioner, Mr. Peter Wallison, wrote a dissenting opinion trying to prove just this point.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are private organizations, called Government-sponsored Enterprises (GSE), and were established by the federal government to do three things:

    • Make sure that financial institutions have mortgage money to lend
    • Make it easier for consumers to afford a decent house or apartment
    • Stabilize residential mortgage markets in times of financial crisis

Fannie Mae was created in 1938 as a federal agency and then, in 1968, chartered as a private, shareholder-owned company to provide the same services Freddie Mac was chartered by Congress in 1970 for essentially the same purpose. Neither make mortgages directly but provide a secondary market for them.

For many years, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae did an admiral job of fullfilling their role in keeping the mortgage markets stable. The GSEs, did, as the Conservatives claim, had an obligation to make part of their mortgage portfolio available for low and middle income homeowners and yes, they did acquire sub-prime and Alt-A, non-traditional mortgages (NTMs). However, even though the underwriting standards were getting lower, they weren't out of hand. But starting in 2000, things began to go terribly wrong, with them and many other major Wall Street financial institutions. As the financial pullback turned into a full-blown rout, recriminations began to fly from all quarters. One of the favorites of the Conservatives, that has resonated with America, is that it was the mismanagement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac coupled with the Liberals determination to provide housing, via these organizations and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), to low and middle income Americans, read people who couldn't afford them, buyers that was the real culprit. All fingers pointed toward them.

This resonated so much in America that the Commission found it necessary to investigate both the GSEs and the CRA. I haven't written much about these accusations in the past because I didn't have very many facts available to base an analysis on. Now I do. What the Commission found is that the Conservatives charge, which I intuitively knew was going to be the case, was way off the mark, they were misdirecting America away from real evil-doers, the ones truly responsible.

This isn't to say the GSEs get off Scot-free, not by a long-shot, they were as deep into the greed machine as the next guy and deserve some serious jail time along with many others, in my opinion. Okay, then why weren't they solely responsible like the Conservatives said? They controlled most of the secondary mortgage market didn't they? Well, no, not really, not of the sub-prime market where the vast majority of the toxic mortgages were. The real TRUTH is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, contrary to what Mr. Wallison claims and once Wall Street got into the act, at their worst owned only 40% of the sub-prime market, that was in 2004. By 2008, they were down to 28%. Further, those that the GSEs did own were of better quality than those that Wall Street owned! The Commission found that by 2008, when comparing a subset of borrowers with credit scores of 660 or lower, the non-GSE institutions were suffering an astounding 28% serious delinquency rate while the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were facing a much more manageable 6%! Doesn't that make you wonder exactly what the Conservatives were looking at to base their accusations on? This is the comparative analysis that suggested was missing in Mr. Wallison's dissent.

There is no question that the GSEs added "helium" to the bubble, as the Commission phrased it, but it wasn't the "foundation" of it as Mr. Wallison asserts. There is no question the GSEs were guilty of the same unethical business practices as Wall Street. There is no question that the GSEs were part of the problem. But - there is also no question that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, as the Commission concluded, was even close to being the cause of the financial crisis as the Conservatives so loudly and frequently claim.

The Conservatives also claimed that in conjunction with the GSE, the Liberal programs of getting low income people into home ownership was also responsible for the financial crisis. Once again, the Conservatives have the numbers against them, once again the Conservatives are wrong. These low and middle income programs come under an initiative called the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 that was designed to prevent discrimination by "redlining" by banks; something the Conservatives deny was happening and even if it was, it shouldn't be regulated by the government. The statistic that stops the Conservatives in their tracks here is that only 6% of the sub-prime mortgages had any connection to this Act. Again, this is in complete disagreement with what Mr. Wallison tells us the Conservatives believe is the truth. His problem again is that there was no comparative data presented to substantiate his position that I could find.

Democrats and other concerned citizens need to take the responsibility to respond with these simple facts, now that they are available, whenever and where ever Conservatives try to snow America with unsupported claims that try to take the blame away from where people ought to be looking, the Conservative economic philosophy. It was this philosophy that sunk us in 1929 and it was this philosophy that I feel was responsible for 2007. As I work through my Hub on recessions, I may find more where economic doctrine of laissez-faire is at the root of financial collapse in America.

© 2011 My Esoteric

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Comments 13 comments

CMerritt profile image

CMerritt 5 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

As a "conservative", I think there are many, many factors that contributed to our finanial crisis. AND, I think there is no doubt that Fannie and Freddie being manipulated played it's part. I don't even think it is disputable to think they did not. People could NOT afford the homes they bought, they over exteneded and they fell behind the monthly mortgage and they lost their homes.........that is it in a handbasket.... With that said, this problem has been brewing for several years now. Our government has to take the single most responsibility for this mess with it's spending, they TOO are over extending and WE, as a Nation are falling behind.....and we are about to foreclose as a nation.....I think Banks became WAY too greedy. I think the American people became WAY too greedy.....we can no longer spend, spend, spend.....Repub, dem, all of them.

I think there is no shame what-so-ever at pointing some serious fingers AT those who in Washington who set us up to fail...and the Fannie and Freddie debacle played it's part in the melt down.

If memory servese me, it was Bush and the republicans who was warning congess about Fannie and Freddie, that they needed MORE regualation, or at least some REAL attention, because they saw the bubble inflating...

Even Alan Greenspan told Congress how urgent it was for it to act in the clearest possible terms: If Fannie and Freddie “continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road,” he said. “We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.”

My Esoteric, I have no doubt you have a unique "look" towards this mess, I have a great deal of respect for you, and that is why, I still have to question you on this. I like to keep things simple and try not to convolute these issues...and it seems painfully obvious to the main cause of this mess.

Sorry, I went on and on...but that is my nickel's worth for the moment anyway.


Sembj profile image

Sembj 5 years ago

What seems to me more frightening than anything else is that we know that many will take any advantage they can to make money and we know that we have to govern people's behavior so that they do not take criminal advantage over others. We don't allow criminals to take things from our houses; however, we don't seem to govern those who would indulge in similar behaviors to steal our savings and earnings. It is difficult to see how any could defend

Sembj profile image

Sembj 5 years ago

(continued - whoops, I lost a whole bunch of text) It is difficult to see how any could defend the changes to the financial regulations that seem to have reinforced all of those notions of natural justice implicit in the Constitution. The changes that allowed the financial industry to get away with the moral equivalent to the murder of the American taxpayer are the fault of both Democrats and Republicans. They should both feel equally responsible for repairing the damage; it is sad that not repairing the flaws in the system leaves the taxpayer vulnerable to picking up the tab of the wealthy next time - and there will be a next time.

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Good to see you back, CMerritt! Working down your comment let first say, using John Dean's catatgories and for the benefit of those who haven't seem my other hubs on this subject, there are Conservatives "With" Conscience and Conservatives "Without" Conscience. You clearly fall in the former classification. Why do I say that? Your very first sentence.

A Conservative "Without" Conscience", on the other hand, would say, and keep on saying, as Commission Peter Wallison did, that the GSE's are solely responsible. Further, he asserts that rolling all the other reasons up together would not have been enough to cause what happened. Wallison is either a Social Dominator or Right-wing Authoritarian follower; I have to believe you are neither for you think, you listen, you consider, you change your mind when offered enough fact and logic; SDs and RWAs do not do these things. Whew! (I have been listening to a course on "Building Great Sentences", I hope I am learning something and not going backwards, lol.)

I cannot disagree with anything you say in the first paragraph other to offer that I would take your comment about the government starting with "... with its spending and ending with ... as a Nation" out of where it is and start a new paragraph with it. I don't disagree with that sentiment either, just think it is different subject, but just as important, from the rest of that paragraph, and deserves more discussion.

Para 2 is spot on. I think para 3 is correct at the top lever, the Republicans did complain about how the GSEs weren't helping but I am not sure I can agree with your details. In any case, I will be having more to say in other hubs.

In Para 4, I am not sure when Greenspan made those comments, but my next hub in this area is how much forwarning the regulators and Congress really had. Greenspan doesn't come out looking very good. In his testimony to the Commission, he has admitted that failures in his judgement had a role to play in what came to pass.

I believe the root causes of this economic disaster come down to economic philosophies. People flippantly say there are no differences between Conservatives and Progressives, I can't disagree more strongly. The fight between these two philosophical positions date back far beyond American history, sort of like the difference between Plato and Aristotle. In America, these two sides were initially represented by the Federalists and Anti-Federalists.

These differences extend to views on how the government and business relate to each other and they are significant. Throughout American history, it has been a fight been the Conservative absolute laissez-faire doctrine to the far Left semi-privatization model. Neither extreme work well and America has experienced both. Right now I am going to assert, but can't prove (I am working on it), most of America's early history, to the Great Depression, was run under the Conservative laissez-faire model. From 1937 on, America moved closer and closer to semi-privatiztion, i.e., lots of regulation, at least until 1978. After 1978, the pendulum started moving back toward laissez-faire until 2000 when we were essentially back to pre-1937.

I certainly appreciate that you enjoy what I write, that makes me feel great! What I hope to show is that it is this unregulated laissez-faire philosophy, the philosophy of the Conservatives currently on the scene today, when mixed with human nature, ultimately leads a boom-bust economy.

Opinion Duck, you, and others rightly point to Congress's and Presidents of both party's, the banks, the GSE's, and greedy people as all having a hand in it. But the playing field has already been heavily biased toward failure because 1) the natuaral tendancy of human beings, especially ones in positions of power, toward greed and 2) that businesses, because of deliberate government policy, have little regulatory control or effective governmnet oversight over their behavior to curb their greed. I hope you would agree that there are a huge number of anectdotal reports of corporations, when given the chance, take unfair advantage of those less powerful. I think that is what happened here.

Now here is shocker. If I had a choice, I would be a liberal Republican, because I tend to be socially progressive but fiscally conservative where I believe in appropriate regulation and strong oversight of business because I have learned you can't, as a general rule, trust large companies to follow the rules, be ethical, let alone virtuous, and care enough to do more for their employees below senior management or their customers than absolutely necessary to keep them on the job or as customers.

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sembj, thank you for your comment resonates with me in all respects.

Also, I need to dialate a little more on my final statement to CMerritt because "fiscally conservative" and all the verbage after sounded like just the opposite. What it comes down to is that businesses need to be regulated strongly enough to protect Americans from their excesses, including lying in the ads. Beyond that, they should be free to conduct their business as they see fit. I also believe in no federal income tax but a national sales tax instead, pay-as-you-go, full-funding investments including forward-funding operating and support costs, and other such non-liberal things.

OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 5 years ago

The crash couldn't have happened without the work of fannie and freddie, as they instigate the idea.

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Sorry OD, I can't go along, the facts just don't support it. All through the 1990s, the GSEs were using subprimes and other NTMs to meet the gov't CRA goals with no ill effect. The main reason is that the lender was still responsible for the mortgage and the mortgage was identifiable. If the mortgage went south, the lender bought the big one.

All of that changed with the repeal of Glass-Stegall in 2000 and the development of the unregulated shadow-banking system of which the GSEs were not a part.

When the lenders were no longer responsible for the mortgages they made and the individual mortgages lost their identity, neither of these developments had anything to do with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the way, the incentive for the lender to make good loans was gone as was the incentive for the secondary market makers, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and MANY others, to care whether they bought toxic packages or not. So long as housing prices went up, everybody was happy.

I am not excusing the GSEs by any means, I am just saying it wasn't just their fault alone and they didn't start it, like the Conservatives like Wallison, Bohner, Mitchell, and Gingrich want you to believe. The fact they were using NTMs already is meaningless if they were using them properly, which the evidence shows they were. In fact, in 2008 of the NTM portfolios the GSEs where the borrowers had credit scores below 660, only 6% were in serious default (still a lot of money) but on the non-GSE side fully 28% were in serious default! So even here, it would appear the GSE bought better bad loans than did their Wall Street counterparts, lol.

Given the size of the involvement of the non-GSEs in what finally happened, I would wager that if the two GSEs had remained ethical as did many banks around the country, and all else remained the same, the financieal collapse would have been almost as momentus.

dpsimswm profile image

dpsimswm 5 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

Hi. As a supporter of the GSEs, thought you might like to see this.

Today's housing finance hearing was not much consolation to those who support the GSEs.

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for the link, DP, I will add it to my Related Links. Except for Mr. McDonald's opening sentence, he is spot on. (I do own a position in Freddie Mac and just increased it a few days before Obama dropped that bomb on me, lol.) I think Mr. McDonald is WAY too simplistic in pinning the cause on ARMs, the cause is much more complex and deep rooted than that. To me, the true cause is the Conservative economic philosophy, 2008 is just the logical outcome of it. Basically, the same thing happened in 1929. As I am finding out in my research into recessions, some form of the Austrian School of economics, the ultimate foundation of laissez-faire, supply-side economics, has been American economic policy for probably 80% of our history from 1797 to 1930 and 1970 to 2009. In between 1930 and 1970 and since 2009, it has been more or less Keynesian in flavor. In the former period there were 40 recessions or depressions, or 1 every 4.3 years, as reported by the Bureau of Economic Research and in the latter period there were 7, or 1 every 5.6 years; these are from all causes, not just financial. Finally, the length of the downturns prior to 1843 (11) look to last about twice as long, on average, as those that came afterwards.

The Rob 3 years ago

Am I missing something here. You write about "most of America's early history, to the Great Depression, was run under the Conservative laissez-faire model. From 1937 on, America moved closer and closer to semi-privatiztion, i.e., lots of regulation, at least until 1978. After 1978, the pendulum started moving back toward laissez-faire until 2000 when we were essentially back to pre-1937."

In 1980 win Ronald Reagan was elected it was because the policies of the Democratic party had strangled the economy into a recession during which unemployeement reached levels higher than during the current recession.

How can you call this successful. The deregulation that Reagan and Clinton put into effect is what gave the economy and business leaders freedom to create and build companies taking our economy to record growth levels.

As a fiscally responsible republican both Reagan and Clinton also raised taxes. This is where I separate myself from the current policies of republicans because raising taxes is not always bad.

What is always bad is giving people things they cannot afford. This is and was the problem with the American Dream Act which was created and put in place during Clintons term. The act very clearly states we awant to give housing to those who cannot afford it.

The only way this can work is if the governemnt pays for it. And we "the tax payers supporting the governemnt" have.

Saying the housing bubble is not one of the two largest contributors to the financial meltdown is crazy. The housing bubble will end up costing the American public over 1.5 trillion dollars. It also created a huge vacuum in the jobs market.

The second factor is the war/wars in the middle east. They will cost us nearly double the housing bubble. That was clearly Bushes fault even though Barrack does not seem in any hurry to change the course that Bush already ahd in place for ending the action.

Back to my original point though. How can you say the USA was doing good in 1978. We were on the verge of a cliff that we fell off in 1979.

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for your comments and thoughts, Rob, but to answer your points I will start with this paragraph -

You say - "In 1980 win Ronald Reagan was elected it was because the policies of the Democratic party had strangled the economy into a recession during which unemployeement reached levels higher than during the current recession."

I say - the trite, left-wing, knee-jerk answer might be to say "look who was in power since 1969 to 1977, brought in huge economic turmoil with skyrocketting gas prices, inflation, and price freezes following the longest period of growth in American history under Kennedy-Johnson". But I won't say it, because the implication isn't true, just as yours isn't true either. In reality Nixon - Ford did a pretty good job combating the economic impact of the Arab-Israeli turmoil in the Middle East which caused two serious recessions during their time in office. This is the "exact" same turmoil that flared up again under the Carter administration with the revolution in Iraq and the taking of American hostages. Those recessions in the Nixon and Ford administrations (Carter had a short six month one in 1980), and the one in Reagan's administration had very little to do with domestic economic policy and everything to do with major impacts on our economy from external events, turmoil in the Middle East.

Yes, Reagan, in the late 1980s, effectively raised taxes on the lower income by essentially turning our once progressive tax system into a very regressive flat tax system, or at least nearly so, it only had two-tiers so the effect was to raise taxes on the lower and middle income earners and lower them further on the higher income earners. It was Bush I and Clinton who began reversing that and putting "progressive" back into our income tax system.

Reagan primarily deregulated industry, only small inroads were made into deregulating the financial sector and I am not sure Clinton did much more in deregulating industry in his terms since most of it had already been done. I don't think very many people argue about the need to have taken those particular regulatory shackles off, although, in some cases, it looks like they shouldn't have been removed completely.

It is in the financial sector where Clinton made one of the biggest blunders in his life when agree to sign the death warrant to the Glass-Stegall Act of 1937 near the end of his term. You are probably right, in Clinton's administration, more freedom was given to the non-banking sector but with more oversight by the SEC, the FED, and others. That by itself, while risky, wasn't the problem.

The problem was taking the brakes off the banking industry and letting them freely intermingle with the investment community; that is what Conservatives have been fighting for ever since Roosevelt got the Glass-Stegall Act passed in the first place to make sure a 1929-style depression never happened again, at least on based on real estate bubbles. Why Clinton caved-in to the conservatives demands, I will never know, but he did sign their bill. Once conservatives gained control of everything, it was Katy-bar-the-door in the rush to remove any remaining financial regulations. The rest is predictable history.

I think I know which Act you are referring, but it isn't the American Dream Act. The fact of the matter is, when the one you are talking about was enacted, it did one major thing, stopped banks and money lenders from discriminating because of location. The borrowers "still" had to prove they could pay the mortgage. If you think I am wrong, show me the clauses in the Act where it says to let borrowers borrow regardless of ability pay; I bet you can't.

Is that the way I put it regarding the "housing bubble"? Or, is that out of context. The housing bubble is the "result" of more fundamental flaws in economic policy plus greed, not the cause of it. It is those flaws which caused the bubble in the first place, it didn't happen on its own. As all bubbles do, they burst, just as they have more than 25 times before when the financial sector was not regulated properly.

I will have to go reread my hub to see where I said we were doing good in 1978 and what the context I said it in was.

hucktunes profile image

hucktunes 3 years ago

Greenspan's et al concerns in 2002 weren't that Fannie and Freddie would topple the entire economy, only that they might require bailing out. I imagine they would have made enough in the market to cover any losses. If the commercial banks and mortgage brokers hadn't practiced predatory lending practices and Wall Street hadn't traded those toxic bundles as solid funds Fannie and Freddie would have been fine. Conservatives are conservative at research but very liberal at finger pointing.

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 3 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Thanks for leaving your thoughts, Hucktunes, it is an important topic and it has been awhile since anyone has. I am not sure about it being that soon when people became worried about F & F. The reason I say that is it was in 2002 when the housing problems began; at that point, I believe, the amount of sub-primes were at normal levels.

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