Bill Clinton is giving the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention tonight.
The idea is to make people feel nostalgic for the last time when the economy was really booming, and hope that some of that rubs off on Obama.
However, in the New York Post, Charlie Gasparino uses the occasion to remind everyone that the seeds of our current economic malaise were planted during the Clinton years.
Basically, it was under Clinton that Fannie and Freddie really began blowing the housing bubble, issuing epic amounts of mortgage-backed debt.
The story that Gasparino tells is basically: Liberal Bill Clinton thought he could use government to make everyone a homeowner and so naturally this ended in disaster.
Gasparino specifically cites the controversial Community Reinvestment Act, a popular conservative bogeyman:
How did they do this? Through rigorous enforcement of housing mandates such as the Community Reinvestment Act, and by prodding mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make loans to people with lower credit scores (and to buy loans that had been made by banks and, later, “innovators” like Countrywide).
The Housing Department was Fannie and Freddie’s top regulator — and under Cuomo the mortgage giants were forced to start ramping up programs to issue more subprime loans to the riskiest of borrowers.
That's interesting. But the truth is far more complicated. And more interesting.