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Here we go again: The Obama Administration is pressuring banks to give loans to high-risk borrowers

The housing market is still crashing from the recent subprime mortgage debacle, but the Obama Administration doesn't seem to care. Today we learn from BusinessWeek that the Obama Administration is putting pressure on banks to provide home loans to high risk borrowers. What's the definition of insanity again?

Community activists in St. Louis became concerned a couple of years ago that local banks weren't offering credit to the city's poor and African American residents. So they formed a group called the St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance and began writing complaint letters to federal regulators.

Apparently, someone in Washington took notice. The Federal Reserve has cited one of the group's targets, Midwest BankCentre, a small bank that has been operating in St. Louis's predominantly white, middle-class suburbs for over a century, for failing to issue home mortgages or open branches in disadvantaged areas. Although executives at the bank say they don't discriminate, Midwest BankCentre's latest annual report says it is in the process of negotiating a settlement with the U.S. Justice Dept. over its lending practices.

Lawyers and bank consultants say regulators and the Obama Administration are scrutinizing financial institutions for a practice that last drew attention before the rise of subprime lending: redlining. The term dates from the 1930s, when the Federal Housing Administration drew up maps using red ink to delineate inner-city neighborhoods considered too risky for lending. Congress later passed laws banning lending discrimination on the basis of race and other characteristics. "The agencies have refocused on redlining because, in the wake of the subprime explosion and sudden implosion, they are looking at these disadvantaged neighborhoods and not seeing any credit access," says Jo Ann Barefoot, co-chair at Treliant Risk Advisors in Washington, D.C., which consults with banks on regulatory issues.

The 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requires banks to make loans in all the areas they serve, not just the wealthy ones. A Bloomberg analysis found the percentage of banks earning negative ratings from regulators on CRA exams has risen from 1.45 percent in 2007 to more than 6 percent in the first quarter of this year.

It's a good thing when banks have lending standards because those standards help ensure those who get a mortgage can actually afford to pay it back. For example, Canada's banks have stricter lending practices, and their housing market is not just surviving but thriving. However, it seems President Obama isn't interested in a thriving housing market here in the US. He'd rather "spread the wealth around," as he explained it to Joe the Plumber. If he keeps on spreading the wealth at the rate he is, soon there won't be any more wealth to spread around.


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Comments (19)

Intelligent people learn fr... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Intelligent people learn from their mistakes.
Really intelligent people learn from other people's mistakes.
Stupid people make the same mistakes over and over again.

By the way, thanks to the stupid banking reform law pushed by Democrats, the big financial institutions didn't get split up. They are still "too big to fail".

For some reason I don't bel... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

For some reason I don't believe that those stupid Europeans will be buying any more of 'bundled' loans. Something about getting screwed last time. Of course there's always Fannie and Freddie.....still losing money by the BILLIONS.

Barry is an economic genius!

It seems to me almost every... (Below threshold)
Gladius:

It seems to me almost every week this adminstration trys or does come up with something boardering on stupid. This can't be a mistake. Has anybody out there ever see an adminstration like this? From the day AF1 flew low over NYC for a photo op without permission and Obama claiming he didn't know his airplane was missing or who was in it I knew we are screwed. There should be investigations when these guys leave office in 2012. Somebody has got to go to jail.

It seems to me almost every... (Below threshold)
Gladius:

It seems to me almost every week this adminstration trys or does come up with something boardering on stupid. This can't be a mistake. Has anybody out there ever see an adminstration like this? From the day AF1 flew low over NYC for a photo op without permission and Obama claiming he didn't know his airplane was missing or who was in it I knew we are screwed. There should be investigations when these guys leave office in 2012. Somebody has got to go to jail.

Reminds me of the Pigford S... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Reminds me of the Pigford Scandal where the looting continues while the real victims keep getting screwed.

And face it, this administration doesn't give a damn about the economics, except in the sense of re-distribution.

You're being far too charit... (Below threshold)
Mr Evilwrench:

You're being far too charitable. These guys are doing it on purpose because it's harmful.

The lisping and sashaying (... (Below threshold)

The lisping and sashaying (NTTAWWT) Barney Frank will, of course, be leading the charge. Even deadbeats should be homeowners in his world.

If someone was deliberately... (Below threshold)
retired military:

If someone was deliberately trying to cause the financial collapse of the US what would they be doing different than the Obama admin?

Once again the "progressive... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Once again the "progressive" rallying cry rings out:

That didn't work. Let's try it some more!

The inability of the "progressives" to adapt to observable --verifiable-- reality should make them anathema to all thinking persons, and tells one all that one really needs to know about them and their supporters.

It's simple. The big banks... (Below threshold)
Matt:

It's simple. The big banks and their owners/investors the big financiers etc, don't want competition from the small and medium banks. They get their government compadres to force the small/med banks to issues risky loans. Those loans go bad, the banks get closed by the govt, less competition for the banking giants. The banks make more money, give more money to the politicians and get guarntees to eliminate risk for their bad investments.

"The agencies have refoc... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"The agencies have refocused on redlining because, in the wake of the subprime explosion and sudden implosion, they are looking at these disadvantaged neighborhoods and not seeing any credit access," says Jo Ann Barefoot, co-chair at Treliant Risk Advisors in Washington, D.C., which consults with banks on regulatory issues.

It's not redlining if the folks don't have (a) sufficient income to qualify for a loan, (b) sufficient assets to qualify for a loan, or (c) a friggin' clue about what having a loan actually MEANS. (I gotta pay it back? Nobody told me! Thought this was all free money!)

Great. We've got the government going "Come on, Bubba, chug down another 40 and then we'll go car surfing on I-95!"

This is ridiculous, every t... (Below threshold)

This is ridiculous, every time I go to yahoo it seems there's another story about a builder offering homes for $1 down or buy a wheelbarrow at Lowes and get a house or houses for pocket change in dem-controlled cities...

Somehow I don't think the problem is people not having the opportunity to get a loan.

But what do I know...

Note to Barry, and nitwit l... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Note to Barry, and nitwit liberals: banks exist to make money. They would loan money to the devil if the deal were right. If they loaning in crime-infested ghettoes were a money-making proposition, they would do so.

Banks don't refuse to loan money to ghetto residents because of racial animus. The very idea is preposterous. This is a business deal. It's not like they're marrying off their daughters.

They do so because they figure to lose money, and they're not charities. Refusing to loan money to people unlikely/ unwilling/ unable to repay the loan is common sense.

When, oh when, will liberals learn that pretending things are otherwise than they are doesn't make it so? If someone doesn't qualify for a loan he shouldn't get a loan. It's not in the lender's, or indeed the borrower's, interest that the loan should be made.

Rodney"That didn't... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Rodney

"That didn't work. Let's try it some more!
"

Now if you are going to quote liberals you have to get it right.

"It isnt working because we havent spent enough money on it yet"

-------------

Homes in Detroit are going for VERY little (some as low as $1000 or less). Detroit has been run by the liberals and the unions for how many years?

Reading between the lines i... (Below threshold)
Caesar Augustus:

Reading between the lines it appears to me that Obama & Co. are pulling out all the stops to gin up turnout among blacks in big cities. That suggests the internal (not for public consumption) polling among other demographics is as negative for Obama as one might expect. That in turn leads to the following conclusion: the race baiting and class warfare tactics by the Democrats next fall will be unfathomable in scope and aggressiveness. It's going to get real ugly.

Ceasar Agustus,I s... (Below threshold)
Rodney Graves Author Profile Page:

Ceasar Agustus,

I suspect the internals are worse than you suspect. It seems that 0bama is even losing support amongst his captive (Identity Politics) base.

What comes after quadruplin... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

What comes after quadrupling down on dumb? Whatever it is, Barry has passed it.

Affirmative action.... The gift that keeps on stealing!

Sep1 4"What comes ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Sep1 4

"What comes after quadrupling down on dumb?"

Chicoing down on dumb????

Does this really surprise a... (Below threshold)
JDL:

Does this really surprise anyone? Obama money is growing on trees and is ripe for the picking.

The Frank and Dodd financial bill spawned more govt oversight tha gives one person tremendous power over banks and nonbank intermediaries in our country. Here is a very interesting and article from the National Legal Policy Center which is a great website that I check often. This is about:

"(Elizabeth Warren) as a ranking member of the Obama administration, she and her office are fast becoming unpopular - at least among many congressional Republicans. Since last September, Warren has served as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a powerful watchdog agency created by last year's financial reform overhaul. The CFPB doesn't open its doors until July 21. But already several members of Congress, led by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., think this watchdog needs a leash."

" Title X of the Dodd-Frank legislation created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Though housed under the Federal Reserve, the bureau would operate independently and would have veto power over many of the operations of bank and nonbank intermediaries."


http://nlpc.org/stories/2011/05/12/gop-lawmakers-challenge-authority-consumer-finance-agency




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