FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair on CRA: NOT Guilty

“Let me ask you, where in the CRA does it say to make loans to people who can’t afford to repay? Nowhere.”
-FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair


This is old news to readers of the Big Picture, but I wanted to at least excerpt this:

“I want to give you my verdict on CRA: NOT guilty,” said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, according to a press release by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Before the Consumer Federation of America, Bair said Thursday she wanted to clear up the “myth” that the Community Reinvestment Act caused the financial crisis — and she set out to do so with vigor.

The Community Reinvestment Act — or CRA — is a federal law designed to encourage commercial banks and savings associations to meet the needs of borrowers in all segments of their communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. It has largely been criticized by conservative members of the GOP as promoting predatory lending practices.

“Point in fact,” she said, “only one in four higher-priced first mortgage loans were made by CRA-covered banks during the hey-day years of subprime mortgage lending.  The rest were made by private independent mortgage companies and large bank affiliates not covered by CRA rules.”

And “Let me ask you,” she proceeded. “Where in the CRA does it say to make loans to people who can’t afford to repay? Nowhere.” The facts are simple, Bair said. The lending practices that are causing problems today were driven by a desire for more market share and revenue growth, not because the government encouraged certain lending practices.


Read the full item at Housing Wire.


FDIC’s Bair Sets to Shatter CRA “Myth”
December 5, 2008

FDIC: Community Reinvestment Act is not cause of financial crisis, FDIC’s Bair said
Ronald D. Orol,
MarketWatch, 12:05 p.m. EST Dec. 4, 2008

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