Mayor Bloomberg to OWS: Blame Congress, Not Banks
Washington pushed those shaky mortgages, 'plain and simple'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2011 3:42 PM CDT
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a file photo.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks Occupy Wall Street protesters are going after the wrong villains: "It was not the banks that created the mortgage crisis," he said today, according to Capital New York. "It was, plain and simple, Congress who forced everybody to go and give mortgages to people who were on the cusp." It might feel "cathartic" to blame Wall Street, he added, but the folks in DC "were the ones who pushed Fannie and Freddie to make a bunch of loans that were imprudent, if you will. They were the ones that pushed the banks to loan to everybody."

Some quick reaction from the left and right:

  • Pat Garofalo, Think Progress: The mayor is just joining in the "conservative pastime" of trying to clear Wall Street. "While the government-sponsored mortgage giants were certainly not blameless, Federal Reserve data shows conclusively that it was private mortgage brokers, not Fannie and Freddie, who drove the subprime housing bubble."
  • Ed Morrissey, Hot Air: Bloomberg is right. "While Wall Street made the situation worse by developing risky derivatives on those securities and failed to recognize the risk inherent in the securities themselves, the collapse wouldn’t have occurred at all had the federal government not intervened to distort lending for their own social-engineering goals."