Spitzer Slams Bush for Abetting Bad Lenders

Says feds barred states from halting predators
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2008 12:12 PM CST
A property is offered for sale at reduced price Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008, in Los Angeles. Home sales in a six-county region of Southern California plunged last month to the slowest pace for any month...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Bush administration was a “willing accomplice” to predatory lending practices that cost thousands of Americans their homes and endangered our economy, Eliot Spitzer writes in the Washington Post. When state attorneys general (including Spitzer at the time) tried to act against a spike in deceptive and even illegal loans, the feds mobilized an obscure agency to shut down the regulators, the New York governor claims.

In 2003, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency was made into “a tool against consumers,” invoking 19th-century laws to pre-empt state litigation against shady subprime lenders, Spitzer says. "Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents." History will judge Bush harshly, the none-too-bashful governor concludes, for siding with lenders “who went to any lengths in their quest for profits.”