A talk radio campaign blaming the credit crisis on lower-class Americans is up against new federal data, McClatchy reports. Critics argue that government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, pushed by Clinton policies, gave subprime mortgages to minority Americans who could not afford homes. But 84% of mortgages were handed out by the private sector, the Fed says.
Only a small fraction of subprime mortgages were given to low- and moderate-income Americans. And Fannie and Freddie don't hand out loans—they buy loans from private lenders. The "turmoil in financial markets clearly was triggered by a dramatic weakening of underwriting standards for U.S. subprime mortgages," the President's Working Group on Financial Markets said.