How Bush Fueled the Mortgage Mess

His philosophy at center of housing crisis
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 21, 2008 6:52 AM CST
President Bush discusses the auto industry Friday at the White House.    (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – A range of factors led to the housing crisis that dragged the economy into the toilet—but President Bush’s philosophy likely played a key role in the collapse, reports the New York Times. Dozens of interviews point to both Bush’s drive to expand homeownership and his steadfast belief in minimal market regulation as central factors in the crisis, the Times reports.

“The Bush administration took a lot of pride that homeownership had reached historic highs,” said former Treasury secretary John Snow. “But what we forgot was that it has to be done in the context of people being able to afford their house.” As trouble mounted, Bush aides were slow to recognize it, ignoring experts’ advice. “The result was a series of piecemeal policy prescriptions that lagged behind the escalating crisis,” the Times notes.