Barney Frank pushes back against FCIC dissenter Peter Wallison
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is pushing back against a new report from Peter Wallison, one of the dissenting members of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and a fellow of financial policy at the American Enterprise Institute. Frank says Wallison's recent rebuttal to the official FCIC report wrongfully implies that Frank told a television news program that he supported some of the federal policies now blamed for contributing to the financial crisis. Wallison cited a CNBC interview with Rep. Frank in his dissent, quoting the congressman as saying “it was a great mistake to push lower-income people into housing they couldn’t afford…” Frank said Wednesday that Wallison's use of this quote "implies that Frank was claiming the mistake as his own," which he says is false since "he had opposed this policy when it was actively promulgated by the Clinton and Bush administrations." In his own rebuttal to Wallison's report, Frank said, "In 2004, during the Bush administration, HUD significantly increased targets for purchases by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac of home mortgages fitting certain criteria for affordability. I opposed those increases, and was quoted at the time in Bloomberg News as saying that the White House could do some harm if you don’t revise the goals." In his official rebuttal released in late January, Wallison criticized the FCIC majority for blaming the housing meltdown on a combination of lax regulation, greed and recklessness on Wall Street. Wallison saw the commission's conclusion as supporting a specific viewpoint, while ignoring the role federal housing policies played in the crisis. Three other members of the FCIC dissented in a report separate from the Wallison filing. Write to Kerri Panchuk.