"The Community Reinvestment Act was pushed hard by Bill Clinton, although it originated under Jimmy Carter. Asked about it the other day on one of the morning TV talk shows, Clinton said times back then were different. Fannie and Freddie had lots of money and he (in his infinite wisdom) decided that the money should not go to share holders or to executive compensation, but should be used to put the poor into homes."Go read the whole thing. We'll leave the porch light on.
As you can imagine, wonderful things happen when the government strong arms corporations as to how they should spend their money and, better yet, how they should assess the qualifications of home buyers. So the country's biggest buyers of mortgages were pressured into lowering the qualifications of applicants, in order to increase the percentage of poor that got mortgages. By 2006, 30% of all mortgages went to people who in any other circumstances wouldn't qualify.
Now the political left would like you to know that the CRA-controlled institutions did not lend the largest percentage of sub-prime mortgages. But that's information by deception, because the mortgage business is a competitive business. If the government strong arms one part of the business, the other part will respond. And strong arm was what the Clinton administration did, even using the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to pressure banks to lend more money to the disadvantaged. Caught in the act, a spokesman for the office noted that its abuse of power was "for the best of intentions:" the same inclination used to pave the road to hell.