In [Paul] Krugman's article blaming the "subprime" mortgage mess on the free market, he claims that the Comptroller of the Currency should have been regulating the lending business more stringently. If so, this all might have been avoided, he says. As usual, he hasn't the foggiest idea of what he's talking about.
The fact is, the Comptroller of the Currency and the Fed itself have been busy enforcing the "Community Reinvestment Act" of 1977 for the past 30 years, which pressures banks to make uneconomical loans to uncreditworthy borrowers, euphemistically called "sub-prime" borrowers. They're not financial deadbeats, or people who never pay their bills on time. They're just a tiny, tiny bit below "prime" borrowers, in Governmentspeak.
Once again, Krugman gets everything ass backwards: Government regulation of the credit markets is a major CAUSE of the "subprime" mortgage debacle, not the solution. (Of course, the Greenspan Fed itself is the cause of the now-burst housing bubble).
~ Thomas DiLorenzo, "Crazed Keynesianism (and stupid, too)," LewRockwell.com blog post, December 21, 2007