Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Opinion

News Opinion

Working poor didn't cause crash

I must take issue with letter writer Stanley Glinka's assertion that it was "the policy of forcing banks to give loans to people who could not afford them" that led to our current financial mess ("Stop blaming Bush," May 1).

First of all, we need to remember that the bad loans that crashed the economy were in the trillions of dollars, and low-income Americans obviously did not receive trillions of dollars in loans in the years up to the crash. There is legislation called the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which was designed to force FDIC-insured institutions to apply the same loan standards to all of their customers in an effort to stop the "red-lining" of low-income minority neighborhoods. But that legislation was passed in 1977.

If giving loans to poor people was the cause of the 2007-08 Great Recession, then why did it take 30 years? Also, the CRA only applies to retail banks, not to investment houses like Goldman-Sachs, giant insurance firms like AIG, or mortgage companies like Countrywide, which were the overwhelming source of the vast majority of bad subprime loans that fueled the real estate bubble. Poor people do not have the economic or political power to take down our economy. The top 1 percent do, however. That is where independents, conservatives and liberals need to focus with regards to future reform.

Jay Hilgartner, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Free community college is a bad idea

    Free community college is a bad idea

    Free community college is another poorly thought idea from President Barack Obama ("Obama turns populist in State of the Union speech," Jan. 21). Am I against opening up the opportunity for many who cannot afford college? Absolutely not, but here is my concern. We already require K-12 education...

  • It's not the size of the government that's the problem

    It's not the size of the government that's the problem

    Some believe the central political issue of our era is the size of the government. They're wrong. The central issue is whom the government is for.

  • If the economy isn't as rosy as it should be, blame the GOP [Letter]

    If the economy isn't as rosy as it should be, blame the GOP [Letter]

    Commentator Peter Morici's recent column on President Barack Obama's job numbers is a real flight of fancy ("The economy under Obama is not as rosy as numbers suggest," Oct. 7).

  • How Republicans are ruining America

    How Republicans are ruining America

    On the national level, the cost of citizens not voting is quickly becoming apparent. Economically, the seeds of the next recession have been sown by the Republican weakening of financial controls so once again the greedy of Wall Street can gamble on dangerous financial derivatives with failure...

  • Regulate the banks

    Regulate the banks

    Dan Rodricks' recent column attributing amnesia to our Congress and president for dispensing with the requirement that big banks refrain from making risky investments with taxpayers' deposits was right on target ("For too many in Washington, a phantom recession," Dec. 21).

  • Milking the rich is not a solution

    Milking the rich is not a solution

    I was saddened and disappointed to read The Sun's editorial regarding President Barack Obama's State of the Union address ("Mr. Obama's tax plan," Jan. 21).

  • Mr. Obama's tax plan

    Mr. Obama's tax plan

    It's a pretty safe bet that Congress is not going to react to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address by immediately turning around and agreeing to his priorities like free community college and mandatory sick leave. When was the last time any presidential initiative got that kind of...

  • Obama's middle class 'help' is useless

    Obama's middle class 'help' is useless

    All we hear from President Barack Obama is that he is for the middle class. Well, I consider myself middle class. I am a retired homeowner, so let's see how this pans out for me.

Comments
Loading

75°