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Blame banks in Bush's recession

A reader took Jules Witcover to task for suggesting that the current recession can be blamed on actions by President George W. Bush ("Blaming Bush no longer works for Obama," July 14) and suggests that Democrats were also complicit.

I feel strongly that the 2007 recession will always be considered George Bush's, as the 1929 Depression is still considered Herbert Hoover's even after 80 years. After all, it was the deregulation of banks by President Bush and failure to take timely action by Alan Greenspan of the Federal Reserve that allowed Wall Street to take irresponsible actions that were primary contributors to the housing and bank failures.

Republicans often like to put blame for the housing crisis with its increase in foreclosures and sub-prime mortgages on actions by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginny Mae, government assisted agencies. But the facts are that during the years of the housing price bubble, securitization by government agencies accounted for only a small portion of home mortgage loans, fewer than 5 per cent of all residential mortgage originations according to "Inside Mortgage Finance, 2009".

Blame here belongs squarely on securitization by private banks.

Jack Kinstlinger, Baltimore

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