Via Raw Story, this very enlightening news that the Bush administration blocked efforts to enforce laws against predatory lending. We are so shocked:
Federal regulators in the Bush administration blocked attempts by state governments to prevent predatory lending practices that resulted in the financial crisis now stalking the American economy, a new study from the University of North Carolina says.
In 2004, the Office of the Currency Comptroller, an obscure regulatory agency tasked with ensuring the fiscal soundness of America’s banks, invoked an 1863 law to give itself the power to override state laws against predatory lending. The OCC told states they could not enforce predatory-lending laws, and all banks would be subject only to less-strict federal laws.
Now, a research paper (PDF) from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Community Capital shows that those anti-predatory lending laws had actually worked. States that had stricter regulations on issuing mortgages were found to have fewer foreclosures.
The study may be the first scientific evidence to back up claims made by many critics that the Bush administration and earlier administrations allowed last year’s financial crisis to happen by not enforcing common-sense regulations on lenders.
Here endeth the lesson in why Cons should never, ever be allowed to get their grubby hands on the reins of power ever again.