NBC's Mitchell Ignores Causes of Housing Woes
To know where youâ€™re going, itâ€™s probably a good idea to know how you got to where you are.
NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell featured both Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obamaâ€™s solutions to the nationâ€™s housing woes on the March 25 â€śNBC Nightly News.â€ť
â€śClinton was the first of the two to sound alarms about the subprime mess with a plan a year ago,â€ť Mitchell said. â€śObama followed a week later with a call for a summit. Since then both have gotten more specific.â€ť
Mitchell explored how both Democrats would approach the problem, but neglected to dwell on what caused the crisis in the first place. However, there are some who blame Mitchellâ€™s husband, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, for getting us into the â€śsubprime mess.â€ť
Mitchellâ€™s colleague, CNBC â€śClosing Bellâ€ť host Maria Bartiromo, has blamed events that occurred under Greenspanâ€™s watch for the current woes.
â€śI really donâ€™t think you can blame Ben Bernanke for this, Tim,â€ť Bartiromo said on NBCâ€™s March 23 â€śMeet the Press.â€ť â€śYou know, I think that he is, as Erin said, throwing the kitchen sink, doing a lot at this point. And remember, heâ€™s a new chairman. You know, so what was put in place before he was actually in this role has set us up for this.â€ť
Greenspan even touted subprime adjustable rate mortgages, now a â€śmessâ€ť according to Mitchell, in February 2004. He suggested they might be a â€śgood deal,â€ť according to the June 23, 2004, USA Today.
Mitchell compared the plans of Obama and Clinton but did not evaluate the consequences of the proposals.
â€śIn addition to her $30-billion bailout, Clinton has called for a 90-day freeze on foreclosures and a five-year rate freeze on subprime loans,â€ť Mitchell said. â€śObamaâ€™s fund [is] $10 billion, a third the size of Clintonâ€™s. And he disagrees with Clintonâ€™s five-year freeze on subprime loan rates.â€ť
Benchmark Financial economist Jerry Bowyer warned of chaos should Clintonâ€™s ideas become law.
â€śIt would be a trigger event which would set off chaos in every financial market of consequence on planet Earth and would be a disaster for the U.S. economy,â€ť Bowyer told the Business & Media Institute in a March 12 story.
â€śI will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis,â€ť said McCain. â€śItâ€™s not the job of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether theyâ€™re big banks or small borrowers.â€ť