NBC's Mitchell Ignores Causes of Housing Woes
To know where youâre going, itâs 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 Obamaâs solutions to the nationâs housing woes on the March 25 âNBC Nightly News.â
âClinton was the first of the two to sound alarms about the subprime mess with a plan a year ago,â Mitchell said. âObama followed a week later with a call for a summit. Since then both have gotten more specific.â
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 Mitchellâs husband, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, for getting us into the âsubprime mess.â
Mitchellâs colleague, CNBC âClosing Bellâ host Maria Bartiromo, has blamed events that occurred under Greenspanâs watch for the current woes.
âI really donât think you can blame Ben Bernanke for this, Tim,â Bartiromo said on NBCâs March 23 âMeet the Press.â âYou know, I think that he is, as Erin said, throwing the kitchen sink, doing a lot at this point. And remember, heâs 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
Greenspan even touted subprime adjustable rate mortgages, now a âmessâ according to Mitchell, in February 2004. He suggested they might be a âgood deal,â 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.
âIn 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 Mitchell said. âObamaâs fund [is] $10 billion, a third the size of Clintonâs. And he disagrees with Clintonâs five-year freeze on subprime loan rates.â
Benchmark Financial economist Jerry Bowyer warned of chaos should Clintonâs ideas become law.
âIt 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 Bowyer told the Business & Media Institute in a March 12 story.
âI will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis,â said McCain. âItâs not the job of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether theyâre big banks or small borrowers.â