Thomas Woods Exclusive Interview: Vox Day speaks with best-selling author about state of U.S. economy


When you say the government created the housing bubble, are you also including the Federal Reserve as part of the equation?
In my chapter on the subject, I show there were a half-dozen contributing factors, and some of them were clearly government factors. For example, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, which are quasi-public, quasi-private agencies whose exact status was not altogether clear to people. It was more or less taken for granted that they would be bailed out by taxpayers if it should come to that, and they got special privileges such as tax and regulatory breaks that were not available to anyone else in the housing market. All of this added up to an incentive to take greater risks than a truly free market actor would take. There’s been a lot of talk among conservatives about the Community Reinvestment Act, which was a Carter-era law that required banks to make loans against their best interests so as not to be sued for so-called discrimination. On the left, there’s been a lot of frustration that this act has been targeted [for helping cause the housing bubble]. They point out that since it dates back to Carter and the late ’70s, how can it be blamed for a bubble 30 years later? The answer is that the act didn’t really have enforcement teeth until the mid-1990s under Clinton. It’s not like we’re just desperately looking around to blame the most irrelevant thing.