The liberal in question must not be from around these parts. And she isn’t.
Oomagh McDonald served for 11 years as a Labour Party member of Britain’s House of Commons, including four years as the “Opposition Spokesman for Labour on Treasury and Economic Affairs,” Gene Epstein tells us in his Barron’s review of McDonald’s new book, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Turning the American Dream Into a Nightmare. “With these credentials, she can hardly be dismissed as an antigovernment ideologue.”
But as Epstein documents, the story McDonald tells of the recent financial crisis “could hardly be more different from Obama’s version,” which focuses on greedy, predatory bankers and hamstrung regulators.
A “large slice of the blame,” she writes, must go to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises in the book’s title. “But above all,” McDonald declares, “it was the distortion of the banking sector to achieve political ends that ultimately caused the crisis.”
She elaborates: “Politicians, with their unthinking political stances, must … take the lion’s share of the responsibility. The vast subprime market … was the child of the affordable-housing ideology.”