Frank was the genius that claimed that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under."
In the recent debates, Herman Cain appropriately remarked that the much ballyhooed Dodd-Frank financial reform statute still does not rein in either of these key agencies. (He also famously quipped that the other two problems with the bill were "Dodd and Frank.")
The former chair of the House Financial Services Committee, in late November Frank announced his retirement from Congress after serving 16 terms in office.
The Waterbury (Conn.) Republican-American summed up Frank's career as follows:
With his fellow Democrat, former Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., shoulders much of the blame for today's economic catastrophe and the fiscal crises plaguing governments at all levels. They spent years pushing policies that ultimately required lenders, under the threat of government retribution and political demagoguery, to write mortgages, for borrowers with little or no down payment and no hope of repaying.
To backstop trillions in reckless borrowing, Rep. Frank and then-Sen. Dodd helped establish Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the No. 1 buyer of worthless mortgages and then blocked any number of attempts to reform those government-sponsored enterprises to keep them from failing.
All the while, they combined to rake many tens of thousands in campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie, according to the Center for Responsive PoliticHere is, in part, National Review Online's send off for the Congressman:
But though his private life spilled over into his public duties, it is as a champion of a different kind of pay-for-play operation, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that the congressman did the most damage to the country. The government-backed mortgage giants were at the center of the housing bubble and the subsequent financial crisis. Representative Frank was a stalwart defender of the organizations, even after the government uncovered “extensive” fraud at Fannie Mae and found that Freddie Mac had illegally channeled funds to its political benefactors. Again, Representative Frank’s personal life intruded into the story: He was sexually involved with a Fannie Mae executive during a time when he was voting on laws affecting the organization. The final cost of the Fannie/Freddie bailouts will run into the hundreds of billions of dollars, and the real damage that the organizations did to the U.S. economy — and the world economy, for that matter — probably is incalculable.
In response to a financial crisis in which he was a significant figure, Representative Frank helped to craft a financial-reform law that bears his name. The drafting of Dodd-Frank began as a punitive measure, evolved into a dispensary of political favors, and in the end did little or nothing to address the problems that led to the 2008–09 crisis or to prevent similar crises in the future. Which means that we may have Barney Frank partly to thank not only for the last financial crisis but for the next one.After 32 years in office advocating virtually every half-baked liberal policy, Frank finally got something right. He is apparently supporting the repeal of the Obamacare "death panels" (those same death panels that supposedly didn't exist in the socialized medicine scheme according to all the Palin bashers):
Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Barney Frank announced on [November 29] his support for the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a significant portion of President Obama’s health care overhaul...IPAB is a 15-member board, appointed by the president, scheduled to convene in 2014. In order to reduce per capita Medicare spending, the board will recommend levels at which Medicare recipients, including seniors, can be reimbursed for health care expenses.