Cisneros: Not the Government's Fault

Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros says the housing crisis is the fault of brought unscrupulous business people, not the government.
June 17, 2010, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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In a recent speech to the National Association of Real Estate Editors, Cisneros said the government wasn't to blame for the crisis in the housing market -- at least not completely.

"'The real problem occurred not out of a governmental push, but out of a hijacking of the homeownership process by some unscrupulous interests,' Mr. Cisneros said to an audience of roughly 50 at the Hilton Austin hotel.

Mr. Cisneros did acknowledge some fault with federal housing policies of the 1990s and 2000s. There wasn't enough willingness to regulate, he said. Specifically, the feds missed opportunities in the 1990s to consider regulating risky financial instruments such as derivatives and complicated hedging strategies. 'It was bipartisan,' he said of the bias against regulation. 'Both the Clinton and Bush Administration chose not to do it.'"

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Published on Thursday, June 3, 2010 in The Wall Street Journal
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