THE NEW YORK TIMES | Cause of the Financial Crisis

To the Editor:

There is a reason that Peter Wallison’s “passion” to rewrite the history of the 2008 financial crisis is a “lonely quest” (“A Crusader Against the Common View of the Financial Crisis,” by William D. Cohan, Street Scene column,, March 12). The evidence presented by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission contradicts his revisionist view of the crisis. All nine of his fellow commissioners — five Democrats, three Republicans and one independent — rejected his theory that government housing policies were the primary cause of the crisis.

The data shows that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac followed, rather than led, Wall Street in expanding subprime lending. Delinquency rates for loans purchased or securitized by Fannie and Freddie were dramatically lower than for mortgages securitized by Wall Street. And Fannie and Freddie mortgage securities, with their implicit government backing, undisputedly did not cause the losses that cascaded through the big Wall Street financial firms.



Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission