Audit Notes: Fannie/Freddie Already, Obama on Finreg, WaMu’s Valukas?

Next time you hear someone spouting the line that Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Community Reinvestment Act were the main culprits in the housing bubble, refer them to this chart, which Barry Ritholtz points out.

Pray tell what caused the same boom and bust in these other nations?

And how could Fannie/Freddie or the CRA be responsible — that only applies to the US — when you have the same, global, coordinated rise in prices?

The answer: Money that was too easy too long.

— President Obama signed financial reform into law today, and the Washington Post quotes him saying this nonsense:

…because of this law, the American people will never again be asked to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes. There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts, period.

I’m not sure which is worse: The idea that Obama actually believes that or that he doesn’t. If he does, he’s trying to fool himself. If he doesnt, he’s trying to fool us.

Bloomberg reports that Washington Mutual is getting a bankruptcy examiner, “a la Valukas and Lehman,” as Francine McKenna says.

That would be good news for the public’s right to know, as we saw with the Valukas Report, which got a ton of damning information into the light of day.

We already know, thanks to The Seattle Times, the Puget Sound Business Journal, and others, that Washington Mutual was a hotbed of predatory lending. What would subpoena power find?

Say, what’s Mr. Valukas up to these days?

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.