In a Congress full of them, Meeks was among the most useful of idiots. Like Senator Kit Bond (#6) and his House colleagues Barney Frank (#21) and Maxine Waters (#47), Meeks was a tireless defender of the GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as Fannie’s CEO – Franklin Raines (#40). Without the support of Congressman Meeks and his colleagues, the housing bubble never could have become as large as it did.
In his capacity as defender of the GSEs and Franklin Raines, Meeks routinely battled OFHEO, its director Armando Falcon and anyone who questioned the perceived wisdom latent in President Clinton’s (#12) plan to increase homeownership rates. Representative of Meeks’ defense of the GSEs and his complete cluelessness of the burgeoning housing bubble – in terms of homeownership the bubble peaked in April 2004 – is Meeks challenging Falcon with the following in September 2003;
“I’m just pissed off at OFHEO, because if it wasn’t for you, I don’t think we’d be here in the first place. And now the problem that we have and the problem that we are faced with is maybe some individuals who wanted to do away with GSEs in the first place, you’ve given them an excuse to try to have this forum so that we can talk about it and maybe change the direction and the mission of what the GSE’s had which they’ve done a tremendous job. There’s been nothing that was indicated that’s wrong with Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac has come up on its own…The question that presents itself is the competence that your agency has with reference to deciding and regulating these GSEs.”
Not exactly the sort of statement that stands the test of time.
For the other congressional supporters of the GSEs and their ultimately disastrous impact on the housing market see Kit Bond (#6), Barney Frank (#21), and Maxine Waters (#47). For the politically connected, no-talent hacks placed in charge of the largest mortgage finance company in the world, Fannie Mae, see Jamie Gorelick (#26) and Franklin Raines (#40).