From the credit-where-credit-is-due file. The Nader campaign sends along an email pointing out that Nader more or less predicted the current meltdown:
Eight years ago, consumer advocate Ralph Nader correctly predicted that the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) were on track to follow the savings and loan industry of the 1980s and 90s into a big financial heap of trouble. Nobody listened, and taxpayers are now at risk of losing tens of billions of dollars. Wall Street is being shaken to its foundation. American International Group Inc., the biggest U.S. insurer by assets, is now teetering on the brink of ruin after suffering losses of $18 billion in the past three quarters, largely due to its sub prime mortgage exposure.
“Nader Rips Mae and Mac,” declared the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal on June 16, 2000. “Ralph Nader, warning of a potential taxpayer bailout similar to the savings and loan crisis, urged lawmakers to cut government benefits to mortgage-market giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which he called ‘poster children for corporate welfare.'”
Relatedly, I’ve gotten a lot of emails from conservatives in the last few weeks berating me for ignoring the fact that the heads of Fannie and Freddie were Democrats and gave a lot of money to Democrats. Fair point. It would be nice to say this crisis is the Republican failing, but it really is an ideological failing, one in which both parties were complicit.