NBC's Mitchell Ignores Husband Greenspan's Ties to 'Subprime Mess'

March 26th, 2008 5:43 PM

If there was ever an obvious conflict of interest in economic reporting, this may very well qualify.

NBC chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell evaluated the housing crisis solution proposals of both Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) on the March 25 "NBC Nightly News."

"Clinton was the first of the two to sound alarms about the subprime mess with a plan a year ago," Mitchell said. "Obama followed a week later with a call for a summit. Since then both have gotten more specific."

However, she ignored some of the policy decisions that made these subprime mortgages possible in the first place. There are some who blame Mitchell's famous husband, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, for getting us into the "subprime mess."

During Greenspan's tenure as Fed chief, Greenspan cut the Fed funds rate to 1 percent and held it there for more than a year. Greenspan even advocated that consumers take advantage of subprime adjustable rate mortgages according to a story in the June 23, 2004, USA Today.

Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) has a different idea about the housing crisis and NBC covered that as well. He explained his position in a speech earlier the same day.

"I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis," said McCain. "It's not the job of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they're big banks or small borrowers."