Barney Frank - Relationship with Herb Moses

Last Updated : Jun 02, 2011

Note: Some Text taken directly from Business and Media Institute source

Barney Frank and Herb Moses

Congressman Barney Frank has served on the House Banking Committee since becoming a congressman in 1981 and became the ranking Democrat on the committee in 2003. He became chairman of the committee, now called the House Financial Services Committee, in 2007.  The committee is the primary House body which along with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) has jurisdiction over the government-sponsored enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

From 1988 to 1998, Congressman Frank (who is openly gay) was involved in a relationship with Herb Moses.  Herb Moses was the assistant director for product initiatives at Fannie Mae and had been at the forefront of relaxing lending restrictions at the company for rural customers, according to the Feb. 23, 1998, issue of National Mortgage News (NMN).

The relationship between Congressman Frank and Mr. Moses was not a passing one.  The two men shared an apartment for many years, used the term spouse when referring to each other, and Mr. Moses was issued a "spouse pin" for parking and other privileges.  Barney Frank  Frank was and remains a stalwart defender of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  While Moses served at Fannie Mae and was Frank’s partner, Frank was actively working to support GSEs, according to several news outlets.

In a 1991 article, Herb Moses is quoted as stating:

 

Legislative Actions by Congressman Frank

In 1991, Frank and former Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., lobbied for Fannie to soften rules on multi-family home mortgages although those dwellings showed a default rate twice that of single-family homes, according to the Nov. 22, 1991, Boston Globe.

BusinessWeek reported in its Nov. 14, 1994, issue that Fannie Mae called on Frank to exert his influence against a Housing & Urban Development proposal that would force the GSE to focus on minority and low-income buyers and police bias by lenders regardless of their location. Fannie Mae opposed HUD on the issue because it claimed doing so would “ignore the urban middle class.” 

In 2003, Congressman Frank (who was the senior Democrat on the Committee) aggressively campaigned to resist regulation attempted by the Bush administration to monitor and curtail the very lending which Congressman Frank and others blamed for the collapse.

Moses left Fannie in 1998 to start his own pottery business. National Mortgage News called Moses a “mortgage guru” and said he developed “many of Fannie Mae's affordable housing and home improvement lending programs. Moses ended his relationship with Frank just months after he left Fannie.

 

Congressional Opinion

Although mainstream news sources largely ignored the relationship, several news outlets and Congressmen expressed opinions that the relationship was an obvious conflict of interest.

Dan Gainor, Vice President of the Business & Media Institute, and a T. Boone Pickens Fellow said the following: 

 

A source cited by Fox News stated the following:

 

References

[1] Website: Business and Media Institute Article: Media Mum on Barney Frank's Fannie Mae Love Connection Author: Jeff Poor Accessed on: 04/06/2010

[2] Website: Fox News Article: Lawmaker Accused of Fannie Mae Conflict of Interest Author: Bill Sammon Accessed on: 04/06/2010

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