WASHINGTON, April 7 Former Federal Reserve
Chairman Alan Greenspan chastised critics on Wednesday by
pointing out that Congress pushed the U.S. central bank to make
sure lending to poorer Americans kept rising in the 2000s.
"If the Fed as a regulator had tried to thwart what
everyone perceived as a fairly broad consensus that the trend
was in the right direction, homeownership was rising and that
was an unmitigated good, then Congress would have clamped down
on us," he told a questioner at a congressionally appointed
commission investigating the financial crisis.
"There's a presumption that the Federal Reserve's an
independent agency, and it is up to a point, but we are a
creature of the Congress and if ... we had said we're running
into a bubble and we need to retrench, the Congress would say
'we haven't a clue what you're talking about'," Greenspan
(Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by James Dalgleish)