One theme that has come up in the election is blaming the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) for the current financial situation. CRA came out of Congress in the ‘70s, and there were good, valid reasons to put pressure on banks to lend in areas where they weren’t lending. In the ‘80s Congress gave the law some by creating a rating system to evaluate how banks were doing on their CRA, and then banks had to take it seriously. They worked at getting outstanding ratings, and that was a good thing for a lot of neighborhoods that hadn’t seen private investment in years. But here’s the key thing: no one in the community development movement ever asked a banker to make a bad loan. Blaming CRA for the current housing crisis is really a crock of b.s.