There are many culprits for the virtual meltdown of our financial system. But the Community Reinvestment Act is not one of them. The denunciation of CRA has, to our surprise and dismay, been circulated in certain media, and even within the credit union movement. For example, in a recent posting to the community development banking electronic list, which reaches thousands of people in the field, Al Menard categorically declared that “Clearly the culprit and originating force in [the financial meltdown] was the CRA.”

Notwithstanding the credentials Menard cites–Ph.D. in economics, Certified Credit Union Executive–his arguments do not stand up to scrutiny. It is important to refute his erroneous assertion because it threatens to lead people down a road that is bad for the American people–and bad for credit unions.

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