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Strange Bedfellows Watch: "Unusual Alliances"

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It's mind-boggling that really smart people are continually amazed that mortgage bankers and "advocacy groups" are on the same side when it comes to fighting home-loan reforms.

It was this very combination of private profit and do-gooderism that set the stage for the housing bubble and kept policy makers in denial for so long. Why is anyone surprised that they are once again on common ground.

I think I'm going to have to start a new feature at NetNet keeping track of these silly stories. Here's the latest from the New York Times:

Now, as banking regulators are rewriting the rules for the mortgage market, unusual alliances have sprung up in opposition to tighter lending standards. Advocacy groups like the N.A.A.C.P. and the National Council of La Raza, a Latino civil rights organization, on the one hand, and the American Bankers Association on the other, are joining together to fight rules they say could make home loans less affordable for minority and working-class Americans.

The growing alliance between civil-rights organizations and banking lobbyists could extend beyond the current round of financial rule-making. If Congress turns its focus to restructuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for example, the same groups could voice similar concerns over anything that restricts the availability of credit for first-time home buyers.

What exactly is "unusual" about these alliances?

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