If I read about Barney Frank saying “this just goes to show that free markets don’t work! Caw! Caw!” one more time, I think I’m going to go insane. This current crisis has very little to do with free markets. It has a lot more to do with Barney Frank than Adam Smith. It is far from clear we would be in anything like this mess if the financial monsters, half private, half public, created by Congress in the form of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, never existed or were at least not allowed to grow to such gargantuan proportions. It was those institutions that crowded out private finance and subsidized rotten mortgage loans on a scale few understood until recently, to their horror. Barney Frank had much more to do with aiding and protecting Fannie and Fred in their cancerous growth than most anybody. For him to say this proves that free markets don’t work is too ironic to be funny.