Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More on The Mortgage Mess: A Must Read










The Investors Business Daily has an excellent piece on the Fannie/Freddie meltdown. It is a short but powerful must read.

Here are a few key excerpts:

---> Barack Obama has repeatedly blasted "Bush-McCain" economic policies as the cause, as if the two were joined at the hip.

Funny, because over the past 8 years, those who tried to fix Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — the trigger for today's widespread global financial meltdown — were stymied repeatedly by congressional Democrats.

This wasn't an accident. Though some key Republicans deserve blame as well, it was a concerted Democratic effort that made reform of Fannie and Freddie impossible.

---> It all started, innocently enough, in 1994 with President Clinton's rewrite of the Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act.

Ostensibly intended to help deserving minority families afford homes — a noble idea — it instead led to a reckless surge in mortgage lending that has pushed our financial system to the brink of chaos.

---> Meanwhile, Fannie and Freddie also became a kind of jobs program for out-of-work Democrats.

Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, the CEOs under whom the worst excesses took place in the late 1990s to mid-2000s, were both high-placed Democratic operatives and advisers to presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Clinton administration official Jamie Gorelick also got taken care of by the Fannie-Freddie circle. So did top Clinton aide Rahm Emanuel, among others.

On the surface, this sounds innocent. Someone has to head the highly political Fannie and Freddie, right?

But this is why crony capitalism is so dangerous. Those in power at Fannie and Freddie, as the sirens began to wail about some of their more egregious practices, began to bully those who opposed them.

---> President Bush, reviled and criticized by Democrats, tried no fewer than 17 times, by White House count, to raise the issue of Fannie-Freddie reform. A bill cleared the Senate Banking panel in 2005, but stalled due to implacable opposition from Democrats and a critical core of GOP abettors. Rep. Barney Frank, who now runs the powerful House Financial Services Committee, helped spearhead that fight.

The last excerpt forces me to amend something I spouted off about in an earlier post: Apparently President Bush DID raise the issue, over and over.

Take the time to read this important IBD article...



CW

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