Tag Archives: fannie mae

Who’da thunk it? WaPo pins crisis on Democrats

An editorial in Monday’s Washington Post sets the record straight — at long, long, long, long, long, long last — on who bears the lion’s share of the blame for the current economic collapse. (Link via Captain Ed.)

Now that the worst is over and people have settled on the Bush Administration and John McCain as the blameworthy ones, the WaPo has jumped in to save the day with their brilliant revelation (which the hobos of the blogosphere have been screaming at the top of our virtual lungs for weeks now) that everybody’s got it precisely backwards.

They’ve finally clued in to the fact that the culprit was the deliberate loosening of lending standards by Democrats so that poor people (read: people to whom no sensible lender would ever think of issuing a mortgage) would be able to take out a home loan, regardless of ability to pay the thing back.  Not only that, but Bush and McCain in particular pushed more than once to exercise tighter oversight over this lax new policy’s primary vehicles, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  These efforts at better regulation were stiffarmed at every turn by Banking Committee Democrats in the House such as Barney Frank and Maxine Waters, and those in the Senate such as Christopher Dodd and — the horror! — Barack Obama.  Dodd and Obama each took more campaign money from Fannie and Freddie lobbyists than all 98 of their Senate colleagues, which is an achievement for Obama, who has been in the Senate less than four years.

In Hot Air’s “Quote of the Day,” Allahpundit cites Orson Scott Card (described in an Editor’s Note as “a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism”):

If you [in the journalistic trade] want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation’s prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama’s door.

Read the whole opinion piece, because it’s a scorcher.

Somebody obviously slapped McCain awake

The McCain campaign has initiated a new, two-pronged attack, using prongs that should have been sharpened and brandished quite some time ago.

The McCain-Palin ticket appears finally to have been jarred awake by the prospect of humiliating defeat and begun going public with what I think are Barack Obama’s biggest exploitable weaknesses:  the bad company he keeps, and his fumbling of Fannie and Freddie.

Details, analysis, and links galore below the break.

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But they said Fannie and Freddie were fine…!

The Wall Street Journal (via Instapundit) has a long roundup of Democrats in the House and Senate who were howling at the very implication that anything might be wrong with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, back in 2003-2006 when the Republicans were beating their heads against the wall trying to reform oversight of both.  I posted video on this earlier.

As I’ve said on this blog before, McCain had better start running against Congress but quick; he’s the only one who can pull it off, and Congress has no fans left.  After being stabbed in the back by Nancy Pelosi last weekend, you’d think he’d be eager.

Captain Ed has a pop quiz.

(On a lighter note, Jim Treacher has an exclusive advance look at Ifill’s debate questions.)

Former Democratic Presidents for McCain ’08

Allahpundit alerts readers to the newest McCain ad, featuring the man who, perversely, has recently become one of the best things to happen to his campaign:  former president Bill Clinton.

Sure, Clinton’s own OMB Director, Franklin Raines, went on to become Fannie Mae’s CEO, and under his leadership Fannie Mae would take on responsibility for billions in unstable loans to people who could never pay them off, and in 2004 Raines would leave Fannie under twin clouds of an SEC investigation over accounting irregularities and an OFHEO civil suit over using these irregularities to justify huge bonuses to himself and other Fannie execs.  However, it looks like McCain/Palin is willing to let that slide, since admittedly the Clinton clip does make for very effective ad copy.

Consider Clinton’s public doling out of blame to congressional Democrats for lack of GSE reform, and juxtapose it with his equally public defense of McCain’s call to postpone the debate to make time for bailout negotiations on the Hill.  Methinks PUMA power suffuses even the highest echelons of the Democratic hierarchy:  exactly who will be getting Bill Clinton’s vote, anyway?

The blame game: Who’s right?

An enormously fascinating video on YouTube goes quite a long way toward answering this question (hat tip: Power Line).

Roger Simon at PajamasMedia provides a digest of “data points from the video and other sources.”

YouTube’s C-SPAN corner isn’t likely to do the Democrats many favors this year.

Let’s go to the videotape

A number of conservative, right-leaning, and libertarian bloggers are drawing attention to various videos (like the one below) of compiled C-SPAN footage clips from a series of 2004 hearings on the need for regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The upshot:  Republicans called the GSEs and their executives, including Franklin Raines, out on the carpet, while Democrats (notably today’s blame-meister, Rep. Barney Frank) denied anything was wrong, attacking the regulating agency and at more than one point playing the race card.

The video is pretty damning by anyone’s lights.  How long before these clips make the jump from the blogosphere to the newsosphere?

Changing market rules in mid-game…UPDATE: The larger question

One of my favorite free-market economists, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, writes that it was a “terrible idea” for SEC Chairman Chris Cox to ban short selling in an effort to keep the stock market from sinking even lower.

Short selling, or trading stocks in such a manner that you are effectively betting that the share price will decline, provides a balance to traders who (all too often) put too much faith in corporations’ own friendly reporters and media releases.  In Kudlow’s words, short sellers “keep the market honest,” preventing stock prices from inflating past their realistic worth.

In a broader sense, even a relative economic dilettante like myself knows that banning short selling, even for a little while, is an improper government intrusion onto the market and a general betrayal of free-market principles.  Once, back when Chairman Cox was Congressman Cox, he was a staunch defender of those principles, a solid Friedmanite.  It’s becoming apparent why John McCain was thundering for Cox’s ouster yesterday.

Click the link above and read Kudlow’s post, including his assessment of what Cox should have done.  An UPDATE addressing a bigger question not addressed above follows below the break.

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