Posts Tagged ‘Barney Frank’

Democrat Lies About Their Key Role In 2008 Economic Collapse Reaches Laughable Proportions

October 13, 2011

In 2008, our economy collapsed.  So Americans elected the people who had engineered the collapse.  Because apparently we have the same nihilistic desire to go the way of the Dodo bird that every single other great culture in history degenerated to before their collapses.

Barney Frank: The Community Reinvestment Act Was a ‘Republican Failure’
By Jim Geraghty
Posted on October 12, 2011 9:19 AM

In today’s Wall Street Journal:

Asked who was to blame for the 2008 financial crisis and whether any bankers should have been prosecuted, Mrs. Bachmann and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich put the onus on the federal government, with Mr. Gingrich suggesting that former Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank, former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, should both be jailed.

“It was the federal government that pushed the subprime loans . . . that pushed the community reinvestment act,” said Mrs. Bachmann, citing what she considered the causes of the housing meltdown.

Mr. Frank released an emailed statement in response: “In fact, Chris Dodd and I were in the minority from 1995 until 2006, so Gingrich is blaming us for Republican failures.”

So panicked is the response from Congressman “I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing” Frank that he forgets that from May 2001 to the end of 2002, Democrats controlled the Senate and Dodd was the second-ranking Democrat on the committee after chairman Paul Sarbanes.

It is also revealing that Frank believes that Bush-administration assent to policies he supported means that the consequences of those policies are, ipso facto, “Republican failures.” As Peter Wallison lays out on the Journal’s op-ed page, you can blame Wall Street for reckless gambling on mortgage-backed securities all you want, but the risk of the mortgage-backed securities never takes off unless the federal government starts pushing lenders to lower their standards for worthy borrowers. Sure, the big-bank investors never should have gone dancing in the minefield, but the minefield was set up by federal policies that encouraged massive loans to “borrowers with blemished credit, or were loans with no or low down payments, no documentation, or required only interest payments.”

It is rather amazing that with laughably inaccurate defenses like this, Frank is still considered a significant voice in the Democratic party today.

First of all, the Community Reinvestment Act was passed in 1977 during the Carter administration the last time Democrats controlled EVERYTHING.  For the Democrat control of the House, see here; for the Senate, see here).  It is yet another of so many other examples of the clear and present danger that Democrats pose to the United States of America.

The Community Reinvestment Act was radically and insanely expanded in the last two years of the Clinton Administration.

The problem that Republicans had in doing away with the atomic bomb buried in the underbelly of the once-free market mortgage system was that to do away with CRA would have been decried as “racist.”  Because Democrats are vile cockroaches and that is basically the only play in their playbook.

For his part, Barney Frank was successful SEVENTEEN TIMES in shielding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from regulation (at least in part so his homosexual lover could have a job).  The article I link to includes an interesting image:

The Fact of the matter is that Democrats were crawling all over this economic collapse:

Bill Clinton admitted:

“I think the responsibility the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

But the same Democrats who refused to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” became hard-core obstructionists in blocking Bush from doing ANYTHING to save our economy even as Republicans like John McCain repeatedly warned that America was the Titanic and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the two giant icebergs.  And then after the collapse that Democrats did everything they could to cause, they were ready to demonize Bush and the very people who had warned of the impending disaster and who had repeatedly tried to avert that disaster.

The mainstream media refused to hold liberals accountable for the failure of liberal policies because the mainstream media are a) liberals themselves and b) outright propagandists.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac expanded to gargantuan proportions, controlling well over 60% of the mortgages in America.  When Fannie and Freddie collapsed FIRST BEFORE ANY OTHER BANKING INSTITUTION, that collapsed initiated a loss of confidence in the private lenders because those lenders had purchased billions in Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s toxic assets.

If you EVER want to have a functioning economy again, never elect another Democrat for so much as rat catcher.  Repudiate racist race-based policies that are socialist interferences with the free market, and allow the free market to make loans to people – and ONLY to the people – who can afford to pay those loans back, regardless of the color of the applicant’s skin.

Obama promised to “fundamentally transform” America.  And he’s done so.  If you like blacks and poor people being crushed, than you ought to be happy about Obama’s “fundamental transformation.”  Because that is exactly what the man has brought with his idiotic Marxist policies.

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US Is in Even Worse Shape Financially Than Greece. And Why Is That In The Age Of Obama???

June 14, 2011

Thanks for “fundamentally transforming” our economy, Barry Hussein!

We’re constantly being told that Obama has done a great deal to make our economy stronger.  Because who wouldn’t rather have 9.1% unemployment than that 7.6% that Obama started out with.

The thing that most killed the US economy in 2008 was the sheer weight of godawful subprime mortgages that Democrats imposed on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and all the other mortgage lenders in order to create more “fairness” and allow everyone (especially racial minorities) to have “the right” to own a home whether they could actually afford to do so or not.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “Government Sponsored Enterprises,” all the investors knew.  So even as Fannie and Freddie began bundling together thousands of riskier and ever riskier mortgages into giant mortgage backed securities to advance Democrat-enacted policies, large investment houses continued to gobble them up.  After all, this was an arm of the United States Government – and the United States Government ALWAYS pays its debts.

Like all scams, it worked for a while.  But as soon as there was a correction in the dramatically overvalued housing market, the whole boondoggle began to implode.  And since Fannie and Freddie had bundled all kinds of bad mortgages in with the good ones, there was absolutely no way for anyone to know how much risk was contained in any of these giant investment vehicles all these giant private banking houses found themselves holding.

And suddenly the perception that Government Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “safe investments” turned into a “misperception.”  And the fecal matter began to hit the rotary oscillator bigtime.

Fannie and Freddie were the first to collapse.  The big private players who had played ball with them shortly followed.

President George Bush tried SEVENTEEN TIMES to reform Fannie and Freddie when there was actually a chance to do something.  Go back to what the New York Times stated in 2003:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10—  The Bush  administration today recommended the most significant  regulatory  overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings  and loan  crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new   agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume   supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored   companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending   industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with   Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the   companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business.   And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks   of their ballooning portfolios.

Republicans were demonized for “deregulation” by the dishonest Democrat Party machine.  But they TRIED to regulate what needed to be regulated.  Democrats stopped them.

Many Republicans like John McCain literally begged Democrats to do something before it was too late.  But Democrats threatened to filibuster any bill that in any way prevented Fannie and Freddie from continuing the reckless economy-killing policies.  Conservative economists such as Peter Wallison had been predicting the Fannie and Freddie boondoggles would cause an economic collapse since at least 1999.  Wallison had warned back then:

 In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980′s.

From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

But rigid opposition from Democrats – especially Democrats like Senator Barack Obamawho took more campaign money from Fannie and Freddie and dirty crony capitalism outfits like corrupt Lehman Bros. than ANYONE in his short Senate stint – prevented any “hope and change” of necessary reform from saving the US economy.

The timeline is clear: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were giant behemoths that began to stagger under their own corrupt weight, as even the New York Times pointed out:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are so big — they own or guarantee roughly half of the nation’s $12 trillion mortgage market — that the thought that they might falter once seemed unimaginable. But now a trickle of worries about the companies, which has been slowly building for years, has suddenly become a torrent.

And it was FANNIE and FREDDIE that collapsed FIRST before ANY of the private investment banks, which collapsed as a result of having purchased the very mortgaged backed securities that the Government Sponsored Enterprises SOLD THEM.  It wasn’t until Fannie and Freddie collapsed that investors began to look with horror at all the junk that these GSE boondoggles had been pimping.

The man who predicted the collapse in 1999 wrote a follow-up article titled, “Blame Fannie Mae and Congress For the Credit Mess.”  It really should have read, “Blame DEMOCRATS.”  Because they were crawling all over these GSEs that they had themselves created like the cockroaches they are.  But Wallison is nonpartisan.

That same New York Times article that said President Bush was trying to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ended with this demonstration of Democrats standing against necessary reform:

These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac —  are not  facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative  Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services  Committee. ”The  more people exaggerate these problems, the more  pressure there is on  these companies, the less we will see in terms of  affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving   something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the   bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable   housing,” Mr. Watt said.

Why was Barney Frank deceitfully claiming that Fannie and Freddie weren’t facing “any kind of financial crisis”?  BECAUSE REPUBLICANS WERE RIGHTLY WARNING THAT THEY WERE.

Only about a month before the whole Fannie and Freddie boondoggles Democrats had fiercely protected collapsed – taking the entire US economy with it – Democrat Barney Frank was on the record saying THIS:

REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS.: “I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They’re not the best investments these days from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward.”

So we blew up nearly COMPLETELY BECAUSE OF DEMOCRAT POLICIES.  But Democrats along with an ideological mainstream media that is the worse since Joseph Goebbels was the Nazi Minister of Propaganda were ready.  They ran on a platform that it happened while Bush was president, and that therefore Bush was entirely responsible for the thing he tried over and over again to fix while Democrats used their power to block those efforts.

Let me just say “Franklin Raines.”  Raines as Fannie CEO presided over Enron-style accounting policies and got $90 million in his account because of those corrupt policies.  But Raines was the first BLACK CEO of Fannie Mae.  And even though he was a Democrat and a Clinton guy, President Bush lacked the courage to push the “first black Fannie Mae CEO” out.  Which of course is the same reason that the “first black Fannie Mae CEO” didn’t do hard time in prison where he belonged.  “Political correctness” is a demonic device by which liberals protect themselves – usually from going to prison where they ought to go.  He got a sweetheart deal basically so Republicans wouldn’t be accused of being racists by
Democrats who of course call them racists no matter what they do.  My main point is simply that it was Democrats, Democrats, DEMOCRATS who did this to us.

Fannie Mae was well politically-connected Democrats went to make millions as they bounced back and forth between “public” employment where they developed contacts and “private” crony capitalism to get rich.

Here’s the conclusion of New York Times financial markets writer Gretchen Morgenson about DEMOCRAT Jim Johnson:

Morgenson focuses on the managers of Fannie Mae, the government-supported mortgage giant. She writes that CEO James Johnson built Fannie Mae “into the largest and most powerful financial institution in the world.”

But in the process, Morgenson says, the company fudged accounting rules, generated big salaries and bonuses for its executives, used lobby and campaign contributions to bully regulators, and encouraged the risky financial practices that led to the crisis.

And of course DEMOCRAT Jim Johnson who got rich plundering Americans was an OBAMA Democrat.

Morgenson – again a New York Times writer and not someone from Fox News – said of Fannie Mae on Larry Kudlow’s CNBC program on Monday, June 13: “Whatever Fannie Mae did, everybody else followed.”  And of course they all followed right into an economic Armageddon created by Democrats for Democrats.

But who got blamed?  Republicans, of course.  George Bush and Republicans were to Obama and the Democrats what Emmanual Goldstein was to Big Brother in 1984.  George Bush and Republicans were what the Jews were to Adolf Hitler.  Fascists always need a bogeyman.  And so the people who were truly to blame turned the people who tried futilely to stop them into the scapegoats.  All with the mainstream media’s complicity.

The analogy would be holding the police officer who tried but failed to catch the rapist for the rape of the woman rather than holding the actual rapist who raped her responsible.  But it was easier to say “This is the result of President Bush’s failed Republican policies” than it was to actually explain the facts to an enraged Attention Deficit Disorder-ridden ignorant pop culture – particularly when virtually no one in the biased mainstream media had any intention whatsoever of telling the truth.

Barack Obama – the ACORN community organizer who pushed these very America-killing policies – ran a demagoguing campaign promising to fix everything.

But has he?

How about a great big giant “NOT”???

What has Zero Obama done to fix that housing market that he helped collapse?  How about NOTHING???  After nearly three years of Obama, housing isn’t the worst since 2008; it’s gotten WAY WORSE than 2008 and is the worse since the Great Depression!!!  Obama started out with a terrible plan.  And we have terrible results to show for his terrible plan.  And yet this disgraceful fool actually keeps claiming he’s made things better!!!

Before you read this article, check out the “current account balance” compiled by the CIA.  Ours is a negative figure that dwarfs everyone else’s by so much it’s a joke.  Which is to say that Gross’s assessment is 1000% correct.

US Is in Even Worse Shape Financially Than Greece: Gross
Published: Monday, 13 Jun 2011 | 10:33 AM ET
By: Jeff Cox
CNBC.com Staff Writer

When adding in all of the money owed to cover future liabilities in entitlement programs the US is actually in worse financial shape than Greece and other debt-laden European countries, Pimco’s Bill Gross told CNBC Monday.

Much of the public focus is on the nation’s public debt, which is $14.3 trillion. But that doesn’t include money guaranteed for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which comes to close to $50 trillion, according to government figures.

The government also is on the hook for other debts such as the programs related to the bailout of the financial system following the crisis of 2008 and 2009, government figures show.

Taken together, Gross puts the total at “nearly $100 trillion,” that while perhaps a bit on the high side, places the country in a highly unenviable fiscal position that he said won’t find a solution overnight.

“To think that we can reduce that within the space of a year or two is not a realistic assumption,” Gross said in a live interview. “That’s much more than Greece, that’s much more than almost any other developed country. We’ve got a problem and we have to get after it quickly.”

Gross spoke following a report that US banks were likely to scale back on their use of Treasurys as collateral against derivatives and other transactions. Bank heads say that move is likely to happen in August as Congress dithers over whether to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The move reflects increasing concern from the financial community over whether the US is capable of a political solution to its burgeoning debt and deficit problems.

“We’ve always wondered who will buy Treasurys” after the Federal Reserve purchases the last of its $600 billion to end the second leg of its quantitative easing program later this month, Gross said. “It’s certainly not Pimco and it’s probably not the bond funds of the world.”

Pimco, based in Newport Beach, Calif., manages more than $1.2 trillion in assets and runs the largest bond fund in the world.

Gross confirmed a report Friday that Pimco has marginally increased its Treasurys allotment—from 4 percent to 5 percent—but still has little interest in US debt and its low yields that are in place despite an ugly national balance sheet.

“Why wouldn’t an investor buy Canada with a better balance sheet or Australia with a better balance sheet with interest rates at 1 or 2 or 3 percent higher?” he said. “It simply doesn’t make any sense.”

Should the debt problem in Greece explode into a full-blown crisis—an International Monetary Fund bailout has prevented a full-scale meltdown so far—Gross predicted that German debt, not that of the US, would be the safe-haven of choice for global investors.

America is going down because her stupid citizens wickedly voted for corrupt dishonest Democrat fools – the very fools who imploded our economy – to have complete power.  Nancy Pelosi took over dictatorial control in the House of Representatives, and Harry Reid took over the US Senate, in 2006.

Thanks to Obama, America is now worse off than Greece.  But that didn’t stop Obama from offering to bail out Greece.  Maybe it’s because George Soros is Greek; maybe because the American left has always adored the European-style socialism in spite of Thomas Jefferson’s warning that “the comparison of our governments with those of Europe is like a comparison of heaven and hell.”  Maybe because Obama simply WANTS hell for America.  But there you have it.

Republicans acknowledged they failed to live up to their values and spent too much.  But the last Republican budget (Fiscal Year 2007) passed in 2006 had only a $161 billion deficit.  The very next Democrat budget for FY 2008 had a deficit of $459 billion – nearly three times larger than the one they’d demonized Republicans for.  Then their FY-2009 budget dwarfed that deficit with a black hold of red ink deficit of $1.4 TRILLION.  That was more money than any government in the history of the world had ever contemplated.  But Democrats dwarfed that the very next year with a FY-2010 budget with a $1.6 trillion deficit.  And as for FY-2011, the Democrat Congress simply refused to perform its most basic duty of governance and didn’t even bother to pass a budget.  Republicans are now forced to do the last disgraced Democrat-controlled Congress’ job for them – and Democrats are demonizing them for it.

That’s how this game is played.  Democrats are fascist demagogues who shrilly launch into Republicans as they try to save the American people from unparalleled future suffering.  They are people who ROUTINELY demonize, demonize, demonize until THEY are the ones forced to call for the very things they demonized and tried to prevent from happening.  But by the time they react this time, just as before, it will be too late.

Try this on for size: our actual debt isn’t the $14 trillion we constantly hear about; it’s more like $200 trillion.  And even THAT gargantuan number doesn’t take into account the massive debts that all the liberal labor unions have amassed in state pensions (e.g., California’s public pension system has unfunded liabilities of $500 billion).  We cannot possibly hope to pay this – and yet Democrats demand more and more and more, and demagogue Republicans for even trying to cut millions when we need to cut TENS OF TRILLIONS or collapse.

Democrats run ads showing a look-a-like of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan pushing an old lady off a cliff; but they want every single senior citizen to die terribly as the Medicare system completely collapses while they refuse to do anything to fix it – as even Bill Clinton openly acknowledged.

We are going to end like the PIIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain- because we elected Democrat swine to ensure we perished like pigs.

Greece just got downgraded to the point where they are the lowest-rated currency in the history of the planet.  And it happened yesterday.

When that happens to us it will be the worst nightmare in history.  300 million Americans are going to go into an insanity of panic – and of course the violence will begin with the left.  If you don’t have an arsenal, someone will kick down your door and murder your whole family just to eat the food in your house.  And that hell on earth will be entirely because you trusted Democrats like Anthony Weiner to run your health care, your pension, your economy, your life.

I hope you vote in 2012 like your very LIFE was at stake in these elections.  Because this time it truly is.

Why Would ANY Decent American Want A Bunch Of Weiners Running Our Lives???

June 8, 2011

Anthony Weiner is a dishonest piece of slime.

He’s not merely a depraved serial sexual pervert and predator – which is vile enough.  He lied and broke all of his vows to his own wife.  He contacted a porn star with whom he had an internet sexting relationship and instructed her to lie.  He did all this on the people’s time and with the people’s resources.  He repeatedly lied to the American people in several press conferences.  He invited numerous reporters for interviews and then lied to them – and to all of their readers and viewers.

Republicans will bring up the Weiners and the Barney Franks and the Elliot Spitzers and the Charlie Rangels, and Democrats will bring up their list of Republican slime.

Fine.  For the sake of discussion, let us agree that all of our politicians are a slimy, vile group of people.  So with that, here’s my question:

Why on earth would we want to give these depraved, dishonest perverts our health care and our pensions (and so much more!) to people like this?

That’s what Democrats want, you know.  They want to entrust our lives to congressmen and congresswomen just like Anthony Weiner.  They want a bunch of Weiners to run our lives.  They want you to literally trust your LIFE and the lives of your CHILDREN to a bunch of Weiners.

Republicans want LIMITED GOVERNMENT.  They want to get the government monkey off your backs.  They want to reduce the size and power and scope of government to keep all these damn bureaucrats from being able to hump your leg and force you to take it.  As an example, Democrats shrilly demand that we end our subsidies for oil companies even as they also demand we INCREASE our subsidies to their beloved “green energy” boondoggles and INCREASE the crony capitalism that these subsidies create.  Republicans say, fine; let’s end ALL the energy subsidies!  But Democrats will never have that.  Rather, they want to punish the energy sources that actually GIVE US THE INEXPENSIVE ENERGY WE NEED and instead fund energy that is inadequate and inefficient instead.  They want to take away the Republicans subsidies and increase their own, is all.

Democrats want to give Weiners more power and control than ever; they want Weiners to be able to have more and more and more regulations; they want Weiners controlling a larger and larger chunk of health care with ObamaCare which they want to lead to single payer socialist medicine; they want Weiners to have a larger and larger chunk of our economy; they want Weiners to have the power to punish more and more businesses and punish them more and more harshly.

If you want a bunch of depraved elitest bureaucrat Weiners controlling every aspect of your life, then you vote for Democrats and Obama in 2012.  Because that is EXACTLY what they are promising to give you: more and more Weiners with more and more power to control your lives.  If you want to be allowed to have individual control over your own life, then vote for the Party of limited government.

Get the Weiners out of our lives.

Obama’s ‘Hope And Change’ At Work: Most Americans (Correctly) Believe Our Best Days Are Now Behind Us

April 28, 2011

History reminds us of a time – not all that long ago – when a charismatic leader promised a fundamental transformation that brought hope to a nation.

The leaders’s name was Adolf Hitler.  It didn’t end well.  Seriously.

The kind of fascistic irrationally euphoric Utopian rhetoric of Obama

“I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal… This was the moment — this was the time — when we came together to remake this great nation …”

– hasn’t seemed to work out very well in the real world.  I mean who talks like that but a fascist demagogue promising a false Utopia, anyway?  Not that most liberals have any clue whatsoever about the real world, mind you.

The evidence is crystal clear that Obama is a fascist and a demagogue.  But the mainstream media is every bit as unlikely to tell the truth about Obama as Joseph Goebbels’ Ministry of Propaganda was likely to tell the truth about their Fuhrer.

The New York Times once said – as part of the irrational fascistic hype surrounding Obama – that:

WASHINGTON — At the core of Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is a promise that he can transcend the starkly red-and-blue politics of the last 15 years, end the partisan and ideological wars and build a new governing majority.

Did Obama ever once come close to actually fulfilling that “core presidential promise”???

How about this: within 24 days of Obama assuming the presidency, The Wall Street Journal was rightly able to say this about our “transcending” figure:

President Barack Obama has turned fearmongering into an art form. He has repeatedly raised the specter of another Great Depression. First, he did so to win votes in the November election. He has done so again recently to sway congressional votes for his stimulus package

It wasn’t even a month after assuming the presidency that Obama began to dismiss the Republicans he had promised to reach out to:

“Don’t come to the table with the same tired arguments and worn ideas that helped to create this crisis,” he admonished in a speech.

It was barely only a month after assuming the presidency that Obama began to thumb his nose at the Republicans he had promised to reach out to:

 When [Republican Rep. Eric] Cantor tried to justify his own position, Obama responded: “Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”

Were those really the words that would “transcend the starkly red-and-blue politics of the last 15 years”???  In taking that stand, was there actually any chance whatsoever that Obama would “end the partisan and ideological wars”???  Is anyone frankly so morally and intellectually stupid to see these tactics as they way to “build a new governing majority”???

And of course, shortly after the American people rejected Obama in the largest shallacking in modern American history and voted against the Democrat Party in droves, Nancy Pelosi began to further degenerate into fascism (where elections shouldn’t matter unless the fascists win them), saying: “elections shouldn’t matter as much as they do.”

And then we proceeded to see Democrats and liberals behave far more like fascists than people who gave a damn about elections or the consequences of elections in Wisconsin.

I think of the fact that Hitler never won more than 37% of the vote.  But the moment he seized power, “elections didn’t matter as much as they should have.”

Barack Obama is a man who has personally repeatedly demonized George W. Bush, Republicans, entire industries, businesses, and even medical doctors (remember how they amputate people’s feet and yank out their tonsils just to illegitimately profit?).  As a Senator, he personally attacked George Bush for his failure of leadership for having to raise the debt ceiling; now he’s personally attacking anyone who acts as cynically and despicably as he acted.  Obama personally demonized George Bush for trampling on the Constitution for Iraq even though Congress had directly authorized his actions; but this same cynical demagogue would attack Libya without any congressional authorization whatsoever.  Obama lectured Republicans that it hurt the country and the essential political debate to demagogue the other side with health care, only to viciously attack the Republicans the first time he thought it would politically help him to do so.  Rep Ryan – whom he invited to his speech just to single him out for attack – said, “What we got yesterday was the opposite of what [Obama] said is necessary to fix this problem.”  And Obama doesn’t just demonize his opponents; he falsely demonizes his opponents by telling demonstrable lies.

As I said, Obama is a fascist bully and a cynical demagogue.  And yet the mainstream media has the unmitigated chutzpah to continue to insanely depict this cynical, lying, hypocrite demagogue as an inspirational figure.

The American people and the mushroom have something in common: both are kept in the dark and fed manure.

So you can understand why the American people – for all the information available to them – are so terribly ignorant about just what the hell is going on in our political system.

But as misinformed and lied-to as Americans are when it comes to the sea of lies they are presented with as “news,” they are still aware that fewer of them have jobs, fewer of them have homes, their food cost more, their fuel cost more and that the quality of their lives are rapidly slipping away under the policies of a failed president and his failed party.

America’s Best Days
Those Confident That America’s Best Days Lie Ahead Down to 31%
Monday, April 25, 2011

Voter confidence that the nation’s best days are still to come has fallen to its lowest level ever.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters shows that just 31% believe America’s best days are in the future. That’s down three points from last month and is the lowest result found in polling since late 2006.

Fifty-three percent (53%) believe America’s best days are in the past, also the highest measurement in over four years. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Separate polling finds that only 22% of Likely Voters believe the United States is now heading in the right direction. That ties the lowest level found during Barack Obama’s presidency.

While majorities of Republicans (68%) and voters not affiliated with either major political party (52%) believe America’s best days are in the past, a plurality of Democrats (45%) thinks its best days still lie ahead.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of white voters believe America’s best days have come and gone, but the same number of black voters (58%) feel the opposite is true.

[…]

And of course, it is true: America’s days truly ARE behind us as long as Barack Hussein Obama and as long as Democrats are able to continue to lead.  Either Democrats will go down, or America will go down.

But, liberals say, it was BUSH who made the economy fail.  Two things: 1) how many years should that line of garbage continue to succeed?  And 2) it was never true to begin with (also see here).

Do you know that Democrats had total control of both the House and the Senate from 2006 until 2010???

George Bush tried SEVENTEEN TIMES to warn Congress that unless we got control of the out-of-control Democrat-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the out-of-control housing and housing mortgage market that it was poisoning with piles of bad debt, our economy would go under.  The problem had festered because Bush had reappointed the first black Fannie Mae CEO because of political correctness.  Franklin Raines was a failure and a corrupt fraud who disguised massive debt.  Further, fearing the same political correctness, Republicans had allowed themselves to be repeatedly stymied in their attempts to reform the Government Sponsored Enterprises Fannie and Freddie as Democrats screamd “racism.”  John McCain was if anything even more clear in 2006 when there was still time to fix the developing crisis.  McCain wrote (in 2006):

Congress chartered Fannie and Freddie to provide access to home financing by maintaining liquidity in the secondary mortgage market. Today, almost half of all mortgages in the U.S. are owned or guaranteed by these GSEs. They are mammoth financial institutions with almost $1.5 Trillion of debt outstanding between them. With the fiscal challenges facing us today (deficits, entitlements, pensions and flood insurance), Congress must ask itself who would actually pay this debt if Fannie or Freddie could not?

McCain asked, “Who would actually pay this massive debt for these incredibly risky liberal policies if Fannie or Freddie could not?’  And we now have the answer to that question, don’t we???

Even the liberal New York Times recognized the threat posed by Fannie and Freddie.  And Peter Wallison all but predicted the collapse as early as 1999:

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980′s.

From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

 The same Peter Wallison who had predicted the disaster from 1999 wrote a September 23, 2008 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Blame Fannie Mae and Congress For the Credit Mess.”

Wallison was 100% correct, and had the FACT that he had accurately predicted the collapse to give him further credibility.  Democrats were 100% wrong.  Barney Frank was one of the unanimous Nazi-goosetepping Democrats who said stuff like this:

These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Basically a MONTH before Fannie and Freddie went bankrupt and started the entire housing mortgage market collapse in 2008, Barney Frank was still singing the same idiotic tune:

REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS.: “I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They’re not the best investments these days from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward.

They’re in a housing market. I do think their prospects going forward are very solid.”

John McCain correctly predicted a disaster.  Barney Frank was still spouting outrageous lies just one month before the bottom fell out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and then caused the bottom to fall out of the entire economy.  Republicans were right and Democrats were disasterously wrong.  And the American people responded by electing Democrats and purging Republicans.  Because we were lied to, and because we have become a bad people who believe lies.

Democrats blocked every single move by both the Republicans and by George Bush.  They actually threatened filibusters to prevent Bush from fixing the broken system that failed and it was DEMOCRATS who took our economy down the drain.

And Senator Barack Obama had more campaign money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a shorter time than anyone in Congress.  And he also had more campaign money from Lehman Brothers – a dirty Wall Street player that went belly up – in a shorter time than anyone else in Congress.  Obama was bought and owned by the people who blew up our economy.

Only a nation of fools would have voted for this inexperienced Marxist fool to run our nation.  But a nation of fools believed the worst media propaganda campaign since Joseph Goebbels plied his trade.

Even fools feel pain when they keep getting burned, though.  And Obama is burning America alive.

We are slipping.  Even fools can feel it:

26 Apr, 2011, 11.27AM IST,IANS
China’s economy to surpass that of US by 2016: IMF

BEIJING: The Chinese economy will surpass that of the US by 2016, the International Monetary Fund ( IMF )) has predicted.According to the IMF’s forecast, based on “purchasing power parities”, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) will rise from $11.2 trillion in 2011 to $19 trillion in 2016, while the American economy will increase from $15.2 trillion to $18.8 trillion.

China’s share of the global economy will ascend from 14 percent to 18 percent, while the US’ share will descend to 17.7 percent, China Daily reported.

The Economist had predicted in December 2010 that China would overtake the US in terms of nominal GDP in 2019.

 At the same time all of the other growing disasters is taking place, we have a crisis in the price of oil.  And Obama has done nothing but exacerbate that crisis with energy policies that are even more destructive than Jimmy Carter’s.

Do you feel your nation growing smaller and smaller and weaker and weaker?  That is the hope and change you voted for.

In the time that Obama has been president, we’ve gone from predicting China would overtake us by 2030, to 2019, to just five years away.  And mark my words, it will be moved up yet again, before they overtake Obama’s ignorant stupidity even faster than that.

Under Obama, and due to his immoral and criminally reckless policies, we are spending like fools and at the same time insanely inflating our money supply (under the euphamism of “qantitative easing” or QE2.  And here are the results:

APRIL 23, 2011
Dollar’s Decline Speeds Up, With Risks for U.S.
BY TOM LAURICELLA

The U.S. dollar’s downward slide is accelerating as low interest rates, inflation concerns and the massive federal budget deficit undermine the currency.

With no relief in sight for the dollar on any of those fronts, the downward pressure on the dollar is widely expected to continue.
The dollar fell nearly 1% against a broad basket of currencies this week, following a drop of similar size last week. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index closed at its lowest level since August 2008, before the financial crisis intensified.

“The dollar just hasn’t had anything positive going for it,” said Alessio de Longis, who oversees the Oppenheimer Currency Opportunities Fund.

Thanks to your fool-in-chief president, your dollar is worth less and less.  And your gas and your food cost more and more.  Food now costs more than at any time since 1974, thanks to the Democrat messiah.

Or maybe he’s not such a fool.  Because maybe this is what he wanted all along.  Read this article on “the Cloward and Piven Strategy” created by liberals/progressives to implode America written in 2008 (you could also read my own article written in 2009).  And then see what top SEIU official Steven Lerner – who left the “workers of the world unite; it’s not just a slogan anymore” radical union at the same time #1 White House visitor Andy Stern did – had to say about deliberately trying to cause a financial crisis that will implode America.

The United States of America is dangerously close to complete collapse.  One wrong move, one piece of bad news, just one thing, could send us into a collapse that will be impossible to stop.

And we are either being led by a total fool, or even worse, we are being led by a man who is actively plotting to collapse America to impose a radical leftwing ideology, and who doesn’t care one iota more about the American people than Adolf Hitler cared about the German people.

I’m sure you have probably picked up on my angry tone.  I am angry; I’m beyond angry.  Why?  Because I see the beast foretold by the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation coming.  I see the collapse coming, and the Antichrist riding in on his white horse to save the day.  And I see that the same liberals, the same progressives, the same Democrats who caused this collapse will be the ones to welcome this coming world dictator.  And it will be these same Democrats who call for the American people to take his mark on their hands or on their foreheads so that they can join the rest of the world and buy and sell.

Rest assured, Obama’s reckless fiscal policies are not just undermining America; they are undermining the entire world.  The unrest in the Middle East (which again says “Last days as foretold by the Bible” all over it) is directly attributed to Obama’s monetary policies, according to the G-2o and the central banks.

Barack Obama is a false messiah.  The Democrat Partyis the party of hell.  And they are leading us to hell on earth right now.  Today.

And we are voting for hell.

You mark my words.  It won’t be long now.  The beast is coming.  And if you vote Democrat, you have already voted for him by paving the way for his soon-arrival.

Get ready for hell.

Election Fraud: If You Vote Democrat, You Are A Corrupt Dishonest Cheat By Proxy

October 29, 2010

Everyone could see it right in front of them on live television.  Florida Democrat gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink was caught red-handed cheating in a debate.  Her excuse?  She blamed her Republican opponent (i.e., “blame Bush!).

Corrupt Democrat voter machine ACORN never truly dies.  It just changes its name.

In previous elections, any race that was close would be stolen from Republicans by Democrat cheating.  As Al Franken being elected on the illegally-cast votes of incarcerated convicts serves to demonstrate.

But that is no longer the case.  Now, Democrats are behind by larger margins due to their incredibly failed and incredibly fascist policies.  So they have to cheat bigger than ever before to steal elections.

There are all kinds of other examples to show that the Democrat Party is the party of cheating and corruption.

There are the strange goings-ons inside the voting machines in Nevada, which have a mysterious tendency to prompt voters to select Harry Reid.

Add to that the SEIU pro-Democrat voter-stuffing shenanigans, with clear evidence of massive fraud.

Add to that the 250 absentee ballots the Republican candidate tracked to a vacant lot.

Add to that an Ohio public high school that bussed students during school hours to vote after being given a ballot that ONLY had Democrats on it.  After which they were treated to ice cream.

Add to that the evidence in Bucks County, Pennsylvania that the Democrat candidate is flooding the voter registration office with fraudulent applications for absentee ballots.

Add to that voting machines in North Carolina which are “voting” for Democrats even when that is the exact opposite of what voters intend.  Which is simply the icing on the cake of all kinds of other fraud going on there.

Add to that Chicago, where Republicans are being disenfranchised of their right to vote by corrupt Democrat organizations.

Add to that still more corrupt Democrats in Pennsylvania who created a fictitious “Pennsylvania Voter Assistance Office” to commit voter fraud.

Add to that a public state university in Wisconsin that illegally urged students and faculty to get out and help the Democrat cause.

Add to that a woman who is literally under criminal indictment for past voter fraud with liberal A.C.O.R.N. now heading up yet another corrupt liberal voter fraud group.

Add to that Democrat Sen. Barbara Boxer both illegally and immorally requesting public high school teachers to send public school kids to volunteer for her campaign.

Add to that a Democrat organization in Virginia “shocked” that their free beer in exchange for votes was actually criminal.

Add to that the woman named Gabby Mercer with the Republican “Jan Brewer for Governor” sign painted on the rear window of her car getting a big rock thrown through that window in a clear act of political intimidation.

Add to that Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee committing voter fraud at a polling place.

Add to that First Lady Michelle Obama, who had committed voter fraud in the same way.

Add to that forged ballots and illegals registering to vote for Democrats via groups such as Mi Familia Vota, Border Action, and Faith.Hope.Vote!  Which all have ties to the SEIU.

Add to that a staffer for a long-time Arizona Democrat who was caught stealing the yard signs featuring his Republican opponent (see also here for the KGUN 9 story, at least until they delete it).

Add to that illegal immigrants who are actively working to undermine the vote in Washington State for Democrats.  Even as liberal Democrat bastions such as San Fransisco are currently seeking to undermine the sanctity of citizens and the vote altogether.

Add to that Democrat states such as New York and Illinois disenfranchising military service members – who vote heavily Republican – of the right to vote in violation of the law.

Add to that campaign ads by Democrat candidates such as Rep. Alan Grayson which so shockingly and deliberately misrepresent the truth that even MSNBC are taking them to the woodshed for their gross lies.

Add to that Democrat Rep. Barney Frank, accepting campaign contributions in clear violation of his own promise from banks that his committee regulates.

Add to that the incredibly vicious and misogynist attack against Republican Christine O’Donnell, as a man was paid to smear her with allegations of a one-night stand (i.e., “feminists” despise successful conservative women).

Add to that the earlier clear election corruption by the Obama administration in offering Democrats Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff jobs not to run against candidates preferred by the regime in clear violation of the law.

Nancy Pelosi falsely promised to “drain the swamp.”  Instead, her party is swimming in it.

But it’s not just in campaigning that Democrats are pathologically dishonest frauds; it is in governing.

There was the Generational Fraud Act otherwise known as the stimulus that was sold as preventing unemployment from rising above 8%.  What is it now?

There was the “sales pitch” that promised all sorts of “shovel-ready jobs.”  The problem is that there NEVER WERE any such jobs.  And now we have the admission that there never WERE any “shovel-ready jobs” coming right out of the lying mouth of the liar-in-chief himself.

There was the “sales pitch” that ObamaCare would bend the cost-curve down; that if you liked your health plan you could keep it; that the mandates weren’t a tax; etcetera.  And every single one of those promises was just an obscene lie.

Lately we see the Obama administration playing all kinds of monkey games with the TARP program finances, according to the TARP inspector general.

That’s just the way the party behind fifty-two million dead babies rolls.  I suppose you just shouldn’t expect baby killers to be decent people.

To be a Democrat today is to support institutional cheating, fraud and lies.  If you are a Democrat, you are a despicable cheating liar by proxy.  Just embrace it.  It is what you vote for.  It is what you support.  It is who and what you are.  And shame on you.

Why Did Our Economy Melt Down In 2008? (Email This To Your Friends)

October 25, 2010

Note: I did not write the following; I am only passing it along.  I hope you read it and then pass it along as well.

Remember the LONG-TERM Causes of the Financial Sector Meltdown (an email pre-formatted for sending)
FreedomKeys.com ^ | 20101010 | various
Posted on 10/23/2010 12:49:32 PM PDT by FreeKeys

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?
by novelist Orson Scott Card, a Democrat
_________
.. This [financial crisis] was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it.  One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules.  The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.
..
Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans.  (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me.  It’s as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.) …
..
If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.
..
If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis. …
..
So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all?  Do you even know what honesty means?
..
[Was] getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for? …
..
… tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis.  You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.
..
This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.
..
If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe — and vote as if — President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.
– Novelist Orson Scott Card, a Democrat, on October 5, 2008,HERE
..
.. The Financial Sector Meltdown ..
1.  Almost all of the financial problems we see today are based on bad mortgage lending.  That would be lending money to people to buy homes who didn’t qualify for a loan.
..
2.  The Democrats, under Clinton, strengthened a government-created monster called the “Community Reinvestment Act” [first foisted upon the country under Jimmy Carter].  This law was then used by “activists” and “community organizers” …  to coerce lending institutions to make these bad loans … millions of them.
..
3.  Now we see what happens when political “wisdom” supplants good loan underwriting.  When private financial institutions are virtually forced to make loans to people with a bad credit and job history … this is what you get.  Enjoy it. — Neal Boortz, here ..


.
Enough cards on this table have been turned over that the story is now clear. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded, and many bystanders were injured in the blast, some fatally.
..
Fannie and Freddie did this by becoming a key enabler of the mortgage crisis. They fueled Wall Street’s efforts to securitize subprime loans by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools. In addition, they held an enormous portfolio of mortgages themselves.
..
In the times that Fannie and Freddie couldn’t make the market, they became the market.
.. — Kevin Hassett, Bloomberg News, here ..

 


.. Obama choice helped Fannie block oversight
National security adviser tied to discrediting of probe ..
By Jim McElhatton, The Washington Times,October 13, 2010 here
..
UNDER SCRUTINY: Thomas E. Donilon worked as a registered lobbyist for Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2005.
..
Years before Fannie Mae foundered amid a massive accounting scandal, President Obama’s choice for national security adviser oversaw an office inside the mortgage giant that orchestrated a negative publicity blitz to fight attempts by Congress to increase government oversight, records show.
..
Thomas E. Donilon, who won the job as national security adviser this month, worked as a registered lobbyist for Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2005 at a time the company’s officials insisted finances were sound. He also earned more than $1.8 million in bonuses [from Frannie Mae] before the government took over the troubled company in the wake of an accounting scandal.
..
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Mr. Obama, who railed against lobbyists on the campaign trail, hailed Mr. Donilon’s appointment last week, but made no mention of his time as a registered lobbyist.st wee
..

 


..
Democrats and some [big-government] Republicans opposed reform in part because Fannie and Freddie were very good at greasing palms. Fannie has spent $170 million on lobbying since 1998 and $19.3 million on political contributions since 1990.
..
The principal recipient of Fannie Mae’s largesse was a Democrat, Sen. Chris Dodd (D, CT), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. No. 2 was another Democrat, Sen. Barack Obama (D, IL).
..
Mr. Dodd was also the second largest recipient in the Senate of contributions from Countrywide’s political action committee and its employees, and the recipient of a home loan from Countrywide at well below market rates.  The No. 1 senator on Countrywide’s list? Barack Obama. Check it out here:  http://tinyurl.com/4h9955
..

 


..
“Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd wanted the government to push financial institutions to lend to people they would not lend to otherwise, because of the risk of default.
..
“The idea that politicians can assess risks better than people who have spent their whole careers assessing risks should have been so obviously absurd that no one would take it seriously.” — Dr. Thomas Sowell, Professor Emeritus, Economics, Stanford University, HERE
..

 


..
When the Bush administration tried to rein in Freddie and Fannie from continuing to engage in risky practices, guess who stepped in to block their efforts? Democratic senators Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and — are you ready? — Barack Obama.
..
Meanwhile, guess who were the top four recipients of campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie between 1988 and 2008?
..
Senators Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and — still ready? — Barack Obama.
..
A coincidence, I tell you — just a coincidence.
..
More mere coincidences: Franklin Raines — a former Carter- and Clinton-administration official and former head of Fannie Mae, now under investigation for cooking its books — had a lot of powerful people in Congress beholden to his agency. Here is a list of his campaign-contribution recipients. Meanwhile, Democratic honcho Jim Johnson, another former Fannie Mae CEO, has been an economic adviser to and major fundraiser for Barack Obama, and even ran his vice-presidential search committee until growing scandals over his Fannie management forced him to step down in July. – Robert Bidinotto, here ..

 


..
On May 25, 2006, Sen. John McCain spoke forcefully on behalf of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005.  He said on the floor of the Senate:
..
“Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae’s regulator reported that the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.
..
“The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s former chief executive officer, OFHEO’s report shows that over half of Mr. Raines’ compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.
..
” The OFHEO report also states that Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator’s examination of the company’s accounting problems. This report comes some weeks after Freddie Mac paid a record $3.8 million fine in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and restated lobbying disclosure reports from 2004 to 2005. These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform.
..
“For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs–and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.
..
“I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.
..
“I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.”
..
It died at the hands of the DEMOCRATS —
HERE’s a video clip showing their anger.
..

 


..
“Many politicians and pundits claim that the credit crunch and high mortgage foreclosure rate is an example of market failure and want government to step in to bail out creditors and borrowers at the expense of taxpayers who prudently managed their affairs. These financial problems are not market failures but government failure.The credit crunch and foreclosure problems are failures of government policy.” — Dr. Walter E. Williams, the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, HERE
..

 


..
“Barack Obama wasn’t just the second-largest recipient of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac political contributions. He was also the senator from ACORN, the activist leader for risky ‘affirmative action’ loans. … [The CRA] gave groups such as ACORN a license and a means to intimidate banks … ACORN employed its tactics in 1991 by taking over the House Banking Committee room for two days to protest efforts to scale back the CRA. … Obama represented ACORN in a 1994 suit against redlining.  ACORN was also a driving force behind a 1995 regulatory revision pushed through by the Clinton administration that greatly expanded the CRA and helped spawn the current financial crisis. Obama was the attorney representing ACORN in this effort.” — IBD Editorials
..
“The Woods Fund report makes it clear Obama was fully aware of the intimidation tactics used by ACORN’s Madeline Talbott in her pioneering [“community organizer”] efforts to force banks to suspend their usual credit standards. Yet he supported Talbott in every conceivable way. He trained her personal staff and other aspiring ACORN leaders, he consulted with her extensively, and he arranged a major boost in foundation funding [via CAC and Woods Fund] for her efforts.” — Stanley Kurtz, “BARACK’S ‘ORGAANIZER’ BUDS PUSHED FOR BAD MORTGAGES”HERE
.

 


.
Bloomberg News has an excellent recap of
the history of the financial meltdown:.HERE.
.

 


 

Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama
not shown: Bill Clinton


..

 


“Scratch the surface of an endemic problem — famine, illness, poverty —  and you invariably find a politician at the source.” —  Simon Carr

 


“One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.” — Ayn Rand

 


“I think that we all need to consider the possibility … just the possibility … that Obama is engaged in a conscious effort to destroy our free market economy so that he can build a government-controlled socialist party on the rubble.” — Neal Boortz, here
[Conscious effort or not, we have an emergency on our hands.]

 

Barney Frank And Democrat Party Most Responsible For 2008 Economic Collapse

August 10, 2010

I don’t want to ridicule Barney Frank on account of his weight.  Suffice it to say he is easily able to pull off the two faces he routinely wears, and the two sides he routinely takes.

Here’s the recent side of Barney Frank:

Frank: “well one of my biggest differences with the Bush administration, even with the Clinton administration, was that they overdid that. I have always been critical of this effort to equate a decent home with home ownership. I think we should have been doing more to provide rental housing, my efforts have been to try and get affordable rental housing I was very much in disagreement with this push into home ownership and I think the federal government should not be artificially doing that. The goal is for people to have decent housing and I think beginning in the Clinton administration, exacerbated by Bush, we pushed people too much into home ownership…”
– Barney Frank, May 20, ‘2010 on CNBC.

And here’s Frank from 2005 documenting the fact that Barney Frank in 2010 is a rank liar:

“This is a very important resolution, particularly at this time, because we have, I think, an excessive degree of concern right now about home ownership and its role in the economy.
Obviously, speculation is never a good thing. But those who argue that housing prices are now at the point of a bubble seem to be missing a very important point. Unlike previous examples, where substantial excessive inflation of prices later caused some problems, we are talking here about an entity, home ownership, homes, where there is not the degree of leverage that we have seen elsewhere.

This is not the dot-com situation. We had problems with people having invested in business plans for which there was no reality and people building fiber-optic cable for which there was no need. Homes that are occupied may see an ebb and flow in the price at a certain percentage level, but you will not see the collapse that you see when people talk about a bubble.

So those of us on our committee in particular will continue to push for home ownership.
– Barney Frank, 2005

link
Video Link

[I found these quotes at US Politics Online].

You’re right, Barney.  It wasn’t the Dot-com situation.  It was a hundred times WORSE than the Dot-com situation, even given as bad as the Dot-com bubble was.  And yeah, you sure were right when you said there wouldn’t be a collapse, weren’t you?

So first of all, we have Barney Frank – liberal Democrat par excellence – acknowledging that the bad policy that led to the mortgage market meltdown was actually a CLINTON policy that Bush merely continued (most likely because he knew he’d be called a “racist” the moment he ended a program that gave billions of dollars to minorities to buy homes they couldn’t afford).

From the New York Times, September 30, 1999:

Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

It’s beyond asinine that Democrats blame Bush for ruining the economy, and praise Clinton as having the mostest wonderfulest economy ever, when it was a Clinton program that ruined the Bush economy.  But that’s the mainstream media narrative for you.

It’s ironic that Frank in hindsight so laughably compared the housing mortgage bubble that brought down the economy in 2008 to the Dot-com bubble that brought down the economy just as Clinton was leaving office.  Because that’s TWO giant economy-killers that “Mister Wonderful Clinton” inflicted on George Bush.  The Clinton-era Dot-com crash ultimately destroyed 78% of the Nasdaq composite.  Clinton benefited with a huge market surge, and Bush paid with a huge market collapse that began taking place while the handprint on the Bible from Bush’s oath of office was still warm.

So Barney Frank reminds us that the destruction of the Bush economy was bookended by massive Clinton failures – the Dot-com bubble collapse in 2001 and the housing market bubble collapse in 2008.  And Clinton was never blamed for either of them by the propagandist mainstream media.

The second thing you can notice is that Democrats like Barney Frank – who were so quick to pounce all over the mortgage meltdown and blame Bush for it – were not only the ones who created the problem, but were the ones who defended the problem.

What’s the Democrat-mainstream media-created narrative for why we had the 2008 collapse?  Republicans refusing to regulate?  Read what the New York Times said back in September 11, 2003:

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10— The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

So Bush WANTED to regulate, in contradiction to all the lies that you heard.

And who blocked those regulations?  Omigosh, it was Barney Frank and his Democrats.

These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.

You would find if you bothered to look at the facts that Bush demanded reform and regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac SEVENTEEN TIMES during his presidency.  And that Democrats refused to regulate the GSEs and even threatened filibusters against regulation.  Not that the mainstream media is honest enough to report the truth.

You would find if you bothered to look at the facts that financial experts literally predicted that the Clinton-birthed Fannie and Freddie expansion would ultimately explode.

Again from the New York Times, September 30, 1999:

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980’s.

From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ”If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

What do we have, even in the pages of the New York Slimes?  A prediction that as soon as the economy cooled off, the mortgage market wold explode like a depth charge and the government would have to step in to prevent a catastrophe?  From a Clinton program?

The same man – Peter Wallison – who had predicted the disaster from 1999 wrote a September 23, 2008 article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Blame Fannie Mae and Congress For the Credit Mess.”

The New York Times acknowledged that Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac “buy mortgages from lenders and repackage them as securities or hold them in their own portfolios.”

And the Los Angeles Times on May 31, 1999 describes how this process turned into a bubble, as more begat more, and then more and more begat more and more and more:

Lenders also have opened the door wider to minorities because of new initiatives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–the giant federally chartered corporations that play critical, if obscure, roles in the home finance system. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy mortgages from lenders and bundle them into securities; that provides lenders the funds to lend more. . . .

In a nutshell, Fannie and Freddie, acting as Government sponsored enterprises, bought tens of millions of mortgages, and then repackaged them into huge mortgage-backed securities that giant private entities such as Bear Stearns, AIG and Lehman Brothers purchased.  What made these securities particularly attractive to the private banking entities was that these securities were essentially being sold – and had the backing – of the United States government.

Here’s the process:

The Role of the GSEs is to provide liquidity and stability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets. Step 1 Banks lend money to Households to purchase and refinance home mortgages Step 2 The GSEs purchase these mortgage from the banks Step 3 GSEs bundle the mortgages into mortgage-backed securities Step 4 GSEs sell mortgage-backed and debt securities to domestic and international capital investors Step 5 Investors pay GSEs for purchase of debt and securities Step 6 GSEs return funds to banks to lend out again for the issuance of new mortgage loans.

Now, an intelligent observer would note a conflict: the GSE’s role was to “provide stability,” and yet they were taking on “significantly more risk” in the final year of the Clinton presidency.  What’s wrong with this picture?

The GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were designed to bundle up the mortgages into mortgage backed securities and then sell them to the private market.

Fannie Mae is exempt from SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] regulation. Which screams why Bush wanted to regulate them.  This allowed Fannie Mae to bundle up mortgages, which were then rated AAA with no requirement to make clear what is in the bundle.  Which screams why Bush wanted to regulate them.

This is what has allowed toxic instruments that have been sold across the world.  It also created a situation where money institutions did not know and could not find out whether potential inter-bank business partners were holding these “boiled babies on their books, complete with a golden stamp on the wrapping,” rather than safe instruments.  This then inclined banks to a natural caution, to be wary of lending good money to other banks against these ‘assets’.  And thus banks refused to lend to one another.

John McCain wrote a letter in 2006 urging reform and regulation of the GSEs.  He said:

Congress chartered Fannie and Freddie to provide access to home financing by maintaining liquidity in the secondary mortgage market. Today, almost half of all mortgages in the U.S. are owned or guaranteed by these GSEs. They are mammoth financial institutions with almost $1.5 Trillion of debt outstanding between them. With the fiscal challenges facing us today (deficits, entitlements, pensions and flood insurance), Congress must ask itself who would actually pay this debt if Fannie or Freddie could not?

An of course, they could not pay their debts.  Fannie and Freddie basically went bankrupt and were taken over.  And they took a whopping share of the biggest financial institutions down with them.  Fannie is in the process of devouring nearly 400 billion dollars of bailout money from the American taxpayer.  And now – GREAT GOOGLEY MOOGLEYObama is planning to funnel yet another $800 BILLION through the same Fannie and Freddie who already destroyed us once.

And thus you had a financial disaster created by one William Jefferson Clinton and one Democrat Party.  And now a second act of economic destruction is being planned by Barack Obama.

The 2008 economic collapse that Democrats were elected to fix was itself created by Democrats who will now continue the very policies that created the disaster in the first place.

Democrats then demonized Bush for merely being there when the disaster happened.  When they had created the mess, and when they had refused to allow Bush to do anything to prevent a Democrat-created disaster that he and other Republicans saw coming, but ultimately lacked the courage to stop.

How Should Democrats Eat The Half-Trillion $ Monsters Fannie And Freddie? One Bite At A Time

May 14, 2010

The truth is finally starting to come out in spite of the media.  After a mountain of Democrat-media complex lies buried so many inconvenient truths.

First it was Barney Frank’s admissions on tape before the economy went to hell caused by his horrendous liberal policies.

And now this little exchange:

CNBC’s Rick Santelli Rips Key Democrat For Ignoring Fannie/Freddie Reform
Dems’ Financial “Reform” Leaves Taxpayers on the Hook for Government Mortgage Giants

Washington, May 11 Follow @GOPLeader on Twitter for updates.

Democrats still don’t get it, and they refuse to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government mortgage companies that sparked the meltdown by giving high-risk loans to people who couldn’t afford it.   Standing up for American taxpayers, CNBC’s on-air editor, Rick Santelli teed off on Rep. Paul Kanjorski’s (D-PA) claim that Democrats’ couldn’t reform Fannie & Freddie in their financial regulation bill because it was “too complicated,” asking: “It’s too complicated?  You think taxpayers that go to work to pay the money you are subsidizing, it will end up a half a trillion, do you think they think complicated is an excuse?

The exchange couldn’t have come at a worse time for Rep. Kanjorski and Congressional Democrats, because Fannie and Freddie simply won’t go away.  As the Financial Times reported today:

“Fannie Mae said on Monday it would need an additional $8.4bn in aid, as the US government-controlled mortgage finance company continued to suffer heavy losses on its bad loans…Fannie Mae’s appeal for help comes on the heels of a similar plea last week by smaller rival Freddie Mac, which asked for an additional $10.6bn cash infusion.  The latest requests for aid bring the total amount of taxpayer dollars drawn down by these companies to $148bn since the 2008 government-led bail-out.

“Anthony Sanders, a senior scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, called Fannie and Freddie ‘our own Greek tragedy.’  Mr. Sanders estimated that total taxpayer liability was about $8,000bn for the combined companies, including public debt and loan guarantees.”

But the unlimited bailout that the Administration has bestowed on Fannie and Freddie doesn’t seem to bother Democrats, though the latest giveaway may come at an “inconvenient time,” as the New York Times noted today:

“Fannie Mae’s request on Monday for another $8.4 billion in federal aid comes at a politically inconvenient time for the Obama administration, which is pressing to pass sweeping financial legislation without resolving the company’s future…. Democrats want to defer an overhaul of federal housing policy until next year, after the midterm elections. But Republicans have seized on the continuing losses to argue that a plan for the two companies should be a priority of the current legislation.”

Republicans have been pressing for an end to bailouts that would get the government out of the mortgage business once and for all.  But Democrats are not only unwilling to reform Fannie and Freddie, they are doubling down on the failed government mortgage companies – burning through hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in the process.  As the Washington Post noted in a report today: “Under the terms of the government’s 2008 emergency takeover of Fannie and Freddie, the Treasury must pump money into either firm whenever its worth, as measured by assets minus liabilities, goes into the red. Late last year, the Obama administration pledged unlimited backing.”

For years, Republicans raised red flags about Fannie and Freddie’s financial condition and proposed responsible reforms only to be thwarted by Democrats who have deep political ties to the worst offenders.  These same powerful Democrats are now pushing for a financial reform bill that doesn’t even address the need to fix these government mortgage companies.  As the Wall Street Journal wrote last week, “reforming the financial system without fixing Fannie and Freddie is like declaring a war on terror and ignoring al Qaeda.”

House Republicans’ plan would phase out taxpayer subsidies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over a number of years and end the current model of privatized profits and taxpayer losses.  Find out more by clicking HERE.

For the record, “8,000 billion” is another way of saying $8 TRILLION DOLLARS.  That’s what Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Democrat Party have cost us.

The biggest problem with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has always been that it was a social welfare institution disingenuously masquerading as a financial institution.  The giant GSEs were packaged and sold under entirely false pretenses.

It was Democrats who established Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  It has been Democrats who have controlled the staffing of both agencies for decades.  It was Democrats – and particularly it was Barack Obama – who took more campaign money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than ANYONE.  It was Democrats who refused to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when George Bush and later John McCain repeatedly pleaded for such regulation and reform of the out-of-control agencies.  It was Democrats like Franklin Raines who were running Fannie and Freddie when all the policies that led us down the road to hell were imposed, just as it was Democrats who were running Fannie and Freddie when the fecal matter started hitting the rotary oscillator.

It was a Democrat who said that everything was fine with Fannie and Freddie less than TWO MONTHS before they completely collapsed:

REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS, July 14, 2008: I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They’re not the best investments these days from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward.

And I think that anybody who respects what you think is a deluded and deranged dumbass, Mr. Frank.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now in control of 96.5% of all mortgages, for those who don’t think they’re all that important in their role of creating the mortgage meltdown.  It was Fannie and Freddie that bundled all the bad mortgages into mortgage-backed securities and then sold the mortgage-backed and debt securities to domestic and international capital investors under the illusion that they were guaranteed by the federal government.

Fannie and Freddie were a $5 trillion wasted boondoggle BEFORE things got even worse.  They exist only to help liberals and lose money.  And there’s no end in sight.

How bad is it???

Just how bad is the news at Fannie/Freddie? On Friday morning, Moody’s downgraded their outstanding preferred stock 5 notches from A1 to Baa3 (a slight gradation above junk) and their Bank Financial Strength Ratings (BSFR) to D+ from B- (one/half notch above D, which is reserved for companies in default). […]

When the Treasury peels back the onion, I believe they will find a hornet’s nest. I think we will see an initial bailout of $100 billion or so, with 2/3-3/4 going to Fannie (as it is a larger organization). The scenario I foresee however, just as happened at Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley, is that they came to the financing window expecting to have borrowed enough, but then find they have to keep coming back repeatedly until the buyers go away or until “We The People” have thrown at least $500 billion at Fannie/Freddie to get them back on their feet again. This will also likely take an Act of Congress to raise the Treasury’s Debt ceiling quite dramatically

The United States used to be the greatest nation in the history of the world; now we’re more like a chicken that has had its head cut off, but is too disconnected from reality to know that it’s already dead.

Our deficits are now four times as high as they were a year ago, and they are twice as high as Obama said they would be in the very worst case scenario.

We’re screwed.  Frankly, America voted to be screwed when it elected Barack Obama and Democrats.

Barney Frank Video Proves Democrats At CORE Of 2008 Economic Collapse

May 11, 2010

Scott Factor has the most relevant quotes, plus the video of Barney Frank’s “wisdom” prior to the housing mortgage collapse that led to the 2008 economic meltdown:

Stupid, lying, forever full of bull Rep. Barney Fwank (D-Mass.) (No relation to Elmer Fudd) was speaking at a forum on national housing policy back in December, 2006. Shortly after this speech, Fwank became Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Some of the comments he made at this forum go to prove that he and the Democrats are liars, thieves, incompetents, and will make up stories as they go to fit any situation. This is not leadership, it’s incompetence.

Here are some quotes from this video:

“You will see far less difference with Democrats taking over in the Financial Services regulatory area…..One of the things we did was try to reduce the reporting requirements from the banks to the financial detectives. Far too much has to be reported now in my judgment.”

Well, I guess if they reported more, it would be easier to prosecute all of the fraud that took place, or better yet, the fraud would never have occurred. Still willing to blame the economic mess on Bush?

Then he babbles about the now troubled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: “You could have cut back on their ability to borrow as cheaply or you could leave that benefit in place and distribute it more fairly. That’s what we chose to do with the affordable housing fund.”

So, welfare loans for those who could not afford them, and what did we get? A banking crisis related to all the foreclosures because we loaned money to people who couldn’t’ afford to borrow it. Still willing to blame the economic mess on Bush?

Fwank babbles about the housing bubble, before it went bust: “I do want to address this thing about the bubble. I think the bubble is an entirely inappropriate metaphor. Let me just be very clear, houses ain’t tulips. Houses today even with the drop in housing prices are more valuable than tulips were however many years ago when we had the tulip business.”

Fwank on the busted bubble: “I think it’s a good thing that housing prices are dropping…..A 10% drop in housing prices is a good thing. Housing was over-valued.”

Still willing to blame the economic mess on Bush?

Fwank on the busted bubble again: “…I don’t think that there’s a crisis, and I do think that the end result in a 10% drop in many parts of the country will be a more rational and healthier housing market.”

I’ve tried to tackle this issue in previous articles:

Who REALLY Exploded Your Economy, Liberals Or Conservatives?

With Eyes Finally Wide-Open, Reconsider Why The Economy Collapsed In The First Place

Biden: ‘We Misread the Economy’ – And it’s all the Republicans’ Fault

But Barney Frank might do a better job demonstrating that Democrats were all creating the housing mortgage meltdown that imploded our economy than anyone.

Frank acknowledges that the policies that led to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s implosion were DEMOCRAT policies.

And it was Fannie and Freddie that led to this massive economic disaster.  From Bloomberg:

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) — Taxpayer losses from supporting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will top $400 billion, according to Peter Wallison, a former general counsel at the Treasury who is now a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

“The situation is they are losing gobs of money, up to $400 billion in mortgages,” Wallison said in a Bloomberg Television interview. The Treasury Department recognized last week that losses will be more than $400 billion when it raised its limit on federal support for the two government-sponsored enterprises, he said.

The U.S. seized the two mortgage financiers in 2008 as the government struggled to prevent a meltdown of the financial system. The debt of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Banks grew an average of $184 billion annually from 1998 to 2008, helping fuel a bubble that drove home prices up by 107 percent between 2000 and mid-2006, according to the S&P/Case- Shiller home-price index.

The Treasury said on Dec. 24 it would provide an unlimited amount of assistance to the companies as needed for the next three years to alleviate market concern that the government lifeline for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the largest source of money for U.S. home loans, could lapse or be exhausted.

Lax regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac led to the mortgage companies taking on too many risky loans, Wallison said.

“It turns out it was impossible to regulate them,” he said. “They were too powerful.” He said no one knows how much will be needed to keep the companies solvent.

You can go to another couple of my articles to see that it was Democrats’ policies and refusal to regulate Fannie and Freddie that led to the 2008 economic collapse:

Democrats Refused To Regulate GSEs, Created Financial Tsunami

How ‘Failed Policies’ Of Democrats Were Responsible For Financial Crisis

In the article immediately above, I cite a New York Times article from 1999 in which Peter Wallison saw the massive danger of an out-of-control Fannie and Freddie:

If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”

But Barney Frank – who led Democrat opposition to fight off any effort to regulate or reform Fannie and Freddie –  thought that everything was just going swimmingly with what we now know was a future supermassive black hole implosion:

These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

“These two entities – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are not facing any kind of a financial crisis.”  Unless you consider the biggest bailout in the history of the world a “financial crisis,” that is.  The AIG bailout was $85 billion.  The GM bailout was for $49.5 billion.  Compare those to the $400 billion bailout Obama has been handing out to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“Not facing any kind of financial crisis.”

I think it’s a good thing that housing prices are dropping. . .  A 10% drop in housing prices is a good thing. Housing was over-valued.”

“I think the bubble is an entirely inappropriate metaphor.”

“One of the things we did was try to reduce the reporting requirements.”

“You could have cut back on their ability to borrow as cheaply or you could leave that benefit in place and distribute it more fairly. That’s what we chose to do with the affordable housing fund.”

DEMOCRATS CAUSED THIS HELL.  THEY WERE ALL OVER IT.

And the Democrat Party that caused this mess to begin with is out doing the same crap that imploded us in the first place all over again.

AEI Article: How Fannie And Freddie Blew Up The Economy

January 23, 2010

Below is a very good article that everyone should read to better understand why the economy imploded in 2008: it was as a result of literally decades of risky and in frankly socialist decisions implemented primarily by GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

But allow me to say a few words before getting to the full article.

I compiled the following to respond to the typical liberal charge that “the economic collapse in 2008 was Bush’s fault”:

The Democrat Party/lamestream media narrative is that Bush was responsible for the economic meltdown because it “happened during his watch.” There was never once a mention that it happened during Nancy Pelosi’s and Harry Reid’s watch. Because that particular narrative doesn’t fit their leftist agenda.

I can very easily explain why Democrats were the primary cause of the 2008 collapse.

I can even give you the story in video, namely an 11 minute video titled “Burning Down the House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?”

Or how about watching John Stossel explain what happened in a 5 1/2 minute ABC 20/20 piece?

Do you really want to know the true origins of the financial collapse? Then please do a little reading and start learning. The mortgage market collapsed in 2008 because of its biggest player: Fannie Mae, which held some 60% of the mortgages. And Democrats were entirely behind the policies that led to the collapse of Fannie Mae and the private mortgage industry that bought Fannie’s mortgage-backed securities. Investors were falsely led to believe that the bonds they were buying were guaranteed implicitly by the federal government.

Here are the words of Mortimer Zuckerman – a liberal, an Obama supporter, a billionaire, a trustee of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the owner of a couple major news sources:

What about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that got there with the support of the Democrats in Congress. That’s what kicked off the great housing bubble; that’s what started this whole thing rolling down the hill. Did they ever talk about that kind of excess in the congress? No…..this isn’t something that is just due to the “Wall Street community”.

George Bush called for reform of the housing finance market 17 times in 2008 alone — and Democrats ignored him. They had been blocking his every effort to prevent disaster ever since Bush first tried to do so beginning in 2003. At that time, Democrat Barney Frank led the effort to block reform, saying:

These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

George Bush and John McCain repeatedly warned that if we didn’t address the situation, we would suffer a financial collapse.

John McCain wrote an urgent letter in 2006 that read:

These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform. For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs—and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns.

In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay. I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

John McCain signed another letter that ended with these words:

With the fiscal challenges facing us today (deficits, entitlements, pensions and flood insurance), Congress must ask itself who would actually pay this debt if Fannie or Freddie could not?

Substantial testimony calling for improved regulation of the GSEs has been provided to the Senate by the Treasury, Federal Reserve, HUD, GAO, CBO, and others. Congress has the opportunity to recommit itself to the housing mission of the GSEs while at the same time making sure the GSEs operate in a manner that does not expose our financial system, or taxpayers, to unnecessary risk. It is vitally important that Congress take the necessary steps to ensure that these institutions benefit from strong and independent regulatory supervision, operate in a safe and sound manner, and are primarily focused on their statutory mission. More importantly, Congress must ensure that the American taxpayer is protected in the event either GSE should fail. We strongly support an effort to schedule floor time this year to debate GSE regulatory reform.

And they DID fail. They massively, massively failed.

Only about a month before the whole system crashed, Barney Frank went on the record and said this:

REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS.: “I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They’re not the best investments these days from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward.”

They sure were, you fat, miserable, loathsome, obscene, disgusting, slobbering, lying toad.

The top three headlines under the Google search “Fannie Mae collapse”:

Freddie, Fannie Scam Hidden in Broad Daylight

Financial Markets Reeling from Fannie & Freddie Collapse and Evitable Government Bailout

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Too big not to fail

But as our economy exploded along with the boondoggle housing finance market artificially sustained by Fannie and Freddie, the Democrats demagogued the Republicans. And the lamestream media duly reported it as though it were all the liberal’s-god-socialist-big-government’s truth.

So to answer your question, it was DEMOCRATS who led us into this mess. Just as it is DEMOCRATS who are now making the mess far worse.

I would point out in addition that Republicans deserve condemnation because they lacked the political courage and the political will to oppose enormously risky Democrat policies rather than face the demagoguery that they were “racist” for not allowing low-income minorities to own their own homes.  So they allowed the Democrats to keep expanding the Community Reinvestment Act, and allowed them to keep expanding the portfolio of Government Supported Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The following AEI article from Peter Wallison and Charles Calomiris is also available as a PDF file.

The Last Trillion-Dollar Commitment
The Destruction of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

By Peter J. Wallison, Charles W. Calomiris  |  AEI Online
(September 2008)

The government takeover of Fannie and Freddie was necessary because of their massive losses on more than $1 trillion of subprime and Alt-A investments.

The government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was necessary because of their massive losses on more than $1 trillion of subprime and Alt-A investments, almost all of which were added to their single-family book of business between 2005 and 2007. The most plausible explanation for the sudden adoption of this disastrous course–disastrous for them and for the U.S. financial markets–is their desire to continue to retain the support of Congress after their accounting scandals in 2003 and 2004 and the challenges to their business model that ensued. Although the strategy worked–Congress did not adopt strong government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) reform legislation until the Republicans demanded it as the price for Senate passage of a housing bill in July 2008–it led inevitably to the government takeover and the enormous junk loan losses still to come.

Now that the federal government has been required to take effective control of Fannie and Freddie and to decide their fate, it is important to understand the reasons for their financial collapse–what went wrong and why. In his statement on September 7 announcing the appointment of a conservator for the two enterprises, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson pointed to their failed business models as the reason for their collapse. This was certainly a contributing element, but not the direct cause. The central problem was their dependence on Congress for continued political support in the wake of their accounting scandals in 2003 and 2004. To curry favor with Congress, they sought substantial increases in their support of affordable housing, primarily by investing in risky and substandard mortgages between 2005 and 2007.

As GSEs, Fannie and Freddie were serving two masters in two different ways. The first was an inherent conflict between their government mission and their private ownership. The government mission required them to keep mortgage interest rates low and to increase their support for affordable housing. Their shareholder ownership, however, required them to fight increases in their capital requirements and regulation that would raise their costs and reduce their risk-taking and profitability. But there were two other parties–Congress and the taxpayers–that also had a stake in the choices that Fannie and Freddie made. Congress got some benefits in the form of political support from the GSEs’ ability to hold down mortgage rates, but it garnered even more political benefits from GSE support for affordable housing. The taxpayers got highly attenuated benefits from both affordable housing and lower mortgage rates but ultimately faced enormous liabilities associated with GSE risk-taking. This Outlook tells the disheartening story of how the GSEs sold out the taxpayers by taking huge risks on substandard mortgages, primarily to retain congressional support for the weak regulation and special benefits that fueled their high profits and profligate executive compensation. As if that were not enough, in the process, the GSEs’ operations promoted a risky subprime mortgage binge in the United States that has caused a worldwide financial crisis.

The special relationship with Congress was the GSEs’ undoing because it allowed them to escape the market discipline–the wariness of lenders–that keeps corporate managements from taking unacceptable risks.

The peculiar structure of the GSEs–shareholder-owned companies with a public mission–reflected a serious confusion of purpose on the part of the Lyndon Johnson administration and the members of Congress who created this flawed structure in 1968. In seeking to reduce the budget deficits associated with the Vietnam War and Great Society programs, the administration hit upon the idea of “privatizing” Fannie Mae by allowing the company to sell shares to the public. This, according to the budget theories of the time, would take Fannie’s expenditures off-budget, while allowing it to continue its activities with funds borrowed in the public credit markets. But turning Fannie into a wholly private company was not acceptable either. Various special provisions were placed in Fannie’s congressional charter that intentionally blurred the line between a public instrumentality and a private corporation. Among these provisions: Fannie was given a line of credit at the Treasury; the president could appoint five members of its board of directors; and its debt could be used, like Treasury debt, to collateralize government deposits in private banks.

Fannie’s congressional charter and its unusual ties to the government ensured that the market would recognize its status as a government instrumentality: that despite its private ownership, the company was performing a government mission. Because it was highly unlikely that the U.S. government would allow one of its instrumentalities to default on its obligations, Fannie was perceived in the capital markets to have at least an implicit government backing and was thus able to borrow funds at rates that were only slightly higher than those paid by the U.S. Treasury on its own debt offerings. In 1970, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board created Freddie Mac to assist federal savings and loan associations in marketing their mortgages; Freddie was also allowed to sell shares to the public in 1989 and became a competitor of Fannie Mae under a congressional charter that established an identical special relationship with the government.

The special relationship, codified by these unique charters, required the GSEs to pursue another inherently conflicted mission that pitted their shareholders against the taxpayers. To the extent that their government backing allowed the GSEs to take excessive financial risks, it was the taxpayers and not the shareholders who would ultimately bear the costs. That result–the privatization of profit and the socialization of risk–has now come to pass. U.S. taxpayers are now called upon to fill in the hole that reckless and improvident investment activity–fueled by inexpensive and easily accessible funds–has created in the GSEs’ balance sheets. The special relationship was also the GSEs’ undoing, because it allowed them to escape the market discipline–the wariness of lenders–that keeps corporate managements from taking unacceptable risks. Normally, when a privately held company is backed by the government (for example, in the case of commercial banks covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), regulation is the way that the government protects the taxpayers against the loss of market discipline. When Fannie Mae was privatized in 1968, however, no special regulatory structure was created to limit the taxpayers’ exposure to loss. The Johnson administration officials who structured the privatization may not have realized that they were creating what we recognize today as a huge moral hazard, but when Fannie became insolvent (the first time) in the high-interest-rate environment of the early 1980s, policymakers recognized that the company represented a potential risk to taxpayers.

In 1991, as Congress finally began the process of developing a regulatory regime for the GSEs, congressional interest in supporting affordable housing was growing. At this point, Fannie Mae initiated its first foray into affordable housing–a relatively small $10 billion program, probably intended to show Congress that the GSEs would support affordable housing without a statutory mandate. Nevertheless, Congress added an affordable housing “mission” to the GSE charters when it created their first full-time regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO). The new agency had only limited regulatory authority. It was also housed in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which had no regulatory experience, and it was funded by congressional appropriations, allowing the GSEs to control their regulator through the key lawmakers who held OFHEO’s purse strings.

The new affordable housing mission further increased the congressional policy stake in the GSEs, but it also initiated a destructive mutual dependency: Congress began to rely on Fannie and Freddie for political and financial support, and the two GSEs relied on Congress to protect their profitable special privileges. In later years, attention to the political interests of Congress became known at the GSEs as “management of political risk.” In a speech to an investor conference in 1999, Franklin Raines, then Fannie’s chairman, assured them that “[w]e manage our political risk with the same intensity that we manage our credit and interest rate risks.”[1]

Benefits to Congress

Managing their political risk required the GSEs to offer Congress a generous benefits package. Campaign contributions were certainly one element. Between the 2000 and 2008 election cycles, the GSEs and their employees contributed more than $14.6 million to the campaign funds of dozens of senators and representatives, most of them on committees that were important to preserving the GSEs’ privileges.[2] And Fannie knew how to “leverage” its giving, not just its assets; often it enlisted other groups that profited from the GSEs’ activities–the securities industry, homebuilders, and realtors–to sponsor their own fundraising events for the GSEs’ key congressional friends. In addition to campaign funds, the GSEs–Fannie Mae in particular–enhanced their power in Congress by setting up “partnership offices” in the districts and states of important lawmakers, often hiring the relatives of these lawmakers to staff the local offices. Their lobbying activities were legendary. Between 1998 and 2008, Fannie spent $79.5 million and Freddie spent $94.9 million on lobbying Congress, making them the twentieth and thirteenth biggest spenders, respectively, on lobbying fees during that period.[3] Not all of these expenditures were necessary to contact members of Congress; the GSEs routinely hired lobbyists simply to deprive their opponents of lobbying help. Since lobbyists are frequently part of lawmakers’ networks–and are often former staffers for the same lawmakers–these lobbying expenditures also encouraged members of Congress to support Fannie and Freddie as a means of supplementing the income of their friends.

The failure to adopt meaningful GSE reform in 2005 was a crucial missed opportunity.

In the same vein, Fannie and Freddie hired dozens of Washington’s movers and shakers–at spectacular levels of compensation–to sit on their boards, lobby Congress, and in general help them to manage their political risk. (An early account of this effort was an article entitled “Crony Capitalism: American Style” that appeared in The International Economy in 1999.[4] A later version of the same point was made in Investor’s Business Daily nine years later.[5]) The GSEs also paid for academic research to assure the public that the GSE mission was worthwhile and that the GSEs posed minimal risks to taxpayers. For example, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz coauthored an article in 2002 purporting to show that the risk of GSE default producing taxpayer loss was “effectively zero.”[6]

One of the most successful efforts to influence lawmakers came through community groups. Both Fannie and Freddie made “charitable” or other gifts to community groups, which could then be called upon to contact the GSEs’ opponents in Congress and protest any proposed restrictions on the activities or privileges of the GSEs. GSE supporters in Congress could also count on these groups to back them in their reelection efforts.

But these activities, as important as they were in managing the GSEs’ political risks, paled when compared to the billions of dollars the GSEs made available for spending on projects in the congressional districts and states of their supporters. Many of these projects involved affordable housing. In 1994, Fannie Mae replaced its initial $10 billion program with a $1 trillion affordable housing initiative, and both Fannie and Freddie announced new $2 trillion initiatives in 2001.[7] It is not clear to what extent the investments made in support of these commitments were losers–the GSEs’ profitability over many years could cover a multitude of sins–but it is now certain that the enormous losses associated with the risky housing investments appearing on Fannie and Freddie’s balance sheet today reflect major and imprudent investments in support of affordable housing between 2005 and 2007–investments that ultimately brought about the collapse of Fannie and Freddie.

Even if the earlier affordable housing projects were not losers, however, they represented a new and extra-constitutional way for Congress to dispense funds that should otherwise have flowed through the appropriations process. In one sense, the expenditures were a new form of earmark, but this earmarking evaded the constitutional appropriations process entirely. An illustration is provided by a press release from the office of Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of the most ardent supporters of the GSEs in Congress. The headline on the release, dated November 20, 2006–right in the middle of the GSEs’ affordable housing spending spree–was “Schumer Announces up to $100 Million Freddie Mac Commitment to Address Fort Drum and Watertown Housing Crunch.” The subheading continued: “Schumer Unveils New Freddie Mac Plan with HSBC That Includes Low-Interest Low-Downpayment Loans. In June, Schumer Urged Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Step Up to the Plate and Deliver Concrete Plans–Today Freddie Mac Is Following Through.”[8] If this project had been economically profitable for Fannie or Freddie, Schumer would not have had to “urge” them to “step up.” Instead, using his authority as a powerful member of the Senate Banking Committee–and a supporter of Fannie and Freddie–he appears to have induced Freddie Mac to make a financial commitment that was very much in his political interests but for which the taxpayers of the United States would ultimately be responsible.

Of course, Schumer was only one of many members of Congress who used his political leverage to further his own agenda at taxpayer expense and outside the appropriations process. The list of friends of Fannie and Freddie changed over time; while the GSEs enjoyed broad bipartisan support in the 1990s, over the past decade, they have become increasingly aligned with the Democrats. This shift in the political equilibrium was especially clear in the congressional reaction to the GSEs’ accounting scandals of 2003 and 2004.

The Accounting Scandals

Fannie and Freddie reaped significant benefits from the careful management of their political risk. In June 2003, in the wake of the failures of Enron and WorldCom, Freddie’s board of directors suddenly dismissed its three top officers and announced that the company’s accountants had found serious problems in Freddie’s financial reports. In 2004, after a forensic audit by OFHEO, even more serious accounting manipulation was found at Fannie, and Raines, its chairman, and Timothy Howard, its chief financial officer, were compelled to resign.

It is eloquent testimony to the power of Fannie and Freddie in Congress that even after these extraordinary events there was no significant effort to improve or enhance the powers of their regulator. The House Financial Services Committee developed a bill that was so badly weakened by GSE lobbying that the Bush administration refused to support it. The Senate Banking Committee, then under Republican control, adopted much stronger legislation in 2005, but unanimous Democratic opposition to the bill in the committee doomed it when it reached the floor. Without any significant Democratic support, debate could not be ended in the Senate, and the bill was never brought up for a vote. This was a crucial missed opportunity. The bill prohibited the GSEs from holding portfolios of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities (MBS); that measure alone would have prevented the disastrous investment activities of the GSEs in the years that followed. GSE immunity to accounting scandal is especially remarkable when it is recalled that after accounting fraud was found at Enron (and later at WorldCom), Congress adopted the punitive Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which imposed substantial costs on every public company in the United States. The GSEs’ investment in controlling their political risk–at least among the Democrats–was apparently money well spent.

Nevertheless, the GSEs’ problems were mounting quickly. The accounting scandal, although contained well below the level of the Enron story, gave ammunition to GSE critics inside and outside of Congress. Alan Greenspan, who in his earlier years as Federal Reserve chairman had avoided direct criticism of the GSEs, began to cite the risks associated with their activities in his congressional testimony. In a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee in February 2004, Greenspan noted for the first time that they could have serious adverse consequences for the economy. Referring to the management of interest rate risk–a key risk associated with holding portfolios of mortgages or MBS–he said:

To manage this risk with little capital requires a conceptually sophisticated hedging framework. In essence, the current system depends on the risk managers at Fannie and Freddie to do everything just right, rather than depending on a market-based system supported by the risk assessments and management capabilities of many participants with different views and different strategies for hedging risks.[9]

Then, and again for the first time, Greenspan proposed placing some limit on the size of the GSEs’ portfolios. Greenspan’s initial idea, later followed by more explicit proposals for numerical limits, was to restrict the GSEs’ issuance of debt. Although he did not call for an outright reduction in the size of the portfolios, limiting the issuance of debt amounts to the same thing. If the GSEs could not issue debt beyond a certain amount, they also could not accumulate portfolios. Greenspan noted:

Most of the concerns associated with systemic risks flow from the size of the balance sheets that these GSEs maintain. One way Congress could constrain the size of these balance sheets is to alter the composition of Fannie and Freddie’s mortgage financing by limiting the dollar amount of their debt relative to the dollar amount of mortgages securitized and held by other investors. . . . [T]his approach would continue to expand the depth and liquidity of mortgage markets through mortgage securitization but would remove most of the potential systemic risks associated with these GSEs.[10]

This statement must have caused considerable concern to Fannie and Freddie. Most of their profits came from issuing debt at low rates of interest and holding portfolios of mortgages and MBS with high yields. This was a highly lucrative arrangement; limiting their debt issuance would have had a significant adverse effect on their profitability.

In addition, in January 2005, only a few months after the adverse OFHEO report on Fannie’s accounting manipu-lation, three Federal Reserve economists published a study that cast doubt on whether the GSEs’ activities had any significant effect on mortgage interest rates and concluded further that holding portfolios–a far risker activity than issuing MBS–did not have any greater effect on interest rates than securitization: “We find that both portfolio purchases and MBS issuance have negligible effects on mortgage rate spreads and that purchases are not any more effective than securitization at reducing mortgage interest rate spreads.”[11] Thus, the taxpayer risks cited by Greenspan could not be justified by citing lower mortgage rates, and, worse, there was a strong case for limiting the GSEs to securitization activities alone–a much less profitable activity than holding MBS.

The events in 2003 and 2004 had undermined the legitimacy of the GSEs. They could no longer claim to be competently–or even honestly–managed. An important and respected figure, Alan Greenspan, was raising questions about whether they might be creating excessive risk for taxpayers and systemic risk for the economy as a whole. Greenspan had suggested that their most profitable activity–holding portfolios of mortgages and MBS–was the activity that created the greatest risk, and three Federal Reserve economists had concluded that the GSEs’ activities did not actually reduce mortgage interest rates. It was easy to see at this point that their political risk was rising quickly. The case for continuing their privileged status had been severely weakened. The only element of their activities that had not come under criticism was their affordable housing mission, and it appears that the GSEs determined at this point to play that card as a way of shoring up their political support in Congress.

From the perspective of their 2008 collapse, this may seem to have been unwise, but in the context of the time, it was a shrewd decision. It provided the GSEs with the potential for continuing their growth and delivered enormous short-term profits. Those profits were transferred to stockholders in huge dividend payments over the past three years (Fannie and Freddie paid a combined $4.1 billion in dividends last year alone) and to managers in lucrative salaries and bonuses. Indeed, if it had not been for the Democrats’ desire to adopt a housing relief bill before leaving for the 2008 August recess, no new regulatory regime for the GSEs would have been adopted at all. Only the Senate Republicans’ position–that there would be no housing bill without GSE reform–overcame the opposition of Senators Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), the banking committee chairman, and Schumer.

The GSEs’ confidence in the affordable housing idea was bolstered by what appears to be a tacit understanding. Occasionally, this understanding found direct expression. For example, in his opening statement at a hearing in 2003, Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.), now the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, referred to an “arrangement” between Congress and the GSEs that tracks rather explicitly what actually happened: “Fannie and Freddie have played a very useful role in helping to make housing more affordable, both in general through leveraging the mortgage market, and in particular, they have a mission that this Congress has given them in return for some of the arrangements which are of some benefit to them to focus on affordable housing.”[12] So here the arrangement is laid out: if the GSEs focus on affordable housing, their position is secure.

Increased Support for Affordable Housing

Affordable housing loans and subprime loans are not synonymous. Affordable housing loans can be traditional prime loans with adequate down payments, fixed rates, and an established and adequate borrower credit history. In trying to increase their commitment to affordable housing, however, the GSEs abandoned these standards. In 1995, HUD, the cabinet-level agency responsible for issuing regulations on the GSEs’ affordable housing obligations, had ruled that the GSEs could get affordable housing credit for purchasing subprime loans. Unfortunately, the agency failed to require that these loans conform to good lending practices, and OFHEO did not have the staff or the authority to monitor their purchases. The assistant HUD secretary at the time, William Apgar, later told the Washington Post that “[i]t was a mistake. In hindsight, I would have done it differently.” Allen Fishbein, his adviser, noted that Fannie and Freddie “chose not to put the brakes on this dangerous lending when they should have.”[13] Far from it. In 1998, Fannie Mae announced a 97 percent loan-to-value mortgage, and, in 2001, it offered a program that involved mortgages with no down payment at all. As a result, in 2004, when Fannie and Freddie began to increase significantly their commitment to affordable housing loans, they found it easy to stimulate production in the private sector by letting it be known in the market that they would gladly accept loans that would otherwise be considered subprime.

Although Fannie and Freddie were building huge exposures to subprime mortgages from 2005 to 2007, they adopted accounting practices that made it difficult to detect the size of those exposures. Even an economist as seemingly sophisticated as Paul Krugman was misled. He wrote in his July 14, 2008, New York Times column that

Fannie and Freddie had nothing to do with the explosion of high-risk lending. . . . In fact, Fannie and Freddie, after growing rapidly in the 1990s, largely faded from the scene during the height of the housing bubble. . . . Partly that’s because regulators, responding to accounting scandals at the companies, placed temporary restraints on both Fannie and Freddie that curtailed their lending just as housing prices were really taking off. Also, they didn’t do any subprime lending, because they can’t . . . by law. . . . So whatever bad incentives the implicit federal guarantee creates have been offset by the fact that Fannie and Freddie were and are tightly regulated with regard to the risks they can take. You could say that the Fannie-Freddie experience shows that regulation works.[14]

Here Krugman demonstrates confusion about the law (which did not prohibit subprime lending by the GSEs), misunderstands the regulatory regime under which they operated (which did not have the capacity to control their risk-taking), and mismeasures their actual subprime exposures (which he wrongly states were zero). There is probably more to this than lazy reporting by Krugman; the GSE propaganda machine purposefully misled people into believing that it was keeping risk low and operating under an adequate prudential regulatory regime.

One of the sources of Krugman’s confusion may have been Fannie and Freddie’s strange accounting conventions relating to subprime loans. There are many defi-nitions of a subprime loan, but the definition used by U.S. bank regulators is any loan to a borrower with damaged credit, including such objective criteria as a FICO credit score lower than 660.[15] In their public reports, the GSEs use their own definitions, which purposely and significantly understate their commitment to subprime loans–the mortgages with the most political freight. For example, they disclose the principal amount of loans with FICO scores of less than 620, leaving the reader to guess how many loans fall into the category of subprime because they have FICO scores of less than 660. In these reports, too, Alt-A loans–which include loans with little or no income or other documentation and other deficiencies–are differentiated from subprime loans, again reducing the size of the apparent GSE commitment to the subprime category. These distinctions, however, are not very important from the perspective of realized losses in the subprime and Alt-A categories; loss rates are quite similar for both, even though they are labeled differently. In its June 30, 2008, Investor Summary report, Fannie notes that credit losses on its Alt-A portfolio were 49.6 percent of all the credit losses on its $2.7 trillion single-family loan book of business.[16] Fannie’s disclosures indicate that when all subprime loans (including Alt-A) are aggregated, at least 85 percent of its losses are related to its holdings of both subprime and Alt-A loans. They are all properly characterized as “junk loans.”

Beginning in 2004, after the GSEs’ accounting scandals, the junk loan share of all mortgages in the United States began to rise, going from 8 percent in 2003 to about 18 percent in 2004 and peaking at about 22 percent in the third quarter of 2006. It is likely that this huge increase in commitments to junk lending was largely the result of signals from Fannie and Freddie that they were ready to buy these loans in bulk. For example, in speeches to the Mortgage Bankers Association in 2004, both Raines and Richard Syron–the chairmen, respectively, of Fannie and Freddie–“made no bones about their interest in buying loans made to borrowers formerly considered the province of nonprime and other niche lenders.”[17] Raines is quoted as saying, “We have to push products and opportunities to people who have lesser credit quality.”

There are few data available publicly on the dollar amount of junk loans held by the GSEs in 2004, but according to their own reports, GSE purchases of these mortgages and MBS increased substantially between 2005 and 2007. Subprime and Alt-A purchases during this period were a higher share of total purchases than in previous years. For example, Fannie reported that mortgages and MBS of all types originated in 2005–2007 comprised 49.8 percent of its overall book of single-family mortgages, which includes both mortgages and MBS retained in their portfolio as well as mortgages they securitized and guaranteed. But the percentage of mortgages with subprime characteristics purchased during this period consistently exceeded 49.8 percent, demonstrating that Fannie was substantially increasing its reliance on junk loans between 2005 and 2007. For example, in its 10-Q Investor Summary report for the quarter ended June 30, 2008, Fannie reported that mortgages with subprime characteristics comprised substantial percentages of all 2005–2007 mortgages the company acquired, as shown in table 1. Based on these figures, it is likely that as much as 40 percent of the mortgages that Fannie Mae added to its single-family book of business during 2005–2007 were junk loans.

If we add up all these categories and eliminate double counting, it appears that on June 30, 2008, Fannie held or had guaranteed subprime and Alt-A loans with an unpaid principal balance of $553 billion. In addition, according to the same Fannie report, the company also held $29.5 billion of Alt-A loans and $36.3 billion of subprime loans that it had purchased as private label securities (non-GSE or Ginnie Mae securities).[18] These figures amount to a grand total of $619 billion–approximately 23 percent of Fannie’s book of single-family business on June 30, 2008–and reflect a huge commitment to the purchase of mortgages of questionable quality between 2005 and 2007.

Freddie Mac also published a report on its subprime and Alt-A mortgage exposures as of August 2008. Freddie’s numbers were not as detailed as Fannie’s, but the company reported that 52 percent of its entire single-family credit guarantee portfolio was from book years 2005–2007 (slightly more than Fannie) and that these mortgages had subprime characteristics, as shown in table 2. Based on these figures, it appears that as much as 40 percent of the loans that Freddie Mac added to its book of single-family mortgage business during 2005–2007 also consisted of junk loans.

Freddie’s disclosures did not contain enough detail to eliminate all of the double counting, so it is not possible to estimate the total amount of its subprime loans from the information it reported. Nevertheless, we can calculate the minimum amount of Freddie’s exposure. In the same report, Freddie disclosed that $190 billion of its loans were categorized as Alt-A and $68 billion had FICO credit scores of less than 620, so that they would clearly be categorized as subprime. Based on the limited information Freddie supplied, double counting of $7.6 billion can be eliminated, so that as of August 2008, Freddie held or had guaranteed at least $258 billion of junk loans. To this must be added $134 billion of subprime and Alt-A loans that Freddie purchased from private label issuers,[19] for a grand total of $392 billion–20 percent of Freddie’s single-family portfolio of $1.8 trillion.

A New Trillion-Dollar Commitment

Between 2005 and 2007, Fannie and Freddie acquired so many junk mortgages that, as of August 2008, they held or had guaranteed more than $1.011 trillion in unpaid principal balance exposures on these loans. The losses already recognized on these exposures were responsible for the collapse of Fannie and Freddie and their takeover by the federal government, and there are undoubtedly many more losses to come. In congressional testimony on September 23, James Lockhart, the director of their new regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, cited these loans as the source of the GSEs’ ultimate collapse, as reported in the Washington Post:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased and guaranteed “many more low-documentation, low-verification and non-standard” mortgages in 2006 and 2007 “than they had in the past.” He said the companies increased their exposure to risks in 2006 and 2007 despite the regulator’s warnings.

Roughly 33 percent of the companies’ business involved buying or guaranteeing these risky mortgages, compared with 14 percent in 2005. Those bad debts on mortgages led to billions of dollars in losses at the firms. “The capacity to raise capital to absorb further losses without Treasury Department support vanished,” Lockhart said.[20]

Although a large share of the subprime loans now causing a crisis in the international financial markets are so-called private label securities–issued by banks and securitizers other than Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–the two GSEs became the biggest buyers of the AAA tranches of these subprime pools in 2005-07.[21] Without their commitment to purchase the AAA tranches of these securitizations, it is unlikely that the pools could have been formed and marketed around the world. Accordingly, not only did the GSEs destroy their own financial condition with their excessive purchases of subprime loans in the three-year period from 2005 to 2007, but they also played a major role in weakening or destroying the solvency and stability of other financial institutions and investors in the United States and abroad.

Why Did They Do It?

Why did the GSEs follow this disastrous course? One explanation–advanced by Lockhart–is that Fannie and Freddie were competing for market share with the private label securitizers and had to purchase substantial amounts of subprime mortgages in order to retain their position in a growing market. Fannie and Freddie’s explanation is that they were the victims of excessively stringent HUD affordable housing goals. Neither of these explanations is plausible. For many years before 2004, Fannie and Freddie had followed relatively prudent investment strategies, even with respect to affordable housing, but they suddenly changed their approach in 2005. Freddie Mac’s report, for example, shows that the percentage of mortgages in its portfolio with subprime characteristics rose rapidly after 2004. Tables 1 and 2 show that for each category of mortgages with subprime characteristics, most of the portfolio of loans with those characteristics was acquired from 2005 to 2007. For example, 83.8 percent of Fannie’s and 90 percent of Freddie’s interest-only loans as of June 2008 were acquired from 2005 to 2007, and 57.5 percent of Fannie’s and 61 percent of Freddie’s loans with FICO scores of less than 620 as of June 2008 were acquired from 2005 to 2007. It seems unlikely that competing for market share or complying with HUD regulations–which contained no enforcement mechanism other than disclosure and delay in approving requests for mission expansions–could be the reason for such an obviously destructive course.

Instead, it seems likely that the event responsible for the GSEs’ change in direction and culture was the accounting scandal that each of them encountered in 2003 and 2004. In both cases, they lost their reputation as well-managed companies and began to encounter questions about their contribution to reducing mortgage rates and their safety and soundness. Serious observers questioned whether they should be allowed to continue to hold mortgages and MBS in their portfolios–by far their most profitable activity–and Senate Republicans moved a bill out of committee that would have prohibited this activity.

Under these circumstances, the need to manage their political risk became paramount, and this required them to prove to their supporters in Congress that they still served a useful purpose. In 2003, as noted above, Frank had cited an arrangement in which the GSEs’ congressional benefits were linked to their investments in affordable housing. In this context, substantially increasing their support for affordable housing–through the purchase of the subprime loans permitted by HUD–seems a logical and even necessary tactic.

Unfortunately, the sad saga of Fannie and Freddie is not over. Some of their supporters in Congress prefer to blame the Fannie and Freddie mess on deregulation or private market failure, perhaps hoping to use such false diagnoses to lay the groundwork for reviving the GSEs for extra constitutional expenditure and political benefit in the future. As the future of the GSEs is debated over the coming months and years, it will be important to remember how and why Fannie and Freddie failed. The primary policy objective should be to prevent a repeat of this disaster by preventing the restoration of the GSE model.

Peter J. Wallison (pwallison@aei.org) is the Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies at AEI. Charles W. Calomiris (cc374@columbia.edu) is a visiting scholar at AEI and the Henry Kaufman Professor of Financial Institutions at Columbia Business School.

Messrs. Wallison and Calomiris wish to thank Edward Pinto, a former chief credit officer of Fannie Mae, for his assistance in deciphering the GSEs’ descriptions of their mortgage exposures. AEI research assistant Karen Dubas worked with the authors to produce this Financial Services Outlook.

Download file Click here to view this Outlook as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.

Notes

1. Quoted in Niles Steven Campbell, “Fannie Mae Officials Try to Assuage Worried Investors,” Real Estate Finance Today, May 10, 1999. See also Binyamin Appelbaum, Carol D. Leonnig, and David S. Hilzenrath, “How Washington Failed to Rein In Fannie, Freddie,” Washington Post, September 14, 2008.

2. Common Cause, “Ask Yourself Why . . . They Didn’t See This Coming,” September 24, 2008, available at www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4542875 (accessed September 29, 2008).

3. Center for Responsive Politics, “Lobbying: Top Spenders,” 2008, available at www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=s (accessed September 26, 2008).

4. Owen Ullmann, “Crony Capitalism: American Style,” The International Economy (July/August 1999): 6.

5. Terry Jones, “‘Crony’ Capitalism Is Root Cause of Fannie and Freddie Troubles,” Investor’s Business Daily, September 22, 2008.

6. Joseph E. Stiglitz, Jonathan M. Orszag, and Peter R. Orszag, “Implications of the New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Risk-Based Capital Standard,” Fannie Mae Papers 1, no. 2 (March 2002), available at www.sbgo.com/Papers/fmp-v1i2.pdf (accessed September 29, 2008). Interestingly, Stiglitz today is an outspoken critic of GSE risk-taking. According to Stiglitz, GSE risk-taking was a predictable consequence of the structure of the GSEs and their financial structure and compensation schedules. “We should not be worried about [GSE] shareholders losing their investments. In earlier years, they were amply rewarded. The management remuneration packages that they approved were designed to encourage excessive risk-taking. They got what they asked for. Nor should we be worried about creditors losing their money. Their lack of supervision fuelled the housing bubble and we are now all paying the price.” (Joseph Stiglitz, “Fannie’s and Freddie’s Free Lunch,” Financial Times, July 24, 2008.)

7. Funding Universe, “Fannie Mae–Company History,” available at www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Fannie-Mae-Company-History.html (accessed September 29, 2008); Funding Universe, “Freddie Mac–Company History,” available at www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Freddie-Mac-Company-History.html (accessed September 29, 2008); and Business Wire, “Fannie Mae’s $2 Trillion ‘American Dream Commitment’ on Course with Over $190 Billion in Targeted Lending,” news release, March 14, 2001, avail-able at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2001_March_14/ai_71707186/ (accessed September 29, 2008).

8. Office of Senator Charles E. Schumer, “Schumer Announces up to $100 Million Freddie Mac Commitment to Address Fort Drum and Watertown Housing Crunch,” news release, November 20, 2006, available at www.senate.gov/~schumer/SchumerWebsite/pressroom/record.cfm?id=266131 (accessed September 29, 2008).

9. Alan Greenspan, “Proposals for Improving the Regulation of the Housing Government Sponsored Enterprises” (testimony, Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate, 108th Cong., 1st sess., February 24, 2004), available at www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/testimony/2004/20040224/ default.htm (accessed September 29, 2008).

10. Ibid.

11. Andreas Lehnert, Wayne Passmore, and Shane M. Sherlund, “GSEs, Mortgage Rates and Secondary Market Activities” (Finance and Economic Discussion Series 2005-07, Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC, January 12, 2005), 1, available at www.federalreserve.gov/Pubs/feds/2005/200507/200507pap.pdf (accessed September 29, 2008).

12. Quoted in Gerald Prante, “Barney Frank on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2003,” Tax Policy Blog, September 17, 2008, available at www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/23617.html (accessed September 29, 2008).

13. Carol D. Leonnig, “How HUD Mortgage Policy Fed the Crisis,” Washington Post, June 10, 2008.

14. Paul Krugman, “Fannie, Freddie and You,” New York Times, July 14, 2008.
15. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Thrift Supervision, “Expanded Guidance for Subprime Lending Programs,” 2001, available at www.federalreserve.gov/Boarddocs/SRletters/2001/sr0104a1.pdf (accessed September 29, 2008).

16. Fannie Mae, “2008 Q2 10-Q Investor Summary,” August 8, 2008, available at www.fanniemae.com/media/pdf/newsreleases/2008_Q2_10Q_Investor_Summary.pdf (accessed September 29, 2008).

17. Neil Morse, “Looking for New Customers,” Mortgage Banking, December 1, 2004.

18. Fannie Mae, “2008 Q2 10-Q Investor Summary,” 20.

19. Freddie Mac, “Freddie Mac Update,” August 2008, 30, available at www.freddiemac.com/investors/pdffiles/investor-presentation.pdf (accessed September 29, 2008).

20. Zachary A. Goldfarb, “Affordable-Housing Goals Scaled Back,” Washington Post, September 24, 2008.

21. James Lockhart, “Reforming the Regulation of the Government Sponsored Enterprises” (testimony, Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., February 7, 2008), 6, available at www.ofheo.gov/media/testimony/2708LockharttestimonyWeb.pdf (accessed September 29, 2008).

The economic implosion of our economy due to Fannie and Freddie’s losses continues.  From an AP article published Friday, January 22:

The two companies, which have been run by the government since they almost collapsed in September 2008, have required $111 billion in federal aid to stay afloat. Late last year the Obama administration pledged to cover unlimited losses through 2012 for both companies, lifting an earlier cap of $400 billion.

The “unlimited losses” amounts to an EXPANSION from the $800 BILLION that Congress was going to authorize.  Which is even more than the $787 billion stimulus, which was the largest government outlay in the history of the human race until the black hole of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac beat it out.

It’s time to learn the truth.