Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Hassett’

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
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.. 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.
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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.) …
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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.
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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. …
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So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all?  Do you even know what honesty means?
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[Was] getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for? …
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… 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.
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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.
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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
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.. 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.
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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.
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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 ..


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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.
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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.
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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
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UNDER SCRUTINY: Thomas E. Donilon worked as a registered lobbyist for Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2005.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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).
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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
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“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.
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“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
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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.
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Meanwhile, guess who were the top four recipients of campaign contributions from Fannie and Freddie between 1988 and 2008?
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Senators Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and — still ready? — Barack Obama.
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A coincidence, I tell you — just a coincidence.
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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 ..

 


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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:
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“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.
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“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.
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” 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.
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“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.
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“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.
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“I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.”
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It died at the hands of the DEMOCRATS —
HERE’s a video clip showing their anger.
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“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
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“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
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“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
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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.]

 

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Obama Administration A Fifth Column Destroying American Competitiveness From Within

June 10, 2009

Obama has a plan to make American business as competitive in the world economy as the proverbial Dodo bird for the sake of “economic justice.”

Obama Tells American Businesses to Drop Dead: Kevin Hassett

June 8 (Bloomberg) — I’ve finally figured out the Obama economic strategy. President Barack Obama and his team have been having so much fun wielding dictatorial power while rescuing “failed” firms, that they have developed a scheme to gain the same power over every business. The plan is to enact policies that are so anticompetitive that every firm needs a bailout.

Once that happens, their new pay czar Kenneth Feinberg can set the wage for everybody and Rahm Emanuel can stack the boards of all of our companies with his political cronies.

I know, it sounds like an exaggeration. But look at it this way. If there were a power ranking of U.S. companies, like the ones compiled by football writers for National Football League teams, Microsoft would surely be first or second to Google. But last week, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer came to Washington to announce what Microsoft would do if Obama’s multinational tax policy is enacted.

“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said, “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S.” If Microsoft, perhaps our most competitive company, has to abandon the U.S. in order to continue to thrive, who exactly is going to stay?

At issue is Obama’s policy to end the deferral of multinational taxation.

The U.S. now has about the highest combined corporate tax rate, second only to Japan among industrialized countries. That rate is so high that U.S. firms have an enormous disadvantage versus competitors. The average corporate tax rate for the major developed countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2008 was about 27 percent, more than 10 percentage points lower than the U.S. rate.

Tax Burden

U.S. firms have nonetheless prospered because our tax code allows a business to set up a subsidiary in a low-tax country. When that subsidiary earns profits, they are taxed at the rate of that country, and don’t face U.S. tax until the money is mailed home.

The economically illiterate partisan Democratic view is that this practice is unpatriotic and bleeds jobs from the U.S. The economic reality is that American companies use this approach to acquire market share overseas. The alternative is losing the business to foreign competitors.

Don’t just take my word for it. A recent paper by Harvard economists Mihir Desai and C. Fritz Foley and Berkeley economist James Hines and published in the distinguished American Economic Review, gathered data on American multinationals to explore the impact of foreign investments on domestic U.S. activity.

Encourage Overseas Sales

Their conclusion was striking. The authors found that “10 percent greater foreign capital investment is associated with 2.2 percent greater domestic investment, and that 10 percent greater foreign employee compensation is associated with 4 percent greater domestic employee compensation. Changes in foreign and domestic sales, assets, and numbers of employees are likewise positively associated; the evidence also indicates that greater foreign investment is associated with additional domestic exports and R&D spending.”

So when firms expand their operations abroad, taking advantage of the lower foreign tax rates, it helps their workers in the U.S. Higher sales abroad (surprise, surprise) are good for domestic workers.

It is worth noting that this study, which is confirmed by a boatload of evidence elsewhere, was coauthored by the same James Hines who recently wrote a sweeping review of international tax policy with Obama’s top economist, Larry Summers. Summers has to know what the literature says.

Inexplicable Stance

So the question is, why does Obama advocate a policy that so flies in the face of everything that economists have learned? How could Obama possibly say, as he did last month, that he wants “to see our companies remain the most competitive in the world. But the way to make sure that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens?” Further, how could Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner call a practice that top scholarship has shown increases wages and employment in the U.S. “indefensible?”

I have to admit I am at a loss. Maybe it is good politics to bash American corporations, and Obama isn’t really serious about making this change happen. But if the change is enacted, and domestic corporate taxes aren’t reduced to offset the big tax hike, the result will be a flight from the U.S. that rivals in scale the greatest avian arctic migrations.

If that occurs, the firms that stay in the U.S. will be at such a huge tax disadvantage that they will absolutely need a “rescue.”

(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)

Is the destruction of America deliberate?

It’s certainly possible.

Another possibility is that Barack Obama and Timothy Geithner have never actually had to make a payroll, or run an actual business.  It’s all just monopoly money for these guys.  They live in a world of theory, and their theories are all crap.