Posts Tagged ‘mortgages’

ACORN Helping Illegal Immigrants Get Sweetheart Home Loans, Crash Mortgage System

September 21, 2009

(Youtube link)

When I hear “maximum eligible participation in all government programs,” I think “Cloward-Piven strategy” (and see also here) and the intentional destruction of our economic system.  Social radicals want to overload the system with too many “clients” and too many people getting benefits so that when the system collapses under the weight of all of those subsidies and benefits they will be able to create “change.”

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Is This Economic Recovery? ‘1,000 Banks To Fail In Next Two Years’

August 31, 2009

Studies galore have demonstrated the bias of the media.  They have documented that more than 80% of supposedly objective journalists are Democrats.  And they have documented that their personal bias shaped their professional bias, with the media overwhelmingly favoring their “first love,” Barack Obama in the presidential campaign.

Their bias runs to even the smallest and most seemingly trivial matters, on the apparent theory that there is nothing to small to use to attack and undermine a Republican: journalists who stumbled all over themselves to praise Obama’s strenuous exercise rituals and his “chiseled pectorals” found Bush’s exercise “obsessive” and “creepy.” The media wouldn’t even allow President Bush to golf without attacking him for abandoning his duties, whereas they don’t attack Obama – even though he’s playing gold far more often than Bush did – and even golfing with a CEO of a firm in the midst of a tax corruption investigation.

So it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that the media would show its bias in big matters such as the economy.

University of Maryland senior research scientist John Lott Jr. says news coverage of the economy is slanted. Lott writes, “Over 78 percent more negative news stories discussed a recession when the economy — under a Republican president was soaring than occurred under a Democrat when the economy was shrinking.”

Lott — who researched 12,500 newspaper and wire service articles from 1985 through 2004 — also found that Democratic presidents got positive headlines 15 percent more of the time than Republican presidents for the same economic news.

Of his findings Lott writes, “The media’s focus on the negative side of everything surely helps explain people’s pessimism… Indeed, research has indicated that media bias is real.”

The media helped Obama fearmonger the economy when he wanted them to fearmonger the economy to push through his stimulus; but now they’re are trying to talk up the economy when Obama wants them to talk up the economy.  They are dutifully reporting that the recession seems to be over.

But it isn’t.  And it won’t be.

1,000 Banks to Fail In Next Two Years: Bank CEO
Published: Thursday, 27 Aug 2009
By: Natalie Erlich

The US banking system will lose some 1,000 institutions over the next two years, said John Kanas, whose private equity firm bought BankUnited of Florida in May.

“We’ve already lost 81 this year,” Kanas told CNBC. “The numbers are climbing every day. Many of these institutions nobody’s ever heard of. They’re smaller companies.” (See the accompanying video for the complete interview.)

Failed banks tend to be smaller and private, which exacerbates the problem for small business borrowers, said Kanas, who became CEO of BankUnited when his firm bought the bank and is the former chairman and CEO of North Fork bank.

“Government money has propped up the very large institutions as a result of the stimulus package,” he said. “There’s really very little lifeline available for the small institutions that are suffering.”

This comes at a time when the FDIC has established new rules on bank sales. Private equity, for instance, would have to hold double the capital of their competitors in order to buy such an institution, said Kanas.

“This will have somewhat of a chilling effect on our participation,” he said. “As a result of having to keep higher capital levels, we’ll see lower prices coming from that sector.”

Of the 81 failed banks this year, two have been successfully acquired by private equity, he said. Kanas’ private equity firm bought UnitedBank, the failed Florida-based bank, from the FDIC in May. Regulators also allowed the sale of IndyMac Bank of California earlier this year.

“We are seeing more people step up and lobby bids in this situation,” he said. “We’re seeing more players mostly as a result of being attracted to the sector. I’m not so sure that will continue now that the rules have been ratchet it up.”

Meanwhile, much of the commercial realty problem resides in the regional and small community banks, said Kanas, because larger banks haven’t fueled that sector in the past.

“The market is expecting about the way we were expecting,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’re not seeing any evidence of a recovery in the real estate market in the southern Florida market,” he said.

It’s rather interesting that there’s a strong argument that Obama’s regulations are actually hurting our recovery, but Obama doesn’t have to worry about that message getting out to the public.  His secret, clearly,  is completely safe with the mainstream media.

The FDIC – the government entity which is supposed to step in if a bank goes bankrupt – is itself on the verge of going bankrupt:

March 4 (Bloomberg) — Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair said the fund it uses to protect customer deposits at U.S. banks could dry up amid a surge in bank failures, as she responded to an industry outcry against new fees approved by the agency.

And think about it: one thousand banks failing over the next two years is to the notion of “economic recovery” what a giant asteroid hurtling toward us from space is to the statement “things are looking up for us.”  But again, the mainstream media is so focused on talking up the economy that they don’t have much time for such distractions.

What’s going to happen to unemployment?  The media made such a big deal about a temporary 1/10th of one percent drop in the unemployment rate.  But the longer term trend isn’t good.  It isn’t good at ALL:

Banks Stronger But Outlook Clouded by Job Loss: Whitney

Unemployment is likely to rise to 13 percent or higher and will weigh on the economy for several years, countering government efforts to stabilize the banking industry, analyst Meredith Whitney told CNBC.

While Whitney raised her short-term outlook for banks, causing stocks to open in positive territory after pointing lower earlier, she said the long-term outlook for the economy remains murky.

Consumers will not be able to spend as they continue to lose jobs and credit conditions stay tight, she said in a live interview. The result will provide a vivid display of how critical housing and lending are to economic growth. Unemployment is currently at 9.5 percent but is expected to keep rising.

We underestimate how much the whole economy is dependent on the mortgage industry, and that has to change,” Whitney said. “This is what happens when you delay the inevitable. We’re buying time here, but we’re not restructuring the economy.”

We’re looking a situation in which nearly half of American homes will be “underwater” – with the mortgages being higher than then homes are worth – by 2011.

And Obama’s policies are not helping to actually deal with the core problem facing the mortgage industry.

The dire assessment comes amid a slight stabilization in the U.S. housing market after three years of price drops, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The report states that the drop in home prices is fueling a vicious cycle of foreclosures as it eliminates homeowner equity and gives borrowers an incentive to walk away from their mortgage.

But, the foreclosed homes are not coming onto the market because people are finding out they can stay living in them and not pay their mortgage, according to Kudrle.

“The Obama administration is putting so much pressure on the banks and lenders to slow down the foreclosure process to try and keep people in their homes,” Kudrle said. “We have people who have not made a payment for 12 to 18 months and the bank still hasn’t come in to foreclose.”

That’s not a policy that is going to correct our financial woes; it’s just a delaying tactic that will ultimately make a bad problem far, far worse by postponing and in fact stockpiling the coming misery.

Government Supported Enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – created by a Democrat-congrolled Congress and long run by connected Democrats – have been at the epicenter of the mortgage meltdown fiasco.

Peter Wallison predicted a future Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac failure in 1999 in a New York Times article, saying of Fannie Mae’s enormous financial exposure and risky policies:

”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.” . . .

Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick, Jim Johnson, Daniel Mudd.  That’s just part of your list of Democrats who ran Fannie Mae into the ground and profited wildly in doing so.  The Wall Street Journal cites the first three names for disgrace in the Fannie Mae Enron-scheme they produced.  The fourth figure, Fannie CEO Daniel Mudd, showed just how far to the left Fannie Mae was politically when he said to THE most radically liberal wing of the Democrat Party – the Congressional Black Caucus – the following:

So many of you have been good friends to Fannie Mae and our mission. You’ve been friends through thick and thin. We have indeed come upon a difficult time for Fannie Mae…  In many ways I want to tell you today you are also the conscience of Fannie Mae.

President Bush tried SEVENTEEN TIMES to create tighter regulation of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Bush’s efforts led to two major Republican efforts to push through regulations that would have limited the mess that Fannie and Freddie could create, but their every move was fiercely resisted by Democrats.  The first time, Barney Frank – leading the Democratic effort to shield Fannie and Freddie from necessary regulatory reform in 2003, said:

”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.”

Again, in 2005, Republicans tried and failed to establish necessary regulatory reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a time when reforms could have averted the 2008 disaster.  Again Democrats unanimously rose up to block any such effort.  John McCain warned:

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.

But Democrats refused to heed the warnings.  And when the economy DID collapse BECAUSE of their refusal to deal with the GSEs that they had politically-benefited from, the very people who created the disaster in the first place poised themselves to benefit from it by demagoguing Republicans whose greatest sin was not being strong enough in their efforts to stand up and stop Democrats from advancing a ruinous agenda.

Think about it: seventeen calls for regulatory reform of the housing mortgage industry, all resisted by Democrats.  Two major efforts at regulatory reform, both blocked by fierce and united Democrat opposition.  And then Democrats demonized Republicans for refusing to enact regulations.  That’s called ‘chutzpah.’  And when the mainline media reported it as if it were somehow true, it was called ‘propaganda.’

In only a couple short years in the Senate, Barack Obama racked up the 2nd highest total in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (2nd only to fellow Democrat and Senate Finance Chairman Chris Dodd).  Barack Obama was second in receipts of campaign contributions from corrupt Wall Street leveraging companies such as Lehman Brothers behind only Hillary Clinton.  Lehman Brothers profited and profited by playing the insane Wall Street insiders game until it went belly up from its own bloated practices.  And somehow that parasitic leech of a company was under the impression that financing one Barack Hussein Obama’s political career would be good for it’s greedy special interests.

And now we’re in such good hands to fix the mess that Democrats almost exclusively created.

And hey, don’t worry.  If anything bad happens, you can count on the mainstream media to honestly and objectively keep you informed — NOT.

Rampant Democrat Corruption Extends To Most Powerful Leaders

July 29, 2009

Right now, three of the most powerful Democrats are documented corrupt scumbags.

Charles Rangel, Chairman of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee is a tax cheat.  Chris Dodd, the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, took corrupt mortgage loans from a corrupt mortgage lender at the epicenter of the mortgage meltdown crisis.  Kent Conrad, the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, also took such loans.

These men are incredibly influential in the writing of laws and legislation that will absorb most of the economy under their power.  And they are corrupt.

We were entertained at the beginning of the Obama administration as it became painfully obvious that it was hard to find an honest Democrat who actually paid the taxes that they hypocritically wanted everyone else to pay.  Many fell by the wayside, but “Turbo Tax” Tim Geithner’s personal dishonesty in paying his taxes didn’t stand in the way of his being Obama’s choice to become the Treasury Secretary in charge of enforcing tax laws.

Let’s start with the man who writes your tax laws but doesn’t want to follow his own laws and pay his own taxes: Charles Rangel.

The man has all kinds of issues, such as selfishly and greedily taking rent-controlled property meant for poor people.  It’s hard to say which is worse, but don’t forget to consider what he did in buying pricey beachfront rental property and then refusing to pay taxes on his substantial income:

JULY 27, 2009, 4:28 P.M. ET

Morality and Charlie Rangel’s Taxes
It’s much easier to raise taxes if you don’t pay them.

Ever notice that those who endorse high taxes and those who actually pay them aren’t the same people? Consider the curious case of Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, who is leading the charge for a new 5.4-percentage point income tax surcharge and recently called it “the moral thing to do.” About his own tax liability he seems less, well, fervent.

Exhibit A concerns a rental property Mr. Rangel purchased in 1987 at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic. The rental income from that property ought to be substantial since it is a luxury beach-front villa and is more often than not rented out. But when the National Legal and Policy Center looked at Mr. Rangel’s House financial disclosure forms in August, it noted that his reported income looked suspiciously low. In 2004 and 2005, he reported no more than $5,000, and in 2006 and 2007 no income at all from the property.

The Congressman initially denied there was any unreported income. But reporters quickly showed that the villa is among the most desirable at Punta Cana and that it rents for $500 a night in the low season, and as much as $1,100 a night in peak season. Last year it was fully booked between December 15 and April 15.

Mr. Rangel soon admitted having failed to report rental income of $75,000 over the years. First he blamed his wife for the oversight because he said she was supposed to be managing the property. Then he blamed the language barrier. “Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they’d start speaking Spanish,” Mr. Rangel explained.

Mr. Rangel promised last fall to amend his tax returns, pay what is due and correct the information on his annual financial disclosure form. But the deadline for the 2008 filing was May 15 and as of last week he still had not filed. His press spokesman declined to answer questions about anything related to his ethics problems.

Besides not paying those pesky taxes, Mr. Rangel had other reasons for wanting to hide income. As the tenant of four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem, the Congressman needed to keep his annual reported income below $175,000, lest he be ineligible as a hardship case for rent control. (He also used one of the apartments as an office in violation of rent-control rules, but that’s another story.)

Mr. Rangel said last fall that “I never had any idea that I got any income’’ from the villa. Try using that one the next time the IRS comes after you. Equally interesting is his claim that he didn’t know that the developer of the Dominican Republic villa had converted his $52,000 mortgage to an interest-free loan in 1990. That would seem to violate House rules on gifts, which say Members may only accept loans on “terms that are generally available to the public.” Try getting an interest-free loan from your banker.

The National Legal and Policy Center also says it has confirmed that Mr. Rangel owned a home in Washington from 1971-2000 and during that time claimed a “homestead” exemption that allowed him to save on his District of Columbia property taxes. However, the homestead exemption only applies to a principal residence, and the Washington home could not have qualified as such since Mr. Rangel’s rent-stabilized apartments in New York have the same requirement.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating Mr. Rangel on no fewer than six separate issues, including his failure to report the no-interest loan on his Punta Cana villa and his use of rent-stabilized apartments. It is also investigating his fund raising for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York. New York labor attorney Theodore Kheel, one of the principal owners of the Punta Cana resort, is an important donor to the Rangel Center.

All of this has previously appeared in print in one place or another, and we salute the reporters who did the leg work. We thought we’d summarize it now for readers who are confronted with the prospect of much higher tax bills, and who might like to know how a leading Democrat defines “moral” behavior when the taxes hit close to his homes.

Charlie Rangel is a man who has been patently dishonest for his entire public life.  Not that it matters to Democrats.  If you’re a Democrat, you can be caught red-handed with $90,000 of FBI bribe money in your freezer like William Jefferson and actually get re-elected the following year.

That leaves Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad (at least, for me today).

AP IMPACT: Dodd, Conrad told deals were sweetened

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer Larry Margasak, Associated Press Writer – Mon Jul 27, 9:52 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation’s largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony.

Both senators have said that at the time the mortgages were being written they didn’t know they were getting unique deals from Countrywide Financial Corp., the company that went on to lose billions of dollars on home loans to credit-strapped borrowers. Dodd still maintains he got no preferential treatment.

Dodd got two Countrywide mortgages in 2003, refinancing his home in Connecticut and another residence in Washington. Conrad’s two Countrywide mortgages in 2004 were for a beach house in Delaware and an eight-unit apartment building in Bismarck in his home state of North Dakota.

Robert Feinberg, who worked in Countrywide’s VIP section, told congressional investigators last month that the two senators were made aware that “who you know is basically how you’re coming in here.”

“You don’t say ‘no’ to the VIP,” Feinberg told Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to a transcript obtained by The Associated Press.

The next day, Feinberg testified before the Senate Ethics Committee, an indication the panel is actively investigating two of the chamber’s more powerful members:

Dodd heads the Banking Committee and is a major player in two big areas: solving the housing foreclosure and financial crises and putting together an overhaul of the U.S. health care system. A five-term senator, he is in a tough fight for re-election in 2010, partly because of the controversy over his mortgages.

Conrad chairs the Budget Committee. He, too, shares an important role in the health care debate, as well as on legislation to curb global warming.

Both senators were VIP borrowers in the program known as “friends of Angelo.” Angelo Mozilo was chief executive of Countrywide, which played a big part in the foreclosure crisis triggered by defaults on subprime loans. The Calabasas, Calif.-based company was bought last July by Bank of America Corp. for about $2.5 billion.

Mozilo has been charged with civil fraud and illegal insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He denies any wrongdoing.

Asked by a House Oversight investigator if Conrad, the North Dakota senator, “was aware that he was getting preferential treatment?” Feinberg answered: “Yes, he was aware.”

Referring to Dodd, the investigator asked:

“And do you know if during the course of your communications” with the senator or his wife “that you ever had an opportunity to share with them if they were getting special VIP treatment?”

“Yes, yes,” Feinberg replied. […]

Countrywide VIPs, Feinberg told the committees, received discounts on rates, fees and points. Dodd received a break when Countrywide counted both his Connecticut and Washington homes as primary owner-occupied residences — a fiction, according to Feinberg. Conrad received a type of commercial loan that he was told Countrywide didn’t offer.

“The simple fact that Angelo Mozilo and other high-ranking executives at Countrywide were personally making sure Mr. Feinberg handled their loans right, is proof in itself that the senators knew they were getting sweetheart deals,” said Feinberg’s principal attorney, Anthony Salerno.

Two internal Countrywide documents in Dodd’s case and one in Conrad’s appear to contradict their statements about what they knew about their VIP loans.

At his Feb. 2 news conference, Dodd said he knew he was in a VIP program but insisted he was told by Countrywide, “It was nothing more than enhanced customer service … being able to get a person on the phone instead of an automated operator.”

He insisted he didn’t receive special treatment. However, the assertion was at odds with two Countrywide documents entitled “Loan Policy Analysis” that Dodd allowed reporters to review the same day.

The documents had separate columns: one showing points “actl chrgd” Dodd — zero; and a second column showing “policy” was to charge .250 points on one loan and .375 points on the other. Another heading on the documents said “reasons for override.” A notation under that heading identified a Countrywide section that approved the policy change for Dodd.

Mortgage points, sometimes called loan origination fees, are upfront fees based on a percentage of the loan. Each point is equal to 1 percent of the loan. The higher the points the lower the interest rate.

Dodd said he obtained the Countrywide documents in 2008, to learn details of his mortgages.

In Conrad’s case, an e-mail from Feinberg to Mozilo indicates Feinberg informed Conrad that Countrywide had a residential loan limit of a four-unit building. Conrad sought to finance an eight-unit apartment building in Bismarck that he had bought from his brothers.

“I did advise him I would check with you first since our maximum is 4 units,” Feinberg said in an April 23, 2004, internal e-mail to Mozilo.

Mozilo responded the same day that Feinberg should speak to another Countrywide executive and “see if he can make an exception due to the fact that the borrower is a senator.”

Feinberg said in his deposition with House Oversight investigators last month that exceptions for the type of loan Conrad received were not allowed for borrowers outside the VIP system.

“If there was a regular customer calling, and of course you say, ‘No, we’re a residential lender. We cannot provide you with that service,'” Feinberg said.

Feinberg also told House investigators that Countrywide counted both of Dodd’s homes as primary residences.

“He was allowed to do both of those as owner-occupied, which is not allowed. You can only have one owner-occupied property. You can’t live in two properties at the same time,” he said.

Normally, Feinberg said, a second home could require more equity and could have a higher mortgage rate.

Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the senior Republican on the House Oversight Committee, had his investigators question Feinberg as part of a broader investigation into Countrywide’s VIP program.

Other names that have surfaced as “friends” of Mozilo include James Johnson, a former head of Fannie Mae who later stepped down as an adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and Franklin Raines, who also headed Fannie Mae. Still other “friends” included retired athletes, a judge, a congressional aide and a newspaper executive.

Conrad initially said in June 2008, “If they did me a favor, they did it without my knowledge and without my requesting it.”

The next day, Conrad changed course after reviewing documents showing he got special treatment, and said he was donating $10,500 to charity and refinancing the loan on the apartment building with another lender. He also said then it appeared Countrywide had waived 1 point at closing on the beach house.

Gaddie said Feinberg has previously made statements to the news media that Countrywide waived 1 point without the senator’s knowledge.

Feinberg testified that VIPs usually were not told exactly how many points were being waived, but it was made clear to them that they were getting discounts.

And, of course, Barack Obama has his own sweetheart mortgage deal with his own scumbag, Tony Rezko.  Not to mention all kinds of other skeletons in his “Chicago Way” closet that were never investigated by a clearly biased press.  A lot of the most obvious corruption occurs through his wife Michelle Obama, who kept getting paid more and more on hospital boards as Obama advanced politically.  On hospitals that did some really nasty things, such as patient dumping which she might have participated in.

Democrats cry day after day that what the world needs is more government.

But consider something: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

No entity wields more absolute power, or is more corrupt, than government.

Democrats tell us every day that they are out to save us from evil big businesses.  But there is no one to save us from Democrats, or the intrusive giant octopus federal government behemoth they are seeking to create and empower to rule over virtually every aspect of our lives.

Bizarro Obama’s Credit Bill Subsidizes Stupidity By Penalizing Prudence

May 23, 2009

Elaine and Jerry have the following dialogue in a famous Seinfeld episode titled, “Bizarro Jerry”:

“He’s reliable. He’s considerate. He’s like your exact opposite.”
“So he’s Bizarro Jerry.”
“Bizarro Jerry?”
“Yeah, like Bizarro Superman, Superman’s exact opposite, who lives in the backwards Bizarro world. Up is down, down is up, he says hello when he leaves, goodbye when he arrives.”
“Shouldn’t he say badbye? Isn’t that the opposite of goodbye?”
“No, it’s still goodbye.”
“Does he live underwater?”
“No.”
“Is he black?”
“Look, just forget the whole thing.”
– Elaine and Jerry, in “The Bizarro Jerry”

Well, let’s not forget the whole thing, Jerry.  Because Bizarro Superman is now among us.  Art, imitation, and boob-tube television have come to life: Barack Obama is our Bizarro Superman.

Bizarro Superman is the sort of Superman who saves the guilty by beating the snot out of the innocent.

Did you buy a house you could afford?  Bizzaro Superman flew in and established a system whereby you subsidized those who foolishly overextended themselves.  After bailing out these fools who received assistance primarily by belonging to traditional liberal voting blocs, three out of five of them are already defaulting again (necessitating yet another bailout from you).

Do you have an account with a bank that took (in many cases was forced to take) TARP money?  Bizarro Superman wants to impose his political agenda on banks, so he won’t allow them to repay their loans.

Did you hope to be able to improve your lot in life with the gigantic stimulus package?  Sorry, Bizarro Superman’s stimulus turned out to be the porkulus that conservatives said it would be, with far more money going to 40 years’ worth of liberal pet projects than to job creation.  We’ve also recently learned that due to massive structural flaws the stimulus is bypassing all of the counties that most desperately needed help.  It might have helped if someone had actually been allowed to read the bill first, but Bizarro Superman didn’t want to take any chances that someone would see what a socialist power grab it truly was.

Did you invest in secured debt from Chrysler and GM?  Sorry, buddy: Superman has flown in and given your safe and secured investment dollars to his UAW cronies.  When the secured investors – who by law were entitled to be at the head of the line in any bankruptcy – balked at being paid pennies on the dollar while the UAW was given the farm – Bizarro Superman demonized them as “greedy hedge funds” and threatened them with public propaganda attacks.

Bizarro Superman has flown in and promised that 95% of Americans will get a tax cut under his plan (which actually just means more welfare for the 43.4 percent who already don’t pay any federal income tax at all even as our small business owners who employ most American workers are increasingly taxed into oblivion).  Will people pay less in taxes under Bizarro Superman?  Just for your information, the average 30 year old will pay $136,932.75 just for the interest of just Obama’s 2010 budget over the course of his or her working lifetime. Americans will be paying FAR more of their money to the government – and they will have Bizarro Superman to thank for it.

Only in Bizarro world does an administration say it’s “the patriotic duty” for some to pay a an even more massive tax burden imposed on them even as it promises that the other 95% should be LESS patriotic by paying less in taxes.

Are you one of the 100% of Americans who use energy?  Get ready for the price of it to skyrocket (“necessarily skyrocket,” to quote Bizarro Superman).  Even the Obama administration admits that Bizarro Superman’s energy plan will increase the average American’s electric bill by $1,800 a year.  Which means it will very likely be a hell of a lot worse than that.

Only in Bizarro world does Congress actually hire a speed reader to read really fast a terrible energy bill that Representatives and Senators won’t bother to read at normal speed.

Now Bizarro Superman has flown in and saved risky credit-card borrowers by establishing a system that will penalize those who have always paid their bills on time and in full.  From the New York Times:

Credit cards have long been a very good deal for people who pay their bills on time and in full. Even as card companies imposed punitive fees and penalties on those late with their payments, the best customers racked up cash-back rewards, frequent-flier miles and other perks in recent years.

Now Congress is moving to limit the penalties on riskier borrowers, who have become a prime source of billions of dollars in fee revenue for the industry. And to make up for lost income, the card companies are going after those people with sterling credit.

Banks are expected to look at reviving annual fees, curtailing cash-back and other rewards programs and charging interest immediately on a purchase instead of allowing a grace period of weeks, according to bank officials and trade groups.

“It will be a different business,” said Edward L. Yingling, the chief executive of the American Bankers Association, which has been lobbying Congress for more lenient legislation on behalf of the nation’s biggest banks. “Those that manage their credit well will in some degree subsidize those that have credit problems.”

Again and again, on issue after issue, our Bizarro Superman, Barack Hussein Obama, has come to the rescue of the irresponsible by punishing the responsible.

Our economy became the greatest in the history of the world by policies that rewarded sound and prudent investment while punishing foolish behaviors.  Those days are long gone.  We’re in Bizarro world now.

I pulled out of the stock market following the Democratic National Convention when I had that first moment of genuine fear that Obama would probably win, and put my nest egg into gold and silver.  Betting that Obama would be a disaster for the economy has been the best financial move I’ve ever made: I’ve made a 15% return on precious metals even as investors in the stock market lost about 30%.

I still remember the day I came across the following poll results from the September/October issue of CEO Magazine:

According to the poll, which is featured on the cover of Chief Executive’s most recent issue, by a four-to-one margin, CEOs support Senator John McCain over Senator Barack Obama. Moreover, 74 percent of the executives say they fear that an Obama presidency would be disastrous for the country.[…]

In expressing their rejection of Senator Obama, some CEOs who responded to the survey went as far as to say that “some of his programs would bankrupt the country within three years, if implemented.” In fact, the poll highlights that Obama’s tax policies, which scored the lowest grade in the poll, are particularly unpopular among CEOs.

I’ve pulled out of the US economy due to Bizzaro Superman and his Bizarro economic policies.  No investments in stocks, no purchases of US bonds.  Not with Obama’s mind-boggling deficit spending acting like a 10 ton anvil hovering over the economy due to debt as a percentage of GDP rising like a rocket ship.  I’m making as few purchases as possible.  And I’m not coming back to investment in America as long as Bizarro Superman is our president.

And I’m going to pull out of credit cards now, too.  If I see one fee, or if I see my interest rate go up so much as 1 point due to my cards’ charging interest from the moment of purchase, I’m cutting them up and going back to the tried and true checkbook.

The only question I have is this: at some point Obama’s and the Democrat’s policies of subsidizing stupidity by penalizing prudence are going to implode the economy.  In the aftermath of that disaster, will there even BE a U.S. economy worthy of investing in?

I’m not betting on it.

Obama’s National Finance Chair Pritzker At Epicenter of Sub Prime Crisis

July 23, 2008

Well, Obama’s been at it again.

This candidate who so boldly promised that he would be so different – and who has since demonstrated just how cynical he is to even make such a claim – has taken on yet another senior level campaign representative who is tied to the very worst scandal that is currently dragging this country’s economy down.

Penny Pritzker, Barack Obama’s National Finance Chair, has – as Ricky Ricardo used to put it – “some ‘splainin’ to do.” And Barack Obama has his own explaining to do – for naming her to his campaign in the first place. Pritzker has secured about $200 million dollars in campaign funds for Obama, but there’s a definite down side if people become aware of her past.

John R. Emshwiller writes an article based on the FDIC Report’s own finding and conclusions:

For the Pritzker family of Chicago, the 2001 collapse of subprime-mortgage lender Superior Bank was an embarrassing failure in a corner of their giant business empire.

Billionaire Penny Pritzker helped run Hinsdale, Ill.-based Superior, overseeing her family’s 50% ownership stake. She now serves as Barack Obama’s national campaign-finance chairwoman, which means her banking past could prove to be an embarrassment to her — and perhaps to the campaign.

Superior was seized in 2001 and later closed by federal regulators. Government investigators and consumer advocates have contended that Superior engaged in unsound financial activities and predatory lending practices. Ms. Pritzker, a longtime friend and supporter of Sen. Obama, served for a time as Superior’s chairman, and later sat on the board of its holding company.

The Office of Thrift Supervision report said:

Superior Bank suffered as a result of its former high-risk business strategy, which was focused on the generation of significant volumes of subprime mortgage and automobile loans for securitization and sale in the secondary market. OTS found that the bank also suffered from poor lending practices, improper record keeping and accounting, and ineffective board and management supervision.

Emshwiller further notes:

Ms. Pritzker served as Superior chairman until 1994. During that period, Superior “embarked on a business strategy of significant growth into subprime home mortgages,” which were then packaged into securities and sold to investors, according to a 2002 report by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General.

“Superior was at the forefront of the securitizing of subprime mortgages,” says Timothy Anderson, a retired bank consultant who has studied Superior and other failed thrifts.

So we see that it was during the Clinton years that this financial strategy that would lead to such an incredible disaster had its geneisis, and it was in the liberal bastion of Chicago – and a liberal financier – who were at its forefront.

For a time, the strategy of making high interest home and auto loans to people with bad credit appeared to work like a charm, yielding big profits-and large dividends for the Pritzkers. But it was essentially blood money profits made mainly on the what Moe Bedard referred to as “foreclosure blood and misery of millions of Americans.”

People like the Pritzkers made money if people paid the high-interest loans; and they made money if they didn’t through the ensuing foreclosures.

It only became a problem for the banks when the overly inflated housing market values came down to earth and people who owed more on their homes than they were worth began walking away from those high interest subprime loans in large numbers.

A USA Today story by Ken Dilanian notes that:

Superior, co-owned by Pritzker family trusts, began focusing on subprime loans in 1993, according to the FDIC Inspector General’s report. At the time, Pritzker was the board’s chair. She left the board in 1994 and continued as a director of the bank’s holding company. In 2002, the Pritzkers agreed to pay, through trusts, $460 million in a settlement with the government relieving them of liability.

So now we have a decided pattern – beyond the Chicago political link – to Obama himself. He named Jim Johnson to head his vitally important Vice Presidential Selection Committee. A Wall Street Journal story showed how Johnson received favorable treatment on personal loans from major sub-prime player Countrywide Financial Corp. Johnson – former chairman of now also in trouble Fannie Mae – went to Countrywide repeatedly to get new loans at sweetheart rates as a FOA (Friend of Angelo [Mozillo]). Johnson essentially received kickbacks received kickbacks in the form of great mortgages and lax underwriting guidelines on 3 properties totalling $1.7 million while millions of the “little people” crashed and burned.

In a prepared statement, the Obama campaign noted that Ms. Pritzker was never accused of wrongdoing by regulators in connection with Superior, and that her family agreed to pay $460 million to help defray the costs of Superior’s collapse.

That isn’t quite true. Rather, the federal regulators were simply never fully able to sort through all the flawed accounting and masked operating losses to find the smoking gun, and the offer of several hundred million dollars made them willing to quit looking. You don’t pay 460 million bucks unless you have an awful lot of skeletons in your closet. Pritzker was able to buy her way out of jail.

And please tell me something: just how is Barack Obama supposed to produce “change” when he surrounds himself with the same “old” greedy executives that have profited handsomely in this mortgage and housing crisis, and even pioneered the despicably greedy concept itself? Just what kind of benighted fool is going to think this guy is going to be one iota different? The sub prime scandal originated in Obama’s backyard, and Obama keeps handpicking figures tied to it.

Moe Bedard writes an article titled “Pritzker, Predatory Subprime Pioneer, Still On Obama Team” that provides a lot of documentation and includes a lot of links to other sources of information. The more you read, the more you learn about Obama’s choice for finance chair.

People had better start taking a serious look at Barack Obama – and ALL the horrendous people he has been keeping around him for years – before its too late.