Guest Post: Sandra Guillory
When I went back to Europe in ’98 to visit ‘friends’ I returned utterly depressed. The nephew of the Greek sisters I visited just wanted [ in very broken English ] to criticize America’s foreign policy and state department. I didn’t know much of anything about either of those subjects back then so had no rebuttal. I did know that our country was being denigrated.
My next visit on this trip was with a German friend whom I had corresponded with for years. No sooner had she and her French husband picked me up at airport in Nice, then they began to criticize America.
“Why do you Americans get drunk and take pills and don’t exercise?” on and on. I promised them I was not a drunk, and I did exercise. They went on to criticize everything they could think of about my country. I realized later that I should have said,
“People in our country (and especially in the South) would Never Never speak to our guests and be critical of their country the way you, the brilliant Germans have.”
Also I should have thrown in the really good part:She could speak at least 5 languages–proving that brilliance and courtesy don’t always go together. By time I left she knew something was wrong since I had little to say to them. Anything I did say, I was corrected every time.
Rarely do our always socialist leaning, USA disdaining, semi-friends across the pond come up with facts and then transmit same. That is actually shocking! Maybe those of you who are left-wingers will buy into a little truth if it comes from glamorous Europa–well not so glamorous any longer.
I wonder if my left-wing friends know the truth about the cause of the collapse of the housing industry?
In the Democrat controlled Congress of 2008, two such important committees were the Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Democrat Senator Chris Dodd and the House Financial Services Committee, led by Democrat Congressman Barney Frank. Together, these two Democrats passed rules and regulations that committed the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fanny Mae, and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, known as Freddie Mac, to obligate banks to make sub-prime housing loans to people who were judged to be unable to afford them. An article from the British newspaper, The Independent, tells the whole story.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd deserve blame for Fannie and Freddie
The Independent, a British newspaper, blames the Democrats for the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
What is the proximate cause of the collapse of confidence in the world’s banks? Millions of improvident loans to American housebuyers. Which organisations were on their own responsible for guaranteeing half of this $12 trillion market? Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the so-called Government Sponsored Enterprises which last month were formally nationalised to prevent their immediate and catastrophic collapse. Now, who do you think were among the leading figures blocking all the earlier attempts by President Bush — and other Republicans — to bring these lending behemoths under greater regulatory control? Step forward, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.
In September 2003 the Bush administration launched a measure to bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under stricter regulatory control, after a report by outside investigators established that they were not adequately hedging against risks and that Fannie Mae in particular had scandalously mis-stated its accounts. In 2006, it was revealed that Fannie Mae had overstated its earnings — to which its senior executives’ bonuses were linked — by a stunning $9.3billion. Between 1998 and 2003, Fannie Mae’s executive chairman, Franklin Raines, picked up over $90 million in bonuses and stock options.
Yet Barney Frank and his chums blocked all Bush’s attempts to put a rein on Raines. During the House Financial Services Committee hearing following Bush’s initiative, Frank declared: “The more people exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness [at Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae], the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially.” His colleague on the committee, the California Democrat Maxine Walters, said: “There were nearly a dozen hearings where we were trying to fix something that wasn’t broke. Mr Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac and particularly at Fannie Mae under the outstanding leadership of Mr Franklin Raines.”
When Mr Raines himself was challenged by the Republican Christopher Shays, to the effect that his ratio of capital to assets (that is, mortgages) of 3 per cent was dangerously low, the Fannie Mae boss retorted that “our assets are so riskless, we could have a capital ratio of under 2 per cent”.
The web site Politico reported this on October 9, 2008 in a story written by Patrick O’Connor & Amie Parnes:
“During a town hall in Wisconsin on Thursday, McCain called Senate Banking Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.) and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (Mass.) “willing co-conspirators” in the current financial collapse. ”
“This comes as conservative talk radio hosts and an outside group aligned with the GOP accuse the duo of similar crimes against the economy, particularly an allegation that congressional Democrats blocked legislation to increase regulations and oversight for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”
“The fact is that the same people that are now claiming credit for this rescue are the same ones that were willing co-conspirators in causing the problem,” McCain told supporters at a town hall meeting in Waukesha, Wis., on Thursday. “Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd are two of them.”
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What have we heard from this administration about plans to make things right at Fannie and Freddie? Instead of a clean-up of glaring wrongs in such behemoths, all we hear is the propaganda drumbeat saying over and over and over again: “Right-wing fanatics” (If we say it long enough and loud enough, the stupid bourgeois will believe it and vote us in again!)