Posted by Larry Doyle on January 5th, 2010 4:39 PM |
If you wonder why America is broke, look no further than the individual who wanted to roll the dice on sub-prime lending, that is the Democrat from The People’s Republic of Massachusetts, Barney Frank. In an interview this morning on CNBC, Frank as much admits that maybe sub-prime lending should have been more regulated. Wow! What balls!
America doesn’t need legislators who operate by looking in the rear view mirror. With the sole exception of Frank’s remark in support of auditing the Fed, he offers platitudes that can only be compared to a social misfit. In fact, as I watched this clip, I constantly envisioned Barney collecting tickets and serving soda at a local theatre . . . said with all due respect to ticket takers and soda jerks.
For Barney Frank to effectively absolve himself of the massive and corrupt bankrupting of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae is a sin. For America not to hold him accountable is a greater sin.
This clip runs 18 minutes. WARNING: Barf bags highly recommended!
Posted by Larry Doyle on December 31st, 2009 11:34 AM |
Blank checks are the antithesis of good public policy.
America can not allow the passage of time to lessen the outrage over the Obama administration’s Christmas Eve bonus to the financial sinkholes known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Platitudes and posturing aside, the American taxpayer is being set up as never before.
A blank check may serve to cover a host of past financial and legislative failures promoted by the likes of Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, John Kerry et al, but who is monitoring and verifying the legitimate and proper use of these funds? Are we to blindly trust Treasury Secretary Geithner, White House economic adviser Larry Summers, and their respective staffs in this process? Are you kidding me? America needs to voice its outrage long and hard. In that spirit, I called yesterday to Audit Freddie and Fannie.
In the same vein, I am heartened by initiatives launched yesterday by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and Reps. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) and Spencer Bachus (R-AL) to pursue an investigation of this blank check.
The Wall Street Journal reports, Lawmakers Want Probe Into Treasury Aid for Fannie, Freddie: >>> (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on June 22nd, 2009 2:31 PM |
When a homeowner goes out without locking his doors and leaving some lights on, he is inviting trouble.
In a similar fashion, the American public should prepare itself for a continued plundering of the portfolios and balance sheets of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae by our leading housing finance gurus, Barack Obama and Barney Frank.
The scene is already set for our dynamic duo to pile an ever increasing amount of risk onto these “wards of the state.” How so?
1. While Freddie and Fannie are very much the responsibility of Uncle Sam, their balance sheets are not technically on Uncle Sam’s roll. That ‘cover’ provides a convenient disguise, but the fact is these ‘foster children’ are now nothing more than receptacles for more of Uncle Sam’s risky undertakings.
2. Neither the media nor the political opposition truly call them on these financial charades.
We learn today that both Barack and Barney have grand visions to add more high risk loans at mispriced rates onto Freddie and Fannie’s books. The Wall Street Journal offers, Changes Urged to Rules on Condo Loans:
Two Democratic lawmakers are calling on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to relax recently tightened standards for mortgages on new condominiums, saying they could threaten the viability of some developments and slow the housing-market recovery.
In March, Fannie Mae said it would no longer guarantee mortgages on condos in buildings where fewer than 70% of the units have been sold, up from 51%. Fannie Mae also won’t purchase mortgages in buildings where 15% of owners are delinquent on condo association dues or where one owner has more than 10% of units, which the firm sees as signals that a building could run into financial trouble. Freddie Mac will implement similar policies next month.
In a letter to the chief executives of Fannie and Freddie, Reps. Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.) warned that the 70% sales threshold “may be too onerous” and could lead condo buyers to shun new developments. The legislators asked the companies to “make appropriate adjustments” to their underwriting standards for condos.
What does Barney Frank truly know about housing finance? This assessment is an elongated statement similar in style to Frank’s now famous approach to sub-prime lending back in September, 2003. Barney proposed, “I want to roll the dice.” America crapped out on that roll. Now in the height of hypocrisy, Barney is still providing insights and recommendations on mortgage topics. What’s wrong with this picture? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on April 28th, 2009 12:15 PM |
The intrigue involved in Bank of America’s takeover of Merrill Lynch goes well beyond standard Wall Street negotiations. Did Fed chair Ben Bernanke and then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson break the law in the process of pressuring BofA CEO Ken Lewis to complete this bank merger? Bloomberg’s Jonathan Weil has easily distinguished himself amongst all journalists in aggressively addressing this topic. Weil pulls no punches in writing One Nation, Under Banks With Justice For No One.
Lewis, as CEO of Bank of America, possessed material non-public information about Merrill Lynch and was obligated by law to release that information to his shareholders. Lewis unequivocally maintains Bernanke and Paulson pressured him not to release that information which would have potentially derailed the merger. Why didn’t Lewis get Bernanke’s and Paulson’s position in writing? Did Lewis ask for it in writing? Did Paulson and Bernanke knowingly avoid a legal quagmire by not contractually committing in writing to increased government support for Lewis’ acquiescence?
Weil provides a clear expose of this situation. I commend him! He writes:
The spectacle of Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson running roughshod over Kenneth Lewis and his minions at Bank of America Corp. raises a pivotal question for all Americans: Is the U.S. a nation of laws, or a nation of banks?
Let’s start by examining the facts disclosed last week in a letter by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo while taking pains to present the actions of each player in this drama in the fairest possible light. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on April 26th, 2009 9:04 AM |
Barney Frank may try to rewrite his Congressional record on housing finance, but he will forever be linked to supporting the activities of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which drove irresponsible sub-prime lending. A review of a WSJ article, What They Said About Fan and Fred, is truly damning. I strongly recommend your reading it. Who can ever forget back in 2003 Barney Frank stating in Congressional testimony addressing Freddie and Fannie specifically and housing finance:
House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 10, 2003:
Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.): I worry, frankly, that there’s a tension here. The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, 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 and withstand some of the disaster scenarios. . . .
Tension? Threat of safety and soundness? Financial losses? Fundamentally sound? Disaster scenarios? With a “watchdog” like Barney is there really any surprise how and why Freddie and Fannie were plundered by their own executives and the sub-prime lending industry? It is not a stretch in stating that Barney had the welcome mat out and held the door open.
I am not stating that Barney was directly complicit in the fraudulent sub-prime lending, but he certainly defines naivete and incompetence on this front. His Democratic sidekicks – Dodd, Schumer, and Waters -were complicit and also drinking from the same punch bowl.
What about Barney’s comment regarding oversight of Freddie and Fannie:
House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 25, 2003:
Rep. Frank: I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing. . . .
Again in 2005, Barney continued to stand his ground on the housing front despite rampant signs at that point of irresponsible lending and incipient fraud:
Well now that Barney and our entire country have “crapped out” on his roll of the dice, Barney decides homeownership may not be the best thing for all concerned. In a height of pandering well beyond the Washington norm, Barney offers the following in this excerpt from an interview on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS on April 20, 2009:
Is there any doubt that the burgeoning wind power industry in our country should engage Barney as their spokesperson? In so doing, Barney’s hot air may actually become a source of revenue for our great country rather than such an enormous expense.
Barney’s hot air should come with a warning, though, “Don’t Be Downwind!!”
Posted by Larry Doyle on April 21st, 2009 1:14 PM |
How does our economy and country move forward after having experienced rampant abuses throughout our financial industry? It is disheartening that we have not already seen an aggressive pursuit and prosecution of many involved in these financial improprieties. Bloomberg releases a story today indicating House Speaker Pelosi Wall Street Probe Modeled on Pecora After Wall Street Crash.
While a thorough investigation is critically important to improve the health and well being of our markets and economy, I would propose we employ an independent investigation. Why?
Our financial industry is intertwined with the regulatory and political oversight which is supposed to monitor it. If we employ a currently sitting legislative body to investigate Wall Street, can or will we receive a truly unbiased analysis? Do we recall Franklin Raines of Fannie Mae being questioned by members of Congress who had received significant campaign contributions from Fannie? The “investigation” of Freddie and Fannie was certainly more theatre than true investigation. Will we get the same with Ms. Pelosi’s probe? Bloomberg offers:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to push for a comprehensive inquiry, saying that three-quarters of Americans want to know what led to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and the collapse of Bear Stearns Cos. and Merrill Lynch & Co. She favors one patterned after Senate Banking Committee hearings led by Ferdinand Pecora starting in 1933, according to her spokesman, Nadeam Elshami.
The Pecora review “was probably the single most important congressional investigation in the history of our country, except perhaps the Watergate hearings,” Donald Ritchie, associate historian for the U.S. Senate, said in an interview. (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on March 19th, 2009 12:36 PM |
Senator Dodd did not exactly fall on the sword for the Obama administration as Bloomberg reports, Senator Chris Dodd Blames Obama Administration for Bonus Amendment.
The very legislators who rushed through the Stimulus Bill, which included provisions to prevent AIG-like bonuses, are now railing and pandering as never before. Who are these politicians? Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, and many more. Treasury Secretary Geithner Vows to Recoup AIG Bonuses as Lawmakers Express Fury. Geithner himself feigned ignorance of his knowledge of these AIG payouts.
What do we learn from this sort of political circus? (more…)
Posted by Larry Doyle on December 12th, 2008 1:35 PM |
In the midst of the economic turmoil, the Obama transition, the “rescue” of the domestic auto industry, and the Blagojevich fiasco, the biggest story of all in terms of “$$$” is getting limited coverage in the media, but not here at NQ!!
The core of the global economic meltdown is centered on our domestic housing market and the core of that market is centered on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
It is a shame that the Congressional hearing of the four senior executives (Richard Syron and Leland Brendsel of Freddie Mac and Daniel Mudd and Franklin Raines of Fannie Mae) is not front and center on every media outlet in our country.
It is also a shame that the respective heads of the Congressional Banking Committees are not heavily involved in these hearings. Those individuals, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, along with their colleague, Chuck Schumer should not only be compelled to question these executives, but they themselves should be compelled to be questioned by their colleagues.
Read here as to how “Fannie, Freddie Executives Knew of Risks….” The fact that the executives “generally dodged demands by committee members that they accept blame for those problems” is the height of shamelessness and hypocrisy.
How I wish that we had real statesmen in Washington who had the courage to question these individuals on the following points, which were highlighted here on October 16 in a piece entitled “A Wall St. Insider’s View of Freddie/Fannie.” (more…)