On the financial mess:
- Acorn is not the root of all evil. It is an organization with a mission to try and help poor Americans afford their own home. It is a noble and worthy mission. Is there corruption within Acorn? Certainly. There are human beings running it, and human beings come in all varieties - including greedy and incompetent. Is Acorn responsible for the financial mess? I am sure it contributed to it, but by no measure could it have brought about the financial meltdown on its own.
- The Barney Franks of Washington, who pushed for more lenient loan underwriting standards had a responsibility to monitor the effects of doing so. They failed miserably. That Barney Frank even shows his face in Washington after what has happened to Fannie and Freddie is a testament to our time - a time in which accountability, responsibility and shame have been completely tossed aside and replaced by a 1960s hippie free-for-all mentality. Unfortunately for us, there are not any members of the Great Generation left to clean up the messes made by their Boomer children.
Watch Barney Frank tell us how financially sound fannie and freddie are. Hint: If Republicans are pushing to regulate something, it might be something we want to consider. (Other idiot Democrats mentioned that we need to get rid of: Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. )
- Glass/Steagal was put there for a reason. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act got rid of a few important protections, namely those separating banking, securities firms and insurance. This is another piece of the puzzle. A little history:
The guy in the picture is Carter Glass - who was both a smart guy and a Democrat. Sounds funny in the same sentence, doesn't it? He and Mr. Steagal to put together some laws that managed to keep us out of hot water for 75 years. Having just lived through a similar financial crisis himself, he probably knew a thing or two about the causes - Gramm, Leach and Biley, on the other hand, were not so astute.
(Not that there wasn't opposition at the time:)
Washington — The secret drive of Big Business to kill the Securities Act is getting more intense.
What Wall Street wants to do is hamstring the Act by eliminating the civil liability clauses. As now written, the Act makes corporation directors, executives even accountants liable for damages if through misleading the public, any investor loses money.
So, potent is this propaganda that an Administration committee has been set up very quietly to change tho Securities Act and also to modify the bank deposit guarantees in the Glass Steagal Bill.
Members of this committee are: John Dickinson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, who once represented ""Sullivan and Cromwell"", attorneys for various Wall Street organizations. William Stanley, assistant attorney general and Jim Farley's man at the Justice Department. A. A. Berle, Jr., member of the ??? Trust, and expert advisor on banking and railroad questions. Arthur H. Dean, member of the firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, as an advisory member.
Their job is to kill the Securities Act as painlessly and quietly as possible. (1933)
- The Rating Agencies failed so miserably it defies explanation - Moody's, Standard & Poor, etc. the companies whose sole raison d'être is to evaluate the financial condition of other companies were apparently staffed entirely with chimpanzees. Chimpanzees which had only managed to master the first letter of the alphabet. We should do a poll of all the zoos and circuses in the country to figure out from where they have escaped and return them as quickly as possible before they try their paw at other things - like California's budget or the banking bailout.
Without the AAA ratings handed out by the chimps, insurance companies like AIG would not have a) sold so much insurance guaranteeing a pyramid scheme or b) stocked their reserves with the same pyramid scheme securities.
- But seriously guys, did you really think securities made up of sub-prime mortgages was a safe bet? Really? What? No, I don't have any bananas!
- Mortgage brokers, loan officers and real estate agents: FYI - I saved a ton of those "Bad credit OK, Refinance NOW, Here, Have $300,000 Today!" ads I got in the mail. I am in the process of scanning them to post for all eternity. Real estate agents - how many of you nudged your prospective clients to fudge their income upward? I personally came across more than one who did - as well as loan officers who pushed "Stated Income" loans - (which are perfectly fine if the borrower has a brain) - with the encouragement to "State Up".
- The borrowing/foreclosed upon public - you know who you are and you know what you did.
So quit acting like there is only one guilty party and quit pretending that if Bush and Obama didn't inject the money into the economy that they did and still are doing - that we wouldn't all be in a far bigger mess than we are.
THEY HAD NO CHOICE IF THEY WANTED TO AVOID COMPLETE AND UTTER DISASTER.
On the same note, please remember Prezzy Baby - all the money you are spending will have to be paid back, and there will be consequences, such as inflation and dollar devaluation, so take it easy!
PS - Anybody who says "Capitalism is dead" is a dirty, pinko, commie and should be quickly dispatched off to North Korea to gain some first-hand experience of how much fun it is to live under communism. I would have said "The Soviet Union" - but OOPS! Doesn't exist anymore!
Next up: Health Care
but first I am going to watch some soap operas or bake a cake or something. I find this all very annoying to think about.