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Well, if many Republicans were worried about it in 2003, MAYBE THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT, considering they controlled both houses of Congress and the White House.

Apparently, instead of rattling off someone else's poetry, one should brush up on Senate rules. Without 60 votes, nothing gets done.

Then again, Democrats have been milking that excuse for a better part of two years now.

No, it requires 60 to break a filibuster, and a majority of votes to get something out a committee. You're basically saying because it wasn't easy, because it wasn't a done deal, the Republicans, rather than lead, decided to do nothing.

Well, we better get them back into power tout suite!

(and as to the rules of slam, the poems must be of an original work - everything I perform is my own - probably why I've made 5 National teams)

Actually, it takes 60 votes to vote down a filibuster, and a majority of votes to get it out of a committee - Republicans had the latter. So Republicans chose to do nothing, instead of showing that vaunted leadership they're known for... By all means, let's give them back the reins of power!

And as for rattling off "someone else's" poetry - the rules of slam require each perfomance to be your own work - everything I perform, I write myself.

(sorry for the double-post - I've had a lot of coffee today)

Yawn. Still doesn't stop your side from using that excuse for doing absolutely nothing for most of two years. Mediocre is as mediocre does.

"Probably why I made 5 national teams." I hope that line never is used in a bar.

Not saying it does. But I guess that's the difference. I'm willing to acknowledge that the blame was caused by the action and inaction of each party, I'm not trying to spin it as one party's fault.

"I hope that line never is used in a bar."

Heh.

May I suggest five truisms to figure out this mess? First, don't borrow money you can't pay back. Second, convict only the guilty. (Third, fourth, and fifth below.) Some person or persons loosened the standards for getting a loan. Find out who did that and when he or she did it and you have the party responsible for the overall mess. At the same time, do not indict de-regulation in general. It is a good idea -- in general, but not always and everywhere. Let me suggest you start the inquest with the people who promoted the Community Development Act of 1995. Then go to Fannie Mae and its policies of increasing homeownership rates by loosening borrowing standards. Then go to anyone who fought increased oversight or regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I suspect the addresses of the culprits who brought us these changes are found in the Washington phone book. Only then can you go to Manhattan and find the persons who mixed in the junk mortgages with the good, supposedly to dilute the risk. Which brings me to the third truism: One bad apple will spoil the bushel. It didn't dilute the risk. It spread the contagion. That leads to the fourth truism. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I expect you will find the persons who wanted to open up and increase home ownership were acting with the best of intentions. Yet their hubris in re-writing credit and lending practices developed over decades, if not longer, led to the worst of all worlds. The poor borrowers lost their houses, down payments, and hope. The lender took back collateral worth less than the loan against it. Do enough of these and the lender folds up. That leads to the final truism: You can't get something for nothing. Apparently each generation of political and financial wizards has to learn this all over again.

James,
I think you mean the Community Reinvestment Act . But why should one start there? A recent study by Traiger showed that CRA Banks were substantially less likely than other lenders to make risky mortgage loans. The tended to be twice as likely to hold onto the loans and foreclosure rates for CRA loans were quite a bit lower than other loans. Poor borrowers are not to blame for this crisis but the borrowing of middle and upper class Americans to finance homes they could not afford. Fannie and Freddie are just a part of the problem. Also, if Glass-Steagall had not been repealed and capital requirements hadn't become a joke, the housing bubble may still have existed to some extent, but the ramifications would be far less dire.

So now we know the real truth. The truth that the mainstream media just won't tell us: the Republican party was warning way back in 2005 that Freddy and Fanny were headed for a crisis. Their warnings were ignored by those awful Democrats, who just wouldn't listen to the truth. They never do. So the responsibility for the collapse of Freddy, Fanny, AIG, and Wall Street rests squarely on the shoulders of the Democratic party. The bias liberal news media won't tell you this. You'll only read it here on conservative blogoshere.

Oops.
A shocking reminder of history, Part II:
In 2005, George W. Bush was the president, and the Republican Party was in control of both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. In his State of the Union address that year Mr. Bush proposed the privatization of the Social Security system. His proposal was to destroy the most successful social program in the history of this country and hand the retirement security of millions of Americans over to the Wall Street investment wizards. Like the good folks at Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.
In the spring of 2005, the Republicans had been in control of the Congress for a decade. Flush with a stunning arrogance and hubris after barely surviving the 2004 election, they proposed something they termed the "nuclear option." Trashing two centuries of the rules of the United States Senate in order to give themselves even greater power, the move reeked of the smirk and swagger of their fearless Texan leader. Their idiotic proposal was thankfully derailed by a small coalition led by none other than John McCain. Given that the Republicans are now face to face with the very real possibility that there will be 57 or 58 Democrats in the Senate in 2009, they're probably glad they didn't get their way back in 2005.

So the Republicans knew back in 2005 that Freddy and Fanny were distorting financial markets and were heading the country into this crisis. If that's true, it leaves only one question: why didn't the Republicans do anything about it? The Democrats wouldn't let them? I think a little shocking reminder of history is indeed in order. The Democrats weren't in charge of either the Congress or the White House in 2005. It's all fine and well to throw together a few minutes of 3 year old video clips and make the Democrats look stupid and make them appear responsible. There's a very good reason that you don't hear this on the mainstream news media though: it's total BS.
Our shocking lesson in history for today. The Republicans ran the Congress in 2005, with a Republican in the White House. Ran it with a monumental level of partisanship and disrespect for the opposition party, I might add. Blaming Democrats in Congress for failing to address a problem in 2005 is laughable. It makes for great politics of blame on right eye blind wingnut blogs. The mainstream news media does not have the option of conveniently forgetting any and every piece of history that fails to support this little partisan blame game routine.

You might take a clue from Acting President Obama. It's a very serious crisis and it needs to be dealt with after serious consideration of both the causes and the options available to us. Playing little partisan blame games does not cut it.

Funny how the Dems. are once again the ones on the payroll of something shady (can you say "illegal land deal" Harry Reid?)? Some Republicans took money from lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the GOP got creamed in 2006. It's time for the Dems. to feel the wrath for selling out to FNMA and FRE. Turnabout is fair play after all, what, what?!

Also, isn't it an interesting statistical freak occurrence (I'm sure that's all it is) that, except for Barnie "what gay brothel in my basement?" Frank, all the Dems. defending Franklin Raines happen to be black (like Raines)? Interesting.....

Loyal Obambot CIC utters this stupid phrase - "Acting President Obama."

This is the same "acting prez" that sends his brownshirts to Missouri to threaten to charge anyone who "runs a 'false' or 'misleading' ad." This is a sign of things to come if this unqualified, thin-skinned sociopath is allowed to become President.

Todd,

Traiger is not disinterested. His law firm specializes in so-called fair credit lending, and obviously supports it.

The proper inquiry is not whether a lender is "twice as likely to hold onto the loans" or has lower foreclosure rates. That can mean a lender is closing its eyes and carrying bad loans on its books. Japan tried that and wallowed in 10 years of stagnation.

The better question is whether default rates on loans based on applications evaluated under credit standards loosened for social-policy reasons were higher or lower than default rates experienced on loans made for economic reasons only. It remains a fact that credit standards were lowered for social-policy reasons, and lower standards lead to default. It also remains a fact that such loans were securitized. The inquest, as I said is why, who did it, and when.

I never exempted loans made to the rich or to the middle class. If credit standards were loosened for those loans, let's find out why and when the regulators let that happen.

The 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall was bipartisan. The repeal passed the Senate and House with large margins and President Clinton signed it.

That repeal in itself did not touch credit standards. What's more, the housing bubble was a world-wide phenomenon, though of varying degrees, but at any rate far beyond the reach of the Glass-Steagall repeal.

The system-wide financial crisis is not yet the result of individual bank failures. (And if it were, I'd like you to name one failure specifically caused by the Glass-Steagall repeal.) It is the systemic rot resulting from securitized mortgages, which as I noted earlier is the bad-apple-in-the-bushel syndrome. Such mortgage-backed securities have been sold all over the world.

Loosening of credit standards is one cause of the bad-apple mortgages. Another is the collapse of the housing bubble and precipitous drop in the value of collateral.

I know Glass-Steagall was bipartisan, as just about every other bad idea. And Yes Clinton signed it, which is one more reason to think poorly of him.

Find a report that refutes Traiger. Again, your original post sounded like blame the poor people who, more often than not, are being victimized in this crisis, so let's also not demonize them.

You claim "credit standards were lowered for social-policy" reasons. This is half true, as they were also lowered because of massive lobbying campaign from the mortgage industry seeking to profit. Are these loans in fact showing higher defaults than others? Yes that is a good question which I have yet to see an answer to, but I have seen rather an assumption that it is true.


I never said the Glass-Steagall repeal (at least the part that was repealed) touched credit standards, nor it the repeal to blame for the housing bubble, it is just that this, along with the larger Financial Service Modernization Act which encompassed it, has made the impact of the bubble larger.

I would say that, unlike you, the whole industry, regulators and financial "experts" who failed to pay attention to the housing bubble are in fact largely to blame as well.

excerpts taken from the New York Times, Sep 11, 2003

“ The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry. “

“‘’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.’’

MISTER CLINTON STATED THIS WEEK DEMOCRATS ARE AT FAULT

And if you can't trust Bill Clinton, who can you trust?

You all are laughable--the present-day Rome (U.S.) is burning and you're all pointing partisan fingers. [Pelosi was WAY out of line--how stupid--for her anti-Republican rant before the vote.] Partisan hatred and unwillingness to face up to the reality of the situation--our ever-expanding individual and collective deficit spending--will do our country in sooner than any external enemy.

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