I voted for Ted, but that was long ago. It’s a shame that he became part of the machine in Alaska. The only brightness in this all is that Sarah Palin is vindicated by this verdict, and the Republican party of Alaska has some serious rethinking and soul searching to do.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was convicted of seven corruption charges Monday in a trial that tainted the 40-year Senate career of Alaska’s political patriarch.
The verdict, coming just days before Election Day, adds further uncertainty to a closely watched Senate race. Democrats hope to seize the once reliably Republican seat as part of their bid for a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
With this verdict let us hope that other cases might develop over other Legislator’s homes, such as Chris Dodd’s sweetheart loan that waived charges from Countrywide, and Barack Obama’s lot addition courtesy of Tony Rezko.
“It’s a sad day for Alaska, and a sad day for Senator Stevens and his family. The verdict shines a light though on the corrupting influence of the big oil service company up there in Alaska that was allowed to control too much of our state. And that control was part of the culture of corruption that I was elected to fight. And that fight must always move forward regardless of party affiliation or seniority or even past service. And as governor of the state of Alaska, I’ll carefully monitor now the situation, and I’ll take any appropriate action as needed. In the meantime, I do ask that the people of Alaska join me in respecting the workings of our judicial system, and I’m confident that Senator Stevens, from this point on, will do the right thing for the state of Alaska.”
The notoriously liberal McClatchey papers are trying to cover up some of the guilt of Fannie Mae and by the secondary effect, some of their legislative supporters in Washington like Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd.
They print a few facts about the industry, but gloss over the real problems created by the loosy-goosey Government Sponsored Enterprises. Specifically these bullets from the article are somewhat factual, but leave out things:
_ More than 84 percent of the subprime mortgages in 2006 were issued by private lending institutions. [ true, but they wouldn’t do it if they didnt’ think a market was there – without Fannie and Freddie Securitizing these no sane lending instition would have dumpster dived the bad credit market the way they have the past decade.]
_ Private firms made nearly 83 percent of the subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers that year. [Of course they did, see comment above]
_ Only one of the top 25 subprime lenders in 2006 was directly subject to the housing law that’s being lambasted by conservative critics. [ no, companies like Greentree, Canseco, Countrywide and others who created the chain of processing, sales, and servicing firms tried to comply with those federal guidelines because if they didn’t they couldn’t expand or compete with the big-box banks in products in some states and it was all about volume as well as secondary goals like selling contractor homes.]
Basically Fannie was worse than Freddy, Freddy had higher standards, and higher fees. By leading the way to the bottom in standards and raising their caps the highest Fannie led directly to this mess. If you had some toxic waste on the books you had to carry because no loan servicer would buy it who cared? Fannie or Freddy were securitizing it right?
This atmosphere of churn and burn and increasing volume led to a cuthroat business in refinancing and sales where overnight mortgage giants were racing each other to see who could dive the deepest in the credit barrel the fastest to cut into the big box bank’s turf.
Loan officers didn’t care, they got commission good or bad. Underwriters across the country were browbeaten until they learned to hold their nose and look the other way. In the meantime to keep up banks were sending out people with cameras to take pictures of huge sums of money laid out bill by bill on kitchen floors because there were “cultural differences” and some cultures didn’t trust banks (meanwhile on the counter there were labratory quality scales and packaging material…) Processing was outsourced to third parties with even lower standards because the onboard staff couldn’t keep up with the glut, and automated online processing raised their profit margins.The processing outfits got paid by number of loans processed, so it was rare to reject. Non-Traditional lenders were knife-fighting to gain major contractor’s business, and in some offices on the same computer that held the loan forms you would find the home office software to print up fake W-2’s. If you needed more money than your home was really worth on a refi package, there were specialty appraisers who would inflate the value to meet the needs.
Fly by nights came and went, and their loans got sold, repackaged, sold again. Massive fraud started occurring in some rescue agencies, some sponsored by ACORN. Straw buyer schemes, fractional deeds, and rescue angels who turned demonic all flourished. It all floated downstream to Fannie in the end because they blazed the path to lower standards and larger subprime loans. You only have to think about it a minute: Have you ever seen the government do anything where there wasn’t massive fraud and bilking? The GSE’s have been the loss leaders in today’s financial crisis, and it was truly congress and the GSE’s who led down that path into vallies of vultures by opening markets that shouldn’t have existed in the first place.
Do you think Obama isn’t neck deep with the community organizations who led to the lowering of standards and the raising of caps? Do you think Urban Democrats didn’t use these groups to increase their vote blocks?
First you must read Robert Bidinotto’s synopsis here:
While Barack Obama was getting campaign contributions from Fannie Mae’s Franklin Raines, John McCain was sounding the alarm about the crisis to come and trying to do something about it. On May 25, 2006, McCain spoke on the floor of the Senate on behalf of his proposed Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005:
Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae’s regulator reported that the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.
The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s former chief executive officer, OFHEO’s report shows that over half of Mr. Raines’ compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.
The OFHEO report also states that Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator’s examination of the company’s accounting problems. This report comes some weeks after Freddie Mac paid a record $3.8 million fine in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and restated lobbying disclosure reports from 2004 to 2005. These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform.
For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs–and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.
I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. 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.
I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation
Robert’s done the best collection of pertinent links, after poking through those please read Lee Cary’s piece on the Obama/Daley housing debacle in Chicago at the American Thinker.
The friends of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac in government turn out to be the usual cast of culprits. We have Obama, Gorelick, Johnson, Raines, Dodd, Frank, and the Congressional Black Caucus who all fought reforms even though this speech in 2005 clearly indicated they were needed. McCain was campaigning for reforms (see enough is enough) but they were beat down.
The real impact of all of this will be felt by the taxpayers, the thrifty, those who have thought of their future and saved. This will impact your pension, your 401K, your life savings. Meantime Jamie Gorelick, Democrat operative, is waltzing away with 26 Million. Special shame should also be attached to the Republicans who assisted the lobbyists and Democrats who fought these needed reforms, and we will be hunting those names down in the future as well.
Meantime this is definitely not leadership, this is definitely not change, it’s despair:
Lawmakers say they are unlikely to take action before, or to delay, their planned adjournments — Sept. 26 for the House of Representatives, a week later for the Senate. While they haven’t ruled out returning after the Nov. 4 elections, they would rather wait until next year unless Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who are leading efforts to contain the crisis, call for help.
One reason, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday, is that “no one knows what to do” at the moment.
At a campaign rally in Elko Obama had this to say:
“I will crack down on predatory lenders — who all too often target the African-American community, target the Hispanic community — with tough new penalties that treat mortgage fraud like the crime that it is,” he said.
Obama and his compadres in the Democrat caucus have been “cracking down on predatory lending” since 2000 1990’s, and that’s exactly what has led to this mess. They systematically took away the profit from high risk loans, making it a losing, giveaway business backed by your tax dollars. They cut options to have high risk loans credit insured and rolled into loan cost, which led directly to increased foreclosures.
A visibly annoyed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected suggestions that Democrats share blame for the meltdown. “No,” she snapped at reporters who dared ask.
Stick to our narrative, she scolded: The bursting of the housing bubble was another story of market failure and deregulation.
“The American people are not protected from the risk-taking and the greed of these financial institutions,” she said, while calling for investigations of the industry.
Only, the risk-taking was her idea — and the idea of all the other Democrats, along with a handful of Republicans, who over the past 30 years have demonized lenders as racist and passed regulation after regulation pressuring them to make more loans to unqualified borrowers in the name of diversity.
They were the ones who screamed — “REDLINING!” — and sent banks scurrying for cover in low-income neighborhoods, where they have been forced to lower long-held industry standards for judging creditworthiness to make the subprime loans.
If they don’t comply, they are threatened with stiff penalties under the Community Reinvestment Act, or CRA, a law that forces banks to make home loans to people with poor credit risks.
Here’s an example of one of these shakedown programs that started way back, under guise of fighting predatory lending Chuck Schumer and Jesse Jackson fight to have Freddy and Fannie lower standards:
Also from IBD :
The [CRA] revisions also allowed for the first time the securitization of CRA-regulated loans containing subprime mortgages. The changes came as radical “housing rights” groups led by ACORN lobbied for such loans. ACORN at the time was represented by a young public-interest lawyer in Chicago by the name of Barack Obama.