Patterico's Pontifications

9/17/2008

My Initial Two Cents on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Spreading Financial Crisis on Wall Street

Filed under: General — WLS @ 4:24 pm



[Posted by WLS]

Several weeks ago I had the itch to post on this subject after reading this article at SFGate — the San Fran. Chronicle website.  It’s the final installment in a series on families that had gotten themselves caught up in the subprime mortgage meltdown.

There are certainly many facets to the causes of the subprime disaster that is currently infecting all sectors of the financial services industry.  IMO the main culprit is Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and the removal by Congress of any restrictions on its growth.  The movers behind that effort, and the stalward defenders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, though they certainly needed GOP support to make it happen.   But Dems far and away dominate the receipt of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the millions of dollars Fannie and Freddie spent on lobbying and campaign contributions wasn’t for nothing.    They bought off any interest in Congress for tighter regulation of their growth in purchasing securities in the secondary market.  This willingness created a “black hole” of secondary market purchasing, where Fannie and Freddie sucked up every kind of mortgage debt instrument the financial services industry could create.  No paper was too risky for Fannie and Freddie to buy, and when they resold those instruments to investors, no instrument was too risky for Fannie and Freddie to insure with a repurchase guarantee.

But, lets get back to the underreported aspect of the meltdown — the complicity of unqualified borrowers.

It just so happens that the subjects of this particular story are an AA family living in a lower socio-economic neighborhood in Oakland.  But it doesn’t matter what their ethnicity is — they were not creditworthy borrowers, and they acted irresponsibly with the money they received.

Yes, THE MONEY THEY RECEIVED. 

Sometimes overlooked in all the subprime mortgage reporting is that the homeowner who refinanced — and now finds themselves dispossessed of their property due to their inability to make the payments — received a large amount of money from the company that took back the mortgage. 

In all the handwringing over the plight of the Gardner family’s saga in the article, very little time is spent on this subject:   

Joann’s parents, Johnnie Gardner, 87, and Estelle, 88, bought the two-bedroom in the Sobrante Park neighborhood in 1954 for $11,500. His salary as an electrician at the Oakland naval shipyard allowed them to make the payments.

But in recent years, Joann and her brother refinanced it several times for increasingly larger amounts.

The final refinance at the end of 2006 left the family owing $454,000. The monthly payments of $3,362 exceeded the household income of $3,144.

What happened to the money from all the refinances?

Gardner can’t quite say. Some went to paying off credit cards; some was eaten up in huge loan fees. What is clear is that the family has not made a mortgage payment since December 2006.

Only in America.

— WLS

134 Responses to “My Initial Two Cents on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Spreading Financial Crisis on Wall Street”

  1. Partisan hacks turn up to denounce you in 5… 4… 3…

    Karl (1b4668)

  2. yep, I’ve seen it innumerable times myself, WLS. People facing foreclosure would complain to me of how the mortgage companies were defrauding them, but could not or would not explain to me why they borrowed the money, to buy things they could not afford or houses beyond their means.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. #1 2…….1…… Ever look in the mirror Karl? You might find your partisan hack right there.

    Oiram (983921)

  4. Oiram,

    Please apologize for that.

    Patterico (0510c3)

  5. Apologize? Basically one of your guest authors is calling me and other Democrats “Partisan Hacks”.

    I just wanted to make sure he knows where his loyalties stand.

    But, I do respect your site. So, I will apologize for being off topic.

    Oiram (983921)

  6. I was discussing this the other day with a friend who is in residentioal real estate.
    We were talking, and I was of the opinion that buyers were partly responsible, but real estate agents, mortgage brokers all failed the buyers on some level.

    buyers needed to understand the market, but they also paid real estate brokers for sound advice. Real estate brokers had an obligation to tell unqualified buyers that “this house is more than than you can afford”

    Mortgage brokers needed to repeat that statement and leave the business to someone else.

    All parties had a moment in time to do the right thing.

    Greed… as usual… held sway.

    SteveG (71dc6f)

  7. It is the responsibility to the shareholders to make quality loans.

    Of course there are always going to be folks who will be unable to repay their loans.

    It is the job of the lender to screen these people out.

    I can’t believe you people. Imagine you are shareholder and asking the CEO why he lost all of your money.

    CEO: It was the borrowers fault because they didn’t pay it back.

    give me a break.

    Seems like everything I hear from the GOPers these days are excuses.

    The borrower you cited it seems made out quite well. And unfortunately, given the opportunity, lot’s of folks would do the same dam thing.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  8. Your two cents is worth far more than one million shares of Lehman preferred. Thanks, again, for excellence in posting.

    Ed (f35a20)

  9. The whole system was driven by fees. Nobody expected to keep the mortgage and collect the payments for 30 years, or whatever the maturity was.

    Last December, I got a call from Bank of America where I have a HELOC. The guy asked me if I wanted to increase my line of credit. I said no. He then went on a sales pitch telling me that, if I increased my line of credit, even by $ 10,000., my interest rate would be reduced by 1/4 %. Finally, I said OK. What the heck.

    A week later I got a package of documents in the mail and, when I read them, I saw that about $1500 in fees were involved. I never returned the documents. Three months later, I got a letter that my line of credit was being reduced from what it was because my house was worth less than it had been before.

    If I had signed those documents, I would have been out $1500 for nothing.

    This whole scandal is about fees. None of these banks actually planned to service those loans. It was all about generating fees and the last person holding the loan was “it.”

    They and the insolvent borrowers deserve no sympathy. Months ago somebody said “What do you call somebody who buys a house he can’t afford with a 100% loan and loses it to foreclosure.”

    Answer: A renter.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  10. Money will always find its way to wherever it can get the highest returns. In this decade that was subprime mortgages and related instruments. Most of those loans were legit, but as mortgage brokers and lenders fought for those last few borrowers at the end of the boom their standards fell lower and lower and at the end, basically a potted plant could get a mortgage. Some smart people on Wall Street thought they had developed a system that allowed these loans to be sliced and diced according to risk so that everything was priced appropriately and the market would clear and nobody would ever lose any money. They were wrong.

    Normally when such investment bubbles burst the front line investors lose their investments and maybe a few companies go under, but nobody else gets hurt. In this case, however, people lost their homes, others lost massive amounts of equity in their homes as prices collapsed, and the values of subprime loans and subprime securities had to be written down according to accounting rules, producing massive paper losses and triggering margin calls and capital calls that some companies could not meet. The effects cascaded and nobody had the brake to make it all stop.

    rockmom (e42807)

  11. The wizards in Congress are still at it, having learned nothing.

    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/the-home-front/2008/9/17/is-down-payment-assistance-coming-back.html

    This bill hasn’t become law yet, but I would not bet against it.

    JoeH (eeb280)

  12. What kind of an idiot takes a third-party check without knowing who the drawer is and without recourse to the payee who assigned it to him? Which is what happened here. Joe Mortgagebroker put together a package and sold it. It was resold several more times. Neither Joe Mortgagebroker nor any of the reseller are liable for it. The sucker who got stuck with it can only go after the NINJA. And in non-recourse states like California he cannot even do that. He can only go after the property. From being an investor he has to learn how to be in the real estate business.

    Blue chips, guys. Blue chips. Com-Ed, GE, Chicago Municipal Bonds.

    nk (189a81)

  13. partisan hack (pärˈ-tə-zən hak) n. a political ideologue who chokes on some bad bud. see – Oiram.

    Icy Truth (db6433)

  14. jharp — I don’t disagree with your basic point, that the management of various business enterprises did their shareholders a disservice in making these loans.

    Which takes us back to Fannie Mac.

    You need to look at the different business model between what’s known in the industry as a “portfolio lender” on the one hand, and the Countrywide/Indy Macs on the other hand.

    Portfolio lenders keep ownership of the paper they write, making their underwriting of the loan critical. Portfolio lenders do their own appraisals inhouse so they don’t get burned by inflated appraisals used to create undersecurted loans.

    But Fannie Mac created an industry whereby mortgage lenders like Countrywide sold off the risk of their lending by moving the paper to Fannie Mac in the secondary market. Countrywide kept its lending fee, recovered its capital from Fannie Mac, and went out and wrote another loan.

    Quantity became the driving force of profits — fees generated by loans — not quality which produces profits in the form of timely payment of interest and repayment of principal.

    Only the unburdened growth of Fannie Mac — made possible by its Dem supporters in Congress — allowed that to happen.

    Countrywide did a disservice to its shareholders in the long run, but it made huge profits based on its business model — which took what Congress allowed to it take — in the short run.

    wls (26b1e5)

  15. WLS,
    FYI, it is Fannie Mae, not Fannie Mac. (Federal National Mortgage Association). To the bigger issue, I completely agree with you. Why people thought they could afford houses with mortgage payments 4x their take-home pay is beyond me. There is literally tons of blame to go around (individuals for not being realistic, institutions for lax standards, politicians for fake ownership targets, regulators for being weak, etc). It’s crises like these that bring the worst out in politicians. Instead of true leadership, we get partisan finger-pointing.

    Cankle (8aa31a)

  16. Blue chips, guys. Blue chips. Com-Ed, GE, Chicago Municipal Bonds.

    Comment by nk — 9/17/2008 @ 5:28 pm

    You had better take a closer look at GE.

    “What kind of an idiot takes a third-party check without knowing who the drawer is and without recourse to the payee who assigned it to him?”

    American investors. The question is if and how much they were misled.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  17. The movers behind that effort [to remove restrictions on growth]…were Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, though they certainly needed GOP support to make it happen.

    Could you link to the public law in which they did that? Thanks in advance.

    jpe (bd88bc)

  18. Fannie Mac is shorthand for both GSEs.

    wls (26b1e5)

  19. WLS…
    I recommend: FM2!

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  20. So are we all on board here that the bank executives were being responsible in loaning this guy $454,000 for his 2 bedroom home when the monthly household income was $3,144? No. It is amusing some Wall Street salesman was able to repackage this $454k loan and sell it as AAA highest quality debt.

    Wesson (f6c982)

  21. I cannot believe that I agree with jharp, but s(he) is right about GE. They have massive exposure to the credit crisis through their GE Capital division. The credit crisis extends to any entity that extends credit (cars, heavy machinery, etc). No one would have expected 6 months ago that the Fed would be bailing out AIG. There’s still lots of room to go down.

    Cankle (8aa31a)

  22. WLS,
    Ah, got it. Sorry about that. To extend the joke, I think we can drop the “s” from GSE as they’re now just straight GEs!

    Cankle (8aa31a)

  23. Wesson,
    It’s not that hard to imagine, really. If that guy’s loan went into default, there would literally be hundreds (more likely, thousands) within the securitized structure to make up for it. What they didn’t predict was correlations of local housing markets shooting towards 1.0 thereby causing hundreds of defaults at the same time. Everyone fell down – the rating agencies, the originators, the securitizers, and the end purchasers.

    Cankle (8aa31a)

  24. jpe – what they are referring to re: Frank and Dodd is the fight against two attempts at reform and reigning in Freddie Mac back in 03 & again in 05. There is no law because it never made it out of committee (Dodd) and was demagogued (Frank) as an attack on “affordable housing”.

    rhodeymark (6231e5)

  25. In order to provide capital to banks that lend money to aspiring homeowners, Fannie and Freddie needed to be able to sell the mortgages, packaged as securities, to investors around the world once the two companies have bought the loans from the banks.

    They and others were allowed to do this as a result of (McCain econmic guru)Phil Gramm’s bill, supported by John McCain, and passed by a republican Senate.

    And of course everyone was making money at it until the bottom dropped out. Leaving the shareholders and taxpayers screwed.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  26. Leaving the shareholders and taxpayers screwed.
    I refuse to believe that there are legitimate shareholders at FM2. A “shareholder” has to have money at risk. There was, up until this week, no risk in being a shareholder there. The Feds were the back-pocket who supported the risk, the shareholders just divied up the gain.
    The taxpayers were always walking the plank on this one, ever since Fannie Mae was established in 1938.

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  27. what they are referring to re: Frank and Dodd is the fight against two attempts at reform and reigning in Freddie Mac back in 03 & again in 05

    So we’re blaming Dodd and Frank the bill being sunk in the GOP-led banking committee?

    Just confirming.

    jpe (bd88bc)

  28. Jharp,
    This is actually where you are wrong. Repealling Glass Steagall was the right thing to do. Look at who’s failing right now and who isn’t. Indepedent broker/dealers are the ones going out of business or fire-selling themselves (Merrill, Lehman, Morgan Stanley, Bear). The diversified business (ex AIG) are doing far better. Gramm’s act allowed for commercial banks to get into investment banking. Having those front-end deposits (checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, etc) has allowed for a more stable capital structure and a better overall risk profile.

    The GSEs are totally different. They have always had a terrible public risk, private reward structure. They’ve also been granted that be Ds and Rs alike – so there’s plenty of blame to go around. (See Dodd, Christopher and Frank, Barney for examples).

    Cankle (8aa31a)

  29. Cankle,

    First, thank you for acknowledging you had to agree with me.

    “If that guy’s loan went into default, there would literally be hundreds (more likely, thousands) within the securitized structure to make up for it.”

    The problem is so many of the loans were/are in the same dam condition.

    “What they didn’t predict was correlations of local housing markets shooting towards 1.0 thereby causing hundreds of defaults at the same time.”

    There was no need to predict it. They sold them to someone else. Pocketed the money and left the shareholders and taxpayers screwed.

    Believe me. They knew exactly what they were doing. It was there business. And though they are dishonest they are not dumb. And apparently didn’t break any laws.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  30. There is no law because it never made it out of committee (Dodd) and was demagogued (Frank) as an attack on “affordable housing”.

    Correction: we don’t know what Frank thought about the bill. We only know what he said, which is that attempts to portray the GSEs as being in crisis were wrong. He still could’ve thought that any of the multiple versions of GSE-reform were good idea.

    jpe (bd88bc)

  31. Cankle,

    “Gramm’s act allowed for commercial banks to get into investment banking.”

    Take at look at National City, Huntington, Fifth Third, and Key Bank.

    All have dramatically cut dividends and share prices are at 10 or 20 year lows.

    It was a horrible decision to allow commercial banks into the investment banking business.

    Many are predicting some will not survive.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  32. Well, jharp. If that is the case, you should close your accounts there.

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  33. “I refuse to believe that there are legitimate shareholders at FM2.”

    Believe it because it is true.

    “A “shareholder” has to have money at risk.”

    They did have risk as they found out over the past year. (freddie trded at $80 a year ago)

    “There was, up until this week, no risk in being a shareholder there.”

    Yes, there was a risk. Freddie went from $80 a year ago to zero this week.

    “The Feds were the back-pocket who supported the risk, the shareholders just divied up the gain.”

    Wrong. As the shareholders discovered this week.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  34. Well, jharp. If that is the case, you should close your accounts there.

    Comment by Another Drew — 9/17/2008 @ 6:02 pm

    Don’t do any business with any of them.

    And deposits are FDIC insured up to $100,000 regardless.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  35. “There was no need to predict it. They sold them to someone else. Pocketed the money and left the shareholders and taxpayers screwed.”

    jharp – You still don’t get it. As long as the loans could keep moving, the originators got their money. Their shareholders weren’t screwed. The people who owned the loans when they ultimately defaulted, or a slice of a securitized pool, they’re the ones who got screwed, if the insurance imbedded in the portfolios on the individual loans or on the pools overall was not enough to cover the losses. The big banks and Wall Street firms kept too much of this crap on their balance sheets, whether because they liked it or because they couldn’t move it to some other suckers. Ir bit them in the ass and they are paying the price. Their risk management committee were asleep at the switch IMHO as the exposures mounted. You can have all the rocket scientists in the world modelling these loans and securities created from the loans and still produce crap in terms of projections. You see the same thing with the global warming alarmists.

    We’re seeing the ultimate in accountability with Lehman – bankruptcy. AIG – 80% ownership transfer to Feds and piecemeal breakup.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  36. But they were in crisis. That’s the whole point. It’s just that the lid has been blown off now and we can see the mess.

    Regulations were the problems – specifically, positive regulations requiring banks and other financial institutions to lend money to people who didn’t have a chance of paying it back.

    Gregory (f7735e)

  37. It was a horrible decision to allow commercial banks into the investment banking business.

    jharp – Have investment banking activities bankrupted commercial banks? Why do you keep and keep and keep making the same statement. Elaborate for us rubes.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  38. Cankle,

    Wow. Your post prompted me to take another look at National City.(NCC)

    Holy Toledo!

    Was trading at $38 with a 5% dividend in April of 07. Today $3.55 with no dividend.

    Ouch. Ouch Ouch. I guess they have alot to learn about the investment banking part of their business.

    I have followed this one quite closely as I have a good friend who owns some 30,000 odd shares. It used to worth almost 1,000,000,000 and pay a dividend of almost $50,000.

    Today it’s worth about $100,000 and no dividend.

    The only thing that keeps me from being sick about his losses is he is a hard core republican and has blindly supported the Bush administration.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  39. I blame Chimpy McHitlerburton. And McCain. And, Kyoto.

    JD (5f0e11)

  40. jharp, your attempts to keep tying the current financial services problems to the Bush administration only lack one thing.

    Factual basis.

    You have got all the froth and spittle one could want, but nothing in the way of basis.

    It got old a long time ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  41. “jharp – You still don’t get it.”

    Oh no. I get it.

    “As long as the loans could keep moving, the originators got their money.”

    True.

    “Their shareholders weren’t screwed.”

    Until the loans stopped moving.

    “The people who owned the loans when they ultimately defaulted, or a slice of a securitized pool, they’re the ones who got screwed, if the insurance imbedded in the portfolios on the individual loans or on the pools overall was not enough to cover the losses.”

    True.

    “The big banks and Wall Street firms kept too much of this crap on their balance sheets, whether because they liked it or because they couldn’t move it to some other suckers.”

    They kept it because they couldn’t sell it. That was exactly what triggered the whole mess.

    “Ir bit them in the ass and they are paying the price.”

    It bit their shareholders in the ass. The culprits walked away with millions. “Countrywide’s Mozilo 140 million) and many many others, Bear Stearns, Lehman, too many to list.

    “Their risk management committee were asleep at the switch IMHO as the exposures mounted. You can have all the rocket scientists in the world modelling these loans and securities created from the loans and still produce crap in terms of projections.”

    I say they knew exactly the ricks that were involved. The problem is it wasn’t their own money, it was the shareholders. The executives all got paid. Immense amounts of money.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  42. As a Conservative Christian who has always supported the GOP and it’s policies, I’m very concerned that Harpy’s right – and that’s why I’m recommending that everyone take a closer look to see what this election is all about; and vote for Obama.

    Dmac (e639cc)

  43. SPQR,

    “jharp, your attempts to keep tying the current financial services problems to the Bush administration only lack one thing.”

    I blame republican policy first. Bush second.

    Just who was it that changed the rules that allowing the unregulated selling of worthless mortgages?

    jharp (f4bed7)

  44. jharp, you’ve had your hat handed to you on those claims repeatedly. Your answer has been to just ignore those spankings.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. As a Conservative Christian who has always supported the GOP and it’s policies, I’m very concerned that Harpy’s right – and that’s why I’m recommending that everyone take a closer look to see what this election is all about; and vote for Obama.

    Comment by Dmac

    Thank you very kindly. And my golfing buddies are Conservative Christians so I know many of you are for real.

    It’s the pretenders that have gotten the GOP into trouble. Bush, McCain, DeLay, and too many to list.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  46. JD – Thanks for the reminder. I forgot about Kyoto.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  47. “I say they knew exactly the ricks that were involved. The problem is it wasn’t their own money, it was the shareholders. The executives all got paid. Immense amounts of money.”

    jharp – Another ridiculous assertion given that senior management in the firms had very large stockholding which typically dwarfed their cash compensation.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  48. Two questions-

    This system of making profits through fees and passing the debt and the risk on to others, it seems this is essentially a house of cards/some kind of an equivalent of a Ponzi scheme that can remain solvent as long as the volume and fees keep coming, or when the houses that go into foreclosure can be readily sold for enough to cover the debt. Is that a simplified understanding of the mess?

    I assume portfolio lenders did not fall into this as they needed to beleive the actual debt could be collected over time. Since they actually do hold the mortgages, they have the built in incentive of only making loans that are a good risk. Who are some of the bigger portfolio lenders?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  49. jharp – Another ridiculous assertion given that senior management in the firms had very large stockholding which typically dwarfed their cash compensation.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 9/17/2008 @ 6:40 pm

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/it?s=LEH

    Take a looksey at the insider selling before the bankruptcy of Lehman Bros.

    Richard Fuld alone cashed in $80 million.

    Not bad huh. These guys know when things are about to fall apart

    jharp (f4bed7)

  50. The problem MD is not that all the loans go into foreclosure, obviously they don’t. The problem for the market for the last half year or so is that the market can’t figure out what these loan portfolios value is, because they don’t have a good tool to gauge quality of the loan portfolio. As a result, it is not a matter of losing money on the loans themselves ( while that is happening, it is not the real issue ) the issue is that liquidity has been gone.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  51. The borrowers must never take any blame. Never.

    Racists

    JD (5f0e11)

  52. So who is sockpuppeting Dmac’s nic?

    EW1(SG) (8de372)

  53. The GSEs certainly had shareholders with money at risk. And Congress is a chief culprit.

    Both Fannie and Freddie had to get Congressional permission to sell more securities into the market. This generated capital for them to use in buying loans from lenders, which the GSEs packaged into securitized instruments and sold to investors as mortgage backed bonds.

    By continually approving the raising of more and more capital, Congress enabled the GSEs to grow and grow. How else is it do you think that the GSEs came to have a hand in nearly 1/2 the mortgage debt in the country?

    But the Dems running the GSE’s — Johnson and Raines, among others — cooked the books in order to paint a much more rosy picture of their balance sheets than was actually the case.

    Without any form of regulator or oversight akin to the SEC, the Fed, or Comp. of Currency, the GSEs were able to run wild in the industry.

    When the truth about their balance sheets was exposed — including their exposure to defaulting loans — the share price cratered. The GSEs were on the hook to repurchase defaulted loans, and it didn’t have the capital to do so. If Treas. hadn’t bailed them out by placing them into conservatorship, entire sectors of the financial markets would have collapsed under the weight of losses they would have then been forced to bear.

    wls (26b1e5)

  54. Harpy:

    Just who was it that changed the rules that allowing the unregulated selling of worthless mortgages?

    You tell us, o enlightened one. Identify the law or laws in question that changed everything, complete with a link to the roll call vote so we can all tell what percentage of each party voted how.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  55. dalyrocks,

    I hope the insider selling pre bankruptcy enlightens you as to how things work.

    You are correct that the stock is clearly most of the compensation. So much so that it has become “anything goes” to increase the share price. Even as far as carrying worthless assets to make things appear all is well.

    Fuld cashes in $80 million (shares bought with American’s retirement savings) and then lo and behold these assets aren’t worth quite what we’ve represented them to be worth.

    Does Fuld end up holding worthless shares? Most certainly.

    But that’s not the game to cash in every last share.

    He made $80 friggin million for God’s sake. That’s the game.

    And ran the company into the ground.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  56. “But the Dems running the GSE’s — Johnson and Raines, among others — cooked the books in order to paint a much more rosy picture of their balance sheets than was actually the case.”

    So I assume the Bush Justice Department will be addressing this.

    And I assume “cooked the books” is referring to fraud.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  57. jharp — it most certainly was fraud, and I’m not sure Raines problems are done yet.

    But the truth is that both Raines and Johnson had powerful friends in Washington on both sides of the isle. Raines was CLinton’s OMB Director, and Johnson led Gore’s VP search team, and was one of three members of Obama’s VP search team.

    But lets not begin to compare the willingness of various Administrations to pursue fraud in the business sector.

    It was the Bush Admin Justice Dept. that cleaned up the Dot.Com mess left to it by the Clinton Administration. Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing, etc. The fraud in each of those episodes pre-dated the 2000 election. Those frauds all prospered under the nose of Janet Reno.

    wls (26b1e5)

  58. jharp, you once again ignore the fact that you’ve been told before that Raines was the target of an investigation. One that made him cough up a bit of his fat compensation in settlement. The Bush administration you “harp” on, did in fact already investigate via the SEC and OFHEO the described shenanigans of Fannie Mae.

    In fact, its been pointed out to you on multiple threads, but you continually pretend not to know it.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  59. wls and SPQR,

    I’d like to know more about Raines.

    You got a good link? And thanks in advance.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  60. David Frum in a refreshing defense of John McCain:

    “No national politician has been more out front than John McCain in warning of the enormous danger posed by government backing of home mortgages…

    By contrast, Barack Obama was accepting Fannie’s political contributions – and inviting its former CEO to head his vice presidential selection contrast.

    On the surge and the mortgage crisis, John McCain was both prescient and brave, while Barack Obama was opportunistic and wrong.”

    http://frum.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NWFiNDk4OTYwODc2MmI2ZTU0MjQxYjhhYzEzN2ZmMjQ=

    (as usual read the whole thing)

    Joe (8102a5)

  61. jharp, there is tons of material on Raines out there, even Wikipedia has info on him, until the next time the Obama kids vandalize it.

    This Washington Post piece from mid summer says Raines is advising Obama .

    SPQR (26be8b)

  62. “I hope the insider selling pre bankruptcy enlightens you as to how things work.”

    jharp – I am more familiar with the way these things work, in a good way, than you can ever hope to be.

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  63. SPQR,

    I should have been more clear.

    I was looking for something regarding the fraud.

    And I had no idea insurance would pay for fraudulent behavior. Almost makes me think it wasn’t fraud.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  64. jharp – I am more familiar with the way these things work, in a good way, than you can ever hope to be.

    Comment by daleyrocks — 9/17/2008 @ 7:55 pm

    So what do think about Mr. Fuld walking away with $80 million for running Lehman into the ground?

    Just lucky?

    jharp (f4bed7)

  65. We think it’s pretty crap, actually…

    I’m hoping he gets nailed for it the same was Kenny-boy did.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  66. So what do think about Mr. Fuld walking away with $80 million for running Lehman into the ground?

    About the same as I think about this:

    As soon as Clinton crony Franklin Delano Raines took the helm in 1999 at Fannie Mae, for example, he used it as his personal piggy bank, looting it for a total of almost $100 million in compensation by the time he left in early 2005 under an ethical cloud.

    and this:

    Other Clinton cronies, including Janet Reno aide Jamie Gorelick, padded their pockets to the tune of another $75 million.

    It’s criminal. Even more so in Raines’s case, since there’s evidence Fannie Mae deliberately cooked the books so that he could collect performance bonuses.

    Steverino (db5760)

  67. “I’d like to know more about Raines…
    And I had no idea insurance would pay for fraudulent behavior…”

    First off, we’ve been talking about Raines on this blog for months.
    Where in the Hell have you been, other than with your head up your ass?

    And, your 2nd comment above just proves what a complete maroon you are.

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  68. Jamie Gorelick…
    Her take is estimated at between $25M and $30M!
    Not bad for a shyster who set-up the wall between counter-terrorism and law-enforcement.

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  69. The IBD article I truly got a big chuckle out of.

    Do you gents know the difference between an editorial and facts?

    Obviously not.

    Clinton”s fault? Good one.

    The government made the banks loan money to people that couldn’t pay them back? God help us.

    If this weblog is a representation of the youth of America the United States is in even more trouble than I thought.

    Think. Kids. Think.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  70. I never did understand the rationale for the Gorelick wall nor why Gorelick was part of the 911 investigating panel… nor why Bush never cleaned house at CIA and State. IMO Gorelick should be vilified and yet still in the middle of more BS. You’d think a potus would have someone who’d give it to him straight. But what do I know- you have loyal foot soldiers like Ollie North and G. Gordon Liddy and backstabbing/cover his own ass jerks like John Dean and that Bush press secretary clown Scott McClellan.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  71. Fuld ran Lehman into the ground. Didn’t cost me a dime. Jim Johnson and Frank Raines ran Fannie Mae into the ground. It’s costing me money now. That’s why I give a damn about what happened there. These dufuses ran a Ponzi scheme for 20 years and now we the taxpayers are left holding the bag.

    Fannie and Freddie’s takeover of the mortgage market started way before Bush took office too. Clinton’s Treasury department testified before Congress in 1999 that they were getting too big, though that Administration did not propose any new legislation.

    It took 800 people 3 years and $700 million to fix Fannie Mae’s books after the 2004 report finally blew the whistle on their bullshit accounting. And they didn’t learn a damn thing. They kept on buying subprime MBS and not booking them at market value, while the rest of the mortgage and banking industry was taking it in the shorts because of the devaluation of those securities.

    rockmom (e42807)

  72. jharp – It must be a full time job to tend to your own stupidity and deficiencies. Why do you feel so compelled to force them on others who have not asked for that torture?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  73. Ruh roh,

    Asian markets tanking big. Really, really big.

    Clinton’s fault, I’m sure.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  74. Suddenly, every-man-for-himself capitalists who don’t see the value of socialism when it comes to giving health care to the poor are BAWLING for money when it comes to bailing them out of their own stupid-ass greedy investments.

    Yes, the borrows were stupid, too — but they, and the banks, KNEW they were stupid. It wasn’t their job to evaluate the loans, that was up to the banks. The banks were the ones who pissed away trillions — the individual borrowers were just sweet-talked into believing a fantasy.

    And now the banks are getting bailed out, either by bankruptcy laws or by government funds. Where’s all the outcry for bankruptcy reform and an end to wellfare now that these laws are helping the rich bastards?

    That’s America — socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor.

    anon (3b1633)

  75. Just to note, that was small “a” anon ^^^^^ not the regular poster “Anon”.

    Icy Truth (ef009a)

  76. Well, of course, the Senator from MBNA would never allow anything bad to happen to the banks, would he?

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  77. #64 jharp

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/23/business/23fannie.html

    A quote from the article:

    The 211-page report (by OFHEO – jh) says the findings thus far “are serious and raise doubts concerning the validity of previously reported financial results, the adequacy of regulatory capital, the quality of management supervision, and the overall safety and soundness of the enterprise.”

    You can do the hard work of finding the outcome of the investigation.

    JoeH (eeb280)

  78. The last hard work jharp did was to learn to tie his shoe-laces.

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  79. More republican policy successes slated for tomorrow. Hang on to your hats.

    Seeking to avoid the kind fate that led Lehman and Bear Stearns to collapse, John J. Mack, Morgan Stanley’s chief executive, made an unsuccessful attempt Tuesday evening to convince Citigroup chief executive Vikram S. Pandit to enter into a combination, according to people briefed on the talks.

    “We need a merger partner or we’re not going to make it,” Mr. Mack told Mr. Pandit, according to two people briefed on the talks. Mr. Pandit, a former senior investment banker at Morgan Stanley, said Citigroup was not interested.

    http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2008/09/morgan-stanley-ceo-need-partner-or-not.html

    jharp (f4bed7)

  80. JoeH,

    It’s so confusing. This is under Bush’s watch.

    And the dude’s insurance company paid back $22 million.

    And the dude was never charged with a crime.

    Clinton’s fault? Yeah, right.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  81. Jharp,
    I’m late with this response to #38, but the banks you listed are hardly national players. National city, 5/3, etc are known as regionals. They have basically been consolidated away and have had too much exposure on local economies (Indiana has done ok, but Ohio is a mess). They have absolutely no real investment banking to speak of. The four independent investment banks (Goldman, Lehman, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch) will all be gone by Sunday night (before Asian markets open). In their place will be Barclays, Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan, Wachovia and probably Wells Fargo. What do all of these have in common? Commercial and retail bank deposits.

    Expand it to Europe and you’ll find RBS, Deutsche, HBOS, Lloyds, HSBC, Santander, Fortis, etc.

    Cankle (8aa31a)

  82. Explaining the actualities of international finance to jharp is like trying to explain thermo-nuclear fusion to a 1st-grader.
    He still hasn’t grasped how Clinton cronies ran FM2 into the dirt, with the acquiescence/protection of their friends on Capitol Hill.

    But, at least we’ll be free from him for a few days as he completes a major business deal –
    I heard that they’re having a special on Tootsie-Rolls at Costco.

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  83. Cankle,

    Don’t be so certain about Wachovia.

    And I am well aware the banks I mentioned are regional and that they are in a hard hit part of the country.

    And the retailers are the next to fall.

    I’m outta here for a few days.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  84. jharp is playing the well known and no risk role of hindsight hero, as well as answering few questions when quizzed on his nebulous statements.

    That guy, yeah him, he made to much money and then drove his company into bankruptcy. Whaddya think of that? Huh?
    –D’oh I don’t think the Board thought the company was heading into bankruptcy when it awarded him that compensation. Whaddaya you think?

    They never should have let commercial banks into the investment banking business.
    –D’oh How would you have voted on the bill if you had been in Congress when it was being voted on? What specific problems have you pointed out came from commercial banks getting into the investment banking business?

    Peoples retirement savings were lost when stocks went down.
    –D’oh Other stocks went up. The stock market is not a riskless investment.

    Hindsight heroism, catch the fever!!!!11!!!1!eleventy!!!

    O!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  85. What I want to know is, who the heck signed off on these assets? Which POS accounting firms allowed this mess? What were they paid for their perfidy?

    This, my friends, is the real story.

    Ed (f35a20)

  86. I agree about Wachovia. They have an absolute ton of option ARMs on their books and nowhere near the capital to support them when they reset next year. They’re bidding on MS and may get them. Please note though that I said they’d be standing when the Asian markets open Monday, not anytime after that. Their purchase of GW Financial last year may go down as the worst acquisition of all time.

    You seem to understand the crisis well, yet you get stuck in partisan ridiculousness. Let’s face it, companies and individuals took too much risk and we’re having a right-tail event. Diversified players will live on to fight again.

    Fuld is literally on suicide watch while having full time security (from disgruntled employees). He’s spent his entire career there (as opposed to people like Thain who get dropped in and leave with huge payouts). He didn’t raise the level of sells (insiders can only sell during a few weeks of the quarter). And like Paulsen said, people had 6 months to prepare for Lehman.

    Cankle (8aa31a)

  87. Actually, wasn’t part of the fall-out from Enron the finding that the outside accountants weren’t responsible for the lack of information provided by Enron?
    This was the problem at Fannie. The books were so cooked internally, that it took years of digging to get the full picture.
    It very well could prove out the same at some of these others. If you massage the info enough, it is very difficult for an outside accountant to discerne the fraud from the phony info you give him.

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  88. Anyone notice how jharp was carping about Fuld getting $80 million and now doesn’t have a word to say about Clinton’s pals getting more?

    Do you gents know the difference between an editorial and facts?

    Obviously not.

    Clinton”s fault? Good one.

    I know the difference between editorials and facts, nimrod. Can you tell me anything the editorial said about Raines that wasn’t factual? Because I linked to the article to illustrate what Raines had done, and never once claimed Clinton was responsible for it.

    Steverino (db5760)

  89. “You seem to understand the crisis well, yet you get stuck in partisan ridiculousness.”

    Thank you kindly for the compliment and you have a decent point.

    The democrats are not without blame. But let’s face it, that past 8 years have been by far the worst since the 30’s. And with Senator McCain directly endorsing the policies of the past 8 years it causes me great alarm if he would somehow get elected.

    And you too seem to have a good understanding of our predicament.

    See you around.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  90. “…past 8 years have been by far the worst since the 30’s…”

    Yeh, I guess 41-45, 50-53, and the stagflation of the late 70’s were real garden years.
    How could we be so stupid to think that the highest level of economic activity, the longest actuarial longevity, and the undisputed finest place to live in the world could be anything but a disaster.

    Moron!

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  91. “Yeh, I guess 41-45, 50-53, and the stagflation of the late 70’s were real garden years.”

    So I take it this is an open admission by you that this is at the least the worst since the late 70’s.”

    “the longest actuarial longevity”

    And where in the hell did you come up with this?

    jharp (f4bed7)

  92. The Crafter of Chinese-Made Elton John Eyewear writes:

    The democrats are not without blame. But let’s face it, that past 8 years have been by far the worst since the 30’s. And with Senator McCain directly endorsing the policies of the past 8 years it causes me great alarm if he would somehow get elected.

    Two truths (first and last) plus some pretty freaking ignorant comments.

    Eric Blair (81e599)

  93. Just my poor way of saying that in America, today, one has a longer anticipated life-span than at any other time in our history.

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  94. And, since the demise of the Carter malaise, we have experienced the greatest period of economic growth ever seen, with just two minor interruptions (not counting the disruption of 9-11, which was not of our making).

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  95. You know, for a big time Financial Genius and Master Golfer, you sure do stay up late posting (since you live in Indiana). But you are amusing.

    When you post an extreme statement, and someone calls you on it, you shift the blame around. Let’s review (not that it will matter to you, but others will get a giggle).

    The Harpinator writes:

    But let’s face it, that past 8 years have been by far the worst since the 30’s.

    When AD reminds you with factual data that your statement was…well…inaccurate and presumably a symptom of your festering BDS, you reply with:

    So I take it this is an open admission by you that this is at the least the worst since the late 70’s.

    Actually, no. We all take YOUR statement as an open admission that are full of the by product of bovine digestion.

    In fact, what you wrote simply shows that you were inaccurate in your earlier, overheated statement.

    Why, a partisan might shrill that you were lying for partisan purposes!

    Imagine that!

    Eric Blair (81e599)

  96. AD, you are missing the nuanced and hip and savvy view of the economy, as succinctly enunciated by Paul Krugman.

    (Bleating) Democrats gooooooood. Republicans baaaaaaad.

    Those pesky numbers to which you refer just get in the way of a hopeful and change filled narrative.

    I surely do remember Carter. Another hope and change type, as I recall. That worked out really well, at home and abroad. But we were very respected overseas.

    Especially in Iran.

    Eric Blair (81e599)

  97. Now, now, Eric.
    Musn’t upset the Little-One.
    He is so sensitive, don’t you know?

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  98. Paul Krugman???

    Oh, Yes.
    Wasn’t he an advisor to Enron?

    Another Drew (8a6fd1)

  99. Now there you go again, AD. Get with the program. Don’t pay attention to details that mar the Lightworker narrative, like Senator Obama’s involvement in the ACORN-Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac business.

    McCain is to blame. His warnings earlier mean nothing. He is just like GW Bush, after all.

    In fact, that is what the Left should call him: McBlame.

    Except for any good news, of course.

    Eric Blair (81e599)

  100. Oh no, Eric,

    The Harpinator writes:

    But let’s face it, that past 8 years have been by far the worst since the 30’s.

    When AD reminds you with factual data that your statement was…well…inaccurate and presumably a symptom of your festering BDS, you reply with:

    So I take it this is an open admission by you that this is at the least the worst since the late 70’s.

    I stand by my words. It is the worst since the 30’s. I was just pointing out that AD’s post seemed to posit that this is the worst since the 70’s.

    And I must have missed the facts AD posted to back up his claim.

    jharp (f4bed7)

  101. It’s called reading books. You might read something about the history of economic crises, in between building your financial empire and playing golf. I know you have time, since it is about 2AM your time. You shouldn’t just get your economics from Krugman and Rolling Stone.

    If you think the economics of 2000 – 2008 is worse than the late 1970s, well, that just demonstrates that you weren’t an adult earning a living during that period…as I have long suspected.

    But that is the game you play here. Why not stick to golf?

    You might also learn to use the “quote” function so that everyone can tell the difference between what you write and your quoting of other people.

    Just a thought. But you are just playing troll. So have fun.

    Eric Blair (81e599)

  102. But for anyone else who is interested in this DNC myth about “the worse economy since the 1930s” here is a place to start.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misery_index

    To be sure, one can always find good news in any era, just as one can find good news. But the current period the worst since the 1930s? Ummmm. Only in a partisan’s mind…because when their candidates are in power, suddenly the economic news is SO much brighter, or not their fault, or something….

    Partisan hypocrisy, as usual.

    Eric Blair (81e599)

  103. Fannie Mac is shorthand for both GSEs.

    I never saw that before and it throws me, so I keep editing these posts to give the more traditional names.

    And WLS, I e-mailed you days ago. Could you check your e-mail??

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  104. For one thing, Instapundit linked an article today that DRJ gave me yesterday or the day before to e-mail you.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  105. “Freddie and Fannie” is shorthand for both GSEs. “Fannie Mac” is shorthand for “I can’t keep Freddie and Fannie’s names straight.”

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  106. Patterico — I checked my email and responded.

    Xrlq — if that was true then I’d get them right once in a while just out of confusion.

    wls (c1b09d)

  107. This crisis is the natural result of years of undoing the regulations and restrictions on the markets put in since the great depression for the purpose of curbing excesses and speculation.

    Starting most notably in 1980, however, when Reagan declared that “government IS the problem” and therefore should do nothing, the Conservatives have been preaching the doctrine that all regulation and all government ‘interference” with the free market system is bad. Its a simplistically appealing idea that markets automatically regulate themselves but overlooks the boom and bust cycles that usually brings. But the middle class, having forgotten the lessons of the Great Depression, bought into the idea and of course Conservatives were busy with their usual charges of Socialism, Communism and Class Envy, in opposing such regulations.

    So here we are. Our dollar in shambles, our industry crumbling, the middle class finding itself more and more financially stressed, the top earners better off than ever and the deficits growing at astronomical proportions. But of course that has nothing to do with Conservative policies of the past twenty five years,now does it?

    Deny and spin as you will but the truth is George Bush has been president for eight years, and the GOP has controlled both houses of Congress since 1994 with the exception of the last two when it had only a majority of one in the Senate, where Republicans filibustered to block any action on this and dozens of other important matters. The “swamp” in Washington that McCain and his veep Gov. Sarah Palin repeatedly refer to on the campaign trail is their party’s mess. McCain has repeatedly sought less and less oversight and regulation in the financial industry until the last few days when the “straight talker” is now calling for regulation in contrast to his decades long crusade for deregulation. And, of course, Sarah is too busy defending Alaska from a Russian attack to have any say in the matter!

    Here is an unpleasant fact that I am sure you will deny. The crisis on Wall Street and in the mortgage industry is a result of years of Republican-led deregulation and greed. And now these very same people want us to believe they are the agents of change. Amazing!

    So as your standard of living goes into decline and jobs are fewer and fewer and inflation is robbing you of your savings, you still buy Republican lies and bullshit with talk of “lefties” and concerns about pigs and lipstick and arguing whether this financial crisis is the worst since the Depression or only since the 70s!

    But its okay and you intend to vote for more because you vote “values” and as long as the gays cant get married and women show less cleavage all this is just fine with you.

    VietEraVet (543dfe)

  108. VEV – Try reading the post before commenting next time and perhaps some of the comments that refer to McCain’s attempts to rein in the excesses of the mortgage market. Fanie and Freddie are by definition government interference in the mortgage market.

    Have a BDS and MDS say

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  109. It was the Bush Admin Justice Dept. that cleaned up the Dot.Com mess left to it by the Clinton Administration. Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing, etc

    If by “cleaned up the Dot.Com mess” you mean “let is fester and explode,” then yes. And if by “Dot.Com” you mean “companies that had nothing to do with the tech sector,” then your statement is correct.

    jpe (08c1dd)

  110. Fair point jpe, just like “let it fester and explode” applies to Bush sounding the alarm in ’03 about Fannie Mac. Sure, Repubs are complicit in not plunging the toilet back then, but this McCain=Bush=Not Caring meme, or basically anything coming out of the mouth of “The $126k One” is pure bullshit, and everyone knows it.

    rhodeymark (6797b5)

  111. Does anyone have any choice quotes from the Congressional Black Caucus back in the ’90s regarding “redlining”? Clinton?

    rhodeymark (4f2403)

  112. Fester and explode? jpe, the dot.com bubble had burst before George Bush took office. Technology in general had come off its peaks when the Y2K spending had ended after 1999.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  113. jharp whining about the difference between opinion and facts? That’s pretty hilarious.

    Of course, the idea that jharp would present his opinion on the mortgage security crisis so much and so brazenly while ignorant of Franklin Raines’ central role remains the most hilarious of so many funny things about jharp.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  114. #13 Icy, I highly recommend some “bad bud” for you, it will undoubtedly be a step up from the “Partisan” kool aid you’ve been choking on.

    Oiram (983921)

  115. Yeah, let’s just go right back to that wonderful, regulated market of the 1970s. Times were so good then!

    rockmom (e42807)

  116. This has to be the best delayed reaction ever! Were you so stoned that it took this long to sink in? OTOH, this does explain a lot. And here I thought I was being facetious all those times I told you to put the bong down.

    EyeSeeTruth – proudly celebrating 20 years stone-free (and YES, that’s a reference to the greatest guitar player that ever lived)

    Icy Truth (b8f405)

  117. Icy…
    Congrats on your anniversary, and all of its’ implications.

    Another Drew (c78d34)

  118. #118 “This has to be the best delayed reaction ever!”

    No, Icy…….. I just don’t live at Patterico, sorry about that. I work and I have a life 😉

    ICY – By the way, we may differ on most things politically. But agreed, No one tops Hendrix.
    Stoned or not stoned! 🙂

    Even his mistakes during live performances are genius.

    Oiram (983921)

  119. Icy – Don’t you feel kind of icky when Mario agrees with you ?

    JD (41e64f)

  120. “Jimi Hendrix: Live At Monterey” is a DVD that anyone who likes Hendrix even a little bit, or any fan of hard rock music, must own. The perfect blend of performer AND musician.

    Icy Truth (b8f405)

  121. What implications are those, Drew? That it’s been twenty years since I was a stupid kid? Don’t really miss it that much.

    Icy Truth (b8f405)

  122. 20 years. Congrats.

    I have 6 years in November, but if Baracky wins …

    JD (41e64f)

  123. Comment by Icy Truth — 9/18/2008 @ 10:41 am

    Staying sober, staying mature, staying…

    Growing-up is such a bitch.

    Another Drew (c78d34)

  124. #117 “Yeah, let’s just go right back to that wonderful, regulated market of the 1970s. Times were so good then!”

    You mean the regulated markets that Nixon and Ford goofed up?

    It’s good to see that you at least disagree with McCain.

    Your Obama sticker is in the mail rockmom 🙂

    Oiram (983921)

  125. Thanks, JD. I’ve pretty much stopped drinking too, but I agree — if Barack O’Marx wins . . .

    Icy Truth (078dce)

  126. Franklin Raines’ Criminal Enterprise …

    Stumbled upon it, seems to fit the thread.

    Enjoy (or not), for what it’s worth.

    TC (f398ed)

  127. Yes, the international market that Nixon’s taking us off the Gold Standard screwed us with.
    Ford’s complete inability to deal with the start of stagflation (Whip Inflation Now! – Boy, that was a winner).
    But, most of all, the complete cluelessness of Jimmah, in dealing with the full-blown stagflation that his administration was complicit in. But then, he had more important details to deal with;
    such as the schedule of the WH tennis court.

    Another Drew (c78d34)

  128. #128 Oh My God!! Stop the presses…… TC, You mean Obama took campaign contributions from a corporation? Oh my God the humanity!

    “Enjoy (or not), for what it’s worth.”

    I did enjoy……… but it’s not worth much.

    Oiram (983921)

  129. Well, that just proves that you are an ignorant troll, incapable of learning, and beneath contempt.

    Another Drew (c78d34)

  130. Yes, the hopeychangeynew One that stops the oceans from rising is a freakin’ politician just like all the others. Baracky happens to be one of the biggest recipients of Fannie and Freddie’s largesse, courtesy of Raines, Johnson, and Gorelick – 2 of which are on his team of advisors. But, by all means, blame Bush.

    JD (41e64f)

  131. You mean the regulated markets that Nixon and Ford goofed up?

    It’s good to see that you at least disagree with McCain.

    What are you talking about?

    Gerald A (ebb8b5)

  132. A lot of retirement savings were created today harpy.

    whaddaya think about them apples?

    daleyrocks (faf71b)


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