pin the tail on the donkeys
So what caused the collapse of financial institutions and the economic crisis / recession? Well, conservatives have maintained since the beginning that it was pretty much the logical outcome of lending money to people that can't pay it back. Which leads to the institutions those people are supposed to pay back losing money...which led us to bailouts, etc.., etc..
But the real question is what caused the bad lending in the first place? Well, a few days ago, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan went before Congress and pretty much laid the blame exactly where it belongs. Which means it wasn't appreciated and won't be paid attention to, but...
"While the roots of the crisis were global, it was securitized U.S. subprime mortgages that served as the crisis' immediate trigger," Mr. Greenspan explained. "The surge in demand for mortgage-backed securities was heavily driven by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were pressed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Congress to expand affordable housing commitments." Unfortunately, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac weren't the only government agencies to feel the pressure. Mr. Greenspan also noted, "I sat through meeting after meeting in which the pressures on the Federal Reserve - and on, I might add, all of the other regulatory agencies - to enhance lending were remarkable."
In other words, cheap housing policies. Don't expect to hear too much about this in the "mainstream media" outlets. Especially since we're almost at the point where housing is to be declared a "right"...right along with health care. read more »
Van Jones and the NAACP Image Presidential Award
Van Jones probably wasn’t referring to the ‘economy’ President Barack H. Obama pretends to have inherited from his predecessor when at tonight’s NAACP awards ceremony he saluted Barry, who as he put it “volunteered to be the captain of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg and we [are] still floating.”
Van Jones, who was fired almost immediately after Obama appointed him “White House Council on Environmental Quality” for his prevalent communist sympathies, previous statements made in strong support of 9/11 conspiracies, and vulgar behavior was more than likely referring to the sinking ship of American Capitalism in the wasn’t-socialist-enough vein.
What’s so ironic is that not only is the NAACP so ready and willing to throw support to an individual whose comments when asked why Republicans seemed to be able to muster more bipartisan support while in control than Democrats included “they[Republicans]‘re assholes.”
In case you just need to see this for yourself, here’s the video:
What’s not Ironic is that Van Jones is still willing to support Obama even after Obama threw him under the bus. In his answer to this same question he continues to say:
“As a technical, political kind of term. And Barack Obama is not an asshole. Now, I will say this: I can be an asshole, and some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama, are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity.”
Let's get one thing straight. The government and its misguided housing policies caused our current financial mess. And, as a result, the government should help fix it.
That said, exactly "what" should have been fixed, "how" and for "how much" are the right places to focus our attention. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't make sure everyone knows exactly how we got in this mess.
The origins lie in the Clinton Administration's misguided attempt to raise the percentage of homeowners in America by forcing banks to give loans to people with, shall we say, less than stellar credit, (those "sub-prime" mortgages you keep hearing about).
So how did they do this? With two government (read: taxpayer) sponsored companies called Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As the Clinton Administration leaned on banks to loosen credit restrictions, (even having Janet Reno threaten lawsuits), Congress forced Fannie and Freddie to buy the sketchy loans as soon as the banks and mortgage companies wrote the loans. So the lenders made the loans (hey, why turn down a commission?), and everyone made bonus at the end of the year. read more »