A Feeding Frenzy
As I write this article (late Sept 08) we are going into this Housing Mortgage Crisis and I cannot believe what I see on my TV. The very same people who I have been warning my friends about for urging Governmet backing of loans to people who can't repay them, are on TV telling me they need more control to fix the problem.
Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Senator Chuck Shomer (D-NY) and Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) have been the most instrumental in putting pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make these bad loans.
I know George Bush proposed in 2001 soon after taking office that tighter controls and higher standards need to be put in place for lending practices, but it was fought bitterly by these three. In 2006 these guys took full control of Congress and chaired the committees that overturned any restrictions. Now they want to be trusted to fix things.
A liitle research and I find in the 1990's Janet Reno under Bill Clinton threatened Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if they didn't make these bad loans.
A friend of mine in the Real Estate business who apparently made a lot of money for those few years of the Real Estate buying and selling frenzy once said to me as we were sitting at the bar enjoying a drink, " I think even a bar maid should be qualified to buy a new house".
There is enough blame to go around. I even took advantage of the system by selling my California property at the height of the frenzy.
But, I refuse to believe Americans are Ignorant enough to hand $1 trillion or more to the very same people who did this in the promise they will be more careful next time.
I tuned into C-Span to see what our Congress was doing on this subject and was surprised to see there was other business going on in the House of Representatives.
A Congressman was talking about the virtues of spending tens of millions of dollars for bullet-proof vests for our police officers.
I thought...yeah, this is exactly how we got into trouble with the home mortgage fiasco.
The Federal Government getting involved where it has no Constitutional right to. The Constitution refers to a well regulated Militia, and a standing Army. Not the local civilian police department.
But how do you argue this point? Everybody agrees that policemen need bulletproof vests. The liberals will argue, "Don't you care about our policemen? Don't you care about the children?"
The Police Department like the County Sheriff and the State Police are strictly local/state responsibilities. If they need bulletproof vests, we will provide them.
Not the Federal Government!
With this new wave of liberalism we are experiencing, I'm afraid the Federal Government will have it's fingers into everything.
If we allow them to provide bullet-proof vests to our police officers, within 20 years, they will be running our police department.
Can you imagine having a problem with a Lake Havasu City police officer and having to fly to Washington D.C. and go on the House floor to address your concerns?
Anyway, back to the Home Mortgage scandal. I finnaly found the issue being debated at CSPAN on the floors of the House and Senate. And there they were. Right there on my TV. Barney Frank, Chuck Shomer,Chris Dodd. The same players who caused this mess were vigorously arguing that they needed $700 billion, more oversight, and more control to tell the bankers who to lend to, and blaming the Conservatives for not doing enough to stop them the last 20 years. And the republicans just stand there with their jaws dropped. Probably thinking, <nobody is going to believe this garbage, are they?>
Even ex-president Bill Clinton, who directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lower their lending qualifications said today " I have been warning that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac needs to be reigned in or there's going to be a problem"
Heard it today on my radio. How can he say that?....Incredible.
Well, a couple of weeks later and the news keeps flooding in about ACORN (American Community Organizers for Reform Now), and we learn that Barrack was up to his neck with this group. If any one organization was more responsible for influencing our congress and the lending institutions for making these bad loans, it was them.
I'm dismayed that the polls show most Americans do'nt know any of the things I mentioned above. They think President George Bush is responsible for all this and they link him to John McCain.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I wrote the article below before the elections of 2008. Since then, I have not commented much on the economy, but as anyone can tell, as of August 2009, it hasn't gotten any better. Despite spending Trillions of our children's and grandchildren's money, we are pushing 10% unemployment. Shame on us.
A string of recent events. has reminded me again of the ignorance of the American People. It has to do with the town hall protesters around the Country being told they lost the election, now they need to go home and shut up. When we had to sit silent for 8 years as they blasted George Bush and his policies. Including the war in Iraq and our soldiers as they were on the battlefield. It was tough to respect these people's 1st Ammendment Rights knowing they were embolden the enemy and putting our troops in harms way and possibly getting our troops killed. Now we're not patriotic if we don't blindly support our president and his reckless socialist spending policies. But the biggest display of ignorance is illustrated by polls that show almost 60% of Americans don't even know that the Democrats took over both the Senate and the House of Representatives in 2006!
Perhaps we don't deserve a Constitutional Republic with this kind of ignorance.
January 02, 2009..Happy New Year!!
Well, things still don't appear to be improving. Although America still appears to be in a daze about Obama and the Pelosi-Reid Congress, they don't blame them for their situation. It's almost like.."we would be a lot worse off if not for their them"..
Here's a little tidbit just announced today: The percentage of government spending versus GDP is 27%. That's the highest since WWII. But the Obama-Pelosi-Reid government insists we are not at war!!!
Also, the government foreclosure bailout (TARP) fund data was released today. The average mortgage amount that was bailed under under this government fiasco was $871,000. I thought this was to help the little guy struggling with making his mortgage?
This really doesn't have anything to do with the economy, but I thought you might like to know.
A short time ago I heard the NFL announce that "The Who" was going to be host of the 2010 Superbowl halftime show. I thought...hmmm interesting. Wasn't there someting in the news a while back about the lead singer, Pete Townsend in trouble with the law? So I googled it. Sure enough, Pete Townsend of "The Who" was charged in 2003 in Great Britain with downloading child porn on his computer. He claimed it was for "research".
Further reading disclosed he was tried and convicted and was paroled.
Wait!!!! According to US Immigration and Visa policies, he is forbidden travel to the United States. This policy is very similar to most other countries of the world.
More diligent research showed he applied and was granted an exemption by the U.S. State Department. (Hillary Clinton)
Thank goodness for our adversaries, for they give us more ammunition that we could hope!
Who’s to blame?
There is plenty of blame to go around. I will list them in the order I believe are most responsible:
1) Liberal Democrats in Congress
2) Moderate Republicans in Congress
3) A Liberal News Media
4) Special Interest Groups/Advocates (ACORN)
5) Moderate Congress Members
6) Bank CEO’s
7) Greedy Wall Street Investors
8) Ignorant American Citizens
First, the Liberal Democrats were just doing what they do best. Giving away anything they can to the poor ignorant masses to ensure a locked in voting constituency.
Second, the Moderate Republicans who knew what was going on, but didn’t scream load enough. They exchanged their principle for popularity and votes. This is where I blame George Bush. He had the Presidential Podium and didn't use it.
Third, the News Media is very left leaning and that is a proven fact. I will talk about this in another area.
Fourth, the special interest groups like ACORN and other race-based organizations saw the whole idea of getting poor people into homes they couldn’t afford as a way to increase their popularity, and hence, their power base.
Fifth, Moderate Congress Members. I hate these people because they don’t have any principle or ethics. “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Sixth, certain Bank CEO’s. I’m talking about the ones who took their institutions down and then had the audacity to celebrate when the taxpayer bailed them out. They were following a new business practice that was a phenomenon of the 1990’s, i.e. Enron. This was, instead of trying your best to show expenses and operating costs so as to minimize profits and therefore taxes, you hide expenses and highlight phony, larger profits. Sure, the Corporation will pay higher taxes, but in a frenzied stock market, trade values will skyrocket and so will your bonuses. This includes the Mortgage lender CEO’s, i.e. AIG
Seventh, Greedy Wall Investors who knew the phony artificially high stock values being reported would eventually be exposed and collapse like a house of cards. They decide to take short-term profits over long-term investment.
Eighth, and the most important of them all, Ignorant American Citizens. We should have known what was going on and whom they were electing. I am firmly convinced that since the 1960’s and the San Francisco dope culture phenomena, the American Citizen has been successfully dumbed down to a level of ignorance no one could have imagined. Sure you’ve heard stories of Americans scored last in simple things like geography (being able to point at France on a world map) or science, or American and World history. Forget about Social Studies or American Government. A sad note is a recent poll (September 08) that the vast majority of Americans did not know that the Democrats had taken full control of both houses of Congress in 2006. That all the important house and Senate Committees were now chaired and mostly seated by Liberal Democrats who were making all of these changes in our Federal lending rules and requirements. Going into the November 2008 elections, 75% of America blames George Bush for this economic crisis and he is a Republican. “We need change”
Here is some required reading:
The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30)
by Mark Bauerlein (Author
Sub prime lenders and their lawyers
When property values are increasing the lenders seem to make a greater effort to lend you the amount of money you need to make a purchase in the real estate market. In some cases people would buy property with very little to no money down or commonly know as 100% financing. In some cases people would take these types of loans and they wouldn't even have to prove their income or assets. In effect the lenders were loaning money to persons who generally could not afford the property they were buying. Most of these people where loaned money by sub prime lenders who are lenders that lend money to people with insufficient credit of poor credit which usually consists of a credit score of 620 or lower. Then these sub prime borrowers where given loans that would adjust to the current rate generally after 2 years and if their credit had not improved they were either finding it very difficult to refinance or couldn't make the payment when the payment adjusted after two years.
A government structure that did away with much regulation of banking, finance, real estate licensing, brokerages, title companies, etc. is to blame as well as a boom and bust economic strategy built on windfall profit scenarios."
So, who would propose the deregulation of financial and real estate firms such as these as well as develop an economic strategy that would seek profit off the hardships of minority and low-income individuals?
Who stands to gain when a property if foreclosed on? The company holding the note says that they are not in the business of real estate, they simply want their money. The homeowner doesn't gain anything by losing their home because judgments are entered against them for the amount of the losses that are incurred by the mortgage lender. In addition to the losses that are incurred by the lender, the homeowner is charged for attorney's fees. In most cases, this is the attorney that is on retainer by the mortgage company.
Since most homeowners are already experiencing financial problems, they cannot afford their own lawyer to argue the case. Once the house is foreclosed on and a judgment is entered, the property is resold thereby recovering all expenses that would have been lost to the lender including perceived profit. So, the only one who will gain money without having to actually have an interest in the property is the mortgage lender's lawyer.
Lawyers make money, not just by settling a case. They make money based on drawing out a case so they can charge, in a mortgage foreclosure case, daily fees. The longer the case is drawn out, the more the lawyer gets, even if he does no work at all during that time. Now, what if the lawyer had more than just those fees to gain?
Lawyers are not precluded from owning stock in mortgage companies with whom they have a retainer agreement. If a mortgage contract sails along without ever going into foreclosure, the only money that the poor lawyer would make would be the retainer; this would make for a not so happy lawyer.
According to the statistics, "law" has long been the dominant profession for members of Congress with 228 of the 535 members of the 109th Congress having law degrees and 235 of the 534 members of the 108th Congress. That is a pretty high figure when you take into account that according to the 2000 U.S. Census only 1.1 percent of the total United States population stated that they worked in the legal occupations. Many of those that did state that they were in the legal occupations would not have been lawyers but would have been law clerks or paralegals.
Maybe it isn't the mortgage lender or the consumer!
They always say follow the money...
This sparked a question. Do presidents have to have a law degree or even a college education?
The answer is NO. No formal education is required, although except for Harry Truman, all presidents since 1897 have had a college degree. George Washington had no college degree.
Interestingly, in the last twenty eight years, only two presidents have had a law degree.
Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama.
And Bill was disbarred by the State of Arkansas and the US Supreme Court.
George HW Bush and George W Bush both earned Master degress in Business.
Ronald Reagan earned a B.A. in Liberal Arts.
Neither John McCain or his running mate Sara Palin went to Law School. Both have B.A.'s
Both Barack Obama and Joe Biden went to law school and have law degrees.
Barack Obama was a civil rights lawyer for a short time for A.C.O.R.N...!!