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Passions in Poetry

Oversight for Freddie & Fannie Mae killed in 2003

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threadbear
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0 posted 10-02-2008 10:48 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Oversight for Freddie & Fannie Mae killed in 2003

  Much of the problems we currently face for Freddie and Fannie Mae loan entities could have largely been prevented from complete collapse had a Bush plan in 2003 gone through.  Much as people hate to admit it, Bush was 100% right this time:  He wisely had the foresight to see that the Great Savings and Loan debacle could be repeated again if the two largest loan companies were not straightened out.  

  The proposal, which didn’t go through, primarily due to the stupidity and partisan attempts by Democrats to protect the loan chances for the mildly-indigent.  At the time, Freddie and Fannie were 1.5 TRILLION in outstanding debt!
But largely thanks to the current Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank, partisan politics played a disastrous role.  Listen to what this uninformed buffoon said in response to the proposal:

“''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.''

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.
''I don't see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,'' Mr. Watt said. “
In other words, the proposal was KILLED in order to protect the poor (see thread on CRA and ACORN and the effects these have had).   Helping the poor is a noble cause, and something the United States has championed for years, but there is suspension of disbelief that Frank and other high ranking officials didn’t know the impact of the impending fall of both the large loan groups.  

In the proposal there were several tenets including
“The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt -- is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates.    “  NY TIMES 2003 ARTICLE

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E3D6123BF932A2575A          C0A9659C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=1

This article is a must-read.  It lays out exactly what the problems were, the correct actions, at the time, to fix them, and the misguided attempts of Democrats (sorry Dem’s) to stymie legislation to head off the disaster.  This was a huge far reaching bill that would have served as a flagship model for future legislations protecting consumers and investors from the sub-prime deals that sunk our economy.  

Good God folks, the time for partisanship is over!!!    None of Bush’s proposals, except the Social Security one, ever got much media exposure.  Several of them, including this one, had proved to be the correct one years later, but the laws were never enacted.  I have to give propers to him for at least trying and raspberries to the Franks and the Obamas of the world who, through their direct actions of votes and exerted leverage on banks, have killed most of the legislation attempts to regulate loans.  Congrats guys.  You have done a great injustice to our country and cost us and the world financial institutions: trillions.

Codicile:  It is interesting also to note that $1.5 trillion dollars loss would equate to $12,000 in taxes for each and every citizen in the United States.  The 700$ billion bailout will already cost us $6,000 PER PERSON.  Nice to know that my hard earned money is well spent.  For that kind of money, I deserve the right to raise hell about the oversights.  

Oh, and by the way:  Obama's huge spending idea for Universal Health care is officially dead.  It'll never get passed now.  The coffers are empty, folks.  It will be at least 5-10 years before that kind of proposal will have the financial funds to support it.

[This message has been edited by threadbear (10-02-2008 12:16 PM).]

Sunshine
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1 posted 10-02-2008 11:46 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

History speaks volumes, doesn't it?
threadbear
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2 posted 10-02-2008 12:13 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Thanks for your input in this, and the other threads, Sunshine.  I am at a loss as to why this topic isn't even being discussed by ANY of the media.  I always look for the story behind the story, and have found a doozy in this one.  Barney Franks needs to be replaced or censured, at the very least, for his misplaced notions.  That nerd actually trumpted his own horn on the vote for the bailout, like he was instrumental in getting it passed.  When you're wrong:  say it, Barney!  There's just no accountability on the Dem's or Repub's assertions anymore.  And you can't be honest either:  look how demonized McCain was when he spoke truthfully and said five years ago that the intricate details of economics were lost on him (as it is/was/shall be for 99% of the public as well.)  
threadbear
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3 posted 10-02-2008 12:22 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

I wrote this 6 months ago in a fit of despair.  Just seems pertinent today:
-----------------------------
Candidates

the play of the voices of man
housed in the burnished carpet
stood in a suffused hue of dead widened eyes
the deed concocted with poisonous vapor
and lids upon eyes laden with indifference to suffering.
day's worth was already pickled
ready for gnoshing when stress strikes
another success for the Preservation Society
another loss cause for debating mother-hens.

I lifted the rug and peered to see the swept remnants
elephant pies and
donkey droppings
steeped in thick mud

fallen pundits and tops-that-cannot-spin
lost ideals and frozen beliefs
they were there, too, watching the detective
solve with balance the crimes of men who don't cry

six months before the election
and I am already sick of them all
2/08
JenniferMaxwell
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4 posted 10-02-2008 12:37 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Cheer up, threadbear, if McCain’s elected Palin will put on her pit bull lipstick and straighten out this financial nightmare in a flash cuz she lives even closer to a bank than Russia.


threadbear
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5 posted 10-02-2008 12:46 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Not sure I get the bank close to Palin reference, but I have to admit that Palin's claim that she had some 'foreign experience' because of proximity to Russia has to rank as a Quayle-esque response.  Doooohhhh!

Can't we just claim a Do-Over, and go through the nominating cycle to get better candidates?  
JenniferMaxwell
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6 posted 10-02-2008 01:12 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I'm happy with Obama and Biden but I'd be willing to give the Republicans a chance for a do over, threadbear. How did McCain and Palin happen in the first place? Maybe because the cross dressing adulterer Giuliani and magic underwear wearing Romney couldn't attract the evangelical base so they sort of had to go with McCain who's willing to flip flop and bend over whenever the base cracks the whip?

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7 posted 10-02-2008 10:51 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I am at a loss as to why this topic isn't even being discussed by ANY of the media.

Surely you jest, Threadbare.

When faced with facts one is inable to refute one either ignores it or goes on the attack with insults or fingers pointing in other directions.

You know how it goes....
JenniferMaxwell
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8 posted 10-02-2008 11:59 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

I've read a lot about it in print media, but since I don't watch tv, wouldn't have any idea if it's being covered.

As an aside, here's the absolute best quote I've seen regarding Palin's pathetic performance in tonight's debate:
"Her fake cutesiness reminded me of Shirley Temple. I expected her to curtsy and launch into a chorus of Good Ship Lollipop."

[This message has been edited by JenniferMaxwell (10-03-2008 12:09 AM).]

Balladeer
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9 posted 10-03-2008 09:41 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I found Joe Biden to be articulate and present himself well. True, there were a few outright lies he engaged in which even Gibson, Stephanopolous and other right-wing leaners brought up, but that's to be expected in these types of presentations. Palin may have done the same, I don't know. We will certainly find out soon from the press.

Biden conducted himself well and, even though I am on the opposite side of the fence I see no reason to insult him or not give him the proper respect one gives to a decent person.
Sunshine
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10 posted 10-03-2008 10:38 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

I thought all three [including the moderator] were "fair and balanced" and was particularly impressed with the moderator's stance, especially since we know she will have a book coming out on one of the nominees.  

What I didn't miss was any mud-slinging. It was an honest debate, one that maintained a decorum with honest opinions [at least I believe each person's opinion was their own, honest one].

I wish we could see more on this level.

Ron
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It's indeed good to see the candidates acting civilized and civil. We need more of that, not less, I think.

It would be nice, too, if we could see that find its way downstream to the supporters for each candidate. People apparently don't seem to realize that they become a reflection of what they advocate. When supporters are vile and petty it makes their candidate look vile and petty.
JenniferMaxwell
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12 posted 10-03-2008 11:28 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Palin was non responsive to many of the questions and instead spewed Republican talking points over and over - sometimes reading directly from her notes. I was disappointed that Ifill gave Palin a pass on not being more responsive to the questions. Palin did have her lines down pat, I’ll give her credit for that, and for the first time actually spoke in fairly coherent sentences thanks to her script writers, note cards and her gift for memorization. Her cutesy, down home, folksy performance with winks, waves and fake accent was inappropriate and unbelievable. On a 44 year old woman, cutesy looks more  manipulative than endearing. Biden was the consummate gentleman, and somehow managed to pull off making his points forcefully while treating Palin with courtesy and respect rather than laughing at her scripted performance that contained very little real substance on the McCain/Palin agenda. As for Palin’s lies, well, no need to rely on the press, just read the transcript and you’ll see Biden pointed them out, one after another.

Vile and petty, hmmmm, that was McCain in the Presidential debate where he disrespected Obama by using personal attacks and by refusing to look him in the eye.

threadbear
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13 posted 10-03-2008 12:26 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

  My reaction to the debate was one of mild astonishment:  Palin was much more coherent than the media has portrayed her this week prior to Thursday.  The problem in the pre-interviews was that Palin was asked the same question three or four times when Couric wanted a specific answer.  When Couric wasn't happy with the response, she asked again and again and again.  Palin stuck to her original answers which made her look like a parrot on the soundbites.

    Biden, who is known for his loose tongue, quick anger, and accusatory tones, kept all of those in check last night, as did Palin.  They both praised each other in the old-style of gentlemanly debate.  I was on the debate team in high school and college, and was extremely impressed by their extemporaneous skills of talking off the cuff when a dodgy question was asked.  Biden was the old pro; Palin wasn't expected to do this well, and from my count, made the debate a draw or near draw.

  In McCain's world, however, a draw was a win, because it stopped the perception backslide of his VP candidate.  Now the attention, rightfully so, should swing back to the main candidates.  After all, no group of voters in modern history have voted for a Vice President over the Presidential candidate.  The economic situation puts Obama in the driver-seat, voter-wise.  It should also help him in labor-heavy states that he might have been marginal in.  For some reason, even though the war is going well, the mere mention of it in debates swings independent votes during reaction tests.  So, in the two key topics of the election, Obama has the edge.  This is a huge mountain for McCain to yet overcome, and time is running out.  His Mighty Mouse routine about rushing to Washington DC and declaring that he brought the Repubs together was wholly unbelieved by general public and probably hurt him.  Something on a very large scale will have to happen, current events wise, to sway independents back to McCain if he is to win.  

    Meanwhile, Obama has weathered quite well, with very little criticism, of his religious and political radicalism.   He says he is a 'maverick' also, (cough cough) but he's voted 96% of the time with the Democrats which makes McCain's 80% look that much better.  The talking point says McCain has voted 90% of the time with Bush, but that does not include the bills that were started by Republicican congressmen.   To say he is in lock-step with Bush is totally wrong.  He has 'broken votes' with his own party, much to their chagrin, much more often than the media portrays it.  They have a tendency to frame every comparison to Bush, as Biden did last night.  Bush and McCain are worlds apart on several issues, but have similar agendas on the war.  They differ quite a bit on the way they perceive earmarks, lobbying, partisan politics and several medium-important topics such as Social Security, Health, and states rates.  Obviously, the winning philosophy for Obama, while stretching the truth a bit, is to say McCain votes like Bush thinks.  If I hear one more person say:  McCain votes like Bush votes....grrrr.....Bush doesn't vote!  He either passes, initiates or vetoes an existing bill.  It's considered an executive action, not a vote.

[This message has been edited by threadbear (10-03-2008 12:59 PM).]

Huan Yi
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14 posted 10-03-2008 06:20 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"God caused the bank to ignore my credit score and blessed me with my first house."

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1847053,00.html?cnn=yes


Well, let’s send him the bill.


.
Huan Yi
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15 posted 10-03-2008 06:48 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,432501,00.html


First I heard of this . . .
Some long time from now
someone is going to write a book.

.
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16 posted 10-03-2008 09:00 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Although Frank now blames Republicans for the failure of Fannie and Freddie, he spent years blocking GOP lawmakers from imposing tougher regulations on the mortgage giants. In 1991, the year Moses was hired by Fannie, the Boston Globe reported that Frank pushed the agency to loosen regulations on mortgages for two- and three-family homes, even though they were defaulting at twice and five times the rate of single homes, respectively.

Forget the book, John. No one would believe it....
Sunshine
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17 posted 10-03-2008 09:12 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Threadbear,

I do not know you, but I definitely like the way you look and dissect matters. Thank someone for good judgment, you have certainly inherited some fine genes.
.

threadbear
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18 posted 10-03-2008 10:57 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

You know me, Sunshine.
You just don't know you know me.
How's that for obsequiousness?

Thank you very much for the undeserved compliment.  If I live up to expectations once a day, I'd consider it a good day!
Brad
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19 posted 10-07-2008 07:49 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

First thought: Isn’t this a symptom rather than a cause?

Ironic thought: The Bush administration was pushing for more regulation while Barney Frank and company were pushing for less?

Aside: Frank, on O’Reilly, is arguing for more regulation, not less.

So, what’s the problem? To put it simply, Rightwingers are arguing that what went wrong was giving money to poor people and minorities. Lefties are saying that rich people were greedy and stupid.

Ah, all is right with the world again.

Daniel.Gross

quote:
… many of the biggest flameouts in real estate have had nothing to do with subprime lending. WCI Communities, builder of highly amenitized condos in Florida (no subprime purchasers welcome there), filed for bankruptcy in August. Very few of the tens of thousands of now-surplus condominiums in Miami were conceived to be marketed to subprime borrowers, or minorities—unless you count rich Venezuelans and Colombians as minorities. The multiyear plague that has been documented in brilliant detail at IrvineHousingBlog is playing out in one of the least-subprime housing markets in the nation.
Third, lending money to poor people and minorities isn't inherently risky. There's plenty of evidence that in fact it's not that risky at all. That's what we've learned from several decades of microlending programs, at home and abroad, with their very high repayment rates. And as the New York Times recently reported, Nehemiah Homes, a long-running initiative to build homes and sell them to the working poor in subprime areas of New York's outer boroughs, has a repayment rate that lenders in Greenwich, Conn., would envy. In 27 years, there have been fewer than 10 defaults on the project's 3,900 homes. That's a rate of 0.25 percent.


In other words, poor people aren’t necessarily a higher risk than rich people.
Threadbear’s opening statement assumes this to be the case. It’s not:

quote:
On the other hand, lending money recklessly to obscenely rich white guys, such as Richard Fuld of Lehman Bros. or Jimmy Cayne of Bear Stearns, can be really risky. In fact, it's even more risky, since they have a lot more borrowing capacity. And here, again, it's difficult to imagine how Jimmy Carter could be responsible for the supremely poor decision-making seen in the financial system. I await the Krauthammer column in which he points out the specific provision of the Community Reinvestment Act that forced Bear Stearns to run with an absurd leverage ratio of 33 to 1, which instructed Bear Stearns hedge-fund managers to blow up hundreds of millions of their clients' money, and that required its septuagenarian CEO to play bridge while his company ran into trouble. Perhaps Neil Cavuto knows which CRA clause required Lehman Bros. to borrow hundreds of billions of dollars in short-term debt in the capital markets and then buy tens of billions of dollars of commercial real estate at the top of the market. I can't find it. Did AIG plunge into the credit-default-swaps business with abandon because Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now members picketed its offices? Please. How about the hundreds of billions of dollars of leveraged loans—loans banks committed to private-equity firms that wanted to conduct leveraged buyouts of retailers, restaurant companies, and industrial firms?


Megan


quote:
Perhaps the most important point is that regulators, the bonny chaps who are supposed to save us from all this madness, displayed the same pattern.  So did the politicians behind them.  Over the past few weeks, much has been made of the various regulatory actions that enabled this mess.  Though some are wrong, two are not:  the Democrats protected OFHEO's shockingly loose regulation of Fannie and Freddie against the White House's attempt to toughen it; and the Republican-appointed SEC loosened the capital requirements for the five largest banks.

But why did they do this?  Democrats seem to believe that the Republicans and the SEC simply did this out of wanton greed and a blind faith in markets; Republicans seem to believe that OFHEO, the Democrats, and Fannie/Freddie did this because of political corruption and a blind belief in homeownership for poor people.  But neither side was simply accepting the risk that the whole thing might come crashing down leaving the economy in tatters and the taxpayers on the hook.  The regulators, too, were misled by recent history.  In recent history, lending had been safer, and risk models did seem to be performing better.  Both groups genuinely believed that improvements in both computer models, and in economic theory of regulation, would allow them to identify and halt any crisis before it occurred.  And just like everyone else, when no disaster occurred, they became ever more confident in their own genius.

What we need, fundamentally, is not simply stricter regulation or less greedy bankers.  What we need is better economic theory of how these things play out, so that the regulators have better tools to assess and prevent systemic risk.  But that's not how we're thinking right now.  What we're looking for is not better tools, but someone to blame.


And that makes sense to me. A few years ago, Robert Samuelson, I think, wrote an article in the NYT, I think – it was a long time ago – essentially saying that economically we really didn’t know where we were going. That the first decade of the 21st century was uncharted territory for economists.

Now we know.
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20 posted 10-07-2008 08:55 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usvG-s_Ssb0
Brad
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21 posted 10-07-2008 10:44 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I don't get it.

I get that Fannie and Freddie are a part of the problem; I don't get that they are the cause of the problem.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I looked at the YouTube clip show, I read the NYT article, and I don't see where this is explained anywhere.

Gross:

quote:
Look: There was a culture of stupid, reckless lending, of which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the subprime lenders were an integral part. But the dumb-lending virus originated in Greenwich, Conn., midtown Manhattan, and Southern California, not Eastchester, Brownsville, and Washington, D.C. Investment banks created a demand for subprime loans because they saw it as a new asset class that they could dominate. They made subprime loans for the same reason they made other loans: They could get paid for making the loans, for turning them into securities, and for trading them—frequently using borrowed capital.


What cracks me up about all of this is that the more power you give to Dems, the more impotent you make the Republicans.

Sunshine
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22 posted 10-07-2008 10:49 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Brad, it's always been a no-win situation.

Everyone wants to be first base; no matter who gets thrown out.

There's no working together in our government anymore...

and it has gone far beyond a tit for a tat measure. I keep telling myself "turn off the media" and I cannot even go into PiP without getting blindsided by discourse.

Some say, "it will be over soon" but I do fear for what will be over.

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23 posted 10-07-2008 10:55 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Brad, I couldn't agree with you more. The Republicans have allowed the Democrats to get away with these tactics, a major problem I have with them. Trying to come across as fair has come across as weakness and they don't have leaders strong enough to say "That's enough".
threadbear
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24 posted 10-07-2008 11:32 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Sunshine, there is a silver lining here:  for good or for bad, more and more people have finally involved themselves in politics.  For decades, this was a taboo subject to be discussed among friends or relatives.  I believe that America has put this out-of-date notion to a final rest, and is ready to proceed with discourse necessary to keep abreast of important issues.  

Brad, you also pointed out, perhaps unwittingly, another reason why the Dems didn't want these bills to pass to increase the power of the auditing group of F&Fmac.  It empowered them with votes from the poor.  It is what it is.

In your earlier post, you made the minor mistake of thinking I meant that the 'poor caused this crisis.'  There are 4 equivalent factors the way I see it, that contributed to this crisis:
1) bad loans...period (rich and poor ones)
2) nationalization of banks
3) greed
4) lack of oversight group with teeth


----------------------------------------

In Vogue Perhaps

I am left wondering if it is in vogue, still
to be on message.
You see, the perils of speaking truth are now outdated:
assassination is direct result (with emphasis on the beginning of that word)
for who is more asinine-  he who explains
or he who reveals less knowledge than the explainer?
I am left wondering what experience counts for, nowadays
less than talent, but more than qualifications.
The newly successful, with fresh face, and clean speaking breath
mints the air that drawn  into our hearing lungs
This is the lifeblood of a nation:
not the fruits of labor
not the relish of accomplishment
but the short term ecstasy of hope.

  9/09/08 ThreadBear
 
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