Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mortgage Meltdown: More Blame Game and Depressing Politician Behavior

In case you still want to watch the debate over 'who caused this Great Recession', check this clip out. You can't stick a bullseye on Barney Frank's back, let alone get a straight (or honest) answer out of him. But can you blame the guy? He's a vote-getter first and foremost! Ok, I'm in a particularly cynical mood today, politicians depress me rather than inspire me 9 times out of 10. Now you know.

Last we heard, it was the Clinton administration pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lower lending standards to accommodate more low-income buyers. Who even cares at this point? I wish they'd stop the finger pointing and learn how to regulate before the crisis hits, not squeeze the life out of the market with righteous after-the-fact belt-tightening that is more about showboating to their constituencies (self-service) than about creating a healthy economic environment with stable legal guidance (public service).

For some more bad light on politicians, see this story about Senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad and their 'sweetheart' deals from Countrywide on their own personal mortgages, via a program called "Friends of Angelo" (Mizillo). How feasible is it that the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee (Dodd) and the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee remain unclouded in their judgment when receiving preferential treatment from a bank? In other words, "the last two people that should have dirty loans were at the front of the line".

Well apparently they now admit that they were aware of the preferential treatment, though they denied it a year ago when the story first broke. I can't find a credible link though that supports this supposed acknowledgement.