Monday, September 29, 2008

We Have Nothing to Fear..

Somewhere bin Laden is smiling. Today America suffered the largest single day stock dump since the day trading began after September 11th, 777 points or over a trillion on paper. And just like after 9/11, everybody is looking for someone to blame.

We could start with the shrew in charge of the House of Representatives who's been playing politics with this issue from day one. Some patriot. Or maybe Barney "what me, worry?" Frank for ignoring the growing problems with Fannie/Freddie in 2004...all he didn't say was "Frankie's (Raines) doing a heckuva job" while at the time he was busy running an Enron-like accounting scam. Thankfully he's had time lately to lower his golf handicap. Today Frank blamed the bill's defeat on GOP members getting their "feelings hurt" over Pelosi's hardball partisanship while Main Street's future hung in the balance. After his history we can now deem him officially clueless.

But let's not forget all the Republican Congressmorons who voted no to protect their reelection chances over their country. Maybe Pelosi was right about their patriotism. Or the 90+ Democrat Congresshacks who hit the no button either out of fear or because there wasn't enough bailout in the bailout. What, not enough nuts for the ACORN lobbyists who helped get us in this mess? Stunning hubris.

By the way, if the shrew plays this card all HELL should be rained down in Washington. Not literally, of course, but via whatever communications means are available.

Main Street? Sure, a lot of us fell hook, line, and sinker for the "I want it all, and I want it now" school of finance. But we were all duped, of course, right? Right. Apparently too many of us were not listening closely when "Poor Richard's Almanack" was discussed in school, if such a thing is even mentioned anymore. Or maybe it's all Bush's fault for telling us to "go shopping" or not yelling loud enough from the pulpit. Still, the problem remains.

This is a seminal moment in American history, the kind of moment that in the past has produced great statesmen who've stepped up and done the right thing. We await their arrival.

In the meantime, this is America--we always take the glass half full side. "777" is supposed to be a lucky number. Things will be done--there are simply too many people depending on us across the globe.

MORE 9/29/08

Again, if this was such a "crisis" and Pelosi needed bi-partisanship to git r done, why did so many Dems take a pass?
That being the case, and given the fact that the legislation was in fact a negotiated, bipartisan compromise, the first duty of the majority party is to line up its members to support the majority's bill. But evidence is growing that the Democrats did no such thing.

As of yesterday, the Democrats' House whip, Jim Clyburn said that he hadn't even begun "whipping" Democratic representatives, and wouldn't do so unless and until he got orders from Nancy Pelosi. Today, Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio told NPR that he never was "whipped" on the bill. So Pelosi evidently left Democrats to vote their consciences--which is to say, vote against the bill if they thought it was politically necessary--while counting on Republicans to put the bill over the top.

This is a classic Charlie Brown and the football maneuver. Pelosi gives a speech that frames the issue, falsely, as the result of bad Republican policies, then allows her own threatened representatives to do the popular thing while expecting Republicans to take one for the team by casting an unpopular vote. Which, of course, their Democratic opponents would use against them, thereby increasing the Democratic majority in the House.
Something else. It's well known that older voters vote early and often (not in the Chicago sense). They are very sensitive to disruptions in their annuities/fixed incomes for obvious reasons, and quite often choose accordingly. Who's now in better position to help the seniors?


Anonymous said...

It's about time that congress does the will of the people. NO BUY OUTS! Maybe we should have Congress run for re-election every year and then the will of the people will be respected. Boo's to all those that voted for this insane bail out!

Anonymous said...

Interesting call on how Bid Laden is smiling.

I think, personally- he'd be bummed. The bailout plan was shut down by a few bright bulbs yet. Hopefully led by their intelligence but likely a stroke of good chance, the slim majority of politician shut down a potentially horrible idea.

Who's necks are on the chopping block over this "bailout"? Irresponsibly, relatively dim banks and homeowners who likely shouldn't have bought a house to begin with.

Why is it our responsibility to bail out poor decision makers and increase the size and power of the Federal Government? Seems like a bad idea. The bigger government gets, the more money it needs- which is higher taxes for you and I. Not good.

If we bail out people who make poor decisions, how does that discourage future poor decisions? MAYBE- if they didn't receive government checks, which are taxpayers money in disguise, and instead were left to being bought out by a more responsibly led institution and left unemployed- they would practice better judgement in the future.

What if the people who shouldn't own homes and are living outside their means- were left to lose the houses they cannot afford? In seven years, when they could again afford a home- they would have the golden opportunity of going about the home ownership process more wisely and potentially succeeding.

They were risks to take on and just like some risks do- they failed. En masse.

I'm sorry you feel the way you do but I'm certainly happy this bailout didn't go through.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea. Instead of giving away 700 billion to corrupt banks, give it to taxpayers. Imagine what would happen if everyone found themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars richer. Talk about stimulating the economy. I know it's crazy and unrealistic and would never happen, but it's just as crazy as the idea they are trying to get us to pass off on now. I'm tired of the whole thing. I'm tired of a government that is just now figuring out they may lose their jobs because they have ignored the people for years and now we are pissed. It's about time we take the power back. We need to hold our elected officials accountable. Please everyone, get to the polls this November.

Ron Fowler said...

Why not give 1 million to every registered adult US citizen instead of giving 700 billion dollars away to never get back. People would pay off all their debt, every child could go to college, people would invest in businesses of their own, and also spend which would help the economy.
Are all these debts they are accounting for including late penalties and interest? The principles are probably drastically
less than the total amount being accounted now. If we are going to experiment why not have a nation who for a moment there was no poor man in it.

yacovm said...

Stop the Bailout
By James Messina

First let’s go back to the beginning starting at the bubble, although I’d rather refer it to a balloon. In the year 2000 just after post doomsday Y2K the balloon was just placed on the air tank stem. During that year a house, let’s say in Holiday Florida would average at $50-60k. During that same year there were many types of easy loans such as HUD and Veteran (it wasn’t necessary to actually be a Vet, one just got a little better rate if you were) which made it easy for the average individual with $500 and a job to obtain approval. Section 8 had a role in this also. If they had 20% of the price of the home they didn’t even need a job. Actually they did, but what was referred to as a “no doc” all they had to do is just say they had an income.
Now here is where the air valve just barley inflates the balloon. Keep in mind that Holiday Florida is just a reference point and places like California and Miami holds the same principle just different prices. These loans usually carried an ARM which meant 5 years down the road Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac would be tacking on another 2.5-3% interest. These easy loans that owners had to put their signatures on, selling their souls sort of speak, compounded by falling prices.
Before they got to that point there was a “get rich quick” craze going on and everybody and his brother became an overnight realtor by “flip that house.” or two or three or four, renting them or just fixing them up, and profiting by the fast rising house prices caused by the craze.
We can argue who is to blame, apparently both the home buyer and the lender is at fault. The lender acted recklessly and lent and lent and competed to lend. Mortgage and title companies were popping up all over leading the owners like sheep before the slaughter.
The balance of fault lies on the degree of greed. Could you blame the average Joe that wanted to get rich quick or the banks who should have had more sense?
Now that it is obvious how we got there lets propose a way out. Giving 700 billion to the same banks who got us in this predicament, paid for by the average Joe’s taxes and not only that but, Joe must barrow the money with interest just to give it to the ones who lent Joe the money for the house that he is now foreclosed on. That’s like Joe borrowing money to give to heroin dealers in order to make sure they have a steady supply of heroin that they could sell him.
We have another option but of course it will not be considered because the government thinks it is in their best interest to help the banks thinking it will save Wall Street. We have to let the air out of the balloon by getting the prices of homes closer to the year 2000. The way we can do that is instead of giving the money directly to the banks; give it to the notes that are over priced. Let’s start with Joe’s house and his only house for now. If he paid let’s say $200,000 and he is in foreclosure, reset the value to the year 2003. That means rewriting the note. The year used adjusting the house value would be determined according to the magnitude of consequents’ on the little guy until the 700 billion is allocated to first every homeowner that will occupy that house(700 billion will just an arbitrary number for now or just a limit and no way should a fraction of that number be used). This will in no doubt cause values to come down all over. This plan could be implemented to the relevance of importance. The homeless first then to the struggling families aiming at the outrageously over priced homes, this will hurt the rich and humble undeserving. There are Joe’s out there that flipped houses until he bestowed on half a million dollar house with an income that can’t support it. He may very well eventually be included in this plan when his house is appraised less.
We have become far too accustom to borrowing on credit which is fundamentally against a sound foundation that is not free from exposure to failure. This notion of using “other people’s money” to undergo a project seems to be the theme of success. While it may very well be, there is no accountability if the project failed. They will just file bankruptcy and leave the lender holding the bag. Ultimately the blessing stated in the Bible “they shall lend and not borrow” would certainly be the hope of everyone but that would be impossible, simply because if there was a lender there must be a borrower. The lesson learned we have abused the privilege of credit. This is one habit must be stopped.
It all comes down to the basics, supply & demand. Now the supply is high. By slashing prices will create gamut of demand. New loans, transparency and credit will flow like neighborhoods at a block-party. Credit that is reasonable, credit that is based assists and collateral. This is an approach to bailout Main Street & Wall Street. We can’t reward the banks with money on the backs of taxpayers that require borrowing from other nations. It is not right that government, by use of fear tactics be allowed to execute whatever it fancies regardless of the rights of people.

Anonymous said...

Did we really expect this work, and then someone have the balls to take responsibility? No one knows how to pass a buck (Not a good buck!) better than U.S. Shun people who REALLY need help. Go into debt to help people who overspent themselves. Wheeeeee!

Anonymous said...

It is a profound indictment of our educational system to see the level of ignorance and sheer stupidity in some of these replies.

Please before you post something as stupid as "why is it our responsibility to bail out poor decision makers and increase the size of the federal government" go take the time to learn even a little bit about economics and how money flows in a now very global economy. Or at least read a book...

Anonymous said...

You guys are idiots. Obviously not investors who drive our economy, to say the least. The bailout could have worked if not for a few greedy politicians who wanted something else tacked on that could benefit them next election time. Wake up, people. They didn't do this because they heard your will. They did it because they had something else on their agenda that didn't make it into that bill. Instead, they voted against it and voted against any type of relief for the world economy. Get ready to have another depression, because that's what's coming. Hopefully you've already drawn your savings out of the banks and your retirement accounts, because nothing is going to be left in them by the end of the week. Thanks a lot, representatives. You certainly didn't represent me, and you won't have my vote come next election time.

A.C. McCloud said...

What if the people who shouldn't own homes and are living outside their means- were left to lose the houses they cannot afford? In seven years, when they could again afford a home- they would have the golden opportunity of going about the home ownership process more wisely and potentially succeeding.

That assumes the economy isn't tied together, not only locally but globally. America and the world depends on the global credit system to allow growth, which is why I figured bin Laden would be pleased--9/11 was an attack on our economic underbelly as much as anything. And they've yet to announce their surrender.

They were risks to take on and just like some risks do- they failed. En masse.

I'm sorry you feel the way you do but I'm certainly happy this bailout didn't go through.

Don't be sorry for me--I'm neither happy nor sad because either way people are gonna suffer downline for awhile.

In a way it might be a good thing to see how the markets react for a couple of days, if nothing else to show the powers they can't ram such things down our throats in a week, but I believe, like Gingrich, Bernanke, Obama, McCain and others that the threats are real must be addressed.

Anonymous said...

Congress needs to listen to Lou Dobbs more and listen less to the party leadership. The lending community was pushed into this sub-prime scenario back in the 1990's by Congress, led by Democrats who wanted the poor people to have a chance at owning their own homes even if they could not afford them. We need to clean house in the regulatory agencies, aggressively police the lending institutions, and investment firms. The FBI ought to be called upon to investigate and prosecute those companies and their CEO's who were irresponsible enough to not say no to Congress. They ought to be charged with national security breaches of our economy and with gross negligence in BMP's. If I did such things in my job I would get canned and not receive any sort of future references. If I lost company funds I would be required to reimburse said monies. Why aren't we requiring these CEO's to fork over their savings accounts?

I continue to get the feeling that Pelosi and her Democrats know full well who pushed the lenders into this hole but do not desire to raise their hands and take their lumps for a very bad policy decision on their parts. The Republicans never should have gone along with them either. It is a lack of leadership and ethics. Either Presidential candidate ought to have said "No way!" to the bail-out proposal. They missed their chance to stand out and grab ahold of America's heart. Maybe next time...