Mortgage-Backed Securities Bailout

Mortgage-Backed Securities Bailout

This is a discussion on Mortgage-Backed Securities Bailout within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I wrote my Senator and voiced my opinion that I didn't feel the bailout was right and here is the answer I got back: October ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array PatrioticRick's Avatar
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    Mortgage-Backed Securities Bailout

    I wrote my Senator and voiced my opinion that I didn't feel the bailout was right and here is the answer I got back:

    October 2, 2008

    Complex and complicated issues make for difficult votes; this was never more true than the vote in the U.S. Senate on H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. On October 1, 2008, I voted against the legislation for the very reason that Iíve publicly stated ever since Administration presented its initial proposal to Congress a little over a week ago: After exhaustive research and review of multiple analyses, I remain unconvinced that this legislation adequately protects taxpayers against as yet unknown financial losses. While it is indeed very true that we are facing a severe economic crisis and the cost of inaction is dire, Congress had no time to consider options that may have provided better protection for taxpayers and helped us define the crisis more effectively. Most people donít make monumental decisions that affect their lives or livelihood in less than two weeksí time; Congress shouldnít either. This legislation puts taxpayers in the first position to assume losses of the most toxic assets in our economy, and that is not right.

    Indisputably, a serious and real threat faces our financial markets and economy, and it must be dealt with, but this legislation requires the taxpayer to assume the majority of the risk that comes with this buyout. We have begun to see the extremely serious repercussions throughout every aspect of our economy as a result of the credit crunch. For these very reasons, Congress owes it to the people who elected us to get this right. Frankly, we have not spent any time determining if Congress has chosen the best response; there are many well-informed people who argue that we have not.

    This complicated issue requires careful evaluation of all the alternatives available, but Congress only addressed one way to face the crisis. And while questions from the public certainly forced needed improvements regarding executive compensation, oversight, accountability and transparency, this measure needed more work, more evaluation and more debate. There may be better ways to address this matter, including an equity position for taxpayers so that shareholders and other financiers of risky behavior take the financial hits first and the taxpayers take losses last. This measure, as passed by the Senate, has the taxpayer purchasing the distressed assets with no real guarantee that the taxpayer will be able to recoup that investment.

    One of my greatest concerns is that this bill does not resolve the over-reaching problem of how we reached this point in the first place. What sequence of events happened, and what choices were made that put the financial services industry in this catastrophic state of affairs? There are efforts that Congress needs to undertake to improve our economic posture such as regulatory reform, tax policy reform and simplification of our natin's regulatory structure to retain American businesses here at home. The next Congress is going to have to do more to address this crisis and make significant reforms as to how our capital markets are regulated.

    I appreciate the thousands of Idahoans who have contacted my offices, expressing their concerns about this situation over the past few weeks. I took into consideration those voices and also carefully considered concerns expressed by Idaho employers, many who are now starting to experience credit tightening and financial difficulties as the repercussions from this crisis trickle down to our hometowns. Without a doubt, this was one of the most challenging votes that Iíve cast in my time in public office. Complicating matters further, the Senate leadership chose to attach additional provisions onto the legislation that included critical tax relief extensions, county payments and Payment in Lieu of Taxes, all of which affect Idahoans in some way. However, I stand by my vote and offer this word of caution: regardless of the final outcome of this particular legislation, many uncertainties will continue. We are facing tough economic times. We must remain vigilant and be prepared to adjust course in the next session of Congress if we find the economy has not sufficiently improved.

    The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act aims to solve the credit crisis, but it does not solve the other problems plaguing our economy--problems that will only begin to recede when we have a stronger job market and growth in key financial sectors. Congress must get to the business of ensuring that solid foundation proactively, in the manner Iíve outlined, so that we donít find ourselves in a cycle of massive taxpayer buyouts of troubled financial systems.



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  2. #2
    Member Array G96X0's Avatar
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    Too bad it was full of pork and I couldn't believe, "tax breaks for hollyweird".

  3. #3
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    Investor's business daily

    Should Congress Be 'Perp-Walked'?
    INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

    A federal grand jury in New York is probing the accounting shenanigans at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It's about time, and we hope it doesn't end there.


    Remember the early 2000s, when companies such as WorldCom, Enron, Tyco and Xerox suddenly and spectacularly were revealed to have been cooking their books?

    Remember the glee expressed by Washington politicians, especially Democrats, as they watched CEOs and their underlings get perp-walked out of their buildings and into federal custody?

    Enron became the poster child for corporate misdeeds. In the accounting crisis of 2002, CEO Ken Lay was one of the most loathed human beings on Earth. And no, that's not an exaggeration.

    Here was California Attorney General William Lockyer, one of many Democrats on the national scene who gloated at the downfall of the Enron chief and others: "I would love to personally escort Lay to an 8-by-10 cell that he could share with a tattooed dude who says, 'Hi, my name is Spike, honey.'"

    Lockyer wasn't the only one swept up in a spiteful prosecutorial frenzy. Sure, some of the prosecutions were deserved. But some were excessive, part of a corporate witch hunt.

    As noted in a 2003 study by Kathleen Brickey, a Washington University law professor, the Justice Department brought 50 major fraud prosecutions from March 2002 to August 2003. An estimated 90 corporate officers were involved. That's a lot of prosecutions.

    Basically, any major-company CEO whose stock price fell sharply could be sued or charged with a crime and sent to prison.

    Democrats wasted no time calling this a "GOP" scandal, tarring any Republican official with charges of corruption for taking so much as a dollar from any of the companies. Never mind that Democrats were also prominent on the political gift lists.

    Fanning the fire were news media highlighting Republican ties to scandal-plagued firms while all but ignoring Democrat links.

    In the end, what emerged from this atmosphere of retribution and attack was Sarbanes-Oxley — the toxic corporate regulatory law that has arguably destroyed more wealth than anything WorldCom, Tyco or Enron ever did.

    We mention all this because we now have an opportunity, thanks to the New York grand jury, to probe perhaps the greatest financial crime ever — one that dwarfs Enron in size and scope.

    Yes, we're talking Fannie and Freddie.

    Here's how James B. Lockhart III, head of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, described the two companies back in 2006, before the meltdown occurred:

    "The result of (Fannie's and Freddie's) rapid growth unconstrained by market forces and a weak regulator was years of mismanagement, flagrant earnings manipulation, and systems-and-controls problems. Managements of both companies were forced out, earnings were misstated by an estimated $16 billion, fines exceeding one-half billion dollars were imposed, and remedial costs will exceed $2 billion."

    Yet Congress did nothing. Fannie and Freddie continued to enjoy a virtual monopoly of the housing finance market, holding nearly half the nation's $12 trillion in mortgage assets in 2007.

    And what happened to Fannie's and Freddie's top executives, almost all with deep ties to the Democratic Party? Did they get perp-walked to prison like WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers, Tyco's Dennis Koslowski, Adelphia's John Rigas, ImClone's Sam Waksal, or any of the others who did time for corporate misdeeds in the early 2000s?

    No. Jim Johnson, former Walter Mondale aide, became head of Barack Obama's vice presidential search committee. Franklin Raines, who headed Fannie from 1998 to 2004, the years of its worst excesses, pocketed nearly $100 million in pay and bonuses from Fannie. He, too, became an adviser to Obama.

    Other Fannie-Freddie alumni did equally well. Rep. Rahm Emanuel has been front and center in crafting a new rescue bill. Ex-Clinton Justice official Jamie Gorelick careens from career catastrophe to catastrophe, and still gets top jobs. It pays to have ties.

    Meanwhile, as previously documented, Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd repeatedly thwarted reforms. Yet today they stand front-and-center as Democrats try to "fix" a problem they created.

    As such, any investigation into Fannie and Freddie must include Congress, both current and past.

    There's lots of evidence that the two mortgage giants had become little more than taxpayer-guaranteed front companies for Democrats, who used them to reward supporters with cheap loans and to provide jobs for out-of-work politicians.

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    The best articles by far that I've read so far on the issue have been syndicated in Capitalism Magazine...
    Who Buried Capitalism? by Michael J. Hurd -- Capitalism Magazine
    Congress and the Politics of Bailouts by Thomas Sowell -- Capitalism Magazine
    Penny-Wise Politics: Class Envy and CEO Pay by Thomas Sowell -- Capitalism Magazine
    An Open Letter to Members of Congress on the Financial Mess by John Lewis -- Capitalism Magazine

    and the best one thus far is an excerpt from Ludwig Von Mises's The Theory of Money and Credit (1912).
    Monetary Policy and the Return to Sound Money by Ludwig Von Mises -- Capitalism Magazine

    Kinda funny how an almost 100 year old text hits the nail on the head again huh?
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

  5. #5
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    oh, come on now.

    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Should Congress Be 'Perp-Walked'?
    INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY

    There's lots of evidence that the two mortgage giants had become little more than taxpayer-guaranteed front companies for Democrats, who used them to reward supporters with cheap loans and to provide jobs for out-of-work politicians.
    What a partisan thing. Yeah, just 'cause someone wrote it in Investor's Business Daily it must be true.

    It is now way too late (and definitely the wrong time) to be playing with this kind of loose talk.

    Put the fire out, then look to hold folks responsible.

    Personally, I put much more blame on the credit rating companies such as S&P. To the bitter end, they were calling much of the paper being traded AAA, investment grade.

    And there is plenty of blame to be put on those who took out or promoted the taking out of liar loans---

    This "crisis" has a cause which is sadly bottom up, grass roots, and not especially top down as the article implies.

    Moreover, everyone in government who should have pulled a circuit breaker, completely missed the opportunity. When you circumvent the breaker box, fires happen.

    Meanwhile, as nose holding stinking awful as the bailout proposal is, there simply isn't time for devising a better plan. (The more Congress will work on it the worse any plan will get, not the better it will get. Just look at some of what happened in The Senate; rum subsidies, railroad tax breaks, and so on-- do you really think they can get a clean bill before eternity?)

    It is time to be throwing the water and sand on the flames; as quickly as can be done, and not to worry (for the moment) about whether or not someone turned off the valve to the sprinkler system.

    There will be time enough for that sort of stuff later on.

    And since this started out partisan, let's not forget who has been
    "in charge" for the last 8 years, and through two deep recessions.

    P.S. It has been predicted that huge numbers of auto dealers will be put out of business because of what is happening. Auto stocks have tanked, even for sturdy giants like Toyota. And the problem will extend to almost any business; it has already affected McD.

    Businesses can't get even short term loans at the moment to order inventory. Something has to be done and Congress has already dithered away to 10 days or more while a couple of trillion dollars has been lost in the stock market and G-d only knows what has been lost in the bond markets-- it is in the trillions. Every second Congress fails to act costs ALL of us our hard earned money.

  6. #6
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    Oh...there is plent of blame to share. We do agree on that.
    Please don't shoot the messenger though...I didn't write it - I only pasted it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    Nationalizing the bank industry is not the answer. Nothing in this bill requires the Government to sell back the stock this is(we are) allowing them to by.

    Why does this bail out have to happen so quickly? Anyone... Anyone... If a Doctor told you that major surgery was needed right now, wouldn't you ask how serious it was? will I die if I don't have the surgery? what is the chances that this surgery will fix the problem?

    This bail out will nationalize our banking system, next step; socialism.

    To keep this gun related; once we become "socialized" if you will, guns are next.
    Get the U.N. out of the U.S.
    Get the U.S. out of the U.N.

  8. #8
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    Why it has to happen so quickly

    Quote Originally Posted by rhinokrk View Post
    Why does this bail out have to happen so quickly? Anyone... Anyone...
    The reason it has to happen so quickly is that at the moment, no one (bank) will lend money because their own money is tied up in knots. Never mind who or how the knot got formed. It needs untangling, and fast. Because, --

    Let's say I own a small SCUBA shop or a small gun store. Maybe, it has been the practice that when I order merchandise the wholesaler shipped without waiting to get paid because I had good credit. But now, he ain't so sure about me anymore, and he is tight on funds, so he says, he wants to be paid on shipment. I need a loan to pay for the merchandise which I hope I can sell. But, no one will give me a short term loan, though in the past I have always paid promptly.

    If this sort of situation gets going and growing (and it has), and it is doing that right now, commerce grinds to a halt, folks lose jobs, and credit becomes even tighter. We aren't talking here about credit card debt. We are talking about the very routine transactions that are needed for business on MAIN STREET to get done; for the grocer to stock his shelves, if you want an important example.

    Now, because business is being choked due to the lack of credit, and because folks are being fired in an accelerating fashion as things go downhill, the stock market is tanking. This means people who had money saved in pension funds, insurance contracts, retirement accounts, or were just investing for growth, have lost money. So, they feel poorer and buy less. Then the thing accelerates downhill all the faster....a spiral to the bottom.

    This bail out isn't about saving "Wall Street," or saving idiots who purchased homes they couldn't afford, or saving "the big filthy rich banker." It is about saving ordinary small business people and their employees and the entire economy.

    There is a reason our president looked scared when he made his public speech last week. He was scared. And we all should be.

    Right now stores need to be stocking for the holiday shopping season. If they can't place orders, can't get stuff shipped, can't do these things because money is not available to be loaned, they will go under. And by early next year, G-d help us all and whoever has the misfortune of being elected this November.

    That is why it has to be fixed NOW; as in YESTERDAY.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    Hopyard

    Maybe you missed this point.
    Quote Originally Posted by rhinokrk View Post
    Nationalizing the bank industry is not the answer. Nothing in this bill requires the Government to sell back the stock this is(we are) allowing them to by.
    Fast isn't always best.

    I feel for small business', and understand the need for action. But, I feel we need to look at this long term. This bill could/will change America forever(period) It shouldn't be rushed into as a temporary fix, because it is not. This bill will change America more than any other bill in my, or my fathers time. So, if it takes a few weeks for a better bill... then so be it.
    Get the U.N. out of the U.S.
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  10. #10
    wpk
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    For a 'must pass NOW' bill, the politicians managed to stuff a lot of pork projects into it. Just watched Glenn Beck's show and he was showing a lot of the non-essential extra bs that is trying to get piggy-backed in with this. I'll see if I can find and post a complete list of it.


    Edit: Here's the article: Glenn Beck - Current Events & Politics - Glenn Beck: Bailout filled with Pork not a comprehensive list, but it's some good info to get started (and angry) with.
    "America is a nation of laws; poorly written and randomly enforced." -Frank Zappa

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    The reason it has to happen so quickly is that at the moment, no one (bank) will lend money because their own money is tied up in knots. Never mind who or how the knot got formed. It needs untangling, and fast. Because, --
    Yeah, but all this talk of bailouts and "fixing it now" isn't untangling the knots. It's throwing one end of the rope over a cliff, climbing halfway down, then radioing down to someone at the bottom to squirt lighter fluid on the other end and light it, knots and all.

    I hate band-aid fixes. I hate rushed fixes. I hate shoddy work. If it's going to get fixed.. FIX IT THE RIGHT WAY THE FIRST TIME AROUND.
    BTW...that involves killing a LOT of fat government payed(ie you're paying them) jobs and forcing a large majority of the population to either adapt or go homeless. There's no other way around it. Do it right. Enough of this bailout nonsense.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova View Post
    Yeah, but all this talk of bailouts and "fixing it now" isn't untangling the knots. It's throwing one end of the rope over a cliff, climbing halfway down, then radioing down to someone at the bottom to squirt lighter fluid on the other end and light it, knots and all.

    I hate band-aid fixes. I hate rushed fixes. I hate shoddy work. If it's going to get fixed.. FIX IT THE RIGHT WAY THE FIRST TIME AROUND.
    BTW...that involves killing a LOT of fat government payed(ie you're paying them) jobs and forcing a large majority of the population to either adapt or go homeless. There's no other way around it. Do it right. Enough of this bailout nonsense.
    Get the U.N. out of the U.S.
    Get the U.S. out of the U.N.

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    Quote Originally Posted by packinnova View Post
    I hate band-aid fixes. I hate rushed fixes. I hate shoddy work. If it's going to get fixed.. FIX IT THE RIGHT WAY THE FIRST TIME AROUND.
    I agree with your sentiment, but as a practical matter, with this specific issue, doing nothing while waiting for a "better approach" to gain favor with law makers, will be a huge disaster.

    And, I have absolutely no faith that Congress will come up with anything better until after the elections and the start of the new session end of Jan 09. So the choice is, do something, imperfect as it is, and give the economy a chance. Or, do nothing whatsoever--- because that is the choice we are facing, doing nothing, and watch it all go to heck.

    Don't misunderstand my position here. I don't like this stuff one bit. I think it stinks. I have written that I didn't like it either when Congress was stampeded into the Iraq war or the Patriot act--both not their finest moments. Stampedes produce poor legislation.

    Unfortunately, this is one of those cases (unlike the two mentioned above) where a real gotta do it now emergency exists.

    The holiday buying season is on at the wholesale level and the retail buying season will start before we know it. If credit isn't available for both of these major economic activities, the game will be over for us, and probably for our children, and at least for a generation--and not just one 4 year business cycle.

  14. #14
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    It's really obvious that partisan politics play a huge role in both this alleged economic crisis and the solution to it. Look at all of the irrelevant pork these chumps have added to the primary issue. They try like the devil to sneak stuff past us that they know we would have no part of otherwise. I swear there ought to be a law that states they cannot add crap to these bills. Debate each issue on its individual merits. If it's legislation worth changing, it deserves its own bill.

    Also, I know the theory of how bad a credit crunch would be, but does anyone know of a person or business, that has good credit, who has been denied a loan lately?

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    Are there any really big old stately Oak trees remaining in Washington that would make decent Hanging Trees?
    Just curious.

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