Funny how government always comes to the rescue last minute to correct the problems it helped create in the first place. Fortunately, Wall Street is only a stone’s throw away to take the blame instead.
But how many of the same people who enjoy parroting the trendy, way left of center cliché that greedy CEO’s and corporate America should hang will take the time to read about the government mandates that helped promote subprime mortgages to begin with? How many in the media will be reporting about the unintended, but predictable consequences behind the noble pursuit of the Community Reinvestment Act of 1992, which stems from Jimmy Carter’s administration?
For anyone wondering why banks took on such risky loans from borrowers, how many will remember Franklin Delano Raines, the Clinton-appointed head of Fannie Mae who took an early retirement in 2004 after having made it his top priority for people with poor credit to get mortgages for minimal money down thanks to programs such as the CRA? Was it really about ensuring more people, particularly low-income families and minority groups could finally become homeowners? Or was it the million dollar bonuses Raines and others received for overstating Fannie Mae’s earnings and bundling an inordinate amount of bad loans with good ones and convincing investment banks all over the world they were a safe risk since they were “government insured”? Will anyone other than the financial papers bother reporting about Raine’s and Fannie Mae’s shoddy accounting practices that involved overstating profits by $6.3 billion, making the infamous Ken Lay and Enron’s $567 million overstatement look like a conceivable mistake? Where is the outrage in the mainstream media now?
As usual, it will be misplaced by journalists who find it much easier to report unfounded drivel. Such as the current chorus of “intellectuals” who don’t understand actual, inevitable economic realities such as price elasticity and budget constraints but are quick to coin misleading, albeit catchy phrases such as “savage neoliberal capitalism”. Terms sure to become a hit among the Che Guevara T-shirt crowd who keep a watchful eye on “the system” between sipping Chai Lattes and pondering the profundity of Noam Chomsky. Their flawed interpretation of events in turn will “trickle down” and churn the next conspiracy theory involving the rich spend every waking hour trying to keep the poor from achieving the American dream. God forbid the average taxpayer should ever hear another side to the argument such as the facts.