Thursday, October 4, 2012


Obama Looked bad; Gives Romney/GOP Major Opening

I wish I could report otherwise, but the President seemed unprepared or uninspired in his debate last evening with Mitt Romney.

I suspect that we won’t know until next month if this tilt produced any real electoral support for Mitt Romney, but it sure had to buck up sagging Republican egos worried that Mitt not only can’t win but would cost the GOP congressional seats.

Not that Romney overwhelmed Obama with facts and substance—I suspect the “fact checkers will find several flaws in what the former Massachusetts Governor said—but foremost, I believe Romney earned points on the “likeable scale” and he raised troubling doubts about Obama’s record that might sway some voters. (See fact checks link below.)

The President nibbled at the edges and several times I expected him to go “medieval” on the pontificating Romney, who touted the virtues of the private sector and his business experience, as if the nation hasn’t been through all of that, but Obama never fired his guns.

I guess it helps to be born rich and still be rich, but--to me--Mitt couldn’t quite sell his concern for middle class people.

Among familiar GOP stomping grounds, Romney had the gall to jump on the President for the “Dodd-Frank,” financial services reform legislation passed in the wake of the 2008 debacle involving Wall Street firms and the nation’s (and the world’s) largest banks.

Obama did not rebut the Romney view effectively.

But that truth starts with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell early in the Obama era pledging that he will anything to deny Obama a second term. That alone promised a lot of GOP obfuscation and legislative opposition.

The Senate Republicans—and almost their entire House fellow party members—followed through and pummeled almost all Obama initiatives or watered them down so that they have little meaning, with Dodd-Frank is a perfect example.

The nation’s largest financial institutions—after supporting Obama in his 2008 race—balked at what became Dodd-Frank (DF), named for Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), and actively tried to gut the proposal in both chambers, succeeding in my view.

It’s worth reminding people that, initially in 2008, many in the community supported candidate Barack Obama but his post-election move to regulate the business in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown caused them to revert to form and unload tons of cash on the Republican Party and its candidates in the 2010 congressional elections. This institutional trend continues today, except for a few Democrat big givers in New York's financial world.

In well documented news stories, what this GOP/financial industries cabal couldn’t disassemble on the Hill, they roughed up and diluted in the regulatory process.

Romney's “Qualified Mortgage” reference really is a big banks and related players story, wanting the regulation to be as permissive as possible yet with enough constraints so they have to do very little lending to those with lower credit or income profiles.

DF created a new consumer agency—that title alone made it a target of the banks—that was required to define what constitutes a safe mortgage investment. The Fed, always with a protective eye on its member bank and bank holding companies, issued a possible draft, which the new agency head apparently didn’t like, ergo the delay.

President Obama also missed an opportunity when discussing “Obamacare” and the beneficiaries of the Romney proposed substitute, which are the big insurance companies.

Had Obama done a better job of linking Romney and the GOP with the big banks the big insurers, and big oil, the debate could have been an Obama slam dunk, but he didn’t and it wasn’t.

Was Barack Obama sleep walking and reading his recent poll numbers too much?

What Are the Big Banks Doing Now to Help, Anything?

Had the President read other parts of the news, he would have seen two relevant and disturbing trends, which scream pigs at the trough and system gaming.

Major financial institutions are reporting record profits through 2012's third quarter and doing very well making big bucks on the mortgage loans they do write.

These are the same banks which have explained to the media that the Fed’s recent QE3 easing—with its massive purchases of mortgage backed securities filling their coffers with fresh capital—can’t be used for mortgage lending because that would overwhelm their capacity to respond to consumer mortgage demands.


Hey guys, aren’t you in the money lending business? How about hiring more staff, or is work force capacity a “straw man?”

The truth revolves more around the big guys serving only pristine borrowers and continuing to arbitrage their money, investing in safe Treasury or bank overnight investments which pad that bank bottom line.

Throw that into your campaign President Obama, since nobody sympathizes with bankers and money people save Mitt and his GOP merry men/women on the congressional committees which shield them.
Let’s see, big banks, big insurers, big oil, lies about who benefits from Mitt’s tax and healthcare plans. Yes Barack Obama missed some golden opportunities last night.

Those of you saying, “Well, there are more debates,” don’t bet your ranch on it since Obama will fight the last debate in the next one (forgetting for a moment the coming Biden-Ryan wrestling match) and likely come off snarky and belligerent.

For a guy battling his Bain image as a “job killer,” I think Romney bared his neck to the President—but didn’t get it chopped off--when the Governor (paraphrasing) said that he knew from his business experience that “you don’t get a tax break for opening a factory overseas.” Hmmm!

The President should have knocked that one and Mitt out of the park.

The Washington Post—Still Silent

No, I have not heard yet from the Washington Post which I berated for failing to cover any aspect of the recent court decision by federal judge Richard Leon to grant summary judgment to former Fannie Mae CEO Frank Raines, removing Raines from a shareholder lawsuit, based on allegations of securities violations, because--after 8 years--Leon found no proof to sustain the allegations.

I suggested that the Post may be too sensitive to admit—by refusing to run any in depth story—that the Judge’s decision could begin to undo some of the false but still malignant charges which business and political enemies hurled at Fannie for years. That pitching list included the Washington Post.

Please share with me any ideas you have about ways to convince the Post that it should report on the Leon decision.

If the Post ever did, the paper then should go back examine the anti Fannie Mae skullduggery which occurred in the early years of the last decade. It might open some eyes, primarily for those in Congress who still will debate this matter in coming years.

I think a fresh look at the sand-in-the gears role the George W. Bush Administration played—in concert with Fannie’s banking industry and ideological foes—would make for a substantive Post column or op-ed piece.

Maloni, 10-4-2012

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