Keep our Men and Women and their Balls at Home
Bumped into a Republican friend of mine this week, who grabbed me to say, “It seems only Michelle is “-------“(slang for intimate relations) Barack more than his buddy Putin these days. Har, har!”
OK, Iran, Iraq, Syria, North Korea, the UN, and now Edward Snowden, it does seem that the President’s “friend” Vlad Putin is going out of his way to frustrate, embarrass and anger the President of the United States.
It’s not in Obama’s makeup to do anything drastic on foreign policy to retaliate against the Russian thugs, but........
He could author a bold move--which most American likely would applaud--that would signal his unhappiness and hurt Putin and the Russians in their collective egos and wallets, if Obama would announce that he is keeping the US out the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia because of continued Russian recalcitrance and poor behavior.
Pull the jocks from the games, get NBC to yank the television plug and offer to pay for any contractual fines the network may encounter.
I am certain that a significant majority of congressional Republicans, if not every one of them, would endorse necessary legislation doing that.
Let Al Jazeera or whatever facility broadcast it, without the pre-eminent country in the world sending its athletes.
It would take luster from the event and money from the Russian nation and be a black eye for Putin, his current ex-Olympian wife or girlfriend or whatever she is (who reportedly is pushing him to make all of the investments in Sochi).
Will the Russians and some others hate us? Yes, but so what, they hate us already.
Some US athletes would be bummed out, but there always will be national and international competition available for them to set their world records and to show.
Just boycott it Barack!
OK Guys, I'll Return to The Mortgage World
In the July 20 Barron’s, Jonathan Laing took a poison pen approach to current congressional interest in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and displayed a bias and fact void, shocking in a seasoned reporter.
"Both companies got caught in the mid-2000s cooking their books in order to meet earnings targets that maximized executive bonuses."
(Maloni note: This was a common yet bogus accusation by Fannie's business and GOP political enemies.)
In 2004, three senior Fannie Mae executives were accused in a shareholders lawsuit of engaging in securities fraud, following a politically motivated regulatory report suggesting securities violations. By year’s end, the executives were forced out of the company but continued to fight the allegations.
Shortly after, in 2005, the Bush Administration blessed replacement for the departed Fannie officials, notably Dan Mudd succeeded Frank Raines as Chairman.
And the company—now led by compliant and politically cowed officers--paid a fine for the nonexistent regulatory offenses
But, in Fannie Mae’s case, eight years after the fact,in the fall of 2012—a year before Laing published his Barron’s piece--federal Judge Richard Leon, issued three separate rulings throwing out the charges saying no evidence existed which could convince any jury that the three Fannie officials were guilty of securities violations.
But, that news never made Laing’s Barron's column.
To me, Laing ignored the Judge Leon actions-- which both blew up the 2004 Bush Administration’s politically driven charges--and undercut Laing’s current Fannie Mae disdain, because a lot of crap thrown at the GSEs flowed form those baseless charges.
A journalist with Laing’s credentials should present the total story not just the Right Wing pap which perpetuates a fallacy.
Watt Vote Put Off
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled the planned vote last week on Rep, Mel Watt (D-SC) to become the new Fannie and Freddie regulatory Director and said it will come up in September.
That’s not good news and suggests Republican opposition. That GOP block could soften if they get some support for their versions of F&F reform or who knows what else they would trade for supporting Watt.
In one sense if they can speed the destruction of Fannie and Freddie or put tighter controls on them in whatever is their transition to the “new mortgage world,” it makes Watt’s ascension almost an afterthought, since—if the Republicans get their way—there won’t be too much of F/F to oversee.
(They seem to forget that, right now, Fannie and Freddie are what is producing, seamlessly, their and every other Senator and Member constituents' conventional mortgage financing.)
IMF Survey on F&F
Inside Mortgage Finance (IMF) the preeminent industry publication for both reporting and data, conducts regular polls of its readers.
Here are the current results of a recent poll, based on the emergence of legislative alternatives to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (My thanks to IMF publisher, Guy Cecala, for letting me use his survey info.)
Two major GSE reform bills have surfaced on Capitol Hill this summer. Both call for closing down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in relatively short order. But only one proposes a replacement entity that would continue to provide a government guarantee on conventional mortgages that are securitized. What do you think?
It’s a good idea to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with some sort of government MBS program that provides catastrophic insurance coverage.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be dissolved but not replaced with any new government program. The private sector can fill any gap in mortgage financing.
It’s a big mistake to eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac given their current importance to the mortgage market as well as the fact that they are paying billions of dollars to the Treasury.
What Others Are Saying
One begins to see editorials opposing House passage of the Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) legislative restructuring of the mortgage finance system legislation, which includes Fannie and Freddie obliteration. The House Financial Services Committee Chairman’s legislation was reported favorably—by only three votes—from his committee.
Maybe some are awakening to the fact that Hensarling plans to turn over the nation’s mortgage finance system totally to the commercial banking industry and their investment banking subsidiaries and appreciate the danger of that move.
The American Banker
The Golden Goose
Hensarling:” Let’s eat her now!”
C-W: “Let’s wait awhile until she gives more eggs and eat her then!”
U.S. Treasury Lowers Borrowing Estimate For July to September Quarter
Dow Jones Global Equities News
By Jeffrey Sparshott
Monday, 29 July 2013
(c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
WASHINGTON--The U.S. Treasury Department trimmed its borrowing expectations for
the third quarter of the year after big dividend payments from mortgage giants
Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) boosted its cash holdings.
The Treasury Department estimated Monday that it will issue $209 billion in net
marketable debt from July to September, down from its estimate of $223 billion
made three months ago.
The adjustment follows $66 billion in dividend payments, received June 28, from
the government-controlled mortgage lenders. That left the Treasury with a $135
billion cash balance, $60 billion more than it had anticipated.
This came out just after I published this morning, but if David Fiderer (aka "The Hebrew Hammer" )wrote it and Barry Ritholz "tweeted" it, it's well worth my crowd reading it.