Bold Prez & Dumb and Dumber
The President ignored the GOP threat not to go forward without them and Republicans now will try and make him pay (for doing something on immigration Senate R’s approved a while OK, but who is checking)?
Given how poorly the GOP Congress has treated Obama, what was there for him to lose?
He stepped across their line, knocked the brick from their shoulder and told them (paraphrasing), “I want to move forward.” You still can legislate, he told them, “Pass your own immigration bill.”
We now will hear a list of Obama retaliatory actions the GOP plans to take, which legislation they will hold up or encumber, ditto on Obama appointments, funding, government closure (oh no not that, again), rananna, rananna.
It hurt them the last time, it will hurt them again, since that kind of behavior detracts from what they claim is their goal to show leadership and responsible governing.
The Star and his Non-Stars
arlier in the week, the new SBC ranking minority Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) called for a new start and fresh review of what in the US mortgage finance system needs fixing , rejecting the old CWJC legislation (which dies with the current Congress),
Just what the nation needs another politically naïve HUD Secretary. Lew, once a Tip O’Neil protégé, seems to have lost whatever Tip taught him about Democrat constituencies.
I hoped someone spanked those two misbehaving kids.
Would Julian Castro pin his political future on any mortgage reform bill the House GOP might pass? Would he advise all of those D 2016 congressional candidates to do the same?
Or does he think he is smarter, more agile, and a more wizardly negotiator than those Hill conservatives?
With what does the HUD Secretary have to negotiate? Better yet, Castro first should answer, “What do congressional Republicans want from HUD other than to have it rapidly disappear?”
What WH D's Look Out for U.S. Mortgagors?
It Ain’t Rocket Science GSE Supporters,
Consider Your Home Plumbing System
Always seeking to educate and illuminate, I share these ideas with those who believe the nation’s future mortgage finance system should have a major doses of F&F in it. (If it works, use it.)
I’m happy to report that most American consumers and voters—when forced to think about it—do not care what critics (mistakenly) claim is GSE history?
They instead think in terms of today and now, when contemplating a mortgage.
They think about being respected, treated fairly, not getting lender-gamed or manipulated, getting affordable mortgage finance options, and priced equitably and efficiently.
At home, when you draw water from your faucets (I mean those who don’t rely on bottled H20), how much do you ponder, systemically, the blueprint of your house’s plumbing system, connected to the municipal underground piping that gets fed by the locality’s water system??
Not often, I suspect.
You want clean water, pouring out of the pipes and taps, devoid of germs, and priced well.
Fannie and Freddie opponents face an uphill fight to replace two institutions and their market operation which most people like.
The uphill fight can be made even steeper and more difficult, if F&F advocates keep a few things in mind about the water system.
If your water system (nee mortgage finance system) works well but has been improved with six years of solid product and systemic regulation--and what you have is safely meeting your water (mortgagor) needs--why scramble to turn it upside down, when the chaos inducing change easily could screw up the water delivery, make it more costly, and far more confusing and unreliable?
The current mortgage finance system works and is being adjusted to work better and support more mortgagors.
There was a reason that behemoth CWJC proposals, filled with uncertainly and confusion proposal, tanked.
Keep those safe water thoughts things in mind.!
What Others Are Saying
Seth Bornstein writing for Yahoo discusses a new Swiss study which claims banks and their culture encourage smarmy and underhanded behavior.
Oh, Fed, Treasury, OCC and DoJ, say it isn’t so. What a shock! Now someone will claim there is “gambling at Rick’s!”
I guess some of us weren’t imaging things when I—and others—wrote about soft regulations and regulators.
Me to a Prominent Financial Services Reporter
I exchanged emails last week with a reporter who covers GSE matters for a major publication and chided F&F bank critics (see Financial Services Roundtable and the American Bankers Association) for their myopia.
First off, the banks—which claim they are “private”-- are into denial, since every segment of the national financial services network is backed by the federal government, none more than the banks with the FDIC insurance behind and attracting most of their working capital. Their benefits and subsidies go far beyond that with the paternal regulatory regime most banks enjoy. (See previous link and shame on the Fed, Treasury, OCC, FDIC and others.)
Here’s what else I told the writer.
I am used to "fast and loose" when it comes to F&F and it's not exclusive to any political party. Most Hill denizens have no idea what they are doing or saying, how the mortgage finance system works, or how massive and disruptive the impact would be on the transitional change contained in something akin to CWJC, even if the changes could be agreed upon. Who really needs that?
Forget one's ideology or political choice, we've created this massive banking system, with a largely compliant regulatory system (the fines mean nothing); trillions of federal dollars supporting it; and institutions can't/won't create a mortgage market absent additional trillions in new federal MBS loss insurance?
What good are those banks?
Gretchen Morgenson, in her NYT column, reports on the Fed’s plans to study itself. Hmm, physician heal thyself?
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) on the desirability of a fresh start for a mortgage system review.
Washington Post (I hope) Embarrassed, Again?
The W Post last Saturday listed Fannie and Freddie as two of the highest stock performers for the previous week. Will the Post tell us how those “federal agencies—the ones with stock symbols and trading common and preferred stocks, managed to do that? Probably not soon, since I still am waiting for the paper to print its first report that Fannie Mae executives were found not to have engaged in securities fraud, two years ago when that federal court decision came down.
House GOP wants fewer scientists and less science on Science Panel.
Congressional Republicans Battle Each Other