Monday, November 21, 2016

GSEs and Stuff

The Corruption of Bob Corker, Part 1.5

I hope everyone already has read Part 1.5 the Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) financial expose’ which the publisher, Rocky Top Politics, says will be a five part series. (GSE Links is carrying the link, also.)

RTP discusses and exposes the financial minutia of how Senator Corker —noted GSE opponent and possible GSE stock manipulator—accumulated a net worth of something over $100 Million after getting elected to the Senate.

Just in case you missed it, here is the link, which I earlier sent to many of you, plus other GSE friends, media types, some Hill folks, and to a few “Inside the Beltway” chattering class (because they talk a lot, not because the local weather just got real cold).

Fascinating detail; makes me wonder what their source documents or who their sources are?

The more people talk about Corker’s financial actions the more chance someone will recognize possible illegal behavior and the less likely Corker—who actively is angling for a cabinet sport with the Trump Administration—will succeed in his goals, including shutting down the GSEs.

Corker’s call during a national TV interview for investors to “short” Fannie and Freddie brought him undue attention, as well as complaints to the Senate Ethics Committee, which promptly buried them.

Smart politicians always prepare clever excuses beforehand--when they handle soiled cloths—not so clever ones scramble shortly thereafter when their dirty laundry gets turned inside out by the media

Corker and his office have been fighting these types of allegations since the WSJ wrote about his Tennessee financial machinations. (Reportedly, the WSJ, New York Times, and maybe the SEC still are on that case.)

I also wonder if the Senate’s reported richest Senator, Mark Warner (D-Va.)—as RTP also reports--will answer how he joined Corker a few years ago and invested in an obscure itty-bitty Tennessee firm, called the Pointer Fund, which produced millions in profits for each?

What I’ve never understood about Warner's incessant campaign against the GSEs is why he would want to throw possibly 7,000 or 8,000 Fannie and Freddie employees, his constituents—who live and vote in Virginia and represent a lot of local buying power and tax revenues—out of their jobs??

Could there be any connection between the negative GSE legislative positions Corker and Warner share and the reported wealth they made together? Read the article(s) and make up your mind.

FAQs about RTP

Answers—as provided by Rocky Top Politics-- to frequently asked RTP questions. (I think RTP lives in Tennessee.)
1. What the Hell?
2. Who is RTP?
Who indeed.
3. Why are you doing this? 
Because the media and most politicians won’t, can’t or don’t.
4. What is your agenda?
Why, just good government — or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
5. Are you Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Libertarian, Buddhist or Baptist?
6. Are you Jim Summerville, Glen Casada, Mike Harrison, Ben Cunningham, Heidi Weinstein, Don Sundquist or Bobbie Petray?
No. And why do you feel the need to call us ugly names?
7. What is your favorite sports team?
The Cleveland Browns. Or maybe the Jamaican Olympic Bobsled Team.
8. Is this a short-term flash-in-the-pan diatribe?
You wish.
9. Sounds like fun. Can I play too?
We will soon post an anonymous email where you can send us your tip or rumor. Make sure to follow the instructions. Marquis de Queensbury and Marquis de Sade rules apply.
10. Why don’t you allow comments?
Because we are not all that interested in your opinion – just your info.
Based on their answers, I like RTP, already, and whatever they do to Corker is icing on the cake.

My Trump opinions from last week 

As promised, I am going light/easy on the President-elect, giving him a chance. Reince Priebus is fine. But…..

Steve Bannon is a bigot and anti-Semite, yet Trump named his as his chief White House strategist. It sends a chilling signal. Those Bannon labels aren’t just Jewish fantasies, the Breitbart guy has earned them with his actions, his writings, and his priorities.

I don’t like him, but I also think, at some point, he will get the President-elect in trouble and that should concern thoughtful R’s.

I am still hoping DT will rise above some of his campaign rhetoric and seize a chance to lead a troubled nation.

I can live with Mike Flynn as his national security advisor and Mike Pompeo at CIA, since I favor a robust foreign policy and distrust the Russians and their friends. (Although there were/are other equally conservative, well/better credentialed candidates for each spot. Whomever Trump names as Secretary of State better wear his/her big boy pads from Day 1, because these two dudes will want to eat State’s lunch.)

Jeff Sessions has no redeeming AG qualities, only his early support for Trump. He’s not a well-educated or well written attorney, by virtue of multiple legal opinions he’s penned. And, there are strong suggestions he’s not fair minded.

Sessions and his Senate colleagues will deny it, but the Senator appears to be a son of the old South in every bad sense of that phrase.

Personally, Sessions remind me of Richard Nixon’s AG John Mitchell.

Forty six years ago, when I worked on Capitol Hill for Pittsburgh Congressman Bill Moorhead, one of the four kids killed, by the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University, was our constituent, 19 year old Allison Krause, shot while walking to class with her boyfriend. (Ten others also were wounded including one who was paralyzed from the waist down.)

My boss initiated a congressional letter, signed by many colleagues, asking Attorney General Mitchell to convene a federal grand jury to investigate what happened.

We were stonewalled and ignored because Nixon’s White House and Mitchell thought those kids were “radicals” and deserved their fate once they protested the Vietnam War and threw rocks, while the Guardsmen who fired their loaded M1’s into a small crowd of student protestors were American heroes.

In classic Southern tradition, if conservative Sessions still was chasing phantom or real “Communists,” he might keep Trump away from Vladimir Putin, but I am afraid Sessions only will be Trump’s hammer with minorities, immigration, and the media, much in the way Mitchell served Nixon.

GSE Thoughts

Beyond the Rocky Top events, nothing much has changed since last week.

More court delays. More speculation if Trump’s pro-GSE allies can offset the powerful array of GSE congressional, media, and industry opponents who want the two to die so they can divvy up the GSEs revenue.

I saw a gaggle of GSE opponents participate in a Dallas panel discussion and some of the anti’s names made me think of the bar scene in “Star Wars.”

Also available on GSE Links (the ultimate GSE intel repository) is a transcript from Investors Unite meeting last week where Tim Howard dissected the Treasury Department forced GSE sales of high quality loans in the guise of reducing GSE risk (as well as making those securities investors rich and channeling money away from F&F which otherwise would have gone to the taxpayers). 

Psst, those loans don’t represent much risk and if they do, the GSEs are paying investors too much to take on that limited possibility.

Non-GSE Note

Several years ago in this blog, I called on new President Obama to undertake a major infrastructure rebuilding program because he would/could get GOP support, the nation needed that important repair, replacement, and new facilities work, and it would mean jobs when the nation had significant unemployment and under employment. 

At that time, I received an email from Ron Klain, who held a variety of early jobs in the Obama Admin, including head of BHO’s own infrastructure efforts, disagreeing with me and saying it was not all the positives I believed the effort to be. (For a time before the first Obama Admin, Ron had been a Fannie Mae consultant and we worked together.)

Ironically, yesterday, Ron repeated those same arguments in a Washington Post op ed, pointing out why Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan, absent some important changes (which, reportedly, Hillary Clinton built into her infrastructure scheme) may not be cost effective or additive.

Maloni, 11-21-2016

(I know this has been two blogs in 8 days, but I promise, friends and foes, I am not going back to weekly blogging.)


Bill Maloni said...

My bad!

No matter your persuasion or politics, I wish all of you a healthy, happy Thanksgiving. If you are able, celebrate it with family, other loved ones, friends, and maybe some football.

G. Buckman said...

Bill - here's hoping Corker gets what he has coming and then some.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well. Hopefully the grandkids get a chance to play on the monk-arbor-bars and the Steelers continue their win streak.

Bill Maloni said...

Same to you friend and here's my hope for dry weather and pleasant and pliable insurance companies; thanks on the Steelers and the swingset.

Again, I hope RTP reveals some of its source material and then somebody in the media or Congress verifies that information.

Don't join Mr. F when he dons his man-size turkey suit and romps in the woods on Wednesday perfecting his gobble. He's such a daredevil!!

Anonymous said...

Not trying to irritate you but look what has happened in the short time since Trump was elected. Can you say with a clear mind there would have even been hope if HRC was elected? Finally, after eight long years there is movement to resolve the F&F situation.
BTW, great move with Carrier A/C's and the Ford plant in KY and haven't even got started for the American people.

Bill Maloni said...

Anon--You are not irritating me and "no," I doubt if the GSE world would have seen so dramatic a change had HRC gotten the nod, unless the rumored BHO-driven "settlement" occurs.

But, I'll leave it at that.

The nation can survive DT, IF HE KEEPS US OUT OF A NUCLEAR WAR. (Yes, that was "shouting.")