Has anyone heard our Bragger-in Chief take credit/responsibility for Friday’s 666* point stock market DROP? Anyone think he will?
President Trump extolled previous market upside swings as coming because of his policies? “The reason our stock market is so successful is because of me.”
(*Isn’t that the Devil’s number?)
I guess we can look forward to DJT and “Biscuit” Sanders blaming Barack Obama for the past five days’ worth of market carnage, the worst decline in two years?
I had a “vision!”
A small but important one, stick with me…..
I’ve been called a lot of things but never a “visionary,” but that could change after this edition hits the blogosphere.
Maybe I was too heavily influenced finishing the final book (#9)—Assassin’s Fate, in a three trilogy set, by fantasy writer Robin Hobb (actually her pseudonym) -- about the Farseer royal family, complete with their many bastards. All the Farseers—family members and kids--could see into the future (and the past) and influence events but not always avoiding terrible consequences.
Ms. Hobb’s many books involve love, hate, treachery, pomp, magic, dragons, “live ships,” royalty, torture, booty, white blond hair, bodily functions, silver-sipping fiends of one type or another---- basically just like the life and denizens I encounter “inside the Beltway!!”
For context, I’ll also mention—as my grandkids know--I believe in UFOs, BigFoot, and the Loch Ness monster. Just based on the simple math those hundreds of thousands of observations, going back generations, all can’t be wrong or lies.
Only one—in each category—has to be correct for us to own some real mysteries here on earth beyond what’s in President Trump tax returns or his fidelity to Melania?
But, back to my vision.
As blog readers know—and some abhor--I try and write each week some mix of GSE developments, as well as my worrisome views on various Trump administration actions, certainly when the topics entwine (when don’t they?).
The vision came to me midweek, after reading the public airing of the Corker-Warner 2.0 GSE reform package (which predictably and nakedly jacks up Michael Bright’s salary, along with that of other Ginnie Mae executives, I mean why write some legislation if you first don’t take of your very own financial needs?) and hearing President Trump’s first State of the Union address.
That speech, unfortunately, was 80% about Trump and the rest, airy fairy generalities and personal biases no diverse nation's thoughtful chief executive country ever should utter to a country hungry for unity, leadership and calm compassionate direction. (And sorry Donald it wasn’t the most heavily watched, as Obama, W. Bush, and Clinton each drew larger audiences for one of their speeches.)
Maybe my vision is a nightmare or just a progressive’s lame dream, you decide?
Bad News for DJT (Maybe?)
In the dream. I see the Trump Administration’s ongoing acid rain assault on America and its institutions, constantly degrading someone or something, hammering our civic and cultural principles of fairness, opportunity, law and democracy, accompanied by crude venomous discourse shaped to shift voter attention away from his calamitous deeds and actions--and that's just on days ending in "y."
Despite its front page presence, a determined President Trump in his first SOTUS never alludes to Russia or the claims about his bro Putin’s interference in the 2016 election; the day after his SOTUS, our President refused to implement legislation passed overwhelmingly in both the Senate and House demanding more sanctions on Putin’s government and Putin’s cabal of homie rich Russian bad guys. (Can you figure out Trump's Russian thing, yet, Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, Grandpa, John Boy, Kirk, Spock, Scotty, or Lassie?? Maybe it’s related to….?)
Clearly, Donald Trump and his gang’s unprecedented attacks on the FBI and the Justice Department are part of DJT’s intent to poison public opinion in advance of what will be very uncomfortable for the Trump family when Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally reports about possible federal crimes committed.
The presidential assault is all about DJT, once again, the egotist who needs to belittle people and things to make himself feel important.
Warning: When he says something “is not,” there is a good chance “it is.”
The mid-term elections should dovetail, roughly in time, with Special Counsel Mueller finishing his investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election and the new House—where indictments begin—asked to consider impeaching Donald Trump in 2019.
Watch carefully as this White House will stonewall and slow walk every way it can to forestall that approximate timetable.
Cutting to the chase, the vision contemplates all of this Trump chaos, confusion, and anger leading to the Democrats capturing control of the House of Representatives in November (which hopefully will result in Nancy Pelosi becoming “something” emeritus and not the Speaker of the House).
Where do Fannie and Freddie fit in here?
With all of the above going on—not to mention congressional disputes over the Budget, infrastructure, Dreamers, immigration, anger at this Administration for ignoring Congress’s call to impose further sanctions on the Putin regime and his oligarchic cronies—Congress will have little time or the will, to turn upside down the nation’s mortgage markets and give everything over to the greedy nation’s largest banks and their sponsors at the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) and FHFA, under whomever the White House chooses to succeed Mel Watt.
In other words, Congress likely kicks the GSE can down the road, again.
Not that I expected much more from Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and his allies but last week’s leaked legislative product was laughable and represented all the worst his critics anticipated about sucking the GSEs dry and then pitching them on the scrap heap while letting the big banks feast on Fannie and Freddie assets.
Totally gratuitous, too, was the Corker-Warner-Bright-DeMarco-Stevens-Wells Fargo scheme giving the big banks, already top heavy with earnings, a new federal guarantee (which they neither need nor deserve)—before exposing consumers to all the tricks and manipulations which the big financial dudes have employed for years (while earning record profits, the banks still found ways to deviate, violate, and lose billions in huge federal and regulatory fines).
Stevens, MBA, Milken, Wells Fargo=Corker-Warner 2.0
This crappy legislative proposal comports with recommendations from David Stevens, on behalf of the Mortgage Bankers Association and its infamous “task force,” working from a draft fashioned by Wells Fargo Bank, as well as a slug from Michael Bright and Ed DeMarco funded by the Milken Institute. (See non-sequitur below. Ah, again??)
Last week, David Stevens reportedly assured us the Senate bill would “do no harm to Fannie and Freddie.”
I guess the Senate GSE proposal must represents the new principles of the GOPTR, the Grand Old Party of Treasury Rape, since it takes the Government National Mortgage Association, a full-fledged tiny and sleepy federal agency--born in 1970 out of Fannie Mae’s leavings—inflates it (sound familiar?) and tells it to expand without the talent or expertise and take over the $10 Trillion dollar US mortgage market?
Their legislation screams, “Screw you consumers/mortgagors, who are you and why should we care? We made the big banks happy and they are the ones who contribute to our campaigns, not you.”
Once the R’s dipped their snouts into that federal hog wallow with their $1.5 Trillion tax giveaway and gave themselves grand huzzahs—for which Uncle Sam picks up the tab-- there’s no getting those boys back to where they once were, the handwringing political party worried about federal government growth and excessive deficit spending.
So Yippee Kiyay, GOP dudes. Try and blow Fannie and Freddie away, rampage on! That's our new ID.
(Where’s Jeb Hensarling whose mantra always was to oppose a large federal presence in the mortgage market? Apparently, he’s suddenly disappeared from the policy scene as he job hunts for his next rice bowl on Wall Street or at the MBA?)
Enter the Maloni vision and cue “haunting the GOP” music
In my vision, Corker-Warner 2.0, hopefully with my help, draws tepid reviews—and maybe a few GOP objectors in the now 51-49 GOP Senate—as many of the same disputes rev up that killed its progenitor.
In the meantime, the continued Trump campaign against all things federal/legal and threatening the POTUS, scares off worried Republicans; GOP congressional retirements and internecine disputes rage.
More young people, angry at what they see, and reawakened older voters, discomfited by the current craziness and possible assaults on Social Security and Medicare—who may have stayed home in 2016 or voted for Donald Trump—say never again and take out their wrath on Republican incumbents and new office seekers, setting up congressional political flips.
The Mueller report comes out and ties DJT and Trump Inc. to enough violations that even Evangelicals are shame faced.
Nation wakes up from a bad dream; Trump still here but utilizing the 26th Amendment, his Cabinet agrees to send a lobotomy team into the Oval Office, starring HUD Secretary and brain surgeon Dr. Ben Carson, who--while finishing his surgery--screams a weird double entendre self-salute, “Donald, I’ve made the cut!”
Worried he’s next, Mike Pence, sans wife, seeks refuge in Canada as a conscientious objector!!
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin steps forward, sees Congress can’t get a GSE act together—looks lovingly/hungrily at the $100 Billion or more the GSE warrants represent—and with creative executive action returns the GSEs to life serving the United States as privately owned utilities or corporations convincing Congress, “It’s a fair tradeoff.”
But remember, even Robin Hobb’s Farseer family, occasionally, got their future predictions wrong!
(One man’s opinion: the shoddily prepared—and non-Trump vindicating—Devin Nunes (R-Cal.) memo will just usher in more hateful ideological bickering and confusion, indeed making Putin’s day.)
Are you proud Devin?