Saturday, September 13, 2008

Playing the Blame Game On Fannie and Freddie

From the Sept 12 WaPo by Al Hubbard and Noam Neusner:

Taxpayers face a tab of as much as $200 billion for a government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the formerly semi-autonomous mortgage finance clearinghouses. And Sen. Christopher Dodd, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has the gall to ask in a Bloomberg Television interview: "I have a lot of questions about where was the administration over the last eight years."

We will save the senator some trouble. Here is what we saw firsthand at the
White House from late 2002 through 2007: Starting in 2002, White House and Treasury Department economic policy staffers, with support from then-Chief of Staff Andy Card, began to press for meaningful reforms of Fannie, Freddie and other government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs).

Note about the authors: Al Hubbard was director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president from 2005 to 2007. Noam Neusner was a speechwriter and communications director in the Bush administration from 2002 to 2005.

Recognizing that Hubbard and Neusner are obvious partisans, their piece appears to shed some very revealing light on the in/action of Washington on Fannie / Freddie for the past number of years... including unbelievably lax Congressional oversight* under both Democratic and Republican majorities.

I strongly encourage you to click through and read it to see at least one perspective on what led to our taxpayer-funded bailouts of:

1) Bear Stearns - $30billion guaranteed by us
2) Fannie / Freddie - hundreds of billions guaranteed by us??
3) the home mortgage broker bailout - hundreds of billions guaranteed by us??

And what about Lehman Brothers - will this be another taxpayer funded bailout?

At this point I can't even keep track of all these hundreds of billions of dollars of bailouts... funded with our tax dollars that the pols inside the Beltway seem to believe belong to them.

How in the world do they tolerate a $24million bonus to the booted CEOs of Fannie / Freddie? Only thing that makes any sense to me is that behind the scenes, they're all friends. But publicly, the pols pretend as though they give a damn.

I'm disgusted with them all.

Tim White

* Rather than describing the situation as "unbelievably lax oversight" of Fannie / Freddie, it may be better call it "backroom representation by fatcat politicians."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More Fan/Fred Fiasco follow up. Evidently their allies on Capitol Hill like Chrid Dodd have been stonewalling reform since the Clinton years