Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

After causing the first recession, Democrats plant seeds of the next recession

From the Competitive Enterprise Institute. (links removed, please see original article for links)

Excerpt:

The Wall Street Journal today writes about how the Obama administration is repeating the “mistakes of the past by intimidating banks into lending to minority borrowers at below-market rates in the name of combating discrimination.” Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez has argued that bankers who don’t make as many loans to blacks as whites (because they make lending decisions based on traditional lending criteria like credit scores, which tend to be higher among white applicants than black applicants) are engaged in a “form of discrimination and bigotry” as serious as “cross-burning.” Perez has compared bankers to “Klansmen,” and extracted settlements from banks “setting aside prime-rate mortgages for low-income blacks and Hispanics with blemished credit,” treating welfare “as valid income in mortgage applications” and providing “favorable interest rates and down-payment assistance for minority borrowers with weak credit,” notes Investors Business Daily.

Under Perez’s “disparate impact” theory, banks are guilty of racial discrimination even if they harbor no discriminatory intent, and use facially-neutral lending criteria, as long as these criteria weed out more black than white applicants. The Supreme Court has blessed a more limited version of this theory in the workplace, but has rejected this “disparate impact” theory in most other contexts, such as discrimination claims brought under the Constitution’s equal protection clause; discrimination claims alleging racial discrimination in the making of contracts; and discrimination claims brought under Title VI, the civil-rights statute governing racial discrimination in education and federally-funded programs. Despite court rulings casting doubt on this “disparate impact” theory outside the workplace, the Obama administration has paid liberal trial lawyers countless millions of dollars to settle baseless “disparate impact” lawsuits brought against government agencies by minority plaintiffs, even after federal judges have expressed skepticism about those very lawsuits, suggesting that they were meritless.

Fearing bad publicity from being accused of “racism”, banks have paid out millions in settlements after being sued by the Justice Department, even though they would probably prevail before most judges if they aggressively fought such charges (although doing so would probably cost them millions in legal fees).  A Michigan judge called one proposed settlement “extortion.” These settlements provide cash for “politically favored ‘community groups ” allied with the Obama Administration, and the Journal’s Mary Kissel predicts that “many” of the loans mandated by these settlements “will eventually go bad.”

This is exactly what caused the first recession.

Who caused the first recession?

Here’s a summary of how we got into the first recession – it was caused by the Democrats, and the Republicans tried to stop them.

First, watch this video of Barney Frank obstructing regulators and defending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (H/T Verum Serum)

Now look at this Boston Globe article.

Excerpt:

When US Representative Barney Frank spoke in a packed hearing room on Capitol Hill seven years ago, he did not imagine that his words would eventually haunt a reelection bid.

The issue that day in 2003 was whether mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were fiscally strong. Frank declared with his trademark confidence that they were, accusing critics and regulators of exaggerating threats to Fannie’s and Freddie’s financial integrity. And, the Massachusetts Democrat maintained, “even if there were problems, the federal government doesn’t bail them out.’’

Now, it’s clear he was wrong on both points — and that his words have become a political liability as he fights a determined challenger to win a 16th term representing the Fourth Congressional District. Fannie and Freddie collapsed in 2008, forcing the federal government to buy $150 billion worth of stock in the enterprises and $1.36 trillion worth of mortgage-backed securities.

Frank, in his most detailed explanation to date about his actions, said in an interview he missed the warning signs because he was wearing ideological blinders. He said he had worried that Republican lawmakers and the Bush administration were going after Fannie and Freddie for their own ideological reasons and would curtail the lenders’ mission of providing affordable housing.

“I was late in seeing it, no question,’’ Frank said about the lenders’ descent into insolvency.

This is not in doubt – this is a known fact. Democrats caused the recession by meddling in the free market.

Democrats caused the recession and Republicans tried to stop them

Here is Barney Frank in 2005 claiming that fears of a housing bubble are unfounded.

Here’s the timeline showing who wanted to regulate Fannie and Freddie, and who blocked their attempts.

Here’s video from a hearing showing Democrats opposing regulations:

That’s right – Republicans wanted to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Democrats said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are “doing a tremendous job”.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had paid the Democrats off handsomely during multiple election cycles, but I’m sure that the Democrats’ opposition to regulations had nothing to do with those political contributions.

The only ones to try and stop the Democrats were George W. Bush in 2003 and John McCain in 2005. Both attempts were blocked by Democrats.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What does “quantitative easing” really mean?

There are some mild curse words in this, but it is the awesome. (H/T ECM and Lex Communis)

The video has gone the viral. It has the 600,000 views as of the 10 PM.

“Of course not, they are the Goldman Sachs. They make their money ripping off the American people”. LOL!

UPDATE: 24 hours later, and close to a million page views.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Deutsche Bank says 48% of mortgage balances will exceed home values in 2011

Story from Yahoo News. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The percentage of U.S. homeowners who owe more than their house is worth will nearly double to 48 percent in 2011 from 26 percent at the end of March, portending another blow to the housing market, Deutsche Bank said on Wednesday.

[...]Covering 100 U.S. metropolitan areas, Deutsche Bank in June forecast home prices would fall 14 percent through the first quarter of 2011, for a total drop of 41.7 percent.

[...]Homeowners with the riskiest mortgages taken out during the housing boom have seen the greatest erosion in equity, in part because they were “affordability products” originated at the housing peak, Deutsche said. They include subprime loans, of which 69 percent will be underwater in 2011, up from 50 percent in March, Deutsche said,

Of option adjustable-rate mortgages — which cut payments by allowing principal balances to rise — 89 percent will be underwater in 2011, up from 77 percent, the report said.

Regions suffering the worst negative equity are areas in California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and West Virginia. Las Vegas and parts of Florida and California will see 90 percent or more of their loans underwater by 2011, it added.

Socialism destroys economic growth. There is no way around it.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Who caused the recession? How did the housing bubble happen?

Republicans on the House Oversight have released a report that explains what caused the subprime crisis.

I can’t read the whole thing! But Hot Air has the key facts so you don’t have to read it either!

* Political pressure led to the erosion of responsible lending practices:

In the early 1990s, Fannie and Freddie began to come under considerable political pressure to lower their underwriting standards, particularly on the size of down payments and the credit quality of borrowers. (p.6)

* Lower down payments led to housing prices that outpaced income growth: Once government-sponsored efforts to decrease down payments spread to the wider market, home prices became increasingly untethered from any kind of demand limited by borrowers’ ability to pay. Instead, borrowers could just make smaller down payments and take on higher debt, allowing home prices to continue their unrestrained rise. Some statistics help illustrate how this occurred. Between 2001 and 2006, median home prices increased by an inflation-adjusted 50 percent, yet at the same time Americans’ income failed to keep up. (p. 11)

* Members of an “affordable housing” coalition shared profits with political allies to help legitimize their business practices: Fannie Mae created and used The Fannie Mae Foundation to spread millions of dollars around to politically-connected organizations like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. It also hired well-known academics to give an aura of academic rigor to policy positions favorable to Fannie Mae. One paper coauthored by now-Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag, concluded that the chance was minimal that the GSEs were not holding sufficient capital to cover their losses in the event of a severe economic shock. The authors suggested that “the risk to the government from a potential default on GSE debt is effectively zero,” and that “the expected cost to the government of providing an explicit government guarantee on $1 trillion in GSE debt is just $2 million.” (p.7)

* The Government Sponsored Enterprises led the way into the housing crisis: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were leaders in risky mortgage lending. According to an analysis presented to the Committee, between 2002 and 2007, Fannie and Freddie purchased $1.9 trillion of mortgages made to borrowers with credit scores below 660, one of the definitions of “subprime” used by federal banking regulators. This represents over 54% of all such mortgages purchased during those years. (p.24)

My comprehensive post on this issue is here. In that post, I collected videos of Democrats admitting that their plan was to force banks to make loans to unqualified borrowers, as well as news articles by the New York Times and Los Angeles Times on the topic.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Megyn Kelly takes on ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson

I try to focus more on policy and leave the news to other blogs. But this encounter between Megyn Kelly and ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson on ACORN’s participation in the census is too good to pass up. (H/T Nice Deb)

Megyn Kelly is so awesome! Check out that last look she gives the camera at the end! Wow.

According to Gateway Pundit:

One of Barack Obama’s first big “community organizer” jobs involved ACORN in 1992. Obama also trained ACORN employees. He represented ACORN in court. Obama worked with and protested with ACORN. His campaign donated $800,000 to ACORN this year for voter registration efforts.
And, ACORN even canvassed for Obama this year.

ACORN is the largest radical Leftist group in America today.

Michelle Malkin has related videos of other ACORN activities.

Our whole economic crisis was caused by the democrats forcing the mortgage lenders to make these risky loans to people who could not afford them. And if the lenders didn’t comply with the Community Reinvestment Act, ACORN was right there to sue them into submission.

Filed under: Videos, , , , , , , ,

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