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Of Interest

Take a Gander
     This is an interesting piece, and, I think, worthy of note. A lot of people might already have been aware of this issue, and how it's being employed in the election, but this appears to be a pretty clear-eyed commentary for non-specialists.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 8th, 2008 06:11 am (UTC)
I wrote this about this:

It refers to an article being spread around the conservative
blogosphere, originating on bloomberg.com, and written by Kevin
Hasset. It basically says that a finance reform bill to fix Fannie
and Freddie died in the Senate, and that some of the senators who
blocked it (naming Dodd, Obama, and Clinton) received "mind-boggling
levels of financial support" from Fannie and Freddie.

The truth is that the bill died because the Senate and House versions
were never reconciled. The Senate Banking Committee killed it and at
the time the committee, as well as the Senate as a whole, were GOP

This is all meticulously researched and linked here:


Oct. 8th, 2008 06:30 am (UTC)
Oct. 8th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
Good article. Thanks for sharing it.
Oct. 8th, 2008 03:30 pm (UTC)
You're welcome.
Oct. 9th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
Clear-eyed? Perhaps.

"In fact, they tried to prevent it."

The article ends there, having provided not a whit of evidence that I can find to support that assertion. I find the wording odd, since it refers to the CRA and ACORN as if they both had what is called "agency." It is not clear to me how a piece of legislation on the books for 30 years can fairly be said to be trying to prevent anything.

I am unaware of anyone from ACORN trying to modify or safeguard the overall structure of the mortgage / mortgage banking industry. The author of this piece has shown no evidence to support such a claim.

The CRA was not the main factor. The claim that the CRA was the sole cause of the current state of affairs is absurd on its face -- not unlike a lot of simple utterances by a lot of people with a lot of capacity to use up all the air in the room.

You didn't ask, but I'll offer: I think anyone who got (or gets) an interest-only loan was-is asking for trouble. Further, I used to work in the Mortgage Banking field around the time that ARMs came into existence and I thought they were a mug's game then, and have seen no reason to change my mind in the intervening decade. I also don't think Musical Chairs is a fun game when you can break your coccyx missing the chair (buying real estate as an investment in what turns out to be a down market, in case my metaphor is too obscure).

But then, I'm evidently not from this planet. People from this planet have been going Wheee! and now they are going Owie! MOMMA!... And I just look on and try not to get hit by any particular bus. Or musical chair.


Oct. 9th, 2008 03:53 am (UTC)
Afterthought: The thing that bugs me about this article is that I agree with the guy, more or less, up until he goes and says that last thing. Gratuitous, in a way, but predictable. If they're not the bad guys they MUST be the good guys; QED. Meh. And ARMs are bad but negative amortization is realllly bad. Sorry for not saying that more clearly; the two are usually found together. They might have made a kind of sense when inflation was running the way it was in '77 to '87, but I never cottoned to 'em even then.

Oct. 9th, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)
I think you're right on a number is issues. I reread the piece and, unless Page is planning a follow up column to explain that last bit, which he didn't indicate was the case, he didn't back up the contention in his final sentence. I think he just allowed his annoyance over the misrepresentations about which he wrote to get the better of his good sence.

The vast majority of sentences, however - in fact, the rest of his column - continue to impress me.

I also agree with you whole heartedly on the idea of adjustable rate mortgages. When we got our mortgage, neither BB nor I gave a nanosecond's thought to one because they're inherently dangerous, a loaded gun aimed at one's bank book. I'm not even sure that we would have been allowed one as FHA first-time homeowners, but even if they'd wrapped it in velvet and soaked it in bourbon, we'd have rejected it.

(Of course, I was raised as a cash on the barrel-head person. I didn't even have a check book until I came to Chicago. My life in socialist Canada was pay as you go until I came down amongst you crazy credit-drunk capitalist Americans ... sorry, couldn't resist ...)
Oct. 9th, 2008 05:56 am (UTC)
And these kids today -- with their kooky "mortgages" -- it's just noise, I tell ya!

[Insert Python's Four Yorkshiremen sketch here]

Oct. 9th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC)
(It's true, however. I even paid back my student loans in cash. Ahead of time.Before they had a chance to collect interest. Weirded the bank out, I can tell you!)
Oct. 9th, 2008 06:05 am (UTC)
AAAgggh! I can't edit my spelling mistakes! That should read "I think you're right on a number of issues." And "sense" is spelled that way.

Christ on a crutch.
Oct. 10th, 2008 06:45 am (UTC)
Via Reuters: Perky "Canada's" "Banking System" Rated Best...

Cheerio, you makers-upper, youse.

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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