Tag Archives: Freddie Mac

Connecticut and Dodd the Dud Is Yet Another Faultline For Democrats In 2010

Bookmark and Share   In 2008 Connecticut Democrat Senator Chris Dodd was running for the Democrat’s presidential nomination. Now as 2010 approaches he is running for his political life and more and more it is looking like that race will be as successful as his run for President. As a major player in the regulatory schemes that helped bring the DoddDudU4Prezhousing and finance markets to their knees and ushered in the economic crisis that confronts us today, the doldrums that Dodd wades into among Connecticut voters is well deserved.

As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd, along with his counterpart, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Barney “Elmer Fudd” Frank of Massachusetts, led the way for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to enter into an unprecedented level of issuing trillions of dollars in low-risk investments that were only sustainable if real estate prices continued rising.

The problem is that real estate prices ceased to rise and started to fall. By the time this reversal took place, it was too late. The lack of liquidity that stemmed from the defaulting of the excessive overextended volume of sub-prime loans began to tighten up the lending of money throughout the entire banking and finance markets and the worldwide credit crunch and economic crisis that we face was born.

It did not have to happen.

In 2005 Alan Greenspan warned Congress of the urgent need to tighten regulations on the systemic abuse that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were partaking in. Before Congress he testified that “if Fannie and Freddie continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road,” he said. “We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.”

The advice and circumstances prompted Republicans in 2006 to sponsor new regulations that would have placed the two housing lenders under strict requirements that would have severely limited their ability to take excessive risks and would have corrected illegitimate recording practices that they were participating in. They would have also averted financial ruin.

Chris Dodd rejected these corrective measures. And while refusing to adopt these regulatory measures, he was simultaneously collecting oodles of dollars from Fannie and Freddie and became the largest recipient of campaign contributions from the very entities that he refused to correct.

Another words, Dodd dodged efforts that would have helped to stem the troubling tide of the economic red ink and financial calamity that we found ourselves awash in during 2008.

You can try to put the blame on someone else. You can try to blame it on Bush and you can accuse me of falsifying the factual record on this issue but you would lying. The truth is that President G.W. Bush and his administration called for tighter regulation of government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for a total of seventeen times.

On top of that, Republicans sponsored legislation aimed specifically at the tighter regulations and more accurate recording practices that the President and Alan Greenspan asked for. The measure, S.190, was sponsored By Republican Chuck Hagle and co-sponsored by Republican Senators Elizabeth Dole, John Sununu and Senator and former Republican nominee for President John McCain. But with Dodd at the helm of the banking committee, Republicans couldn’t even get the Senate to vote on the matter.

In the meantime while Dodd stalled efforts to avert financial ruin and campaigned for President in Iowa, Fannie and Freddie spat out a trillion dollars worth of sub-prime mortgages between 2005 and 2007 and by 2008, money stopped flowing throughout our nation.

The facts have forced some like Democrat Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama to state, “like a lot of my Democratic colleagues I was too slow to appreciate the recklessness of Fannie and Freddie. I defended their efforts to encourage affordable homeownership when in retrospect I should have heeded the concerns raised by their regulator in 2004. Frankly, I wish my Democratic colleagues would admit when it comes to Fannie and Freddie, we were wrong.”

But the reality of the circumstances which force Dodd to shoulder the largest share of blame for the financial catastrophe that we must endure is not the only burden he must bear as he runs for a fifth term in the United States Senate.

After refusing to stem the economic crisis that Dodd and Democrats could have averted, the Connecticut Senator found himself in the key position of shaping the legislative bailout of Countrywide Financial Corp., a company that found itself needing bailout bucks after operating under the regulatory practices that Dodd refused to reform.

But this brought rise to an ugly conflict of interest. It was discovered that in two separate sweetheart deals, Dodd was the recipient of two cut-rate mortgages of nearly $800,000 from Countrywide Financial. The political favoritism that Countrywide afforded to the Chairman of the senate committee that oversees their business practices is seen as, to say the least, shady and Senator Dodd has not been forthcoming with the details of the arrangements. Instead, without remorse he has promised to refinance the Countrywide deals, which would save him at least $70,000 over the life of the mortgages.

Then in February of this year, after bailing out AIG, Dodd slipped an amendment into the stimulus bill that ensured that executives of firms bailed out by the government could still collect already contracted bonuses. When this slight of hand came to light, Dodd denied doing it. An intense barrage of outright public indignation forced a glaring spotlight on Dodd until he finally admitted to being responsible for the amendment but ultimately he claimed that President Obama made him do it.

Now after being the first Democrat to throw his Democrat President under the bus, a slew of recent improprieties and slights of hand and a prior history of questionable real estate and financing schemes extending from as far back as 1986, Dodd must confront a very leery and disgruntled Connecticut electorate.

With a negative rating for him of anywhere from 38% to 42%, voters in the Nutmeg State have Chris Dodd trailing his likely Republican opponent Rob Simmons by 9%.

A closer look at the most recent Quinnipiac poll that reveals this troubling news for Dodd shows that while the incumbent Senator has somewhat solidified his base Democrat vote with 74% of them willing to again vote for him, his support among the state’s Independent voters continues to slide and Simmons has leaped out to a 29% lead over Dodd among them. With 87% of all Connecticut Republicans declaring confidence in their likely nominee and an overwhelming preponderance of Independent voters also inclined to support him, the numbers seem to add up to an end to Dodd’s almost three decades in the Senate and his lifetime of financial scheming.

As a former Congressman Rob Simmons has a record that could, at best, be considered moderate. It certainly isn’t one that could be construed as that of a cutting edge conservative.

For those of my school of thought, that would not exactly make Rob Simmons my first choice for a senate seat but we are talking about Connecticut. This is a state that, on occassion, considers Joe Lieberman too conservative for their liking so perhaps Simmons is the closest to being a voice of sanity that we can expect out if this region of New England.

But the story here is less the fact that Simmons seems to be in a position to give Dodd a run for his money than it is the fact that Dodd has become a total dud.

In a previous post I pointed out the many instances where conservatives are mounting challenges to the Republican establishment and to the wing of moderates who have compromised away too many of the principles that make us Republicans. I also pointed out that in addition to this emergence of more traditional Republicans some successes of the G.O.P. in 2010 will be brought about by the mere ineptness of many of the Democrats that they will be challenging. The Simmons-Dodd race is just another such example of the latter as Chris Dodd proves himself to be one of the most inept Democrats of all.

So as 2010 approaches, look for Connecticut to provide one of the tremors that will lead to a political earthquake that shifts the tectonic plates of ideological influence and shapes a new landscape on Capitol Hill in the not too distant future.

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AND YOU THOUGHT BERNIE MADOFF WAS A CRIMINAL

antscrewedBookmark and Share       Maybe, just maybe Republicans are getting back on track.
Not a single Republican in the House of Representatives voted for the $819 billion so called economic recovery package.

For that I am proud.

I am proud of the fact that Republicans objected to what is the largest bill of its kind in history. A bill that is suppose to be considered a stimulus package but is actually a liberal spending program that is filled with pork, patronage and pathetic excuses.

More than 70 percent of all the spending that was approved in this bill should have been individual expenditures that were taken up, debated and voted on in their own right.

Most of the spending in this historic bill is not at all related to stimulating the economy and that which is designed to stimulate the economy will not take effect for years as is the case for monies dedicated to highways and school construction.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office states “much of the stimulus may not come until after the economy has begun to recover”.

According to the C.B.O. $5 billion of the $30 billion set aside for highway spending would be spent within the next two years. About $2.6 billion of $18.5 billion for renewable energy programs would be spent by then. About $907 million of a $6 billion plan to expand broadband access in rural and other underserved areas would be spent by 2011.

In the mean time where is some of that money immediately going?

Well $335 million is going towards the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, $2.4 billion is going to a cap on carbon transmissions, $16 miliion for a smoking cessation measure, $50 million to the National Endowmnent for the Arts, $1 billion to Amtrak, $7.7 Billion to federal buildings, $600 million to federal cars and $400 million is going into the studying of global warming.

That does not include a myriad of personal pet projects that Democratic lawmakers are pumping into their own districts to help assure their reelections nor does it include the overnight doubling of the department of Educations budget.

This is not stimulus it is social engineering.

Under the auspices of an economic emergency Congress just approved the delivery of the worlds largest Christmas gift. Of course like everything else Congress does, it is late but to make matters worse it is defective.

For those of you who thought that Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme was a scandal of epic proportions, well you just witnessed a government ponzi scheme that makes Madoff’s offenses seem like petty theft.

Very little of what this program was meant for is what it is going towards. Very little.

So I am proud of congressional Republicans. They stood together and they stood on principle and voted against this federal economic scam. I only wish they kept their principles when they were in control of Congress and held the majority. If they had, perhaps today they would still be in control of the house.

As for liberals, had they scaled this scam back and put the money into infrastructure development and other operations that would have trickled out into the private sector and created jobs through the private sector, it would not be a scam and I might say that they were on the right road to recovery. But they didn’t. Under their leadership and design this stimulus package has little to do with stimulus and everything to do with expanding the size of government, expanding government programs and increasing government control .antscrewed3

On top of that, does anyone not see how much of this money will be wasted and unaccounted for?

The government is going to spend it. The same government that could not monitor the lending practices of their own FannieMaes or FreddieMacs. The same government that loses 20 cents on every dollar that they spend .

Ladies and gentlemen, we have just witnessed the world’s greatest and most elaborate crime. Without a single call to the police we just wittiness 244 Democrats in the House of Representatives rip us all off.

Those of you liberals who approve of this crime may claim that Republicans created the need or opportunity for this scandal to arise. You will claim that Republican policies got us here but I can assure you that Republicans did not create the crisis and after this vote, we did not make it worse.

Much of the economic crisis that we are experiencing was ushered in not because of the low unemployment rates that existed for the past 6 of the last eight years. This problems was ushered in by a banking crisis that largely began after an over inflated housing market bubble burst. The inability to pay back loans in this area created a tightening of the lending markets and that tightening cut off the flow of money as we knew it.

Much of the problem could have been avoided if Barney Franks and Chris Dodd took John McCain’s advice and reevaluated our lending practices and if we put a stop to the Clinton initiatives which forced banks to hand out sub prime loans to people who could not afford to pay these loans back, but they didn’t.

So here we are today, witnessing the same people who created the problem offer up their solution to the problem.

Well ladies and gentlemen they didn’t solve anything, they simply made the problem worse and robbed us blind in the process.

It just goes to show you that even getting screwed these days costs a lot more than it used to.

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Dear Abby, My husband is a lying cheat. . . .

. . . He tells me he loves me, but he has cheated our entire marriage. He is a good provider and has many friends and supporters. They know he is a lying cheat, but they just avoid the issue.

He is a hard worker but many of his co-workers are leery of him.

Every time he gets caught, he denies it all. Then he admits that he was wrong and begs me to forgive him. This has been going on for so long, everyone in town knows he is a cheat. I don’t know what to do.

Signed Frustrated

————————————-

Dear Frustrated:

You should dump him. Now that you are a Secretary of State, you don’t need him anymore.

Submitted by Marianne, Columbia, Md.

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