I ran into this article by William Greider at The Nation
yesterday and since I had not seen references to it in the blogosphere, I thought it to be worth bringing to people's attention.
Greider has been around for about 35 years and you do not stay employed for that long as a political journalist if you do not bring something to the table when you write.
As for bringing something to the table, a Mr. snerdly_mortsnerd from Alberta, Canada has the following to offer:
>>>We had been warned by Bush several times that we were on unstable ground but the Democratic congress blocked any real action.>>>
WTF are you babbling about?
Bushie was praising the "fundamentals" of our economy just a few weeks ago.
And the reason for this clusterfluck is DEREGULATION - the anthem of GOP shysters.
Line by line:
We had been warned by Bush several times... --my words quoted.
WTF are you babbling about? --Mr. mortsnerd
The "warning" is a quote from my comment to Greidler's article. From the White House
Just the Facts: The Administration's Unheeded Warnings About the Systemic Risk Posed by the GSEs
For many years the President and his Administration have not only warned of the systemic consequences of financial turmoil at a housing government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) but also put forward thoughtful plans to reduce the risk that either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would encounter such difficulties. President Bush publicly called for GSE reform 17 times in 2008 alone before Congress acted. Unfortunately, these warnings went unheeded, as the President's repeated attempts to reform the supervision of these entities were thwarted by the legislative maneuvering of those who emphatically denied there were problems.
What follows is an itemized list starting from 2001 citing the specific warning, the place the warning was published, and where to go to find a copy of it. There are more links on that web page for you to follow if you want additional data.
As for the veracity of the source, what is being provided here are specific dates, publications and words. You are told where to go to look up those same words yourself. You can also use Google to find alternate references to these words from either pro-left or pro-right blogs.
If the White House was lying about this (or anything else like this), I would think that they would be caught out in a heartbeat and we would have heard about it by now. I am talking about specific misrepresentation of facts.
Now talking about misrepresentation of facts:
Bushie was praising the "fundamentals" of our economy just a few weeks ago. --Mr. mortsnerd
I am going to separate this out into two components. Believe it or not, our overall economy is not doing that badly. The focus these days is on corrupt banking practices and the mis-management (thanks Bill Clinton) of Fannie May and Freddy Mac.
Both of these firms misrepresented their earnings. Had the earnings been correctly reported, they could have had an audit and adjusted the lending practices to make them a little more conservative. Instead, thanks to people like Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. A close friend of Bill Clinton, he was shit-canned from his post and yet still managed to receive a $58 million benefits and compensation package
on his departure (annual pension, life insurance and stock package).
Here is a nice PowerPoint presentation from 2007 that Fannie may did to explain the fraud problems: Mortage Fraud overview
Going back to the economy, let's look at some numbers:
Unemployment is 6.1% -- this is a five year high. (BLS-PDF
Canada is also 6.1% (StatCanada
France's unemployment dropped to 7.5% -- the lowest in 12 years. (IHT News
Germany is 8.4% - a 15-year low (Bloomberg
Gross Domestic Product per Capita
measures the total earnings of a nation and divides it among the number of people living here. It is a good spot-check of productivity and wealth generation.
Here are a few numbers from the CIA World Factbook updated June 19, 2008:
USA - $45,800
Canada - $38,500
England - $35,000
France - $33,200
We may piss and moan about how poor people are but most people living under the poverty line have running water, cell phones, televisions, automobiles. Visit another nation and you will find that this is not the case over there.
For a quick reality check, Zimbabwe's GDP/per Capita is $200.
And the reason for this clusterfluck is DEREGULATION - the anthem of GOP shysters. --Mr. mortsnerd
That is so far wrong, it is not even right... Bill Clinton pushed for the deregulation of Fannie May and Freddy Mac. From this New York Times article
Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
Deregulation is not a bad thing -- it allows market forces to act on setting the prices and is generally a good thing for the consumer. The problem is that there will be swings in price and performance -- we are seeing this now with air travel. Telephones were deregulated and we saw immediate boosts in performance and reduction in costs.
If the organization being deregulated has a corrupt core, the act of deregulation will only expose that for what it is. Unfortunately, people bought houses without really thinking about how they would be paid for and the corrupt lending institutions played along looking for greater profits.
It is not the function of the government to regulate every aspect of our lives -- England tried that and we broke away. Living here, you have a greater freedom than in most other nations but with that comes a responsibility to do what is right for the common good. Too many people forget this and are running in "Gimme" mode to the detriment of their friends, neighbors and to the rest of this nation.