Friday, October 3, 2008

A little more on Fannie and Freddie

Rather than update the Fannie and Freddie post again, here's a new one.

A nice collection of quotations from some of the legislators involved in the mess, from the WSJ, including:

House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 25, 2003:

Rep. Frank: I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing. . . .
Pesky "safety and soundness!" It would take a no-fun conservative to want to focus on those things. Rolling the dice is way more fun. And:
Senate Banking Committee, Feb. 24-25, 2004:


Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.): I, just briefly will say, Mr. Chairman, obviously, like most of us here, this is one of the great success stories of all time.…
From the WaPo, Where Was Sen. Dodd?
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."
Barney Frank is also mentioned in the article, and he replied in a letter to the editor. The article was reprinted in the Hartford Courant, and drew some comments. I mentioned Sen. Dodd a while back, in this post.

Here's video of Bill O'Reilly going ballistic on Barney Frank. If you look closely, you can see that Rep. Frank actually does appear to have teeth, lowers at least. In the course of the confrontation, Rep. Frank mentions a bill passed in 2007. This WaPo piece about it, House Tightens Reins on Fannie, Freddie, tells us that the Administration wanted more regulation of Fannie and Freddie than the Democrats were willing to allow:
[I]n House action last Thursday, the bill was reshaped in a way that lessens the power of the new federal regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over their mortgage holdings compared with an earlier version that moved through the House. An amendment adopted by voice vote puts some restrictions on that authority.

The Bush administration has insisted that the new regulator have the discretion and authority to reduce the companies' mortgage portfolios.…

Fannie Mae quickly signaled its satisfaction with the amendment limiting the new regulator's authority over the companies' mortgage holdings.
In other words, Republicans opposed this bill because it was not tough enough, but was simply an effort by Democrats to appear to be doing something, while not actually doing anything.

What, an update already? The Instapundit has a new video: What Just Happened?

One more: the Bovina Bloviator remembers, well, not personally, the crash of 1907, and how J.P. Morgan straightened it all out, in a smoke-filled room. No taxpayers' money required.

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