Bailout Fiasco Explained in Layman Terms

Bailout Fiasco Explained in Layman Terms
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHj8-HSi5AA
Fannie Mae was created in 1938 as part of Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal.

In 1968, due to fiscal pressures created by the Vietnam War, Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson privatized Fannie Mae in order to remove it from the national budget. At this point, Fannie Mae began operating as a GSE, generating PROFITS for stock holders while enjoying the benefits of EXEMPTION FROM TAXATION AND OVERSIGHT as well as implied government backing. In order to prevent any further monopolization of the market, a second GSE known as Freddie Mac was created in 1970.
Currently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac control about 90 percent of the nation’s *secondary mortgage market.
http://hnn.us/articles/1849.html

1977 Community Reinvestment Act-
The CRA was passed by the Democrat Controlled 95th United States Congress and signed into law by Democrat President Jimmy Carter
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1993613/posts

The Community Reinvestment Act is intended to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, consistent with safe and sound operations.
The Community Reinvestment Act was enacted by the Congress in 1977 (12 U.S.C. 2901) and is implemented by Regulation BB (12 CFR 228). The regulation was substantially revised in May 1995, and was most recently amended in August 2005
http://www.federalreserve.gov/dcca/cra/

1999 Democrat President Clinton used Department of Justice (DOJ), instructing Janet Reno to intimidate and threaten lending institutions into giving mortgages to renters that wouldn’t normally qualify for a mortgage, ostensibly to increase ‘Affordable Housing’. (In Socialist Speak, Affordable housing = free housing paid for by you. )
‘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.’
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE7DB153EF933A0575AC0A96F958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print

2001

April: The Republican President George W. Bush Administration’s FY02 BUDGET declares that the size of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is “a potential problem,” because “financial trouble of a large GSE could cause strong repercussions in financial markets, affecting Federally insured entities and economic activity.”

2002

May: President Bush calls for the disclosure and corporate governance principles contained in his 10-point plan for corporate responsibility to apply to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (OMB Prompt Letter to OFHEO, 5/29/02)

2003

January: Freddie Mac announces it has to restate financial results for the previous three years.

February: The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) releases a report explaining that “although investors perceive an implicit Federal guarantee of [GSE] obligations,” “the government has provided no explicit legal backing for them.” As a consequence, unexpected problems at a GSE could immediately spread into financial sectors beyond the housing market. (“Systemic Risk: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Role of OFHEO,” OFHEO Report, 2/4/03)

September: Fannie Mae discloses SEC investigation and acknowledges OFHEO’s review found earnings manipulations.

September: Treasury Secretary John Snow testifies before the House Financial Services Committee to recommend that Congress enact “legislation to create a new Federal agency to regulate and supervise the financial activities of our housing-related government sponsored enterprises” and set prudent and appropriate minimum capital adequacy requirements.

September 17 House Financial Services Committee
Statement of Barney Frank (D – MA):
“I want to begin by saying that I am glad to consider the legislation, but I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis. That is, in my view, the two government sponsored enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis.”


“So let me make it clear, I am a strong supporter of the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in housing, but nobody who invests in them should come looking to me for a nickel–nor anybody else in the Federal Government. And if investors take some comfort and want to lend them a little money and less interest rates, because they like this set of affiliations, good, because housing will benefit. But there is no guarantee, there is no explicit guarantee, there is no implicit guarantee, there is no wink-and-nod guarantee. Invest, and you are on your own.”

http://www.taxfoundation.org/blog/show/23617.html

October: Fannie Mae discloses $1.2 billion accounting error.

November: Council of the Economic Advisers (CEA) Chairman Greg Mankiw explains that any “legislation to reform GSE regulation should empower the new regulator with sufficient strength and credibility to reduce systemic risk.” To reduce the potential for systemic instability, the regulator would have “broad authority to set both risk-based and minimum capital standards” and “receivership powers necessary to wind down the affairs of a troubled GSE.” (N. Gregory Mankiw, Remarks At The Conference Of State Bank Supervisors State Banking Summit And Leadership, 11/6/03)

2004

February: The President’s FY05 BUDGET again highlights the risk posed by the explosive growth of the GSEs and their low levels of required capital, and called for creation of a new, world-class regulator: “The Administration has determined that the safety and soundness regulators of the housing GSEs lack sufficient power and stature to meet their responsibilities, and therefore…should be replaced with a new strengthened regulator.” (2005 Budget Analytic Perspectives, pg. 83)

February: CEA Chairman Mankiw cautions Congress to “not take [the financial market’s] strength for granted.” Again, the call from the Administration was to reduce this risk by “ensuring that the housing GSEs are overseen by an effective regulator.” (N. Gregory Mankiw, Op-Ed, “Keeping Fannie And Freddie’s House In Order,” Financial Times, 2/24/04)

June: Deputy Secretary of Treasury Samuel Bodman spotlights the risk posed by the GSEs and called for reform, saying “We do not have a world-class system of supervision of the housing government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), even though the importance of the housing financial system that the GSEs serve demands the best in supervision to ensure the long-term vitality of that system. Therefore, the Administration has called for a new, first class, regulatory supervisor for the three housing GSEs: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banking System.” (Samuel Bodman, House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Testimony, 6/16/04)

Alan Greenspan, then head of the Federal Reserve System, made the same point in testifying before Congress in February 2004. He said: “The Federal Reserve is concerned” that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were using this implicit reliance on a government bailout in a crisis to take more risks, in order to “multiply the profitability of subsidized debt.”

2005

April: Treasury Secretary John Snow repeats his call for GSE reform, saying “Events that have transpired since I testified before this Committee in 2003 reinforce concerns over the systemic risks posed by the GSEs and further highlight the need for real GSE reform to ensure that our housing finance system remains a strong and vibrant source of funding for expanding home ownership opportunities in America… Half-measures will only exacerbate the risks to our financial system.” (Secretary John W. Snow, “Testimony Before The U.S. House Financial Services Committee,” 4/13/05)

September: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-NV) in 2005, in response to an effort by the GOP to trim Fanny & Freddy’s portfolios: “The legislation from the Senate banking committee, passed today on a party line vote by the Republican majority, includes measures that could cripple the ability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to carry out their mission of expanding home ownership,” said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate Minority Leader Thursday…”While I favor improving oversight by our federal housing regulators to ensure safety and soundness, we cannot pass legislation that could limit Americans from owning homes and potentially harm our economy in the process,” Reid said.

In 2005, Fannie and Freddie were, after years of dominating Washington, on the ropes. They were enmeshed in accounting scandals that led to turnover at the top. At one telling moment in late 2004, captured in an article by my American Enterprise Institute colleague Peter Wallison, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s chief accountant told disgraced Fannie Mae chief Franklin Raines that Fannie’s position on the relevant accounting issue was not even ‘on the page’ of allowable interpretations.

In 2005 Alan Greenspan told Congress how urgent it was for it to act in the clearest possible terms: 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.’

What happened next was extraordinary. For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. The bill gave a regulator power to crack down, and would have required the companies to eliminate their investments in risky assets.
But the bill didn’t become law, for a simple reason: DEMOCRATS OPPOSED IT ON A PARTY-LINE VOTE IN COMMITTEE, signaling that this would be a partisan issue. Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn’t even get the Senate to vote on the matter.

2007
August: Republican President Bush emphatically calls on Congress to pass a reform package for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
, saying “first things first when it comes to those two institutions. Congress needs to get them reformed, get them streamlined, get them focused, and then I will consider other options.” (President George W. Bush, Press Conference, The White House, 8/9/07)

In August of 2007, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), HEADING THE SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE argued to lift the portfolio cap from Freddy & Fannie to create more loans and allow F&F to buy more sub-prime mortgages “to calm the market.”
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2007

Schumer (D-NY):” If Bush Regulators Won’t Lift Fannie And Freddie Mortgage Portfolio Caps, Congress Must Act Instead.”

December: Republican President Bush again warns Congress of the need to pass legislation reforming GSEs, saying “These institutions provide liquidity in the mortgage market that benefits millions of homeowners, and it is vital they operate safely and operate soundly. So I’ve called on Congress to pass legislation that strengthens independent regulation of the GSEs – and ensures they focus on their important housing mission. The GSE reform bill passed by the House earlier this year is a good start. But the Senate has not acted. And the United States Senate needs to pass this legislation soon.” (President George W. Bush, Discusses Housing, The White House, 12/6/07)

2008
February: Assistant Secretary David Nason reiterates the urgency of reforms, says “A new regulatory structure for the housing GSEs is essential if these entities are to continue to perform their public mission successfully.” (David Nason, Testimony On Reforming GSE Regulation, Senate Committee On Banking, Housing And Urban Affairs, 2/7/08)

March: Republican President Bush calls on Congress to take action and “move forward with reforms on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They need to continue to modernize the FHA, as well as allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to homeowners to refinance their mortgages.” (President George W. Bush, Remarks To The Economic Club Of New York, New York, NY, 3/14/08)

April: Republican President Bush urges Congress to pass the much needed legislation and “modernize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. [There are] constructive things Congress can do that will encourage the housing market to correct quickly by … helping people stay in their homes.” (President George W. Bush, Meeting With Cabinet, the White House, 4/14/08)

May: Republican President Bush issues several pleas to Congress to pass legislation
reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the situation deteriorates further.

* “Americans are concerned about making their mortgage payments and keeping their homes. Yet Congress has failed to pass legislation I have repeatedly requested to modernize the Federal Housing Administration that will help more families stay in their homes, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure they focus on their housing mission, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to refinance sub-prime loans.” (President George W. Bush, Radio Address, 5/3/08)

* “[T]he government ought to be helping creditworthy people stay in their homes. And one way we can do that – and Congress is making progress on this – is the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That reform will come with a strong, independent regulator.” (President George W. Bush, Meeting With The Secretary Of The Treasury, the White House, 5/19/08)

* “Congress needs to pass legislation to modernize the Federal Housing Administration, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure they focus on their housing mission, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to refinance subprime loans.” (President George W. Bush, Radio Address, 5/31/08)

June: As foreclosure rates continued to rise in the first quarter, the Republican President once again asks Congress to take the necessary measures to address this challenge, saying “we need to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” (President George W. Bush, Remarks At Swearing In Ceremony For Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development, Washington, D.C., 6/6/08)

July: Congress heeds the President’s call for action and passes reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as it becomes clear that the institutions are failing.

We now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd (D-CT), have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the years.

Throughout his political career, Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd (D-CT), the Senate Banking Committee chairman, who received more than $165,000.

*secondary mortgage market http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_mortgage_market

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