Friday, September 19, 2008

Obama & “these fat-cat lobbyists”

A while back Sen. Barack Obama assured us:

“I don’t take money from federal registered lobbyists, because I want to answer to you when I’m in the White House. I don’t want to answer to all these fat-cat lobbyists!”
Today American Digest asks:
”So now that he’s scoring political points for the ban, what impact has it actually had?”
It seems virtually none.

Take a look at American Digest’s post - "How's that Obama 'No money from lobbyists' thing working out?" – here.

Hat tip: Instapundit


Anonymous said...

Shameful. Steve in N.M.

No justice, no peace said...

Did you know that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were lobbyists?

Let’s consider integrity, the CRA, Fannie and Freddie, Duke (not in IBD but relevant), and the money trail. All of the following are in this morning’s Investor Business Daily:

One article cites a book by Columbia professor Tony Simons titled, “The Integrity Dividend“. Among other points made, two stand tall relative to the Duke hoax. First the point is made that integrity is not all that is required to lead, but that no leadership takes places without it. The second relates to the culture. “When your culture is known, it attracts other people who share those values”. Both points speak to the lack of leadership and integrity of the Duke Administrators, faculty, and all of the other abettors.

More interesting is what follows.

Page A13 have a photo of Ken Lewis, Bank of America CEO, and Chad Gifford, CEO of FleetBoston, in a photo wit Bruce Marks date in 2004. Marks led the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA). NACA extorted $6 billion from these banks for affordable housing for low-income borrowers who could not afford a down payment or closing costs. Mr. Lewis and Mr. Gifford are not smiling or shaking hands with Mr. Marks.

But that is just the start, page A1 has a story authored by Terry Jones, titled “Congress Lies Low to Avoid Bailout Blame.” The following points are most interesting:

1. The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) forced banks to lend to high credit risk borrowers in low-income areas and was the first major step that led to our current melt-down.

2. Diversity dogma was used against banks and enforcement actions were taken to force banks to extend more CRA loans. Lenders who refused were castigated as racist. CRA ratings were established to assess portfolio diversity. (One bank I’m aware of would not allow any employee to use a red pen in fear of being accused of red-lining – no kidding).

“We have to use every means at our disposal to end discrimination and to end it as quickly as possible”, Clinton’s Comptroller of the Currency, Eugene Ludwig, told a Senate banking committee in 1993.

3. Congress gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the go-ahead to buy, package, and securitize these loans. That led to the sub-prime insanity. Loan volume jumped from $35 billion in 1994 to $1 trillion by 2008.

4. Since these loans were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac instruments they were backed by implicit U.S. governmental guarantees. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae grew to account for over 50% of all U.S. mortgages. That amount totaled over $5.4 trillion (TRILLION) in loans on their books this past month.

5. In order to protect their positions. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac gave extensively to protect their “community development”

6. Legislation to reform Fannie and Freddie was stop, or at least tap the breaks, failed in 1992, 2000, 2003 and 2005.

7. Since 1989 Fannie and Freddie spent around $140 million lobbying to protect their “business”.

8. Franklin Raines, other management, and Ms. Jamie Gorelick (who is representing Duke and presumably hired by Duke Board of Trustee Chairman Bob Steel in the pending hoax litigation) collectively made over $100 million in bonuses after having cooked the books. Gorelick extracted around $26 million.

The top five recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac largesse from 1989-2008 were Christopher Dodd (#1), John Kerry (#2), Hillary Clinton (#4) and Paul Kanjorski (#5).

You might be interested to know #3 on the list is Barrack Obama. It is most remarkable that he is #3 given his relatively short time in office compared to each of the others on the list.

“When your culture is known, it attracts other people who share those values” – indeed.