Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Financial Reform Wishlist

Well it was certainly an interesting day here in Massachusetts!

Scott Brown pulled of what could be the biggest upset in history with his win. Congratulations to him and to the voters of the Commonwealth.

I have seen plenty of write ups saying this vote was a total repudiation of the Health Care bill and to an extent it was that. I have also read that this vote is a vote against President Obama and the Democrats. It was not that at all.

The core of the voter movement here was a general sickness over elected officials everywhere doing whatever they pleased with no regard for the will of the people. You have seen this across the nation and it is not relegated to a democrat/republican thing. TARP, AIG, Health Care backroom deals, multiple mortgage handouts for dead beats, the list goes on. Nobody wanted any of this and the government rammed it down out throat regardless. This has to change and I hope the message was heard around the country; No seat is safe if you have been or will be a party to these kinds of odious bills that nobody wants. (R), (I), or (D) will not save you.

Financial Reform Wishlist
"I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good
I wish I was the full moon shining off a Camaro's hood"
Pearl Jam "Wishlist"

I am feeling like maybe, possibly some real change could come on the financial end of things after the special election. I may be crazy, well we all know that to be true, but I can have a wishlist!

I was thinking about this section today and it was funny because in one step all the ills of the financial system could be exposed and then the process of dealing with them could begin in earnest:

End All Support for the Housing Market

It can't be that simple, right? Well I did not say pleasant, but yes the entire financial system hinges on government home price supports.

Consider the following points:
-We have no idea what mortgage rates would be in a "normal" market due to FED interference
-Banks are STILL holding tons of mortgage debt at mark to myth prices based on the hope housing snaps back or they can sell them all off to the FED at par
-The VAST majority of the country (including all you innocent renters getting royally screwed here) are not a party to failing mortgages and make their payments on time. The punishment of the masses for the miss-deeds of the few is morally corrupt and worse encourages those weakest among us to play that system
-Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the stash of foreign holders of much US debt and all the tap dancing done for those two firms is to support continued US debt buying. This needs to be discussed openly
-The FHA has now become another repository for terrible loans and will result in yet another massive bailout. What next? Another acronym? How about an original idea?
-Under cover of "this is helping YOUR home keep it's value" these games are really to help big banks avoid bankruptcy

My only wish is for all government intervention in the housing market to end.

This would cause all the problems, lies, balance sheet issues and hidden losses out in the open. The ripple effect would be enormous.

I am not a fool, and I understand that a move like this would cause "the end of the world as we know it" but I think we could get through it somehow. We may even find that it is the end of the world as THEY know it and maybe that is worth the struggle.

The people responsible for the debt crisis have yet to be fully exposed, much less held accountable. Bondholders, investors, and defaulting mortgage holders have walked while the rest carry the load. This must end.

Jesse's Americain Cafe has some insights on how to deal with the banking issues today and I would point you here for a stirring read.

There is no other one area or item that can enable the true financial reform process we need so badly to happen as powerful as the housing issue.

Have a good night.


sonicninjakitty said...

Sometimes I think we have to demand outrageous levels of reasonable things just to get a little sliver of change.

On the other hand, people go wild with the most unreasonable things--I could not BELIEVE that they are plastering this Scott Brown's face all over as a potential presidential candidate already! People are nuts!!

getyourselfconnected said...

yeah, Brown has yet to arrive in Washington!

As a Mass native I can tell you people want the handouts and the blatant ripoffs to end. This state is not red in any sense, but maybe a little less blue, a little more awake.

Anonymous said...

Now, if only Mass could get rid of that douce bag Franks.

And hey, I'm with you about ending housing support. Being a California resident who was never inclined to sell my soul in order to own....its always rankled me that the own system is set up to encourage and support going into debt.

Enough of that.

GawainsGhost said...

Well, GYC, I completely agree with you on ending government intervention in the housing market. But the real fallacy behind the "ownership society" is a misperception of what the American Dream really is.

Most people and all politicians think the American Dream is to own one's own home. While that is a noble aspiration--it does grant a certain amount of respectability--it's really indistinguishable from owning one's own car.

The true American Dream is freedom. Which is financial independence. When your money works for you, you're free. When you work for money, someone else's money, you're a slave. It's that simple.

I find it truly amazing how much this country has changed from the America I was born and grew up in. It's as though common sense, and liberty along with it, went the way of the dinosaurs right before my very eyes.

Still, I remain hopeful. The American people are simply not going to allow this kleptocracy to continue. But I fear it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

watchtower said...

Gawain I enjoyed your comment.

watchtower said...


Were you planning on commenting on this tonight?

President Obama Calls for New Restrictions on Size and Scope of Financial Institutions to Rein in Excesses and Protect Taxpayers

“While the financial system is far stronger today than it was a year one year ago, it is still operating under the exact same rules that led to its near collapse,” said President Barack Obama.

"The proposal would:

1. Limit the Scope - The President and his economic team will work with Congress to ensure that no bank or financial institution that contains a bank will own, invest in or sponsor a hedge fund or a private equity fund, or proprietary trading operations unrelated to serving customers for its own profit."

From what I can gather this news put the wammy on the market today.