January 21, 2012

Did Gingrich win?

I'm hearing reports that he's the projected winner (in South Carolina), but it looks even with 1% reporting.

ADDED: The link above goes to CNN. Here's Wapo.

MORE SHOCKING NEWS: Heidi Klum and Seal are getting divorced! 

AND: I know, I know. Exit polls. But remember exit polls in 2004? Here's what I wrote that strange November evening:
Yes, I care a lot about the outcome of the election, and I'm sitting here waiting for the news to come in, sampling the dribbled out exit polls, and fretting. But at the same time, I feel complete assurance that as soon as the outcome is known, I'll fully accept it. Either man will make a decent enough President. I think Bush deserves to continue in office, but if it is to be Kerry, Kerry can handle the job too.... It is equanimity that flows through me. Time for a nice glass of win, a plate of pasta with Bolognese sauce, and a calm absorption of reality.

UPDATE: "A nice glass of win" -- ah, so hope does live on! Time for a nice glass of wine and toast to hope! A glass to be refilled later, perhaps, in a quenching of sorrow!

ANOTHER UPDATE: 10:53 p.m. Maybe I am going to get that nice glass of win after all. I'm really surprised. I let those exit polls affect me. Then I called up my sister in Florida and ended up talking with her for a long time, just watching the numbers on the TV screen with the sound off, so I wasn't getting any punditizing and wasn't drawing conclusions about much of anything. I got off the phone, and it took a while for me to absorb it, but eventually I got the message that everything was trending toward Bush.
IN THE COMMENTS: AJ Lynch said:
Seal got pissed when Heidi asked him for an open marriage with Newt?

348 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 348 of 348
Jay said...

36fsfiend said...

I simply asking why so many are on food stamps to warrant the phase "Food Stamp President"


Let me help you.
Barney Frank was writing "affordable housing" policies for over 20 years.

These policies fostered an environment where mortgage lenders were pressured to make home loans to those who should have never gotten them.

In other words, the government created the crisis.

This all led to the collapse of several large institutions and a general credit crisis.

Democrats, led by Obama in his wisdom proposed more government solutions. Said solutions have failed.

Now there are a hell of a lot of poor people.

Jay said...

36fsfiend said...



Is that so? Bureau of Labor Statistics shows it around 8%.


It shows no such thing.

shiloh said...

No 36fs, I don't agree w/the conservative meme re: who's to blame, just pointing out what unemployment was when Pelosi/Reid took over.

It's the blame game, just like at every other frickin' political forum on the net.

ie but, but, but Carter/Clinton yada yada yada.

garage mahal said...

So what you're saying is that we've added about as many food stamp beneficiaries in O's 3 years in office as we did in Bush's 8 years.

About a half million less.

Alex said...

Ritmo - why should there be any explanation for why blacks commit 52% of the murders despite being only 10% of the population? I simply point out the menace and it's up to society to deal with it. You can come up with your own explanations, I don't care. When your house is on fire, you don't conduct a fire inspection you put it out.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

So you get to guess at my motives but I can't guess at those of important political figures? Is that how it works, GMay?

I've cited facts, quoted statements, noted interpretive actions taken in response to those facts. I've minimized any serious explanations of my own. Sarcasm is still allowed, though.

Are all those things, both my own short explanations and those which I did not come up with but quoted, now somehow second fiddle to your own explanations?

How is that a "good-faith" discussion?

Jay said...

not that it's condescending or anything to imply that blacks can't determine their own interests or anything).

Race based admissions = not condescending!

Suggesting you need a myriad of government targeted toward your race = not condescending!

How fun!

Idiot.

Alex said...

garage - amazing Barry is then on a pace to add 28 million food stamp recipients in 8 years. *GIGGLES*

GMay said...

"I inferred it and the GOP leadership inferred it.

But maybe the fact that they forced him out was just a plain ole matter of "elitism".

Whatever. Lol."


No, the GOP leadership reacted to the outcry from the Dem leadership and the media. But I like the tossing in of a strawman and the "lol"ing.

Really gets you style points.

Alex said...

How is that a "good-faith" discussion?

Ritmo wouldn't know a "good-faith" discussion if it hit him in the face with a 2x4.

Jay said...

I've cited facts,

Hysterical.

Yes, keep repeating that.

Really. It is like awesome.

36fsfiend said...

GMay said...

"Look, I'm not trying to be a grammar nazi here, but would you mind retyping/rephasing this?"

Why are so many on food stamps and how is this related to Obama?

Jay said...

noted interpretive actions taken in response to those facts.

Yes!

You did that too!

You assigned motives to people you do not know and did so in a way to make them look bad.

Facts!

Jay said...

36fsfiend said...

Why are so many on food stamps and how is this related to Obama?


Um, really?

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Ritmo - why should there be any explanation for why blacks commit 52% of the murders despite being only 10% of the population? I simply point out the menace and it's up to society to deal with it. You can come up with your own explanations, I don't care. When your house is on fire, you don't conduct a fire inspection you put it out.

Oh, ok.

So the explanation for a race-based discrepancy is not important, but just noting a racial pattern is somehow REALLY important! Not because we need to have an explanation; that might make us responsible for the implications of the explanation.

But we really should be VERY race conscious with our crime stats anyway. Or so sayeth Alex.

I think I see what you're getting at, Alex.

shiloh said...

Goodnight sweetheart it's time to go.

Conservatives, please continue to talk amongst yourselves ...

Jay said...

shiloh said...

Goodnight sweetheart it's time to go.


Bye silly troll.

Jay said...

36fsfiend said...

Why are so many on food stamps and how is this related to Obama?


Obama wholly endorsed the policies that crashed the economy.

Obama's solutions has exacerbated our economic problems.

Obama is the President.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Why are so many on food stamps and how is this related to Obama?

Because the economy sucks and Obama is the one (or won) who says he is in charge.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Re-Animated said...

No, the GOP leadership reacted to the outcry from the Dem leadership and the media. But I like the tossing in of a strawman and the "lol"ing.

Really gets you style points.


Well, you gotta love a major political party whose "leadership" is somehow too feckless (especially when in control of three branches of government) to take responsibility for decisions it can justify.

Clearly the answer should be to control the media.

There is not enough time in the world to respond adequately to all the dumb things the three of you care to throw out there. It's like cleaning up turds that pile up faster than they can be swept away.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

About a half million less.


Boy, that's something to brag about.

Newt: "Obama has put more people on food stamps than any other President"

Fact: More people are on food stamps than ever before.

Garage and his ignorant ilk: "The rate of increase!!!"

Hilarious.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Ritmo - your party controls the POTUS and Senate. Explain me how the "feckless" House GOP is supposed to accomplish their agenda.

Alex said...

Ritmo - do you really want to get into explanations as to why so many blacks are thugs?

Jay said...

Clearly the answer should be to control the media.

Something nobody is suggesting or even related to the topic.

But another fact you inferred!

There is not enough time in the world to respond adequately to all the dumb things the three of you care to throw out there.

You're projecting, imbecile.

See above.

Mark said...

Three things should preclude a second Obama Administration:

1. ObamaCare

2. Fast and Furious

3. Keystone

Obama doesn't care what Americans actually want, he doesn't mind killing a bunch of Mexicans if it means advancing a cause he supports, and when it comes to actual blue-collar jobs and energy independence, see point one.

Seriously, friends, race doesn't have anything to do with it. Unless you're of Mexican/Latin American descent. Then you might have a point.

Harold said...

garage mahal said...
Hearing Paterno is not dead.

And in further news, General Francisco Franco is still dead....

Sorry, couldn't resist.

And on Obama being reelected, I'm going to agree with the blogfather- I'd vote for a syphilitic camel if one were running against him. I'll hold my nose for Romney, Close one eye for Newt, and if the convention is brokered, vote wholeheartedly for Sarah...

garage mahal said...

Why are so many on food stamps and how is this related to Obama?

Wonder if it had anything to do with the economy in full meltdown mode losing 700k jobs per month when Obama took control? Nah!

36fsfiend said...

Jay said...

Jay,

Thank you for the links. I will read through the articles.

I find it difficult to believe that the financial industry, one of the most powerful and influential in the country, would allow itself to be pressured by the government to follow policies that resulted in the economic collapse.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Something nobody is suggesting or even related to the topic.

Except the paranoid recluse known as Roger Ailes, idiot!

Jay said...


Well, you gotta love a major political party whose "leadership" is somehow too feckless (especially when in control of three branches of government) to take responsibility for decisions it can justify.


Um, huh?

There was a complete media firestorm after Lott's comments.

Pretending that the Republican leadership just decided upon hearing Lott's comments that he should go is I guess another "fact" to you.

The good news is you think rather highly of yourself.

The bad news is, you're a barely coherent imbecile.

Alex said...

Wonder if it had anything to do with the economy in full meltdown mode losing 700k jobs per month when Obama took control? Nah!

Obama's talking down the economy since late 2007 had NOTHING to do with that, riiiiiiiiiight.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Alex, it's sounding like you're having trouble determining the distinction between the year 2012 and 2003. Why is that?

As for your invitation to hear your "explanations as to why so many blacks are thugs?", um, knock yourself out, dude.

Can't promise it won't be too nauseating to respond to or even read. But I'm more than happy to let you go on a one-man tear about blacks and their "problems". For political reasons.

This blog may yet have another Cedarford in the works...

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

"This blog is child's play by comparison."

HA!!

That's how I got here too.

I was permanently banned from two* lib websites.



*Technically, after an conciliatory email I was unbanned at one of the sites. But, they eventually re-banned me. That time, the banning was forever.

Alex said...

When you think about it, the Democrats have been nominating Communists since 1932 with FDR with few exceptions - Truman, JFK, Clinton.

Writ Small said...

@Garage re: USA Today "fact" checking.

Your stats surprised me because they contradict what Politifact, CBS News and the NY Times had reported. I looked up the government stats, and do you know what USA Today did?

It was rather clever on their part, and it involved a bit of math. Stay with me.

USA Today gave all of 2009 to president Bush! Very generous of them, that, considering the guy had been out of office for a year. That means that if you compare the "nine" years of the Bush administration to the "two" years Obama has been in charge, Bush had an ever so slightly greater total increase.

But if you look at annual average increases or annualized percentage increases, USAToday's creative math makes Obama look even worse than if they had played is straight. Of course, those stats are left out of their story for the obvious reasons.

If anyone else wants to check the figures, here's the raw data:

http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/SNAPsummary.htm

Alex said...

Ritmo - unlike Cedarford I'm capable of multitasking. Nor will I play into your stupid games.

Jay said...

36fsfiend said...

Jay,

Thank you for the links. I will read through the articles.

I find it difficult to believe that the financial industry, one of the most powerful and influential in the country, would allow itself to be pressured by the government to follow policies that resulted in the economic collapse


Really?

Because they were under threats of lawsuits and Fannie Mae was under political pressure.
(Democratic lawmakers demanded that the company buy more loans that had been made to low-income and minority homebuyers.)

Alex said...

Congrats Hussein - you will have presided over 28 million new food stamp recipients, 10 million lost jobs, an industrial base dwindling to your insane regulatory policy and throwing our best ally(Israel) to the Islamic wolves. What a guy.

GMay said...

Why are so many on food stamps and how is this related to Obama?

I'll refer you to Seven Machos' most accurate and concise response. As well as a couple of others who seem to have beaten me to it.

I would say that since Obama promised Hope and Change, he wasn't referring to exacerbating a problem. If this is what he intended, I'm not so certain the electorate can Believe in that sort of Change.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Jay:

I hear there's a real market for Trent Lott's reentry into American politics. What's he going for on intrade?

I'm loving the relevance that is supposedly in control of all this furious hatred. It's fun to watch.

Full Metal Wingnut Implosion is imminent.

Mark said...

"I find it difficult to believe that the financial industry, one of the most powerful and influential in the country, would allow itself to be pressured by the government to follow policies that resulted in the economic collapse."

Did you ever hear of the concept of selling short? If the top four players could eliminate the 16 below, would they do it if they were guaranteed they'd be bailed out, no matter what?

That, my friend, is crony capitalism, and it only happens if the top four believe they have the guarantor locked up. Welcome to 2012.

GMay said...

"Well, you gotta love a major political party whose "leadership" is somehow too feckless (especially when in control of three branches of government) to take responsibility for decisions it can justify."

Agreed 100%.

"Clearly the answer should be to control the media."

Clearly you're incapable of rational thought.

"There is not enough time in the world to respond adequately to all the dumb things the three of you care to throw out there. It's like cleaning up turds that pile up faster than they can be swept away."

No ritmo, it's that you're just incapable of defending the stupid shit you throw out there. Take your toys and go home.

That's the last time I try to have a reasonable discussion with you. I will go back to responding to you as you deserve - as the idiot you are.

36fsfiend said...

Jay,

"Really?"

Yes.

"Because they were under threats of lawsuits and Fannie Mae was under political pressure.
(Democratic lawmakers demanded that the company buy more loans that had been made to low-income and minority homebuyers.)"

Well, big banks are now being sued by the government for selling mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac nearly $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities that later soured.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/business/bank-suits-over-mortgages-are-filed.html

Seven Machos said...

I stopped arguing with Ritmo a long time ago. Now I occasionally bat him around like a cat bats around a dying insect, reminding him of a few choice stupid things he's said in the past. Isn't that right, Meadowlark?

Anyway, I recommend the same to all of you.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Well, that sure sounded like a very reasonable and mature response, GMay!

Um, "defending" presumes a legitimate criticism was made. But I'm sure you think the ad hominems, defensiveness and vulgarity you just expelled are more cutting.

36fsfiend said...

Mark said...

"Did you ever hear of the concept of selling short? If the top four players could eliminate the 16 below, would they do it if they were guaranteed they'd be bailed out, no matter what?"

Mark,

I've heard the turn but being honest I'm not completely familiar on how the process works.

Seven Machos said...

36 -- Your article is old. Bank stocks are set to explode this year. (I would not recommend them, though, or airline stocks, ever.)

GMay said...

"Wonder if it had anything to do with the economy in full meltdown mode losing 700k jobs per month when Obama took control? Nah!"

Hey, if you lack the ability or willingness to make it better, might as well make it worse, right? Saweet!

36fsfiend said...

Seven Machos said...

"36 -- Your article is old. Bank stocks are set to explode this year. (I would not recommend them, though, or airline stocks, ever.)"

Seven,

Are those suits not going to happen?

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Actually, "Machos" never attempted an argument with me in the first place. The first words out of his mouth had always been insults.

He just repeats things. Like the way I repeated what Trent Lott, Lee Atwater, and Buckley had said about blacks. Only less effectively.

Also, he talks about what he reads on my blog, and takes offense if anything nice is said about him. Which tells you all you need to know about the guy.

He is obviously not taking the Republican crack-up very well. I'd offer him sympathy, but that's a human gesture. And you can see that he relates better to pets and insects than to actual people.

GMay said...

"Except the paranoid recluse known as Roger Ailes, idiot!"

Ok, which pseudonymn is Ailes using here at Althouse?

That Rog, he's such a sly one!

GMay said...

"Well, that sure sounded like a very reasonable and mature response, GMay!

It was proportionate to:

"There is not enough time in the world to respond adequately to all the dumb things the three of you care to throw out there. It's like cleaning up turds that pile up faster than they can be swept away."

Your lack of self-awareness is comical.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

So "proportionate to" is GMay's way of saying "not in response to".

How very astute of him!

Dude, is context always this hard for you? I mean, you're making Mr Machos Man wince.

Seven Machos said...

36 -- It doesn't really matter if the suits happen. The federal government is highly unlikely to win them and the federal government has no actual interest in winning the lawsuits. A rational government does not seek to hurt its banks in any serious way, particularly in a crippled economy undergoing a liquidity crisis. (Liquidity crisis, by the way, means nobody is lending and nothing more.)

If you want that kind of thing to happen in your country, I suggest you move to Venezuela. Note Venezuela's financial condition.

GMay said...

"I stopped arguing with Ritmo a long time ago. Now I occasionally bat him around like a cat bats around a dying insect, reminding him of a few choice stupid things he's said in the past."

I promised myself I would just relegate him to scrollby, but for some bizarre reason, I decided to give him another shot.

Silly me.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

I promised myself I would just relegate him to scrollby, but for some bizarre reason, I decided to give him another shot.

Silly me.


Lol!

That "reason" being an understanding of why the Republican party is splitting and cracking into three or four factions.

Yes, how silly of you to entertain the notion that you cared to figure out why this is.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

"The first words out of his mouth had always been insults."

You must be his favorite.

For me the first words, the middle words, and the final words are insults.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Mark said...

36, here's how it works. You're a big investor. You see a corporate entity (lets say a regional bank) that you believe has some shaky financial foundations, but a lot of otherwise attractive assets (customers, mostly, but also physical branches, ATMs, corporate bondholders, etc.). So you invest a LOT of money buying their stock.

Bang, the bubble bursts, the regional bank's credit rating goes to junk, their mortgage holders haven't been covering expenses, and the Feds just happen to ask you to pretty please take over Regional Bank and we'll make sure their toxic assets won't be your problem.

Take a look at the number of mid-tier banks we have now versus, say, 2002. Then re-read this.

GMay said...

"Dude, is context always this hard for you? I mean, you're making Mr Machos Man wince."

Dude, is English always this hard for you? You obviously have access to the internet, so that's no excuse for not looking up the word "proportionate".

Perhaps a well-placed LOL is in order?

Seven Machos said...

Come on, PBJ. I specifically said that in our Althouse circle jerk about our communal hatred of SOPA and PIPA, you could eat the cracker at the end.

That's love, man. I would never elect this douchebag Ritmo for a role of such deep symbolic importance.

36fsfiend said...

Seven Machos said...

"36 -- It doesn't really matter if the suits happen. The federal government is highly unlikely to win them and the federal government has no actual interest in winning the lawsuits. A rational government does not seek to hurt its banks in any serious way, particularly in a crippled economy undergoing a liquidity crisis. (Liquidity crisis, by the way, means nobody is lending and nothing more.)"

I see. With the idea that the government does not seek to hurt its banks in any serious way, it's interesting that the government pressured the financial industry to take more risk with the sub-prime mortgages. You would think the financial experts would have pushed back to avoid being put into the situation that led to the collapse.

GMay said...

"That "reason" being an understanding of why the Republican party is splitting and cracking into three or four factions."

Sounds like it's at just about half the factions of the Democrats...as if it were relevant to anything other than what you want to talk about.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Lol PBJ.

All you have to do is bring up the times he offers, with Gingrichian authority, to bring his fellow reactionaries here into line. Every now and then he admonishes them into considering how extreme a certain political position or candidate (ahem, GINGRICH) might be.

And then, they do exactly what he warns against.

His hard-on is never harder than when I point out to the reactionaries here that even Machos is noticing something that they should take seriously. It's like, he thinks I'm breaching his authoritah and calling his reactionary conservative creds into question at the same time!

The bile is very harsh, and very telling.

wv: unpreg. Will the Repubs unpreg themselves of their theocratic wing, their crony capitalist wing, their libertarian wing, or their Gingrichian, crusty, curmudgeonly, asshole wing?

Seven Machos said...

36 -- That all seems very obvious now. But at the time it would have seemed like hurting banks to say what you are saying.

Recall -- or allow me to instruct you -- that during the period from 1994 to 2008, financial people hated Alan Greenspan for raising interest rates in his efforts to do what he could, through monetary policy, to cool down the economy.

Nobody saw things playing out they way they did. Nobody except for a few people who bet heavily against the subprime industry and are now billionaires.

Seven Machos said...

Ritmo -- I have read virtually nothing you've written here, so I can't respond effectively.

But I bet you've got 400 more bloviating words. Perhaps you can tell us how John Paul Stevens is a conservative again. Love that one. Go!

36fsfiend said...

Mark,

So who is pumping up the bubble to force it to burst? The same investors buying up the stocks of shaky financial institutions?

Are they deliberately setting up a collapse?

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

I can see where Seven's coming from.

I mean, looking at how he's describing the Newters, his commentary re the non-cons (incl Ritmo) around here is probably going to seam like sweet lullabies compared to his assessment of the Rs if they nominate Newt.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Machos just admitted that he has no effective response.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

36 -- No, and what you are saying is typical leftist-conspiracy think.

Housing prices went up until people stopped paying the prices. When people stopped paying the prices, people were left holding properties that they couldn't afford. They couldn't afford those properties because banks gave them mortgages they couldn't pay, for a whole host of different reasons. When people couldn't pay, they didn't pay. Banks had hugely lower "revenue" streams.

The federal government's response was exactly right according to what every decent economist says governments should do: throw money at the banks unceasingly.

But, honestly, 36, you should know this stuff. It's 101.

36fsfiend said...

Seven,

I see. This stuff is very complicated to me.

Interesting that some could see that a collapse would happen and betted against it to make a fortune while those in government who were charged to oversee the situation didn't and did not move to prevent it.

Seven Machos said...

I will vote for Gingrich over Obama, but I will not be happy about it. Gingrich is just an awful, awful candidate in every way.

I hope someone else steps up if Romney implodes -- Christie or Jeb Bush, perhaps.

Mark said...

36, the short answer is Frank-Dodd, but I don't think it was their intention to see it burst, any more than it was Lehman Brothers' intention to go belly-up when it did.

The problem is the crony part; the economy is still carrying a huge amount of dept that will not be repaid but that still keeps housing prices artificially inflated, because no one is dumping anything because the "winners" have been told those toxic assets won't hurt them.

That's why the fed keeps printing money (quantitative easing), and somehow inflation doesn't happen. There's a reason you can't get a loan from banks right now, even if your credit is stellar.

Someday this will bite us in the ass bigtime; Obama just hopes it's sometime in his second term. Meanwhile, it's all Air Force One, unlimited golf, and schmoozing with his peers.

Seven Machos said...

Interesting that some could see that a collapse would happen and betted against it to make a fortune while those in government who were charged to oversee the situation didn't and did not move to prevent it

Interesting, indeed. But downright weird and peculiar would be the person who realized the oddity there yet voted for an ever-increasing government. Limited government is best because the effectiveness of government is, by its nature, limited.

36fsfiend said...

Seven Machos said...

"36 -- No, and what you are saying is typical leftist-conspiracy think.

Housing prices went up until people stopped paying the prices. When people stopped paying the prices, people were left holding properties that they couldn't afford. They couldn't afford those properties because banks gave them mortgages they couldn't pay, for a whole host of different reasons. When people couldn't pay, they didn't pay. Banks had hugely lower "revenue" streams.

The federal government's response was exactly right according to what every decent economist says governments should do: throw money at the banks unceasingly.

But, honestly, 36, you should know this stuff. It's 101."

Well Seven, in my experiences in taking out mortgages on the two homes I have owned, I was vetted very thoroughly on my financial background and ability to pay back the mortgages.

Based on my personal experience, I just find it difficult to believe that so many banks could get into so much trouble. I mean it's their job to access risk and loan money accordingly.

shiloh said...

mittens hasn't just lost SC ...

Nate, you're good w/math ...

GMay said...

"Based on my personal experience, I just find it difficult to believe that so many banks could get into so much trouble. I mean it's their job to access risk and loan money accordingly."

Your faith in banks is cute. It's not really in style on the left right now.

Do you know any former loan officers or anyone who's spent time in the mortgage industry? Specifically back when they were loaning to anybody and everybody?

Mark said...

Interesting that some could see that a collapse would happen and betted against it to make a fortune while those in government who were charged to oversee the situation didn't and did not move to prevent it.

Actually, Bush did try to put a lid on the rate of lending sometime around 2006. He was called a racist.

The big boys in investing play at the edges, because their pockets are deep enough to absorb losses. The biggest boys (GE, Goldman Sachs) hedge their bets by buying as many politicians as they can.

Bubbles will always happen. Government pretty much always makes them worse, because when the bubble is inflating, money pours into government.

Obama's pet bubble was a purely governmentaly sponsored one, so all he got was a Solyndra t-shirt. But hey, Goldman and GE are still on his side.

36fsfiend said...

Mark said...

"36, the short answer is Frank-Dodd, but I don't think it was their intention to see it burst, any more than it was Lehman Brothers' intention to go belly-up when it did."

Well, as an outsider looking at the financial industry, it just seems the experts should have anticipated the calamity given its magnitude.

"The problem is the crony part; the economy is still carrying a huge amount of dept that will not be repaid but that still keeps housing prices artificially inflated, because no one is dumping anything because the "winners" have been told those toxic assets won't hurt them."

I thought the problem now is that home prices have fallen and people are not selling because they can't take the loses. Hence the market has slowed down.

Seven Machos said...

GMay is right on. Mortgage brokers are a sleazy, sleazy bunch -- pretty much right out of Glengary, Glenross.

The stories are just silly. When my wife and I were buying, twice during the oughts, our realtor and our bankers kept telling us we could afford more.

Also, we lived in Washington for a time, where we rented. When noting the real estate prices, and more importantly the salaries we knew people were making, it just made no sense. Now it does.

36fsfiend said...

GMay said...

"Your faith in banks is cute. It's not really in style on the left right now."

My faith was based on my personal experiences in buying homes and the vetting process to secure the mortgages.

"Do you know any former loan officers or anyone who's spent time in the mortgage industry? Specifically back when they were loaning to anybody and everybody?"

No, I do not.

36fsfiend said...

Mark said...

"Actually, Bush did try to put a lid on the rate of lending sometime around 2006. He was called a racist."

Mark,

What specifically was Bush attempting to do? And why would he be called racist?

Mark said...

"I thought the problem now is that home prices have fallen and people are not selling because they can't take the loses. Hence the market has slowed down."

That would be fine in the case of people who could afford their mortgage but are refraining from "flipping" their house.

The problem is the number of vacant, forclosed properties that the banks won't auction off because THEY can't afford the hit to their balance sheets.

So they show an asset worth, say, $400,000 instead of a loss of $300,000.

And of course, there is an untold number of properties that should be foreclosed upon but aren't because an empty house is a house that will decay. These free-riders will eventually end up in bankruptcy, and all their other creditors will be screwed to the tune of a 90% haircut.

The cultural damage of the bubble was the assumption that you could hold a property for five years and double your investment. A bubble is always about greed. From the bottom up.

Seven Machos said...

And why would he be called racist?

It was called racist because the proposed regulations (making banks that want to sell mortgages to the government have some requirements for loan applicants) would burden black people and black people are more apt to be poor and would be less likely to qualify for loans under the new regime (which has since come to pass in the private sector anyway).

Incidentally, I would add here that it is shameful and sad for our country that black people are so overwhelmingly poor. That's not happenstance. That's policy-driven. I would argue that almost all of the policy -- from diluting reconstruction to welfare rules that make getting a job or marrying actually irrational -- all of it was the brainchild of Democrats from 1865 to the present.

36fsfiend said...

Mark,

"The cultural damage of the bubble was the assumption that you could hold a property for five years and double your investment. A bubble is always about greed. From the bottom up."

Given this statement and what you said previously about the housing market, it seems like a pretty messed up business model. You would think the experts would want to foster a model that sustains their industry and the economy.

Seven Machos said...

How would banks be hurt if people simply weren't buying or selling? So they can't make new home loans. Big deal.

Think, man. Come on. It's not hard. Droves and droves and droves of foreclosures and people simply walking away from mortgages have killed banks. Hundreds of billions and probably trillions of dollars are simply gone.

Seven Machos said...

You would think the experts would want to foster a model that sustains their industry and the economy.

Your trust in experts remains touching. Poor, naive person. It;s sad.

36fsfiend said...

Seven Machos said...

"Incidentally, I would add here that it is shameful and sad for our country that black people are so overwhelmingly poor. That's not happenstance. That's policy-driven. I would argue that almost all of the policy -- from diluting reconstruction to welfare rules that make getting a job or marrying actually irrational -- all of it was the brainchild of Democrats from 1865 to the present."

Seven,

What's the solution? It's an honest question as I'm not familiar with all the background regarding reconstruction and welfare rules and how they have impacted the black community.

Seven Machos said...

36 -- The solution is simple: government of the people, for the people, by the people that treats everyone actually and totally equally without regard to skin color or religion.

36fsfiend said...

Seven Machos said...

"Your trust in experts remains touching. Poor, naive person. It;s sad."

Well Seven, my background is in military aviation. I trust the "experts" who in this case are the maintenance personal who work on my plane, the air traffic controllers that provide me vectors in the weather, the wingman who is checking my six for enemy aircraft and many others doing their jobs professionally.

I assume, and maybe wrongly, that the experts in other fields attempt to perform their jobs just as professionally.

Mark said...

Frank-Dodd (instituted under Clinton) was all about making home ownership reachable by the underclass, and specifically by the urban underclass (i.e. African American city dwellers).

Good intentions, and it made intuitive sense. If you own something, you protect it.

The problem is, it opened up the floor, if you will, on the credit check process. And because the loans were specifically backed by Fannie/Freddie, there was the assumption that they were guaranteed by Uncle Sam.

And when that spigot was opened, no one was too fussy about loans to anyone, because some bright soul got the idea to bundle these "government backed" securities into corporate bonds. Bad credit? No credit? We'll give you this ARM that will absolutely go critical in five years, but by then your house will have doubled in value! Win Win Win!

What did I say about bubbles being about greed?

Well, the first glimmerings of a problem came about in Bush's second term, and when Bush tried to increase oversight, he was countered by, at the very least, populist rhetoric from the Democrats in congress.

(Sorry, I'm not doing a term paper here; if you doubt me you can either ignore me or use Google. FWIW, I don't believe in the "by any means necessary" school of debate, and also, Bush should be blamed for throwing fuel on this fire in his first term.)

You'll have to ask Garage and Ritmo about whether Bush's mild pushback against Frank-Dodd was characterized as racist by their side. I'd be interested in reading their responses. (Now those I might turn into a paper....)

36fsfiend said...

Seven Machos said...

"36 -- The solution is simple: government of the people, for the people, by the people that treats everyone actually and totally equally without regard to skin color or religion."

Do you believe those values are truly embraced in today's Republican Party?

Seven Machos said...

I assume, and maybe wrongly, that the experts in other fields attempt to perform their jobs just as professionally.

Well, the problem is obvious then. Doctors and engineers make terrible politicians. Bless your soul, you are doing vital things that are controllable. Politics -- the art of the possible -- is not controllable. An economy -- hundreds or thousands or millions or billions of people buying and selling stuff -- is not controllable.

As soon as you can understand what things can be controlled and what can't, and how to differentiate, you'll be well on your way to some knowledge. And then you won't have to ask so many rudimentary questions.

Seven Machos said...

Do you believe those values are truly embraced in today's Republican Party?

Without question.

Mark said...

"It seems like a pretty messed up business model. You would think the experts would want to foster a model that sustains their industry and the economy."

It was a severely messed-up business model. That's why we're in the mess we are now. And I don't think we've seen the worst of it yet, although I really hope I'm wrong.

(Final dig at Obama: Lowering energy costs on the overall economy would have helped. But he said a big "F*** You" to Canadian oil with his decision on Keystone, and now that cheap-for-us energy goes to that bastion of Green Living, China. Good job, Barry.)

36fsfiend said...

Mark,

"Well, the first glimmerings of a problem came about in Bush's second term, and when Bush tried to increase oversight, he was countered by, at the very least, populist rhetoric from the Democrats in congress."

In the link to Wikipedia it states lobbying by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac thwarted efforts to control GSE. Who lobbies for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? The banking industry?

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

36,

I ran the home loan department for a bank. I increased my bank's net profits by more than 170% over five years and I halved my bank's nonperforming loans, i.e. I greatly reduced risk.

I also was smart enough to cash out seven years ago, well before everything went sideways.

My experience and the facts confirm that it was Wall Street that was buying the junk.

And, it was absentee regulators that were allowing private companies to load up on junk loans. Is it a coincidence that Countrywide regulator shopped so they could be overseen by OTS, along w/ WaMu, IndyMac, and AIG?

BTW, what all these folks did was completely legal. They were legally maximizing returns for their owners, and they did so w/ the help of an R run anti-regulator regulator. As Mitt will tell you, that's called the free market, and if you don't like it you're a Marxist.

Seven Machos said...

Who lobbies for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Lobbyists.

36fsfiend said...

Seven,

"As soon as you can understand what things can be controlled and what can't, and how to differentiate, you'll be well on your way to some knowledge. And then you won't have to ask so many rudimentary questions."

My comment about experts is in regards to the financial community. I assumed that the financial experts would strive to ensure their business is operated successfully and would lobby according against any legislation that may adversely impact it.

I keep reading this comments about how the government precipitated the economic collapse by forcing banks to make risky loans.

Where were the experts in the financial community and their vast lobbying power to thwart these poor policies?

36fsfiend said...

Seven Machos said...

Who lobbies for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Lobbyists.

Yes, but from what industry? The banks?

Dante said...

Am I reading this right? Gingrich is beat Romney by 13 percent. Not even close.

Get rid of Santorum, and it would have been more.

Seven Machos said...

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pay their lobbyists.

Mark said...

Well, Frank and Dodd primarily. The program was their baby, and I don't recall that either one of them ever came out against it. But mostly it was a partisan thing, and bear in mind that the Democrats took both houses of Congress in 2006.

One dasn't mess with one's base.

Seven Machos said...

forcing banks to make risky loans

Nobody forced anybody to make risky loans. Mark has explained this all. The government effectively was underwriting risky loans. The government was subsidizing risky loans, so banks made them.

Moreover, all loans are risky to some degree.

36fsfiend said...

pbAndjFellowRepublican,

Thanks for the background on your experience in the banking industry.

So Wall Street was buying junk and the regulators were asleep at the switch.

I understand it was legal but it seems like a pretty screwed up business model given the results.

What’s the fix? Do we just continue in the cycle of bubbles and busts?

Seven Machos said...

the regulators were asleep at the switch

No, the regulators were abjectly encouraging the purchases.

Mark said...

The thing about a bubble is it's really hard to see it until it has become a real problem. The first I was aware that anything was wrong was when I read an analysis (in 2007, I think) that showed renting had become more financially sensible than buying.

But as PBandJ inadvertently pointed out, a bubble is a great thing for an individual if you have the sense (or the luck) to get out not too long before it collapses.

Seven Machos said...

Do we just continue in the cycle of bubbles and busts?

Jesus Christ. This dude is 13.

Good night.

Mark said...

36:

Keynes preached that we should fear the burst.

Hayek preached that we should fear the bubble.

Take a look at the last 20 years and make your own call.

36fsfiend said...

Seven Machos said...

"No, the regulators were abjectly encouraging the purchases."

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

"And, it was absentee regulators that were allowing private companies to load up on junk loans."

Sound likes someone wasn't doing their job.

36fsfiend said...

Seven Machos said...

"Jesus Christ. This dude is 13."

"Good night."

Sleep tight.

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

"I understand it was legal but it seems like a pretty screwed up business model given the results."

It wasn't screwed up from a certain POV. There are a lot of people who legally made, and still have, plenty of dough from this stuff. The innovation of financial instruments meant that folks could make lots of dough, while greatly minimizing their risk.

Things don't look so good from the POV of home owners who over leveraged, just because they could.

Likewise, things look pretty bad for the folks who bought these financial instruments.



One part of the solution would be strict leverage limits for financial institutions, especially big ones where a failure could be hard to contain.

Also transparency and limits regarding the trading and ownership of derivative instruments should be required.

Mark said...

My experience and the facts confirm that it was Wall Street that was buying the junk.

Tbe junk had to exist to buy it. And it had to look like investment grade to bundle it and sell it as investment grade.

No one gets off easy on this one. The bubble blew up under a totally Republican Administration. But the roots are purely Progressive/Liberal, and just because Bush & Co. didn't quash it doesn't mean Dodd/Frank/Pelosi/Reid get off for not being smarter than Bush.

36fsfiend said...

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

"One part of the solution would be strict leverage limits for financial institutions, especially big ones where a failure could be hard to contain.

Also transparency and limits regarding the trading and ownership of derivative instruments should be required."

pd,

Aren't these some of the measures being implemented with the Frank-Dodd act that was passed in 2009?

Mark said...

36, I realize you're moby-ing, but it's been fun. And for a change, I agree with PB&J; transparency and real limits on the amount of leverage are probably good things, and override any implied rights to privacy these institutions have. The failure of Lehman was catastrophic to the global economy, and in the grand scheme if they'd been forced to dump when they could we'd all be better off for it now.

What scares me is that if we did require that kind of transparency at this moment in time, the basic units of currency would be canned food and rounds of ammunition.

36fsfiend said...

Mark said...

"36, I realize you're moby-ing"

What's moby-ing?

pbAndjFellowRepublican said...

36,

The financial wizards know the ins and outs of this stuff a lot better than the gov does. So i'd assume that the industry will, for the most part, get it's way.

36fsfiend said...

pbAndjFellowRepublican,

The article states that the biggest disaster for the corporate bond market in recent years was a direct result of excessive risk-taking by big financial players. The Volcker Rule is a step in the direction of making it harder to repeat that awful experience.

They don't want the government to be involved yet they take the risks that result in a situation requiring the government to get involved.

cokaygne said...

In the very long run this might be a good thing. In the short run 0bama has a cakewalk to reelection. The only hope is that Congress will steer him in the right direction or at least thwart socialism.

The Republican party will be destroyed by this. No matter how you slice it, bigoted Prods are a declining share of the US population. Rather than accept a Mormon! for goodness' sake, they have embraced a womanizing phoney Catholic whose only god is himself.

Don't think this is 1964 and the eventual rise of conservatism out of the ashes of Goldwater's defeat. This, I hope, is the end of a Republican party that has driven out voters who believe in fiscal prudence and economic and social liberty to depend almost exclusively now on voters for whom social issues are the only issues.

It will boggle the minds of most voters to see the party of Lincoln, Coolidge, Eisenhower, and Reagan surrender to sectarians and nominate as its candidate against an unpopular president in the midst of an economic crisis a bloviating failed congressman.

Let us hope that this time the Libertarians run a serious campaign. They may not win, but they'll change the conversation. And if 0bama, checked by congressional opposition, does not do too much damage during the next 4 years. It might turn out better.

Michael said...

Pb&j. Did your bank make development loans to home builders? It was the odd banker who got out of lending on residential seven years ago. Curious as to the name of the bank.

I ♥ Willard said...

This is only a temporary setback for Willard. He will be back and stronger than ever in Florida. Old people love him! Just wait and see.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

OK--let me see if I have this in perspective: Santorum ecked out a modest victory in Iowa; Romney won in New Hampshire, and Gingrich won in South Carolina. Three states in (two of which are not particularly representative. The other 47 states are yet to be heard from--(or if you assume Mr Obama's calculation, 54 states)

Seem like this race is just out of the starting blocks--there may even be other candidates jumping in--who knows. Seems a bit premature to be making predictions with 47 states to go.

As an aside, except for Tradguy who went to Beethoven's third, apparently some commenters do not have much going on in their lives on a Saturday nite. Other than trading insults and impressing themselves with their arguments, about which the remaining 99 percent of the population could care less.

Joe Schmoe said...

Roger J, I agree that there's still a lot of primary to go.

If you're a Romney fan, this is actually good for him. If he can't beat Newt in a street fight, how the hell is he supposed to win a general election against the Chicago machine? Heat tempers true steel and makes it stronger. Mitt can either harden up or melt; it's up to him.

Joe Schmoe said...

And to all the crowing lefties and disconsolate conservatives bemoaning the demise of the Republican party, I disagree. This has been one of the most wide-ranging primaries, regarding ideas, that I can recall. The GOP is hands-down the party of diversity right now.

If contentious debates bother you, maybe you should take a longer look at the Democrat party. They champion civility through lock-step adherence to their platform, which is not decided by contentious debate but dictated by their ruling elites.

Jay said...

36fsfiend said...

Well, big banks are now being sued by the government for selling mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac nearly $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities that later soured.


Um, and?

Jay said...

36fsfiend said...

I see. With the idea that the government does not seek to hurt its banks in any serious way, it's interesting that the government pressured the financial industry to take more risk with the sub-prime mortgages. You would think the financial experts would have pushed back to avoid being put into the situation that led to the collapse.


They did.

But then they knew that Fannie & Freddie had the backing of the federal government anyway, so the lenders had very little risk.

Are you denying this all happened?

Roger J. said...

While a bit off topic (but related), thge idea that Newt would handily defeat Mr Obama in a debate is hardly a reason to choose Newt--And as reflective question, why does anyone think that Mr Obama would even agree to debate Newt? He will break out the Greek Columns and bloviate from his teleprompter. The is nothing that requires Mr Obama to engage in a debate or series of debates. Chew on that possibility for a while.

MadisonMan said...

Sorry about the false report. Not sorry that it was false however.

I ♥ Willard said...

I agree 110% with Joe. I ♥ Romney but think that losing South Carolina is actually winning. It was probably the Romney team's secret strategy all along.

It should be over now. Newt has peaked and it will be Romney winning all the way to the convention. Go Willard!

Joe Schmoe said...

National Review tried to take Newt out at the knees before Iowa. Now that he's won a true bellwether state (sorry IA and NH), they must be planning to go full-on nuclear tomorrow.

I ♥ Willard said...

The GOP is hands-down the party of diversity right now.

I agree! Among our field of candidates we had a black man, a woman and whatever alien life form Ron Paul is. It's good for the party and good for the country to show that we let all sorts of people compete for our party's nomination before we choose the white guy.

Dante said...

Ann Says:

"I'm projecting 4 more years of Obama."

Are you so certain Romney is going to save you? How is it going to sound when he shows his income tax rate at 15%.

Romney can not beat Obama.

Gingrich has a chance. Actually, Ron Paul seems to resonate with independents and some liberals. It's ironic how listening to this guys ideas sound so out of step, but really, all he is doing is enumerating the constitutional ideas of 1776.

chickenlittle said...

"Did Gingrich win?"

Gingrich 1, Romney 1

They are engaged and and will marry their ideas. Watch

n.n said...

Heidi and Seal are likely divorcing because of irreconcilable differences, which would suggest that one or both were exploiting the other.

Newt has a problem with biased reporting and witty commenters who propagate a singular account of an emotionally appealing story. Americans, in the minority, have dispensed with the presumption of innocence, and prefer their news biased with a twist of prejudice.

The biggest problem facing Republicans is that a large minority of Americans have dreams of physical, material, and ego instant gratification, principally through redistributive and retributive change, but also through fraudulent exploitation.

The contemporary Democrat, liberal, and progressive is in the business of selling indulgences, in the best spirit of central Christian churches from yesteryear. However, unlike ethereal promises of reward in the afterlife, the modern cult promises tangible rewards in the form of escape from prejudice, bigotry, various phobias, and, of course, instant gratification.

What a racket.

Michael said...

Dante. He does not pay "income tax" he pays capital gains or at least mostly so. He will have to struggle to explain to financially ignorant voters the difference.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I ♥ Willard said...

It's ironic how listening to this guys ideas sound so out of step, but really, all he is doing is enumerating the constitutional ideas of 1776.

Exactly! Who says spouting ideas from 1776 makes a candidate out of step in the 21st century? Not me! I even happen to believe that Ron Paul would look better in a powdered wig than any of the other candidates.

Still, Willard is the man. He is a proven winner. Ron Paul, bless his heart, is not going to win a single primary or caucus. That won't stop him from hanging in until the bitter end, though. You have to admire the man for his absolute disregard for reality.

I ♥ Willard said...

He does not pay "income tax" he pays capital gains or at least mostly so.

I would have guessed that Willard's income is based more on dividends than capital gains.

36fsfiend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
36fsfiend said...

36fsfiend said...

Jay said...

“But then they knew that Fannie & Freddie had the backing of the federal government anyway, so the lenders had very little risk.”

But did Fannie & Freddie know the securitized loans they were purchasing from private lenders were bad? According to this article, it seems they didn’t:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/business/bank-suits-over-mortgages-are-filed.html?_r=1

What I understand is that Fannie and Freddie didn't pressure lenders to sell them more loans and in fact were struggling to keep pace with the private sector. Their regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, imposed new restrictions in 2006 that led to Fannie and Freddie losing even more market share in the subprime market.

Only commercial banks and thrifts must follow the Community Reinvestment Act rules. Investment banks don't, nor did lenders such as New Century Financial Corp. and Ameriquest that underwrote most of the subprime loans.

These private non-bank lenders enjoyed a regulatory gap, allowing them to be regulated by 50 different state banking supervisors instead of the federal government. And mortgage brokers, who also weren't subject to federal regulation or the Community Reinvestment Act, originated most of the subprime loans between 2001 and 2007.

Jay said...

What I understand is that Fannie and Freddie didn't pressure lenders to sell them more loans and in fact were struggling to keep pace with the private sector. Their regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, imposed new restrictions in 2006 that led to Fannie and Freddie losing even more market share in the subprime market

Huh?

Fannie's subprime portfolio continued to grow throughout this meltdown.

Jay said...

What I understand is that Fannie and Freddie didn't pressure lenders to sell them more loans and in fact were struggling to keep pace with the private sector

Democrats in Congress wanted Fannie to expand their subprime portfolio.

Joe Schmoe said...

I would have guessed that Willard's income is based more on dividends than capital gains.

I agree. You pay cap gains when you sell an investment. As any good Boston Brahmin can tell you, "Nevah touch the principal, dahling."

36fsfiend said...

Jay said...

"Fannie's subprime portfolio continued to grow throughout this meltdown."

Guess there's dirt on both sides. I don't give the banks a free pass on this one.

grackle said...

A commentor: Who lobbies for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Seven Macho’s reply: Lobbyists.

With all due respect, Seven Machos, I don’t think you are understanding what the intent of the comment was. The commentor already has a certain answer in mind but wants someone else to give the answer.

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