Nancy Pelosi was quick to refer the Anthony Weiner scandal to the House Ethics Committee. Yet other more substantial matters, like the Maxine Waters trial, have languished for months.
In 2008, Waters, D-Calif., arranged a meeting with the U.S. Department of Treasury and OneUnited Bank. OneUnited claimed it was in dire need of federal cash as a result of its failed Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae investments. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) provided $12 million to the bank.
I was interviewed by David Asman on the Fox Business Network on Wednesday, July 21. The topic is the racial mandates contained in the Dodd-Frank financial services regulatory overhaul. Here's a transcript:
On the evening of Scott Brown’s election, I wrote that among the reasons for his victory was resentment of “a host of actions to prop up Wall Street firms at the expense of taxpayers.”
Who would have thought that less than six months later Brown would cast the decisive vote in favor of legislation that institutionalizes Wall Street bailouts, and whose sponsors — Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank — played key roles in bringing on the meltdown, not to mention representing everything that is sleazy and corrupt about Washington. If Brown wasn’t running against Barney Frank when he railed against the “machine,” then what was he talking about?
Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks made no payments for three years on a secret $40,000 personal loan - and repaid the cash only when the FBI started asking questions…
Meeks received a check for $40,000 from Queens businessman Ed Ahmad in January 2007 to finish paying off his new $830,000 home, two sources familiar with the matter said.
Meeks first disclosed the loan on his financial disclosure report that all members of Congress were required to file by May 17 for the preceding 2009 calendar year. Meeks filed late on June 15. Click here to download a 5-page pdf of the report. The Ahmad loan was made in 2007, meaning Meeks failed to disclose it on his 2007 and 2008 forms.
Supporters call it "financial services reform." Yet one has to wonder what the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 is reforming or stabilizing. The House on Wednesday by a 237-192 margin passed the 2,300-plus-page conference bill designed to protect American households from predatory practices by banks, subprime lenders, brokerage houses and other intermediaries. But evidence suggests that if it becomes law, the bill instead will lay the groundwork for another major federal bailout. During House-Senate conference sessions, affirmative action zealots inserted a host of mandates to promote credit allocation by race.
Despite mortgage interest rates falling to near all-time lows, America's homeowners are in a state of unease not seen since the Great Depression. In 2009, nearly 4 million foreclosure notices went out to homeowners unable to keep up with their payments, an increase of more than 20 percent from 2008. Many explanations lie behind this collapse, but arguably the most crucial, and underappreciated, has been excessive federal intervention in the housing market. Recent reports and articles from American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Senior Fellow Peter Wallison and AEI Visiting Fellow Charles Calomiris strongly suggest the pileup of bad mortgage paper has the words "Made in Washington" written all over it. In other words, rogue capitalism is partly to blame, but rogue government has played a central enabling role.
The word "reform" in the age of Obama has taken on a clear meaning: aggressive expansion of government control over economic decision-making by businesses and consumers. The recently-passed health care bill, rammed through Congress via highly unorthodox parliamentary procedures, is evidence enough of that. Yet even supporters of new financial services reform legislation now before the full Senate may be hard-pressed to explain how the mammoth 1,336-page measure is supposed to improve efficiency and integrity in credit markets.
One of the more entrenched principles in business is "pay for performance," the rewarding of executives with raises, bonuses and other forms of compensation if they meet or exceed expectations. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, now wards of the federal government, are negations of that principle. The troubled secondary mortgage lending giants, already having received more than $110 billion in federal subsidies since the fall of 2008, are set for another major feed at the public trough. On December 24, the U.S. Treasury Department, facing a December 31 deadline, approved a no-limit hike in the publicly-traded companies' combined $400 billion credit line. Were that not enough, regulators approved an annual compensation package of up to $6 million for each chief executive officer. Welcome to pay for performance, Obama-style - not that the Bush version was a bargain.
NLPC President Peter Flaherty and former Ginnie Mae President Joe Murin discuss whether the fist time homebuyer tax credit could bankrupt the FHA, along with CNBC hosts Melissa Francis and Simon Hobbs. Click here to download 3-page pdf transcript.