Democratic National Committee Taps Crony Corporations

Obama InvescoAs Democrats struggle to raise funds to coronate President Obama as nominee in Charlotte, N.C. this September, the role of two crony corporations increases daily.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that the president’s re-election organization will consider moving his acceptance speech at the Democrat National Convention to Bank of America Stadium.

Three unidentified Democrats “involved in the fundraising” told the news service the goal would be to sell more skyboxes to wealthy donors, apparently because fewer are available at Time Warner Cable Arena where the convention is presently scheduled.

“The almost 74,000-seat home of the Carolina Panthers professional football team would also have room for the convention to sell more floor passes close to the stage,” Bloomberg reported. “Planners for the event are struggling to meet a $36.6 million fundraising goal, according to the Democrats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter.”

Back in …

We Were Right About Maxine Waters’ Trial Delay

Maxine Waters photoNancy 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.

Following OneUnited’s bailout, regulators ordered the bank to hire a new independent board and raise its own capital. The struggling bank was also forced to stop paying for the president’s $6.4 million Malibu home and Porsche.

The representative’s ties to OneUnited were public prior to the incident, and she had outlined her involvement with the bank in multiple federal disclosure forms. The bank’s executives contributed $12,500 to Waters’s congressional campaigns. 

Waters’s …

FBN: Flaherty Assails Racial Mandates in Financial Regulatory Overhaul

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:

David Asman: The financial regulation Bill is now law and while we know that the twenty three hundred page document is full of new bureaucracies and regulations you may not know there is actually language in this law that requires racial profiling. Peter Flaherty is President of National Legal and Policy Center an ethics watchdog based in Washington. He has done some digging into this Bill. Peter, you know, I couldn’t believe it when I first heard it – I mean this is an Administration that prides themselves on being anti-racial. They are against racial profiling that doesn’t exist, for example in the Arizona immigration law. Get this: lenders will – these new data collection system that …

Scott Brown Sells Out

Scott Brown photoOn 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?

I can only assume that even though Brown knew how to ride the wave that swept him into office, he now fails to understand it. He seems to have reverted to the traditional strategy of “moderate” Republicans in Massachusetts, which is to …

Testy Meeks Disclosed Loan Only After FBI Inquiry

Meeks photoAccording to the New York Daily News today:

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.

Meeks then filed two letter “amendments,” both dated June 18, but filed separately on June 21 and 23. Both state that …

House Passes Financial Services Bill; Mandates Racial Favoritism

Maxine Waters photoSupporters 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. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the prime sponsors of this “comprehensive” bill, have refused to entertain legitimate objections. If the Senate approves the measure – Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has vowed to corral the necessary filibuster-breaking 60 votes in a matter of days – Congress once more will have shown that it places a higher priority on …

Data Show Federal Policy Triggered Mortgage Meltdown

Barney FrankDespite 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. 

Our nation has over-invested in housing. To put the matter more simply, we’ve bought more housing than we can afford. According to …

Dodd’s Financial Services ‘Reform’ Would Mean More Bailouts

Sen. Christpher Dodd, D-Conn.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.

To the contrary, the bill’s most likely legacy, if passed into law, would be the creation of powerful federal bureaucracies that in the long run not only would fail to avert future banking crises, but may well increase their likelihood. The House of Representatives, led by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., passed its own somewhat different package last December 11 by a 223-202 vote. 

The Senate bill, unveiled last Monday, March 15, is …

Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Bailed Out Again; CEO Pay Set for Huge Boost

Fannie Mae headquartersOne 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.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, originally known as Federal National Mortgage Association and …