Monday, September 29, 2008

I Can't Believe They Get Away With This Stuff

There are two ways to analyze issues: one is the way our friends who fancy themselves citizens of the "reality-based community" do it and consists mainly in mythologizing history to fit their script; the other is to look at history as it is, not as we wish it were, and evaluate the facts. I don't care to give myself a moniker which is chosen simply to implicitly denigrate my political opponents, so I will simply say that I am in the second camp. Spare me "truthiness" and give me the genuine truth, please. I can handle it.

To that end, here is a video which also falls into the MUST WATCH and MUST SHARE category:

I don't understand why McCain goes first to "Wall Street greed" to explain this mess. It is a failure of government: failure to recognize that their desire to expand home ownership distorted the market and created a real estate bubble; failure to recognize that threatening institutions that failed to follow government-mandated lending rules that violate fiscal prudence led to financial ruin; and failure to accept its role in making this happen as a way of having a clear-eyed way of getting us out of this government-sponsored disaster. Instead, we are offered the medicine of creeping socialism as a cure to creeping socialism.

I also don't understand how a country with a nominally free press won't cover this in the manner which is appropriate. It's almost as if electoral considerations trump the truth. Almost?

UPDATE: VDH weighs in:

This Was All Predictable [Victor Davis Hanson]

That is an astounding tape of the past 2004 House hearings on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in which Reps. Walters, Meeks, Davis, Clay, and Frank (who really should recuse himself from the present discussions given his culpability for the original mess) essentially bully and all but call the honest worried bank regulators liars and quasi-racists after hearing their prescient warnings that these institutions were suspect, violating accounting laws in Enron-like fashion, verging on insolvency, and being used as cash cows for their dishonest administrators.

The shouting, accusations, grandstanding, praise of 100% financing, and kudos to Franklin Raines (whose creative accounting allowed himself and his cronies multimillion dollar bonuses) are surreal. And to watch these exchanges is chilling since it is a scary example of demagoguery in which statistics and audits, in postmodern fashion, are attacked as biased.

PS. As I recall Raines was the one who, following the Enron scandals, gave public lectures about corporate responsiblity and CEO honesty. And as one begins to read about Raines, James Johnson, Jamie Gorelick, and Leland Brendsel at Freddie Mac, one begins to understand their modus operandi. Freddie and Fannie were landing pads for former Democratic insiders, who milked the agencies for millions in bonuses as they covered their tracks by donations to Congressional candiates and pseudo-racial-populism of helping minorities buy homes with little down. Their careers are every bit as nauseating as anything at Enron — and yet the press strangely does not go after them in the manner we learned of Ken Lay's deceit. God help us all.

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