Thursday, October 02, 2008

Is Harry Shorting the Insurers?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid helped foment sharp selling of insurance stocks with loose talk about a possible bankruptcy of a major insurer as he hawked the Bailout Bill. First, do no harm, Dr. Reid.

Senator Coburn Gets It.

Tom Coburn (R-OK) understands the conundrum of the "rescue" legislation:

Taxpayers deserve to know that there is no guarantee this plan will work, but there is a guarantee that we will face a financial catastrophe if we do nothing. If banks continue to fail and stop lending the average American could lose their job, be unable to secure a loan for a car, home or college education, and find their life savings and retirement in jeopardy. Our economy depends on having liquid assets available for credit and lending just as an automobile engine needs oil. If those liquid assets stop flowing, our economy will be seriously damaged and will require far more costly and lengthy repairs.

This bill does not represent a new and sudden departure from free market principles as much as it represents an emergency response to congressional actions that have ignored free market principles, and our Constitution, for decades. If anyone in Washington should offer their resignation it should be the members of Congress who peddled the fantasy of free home ownership without risk. No institution in our country is more responsible for the myth or borrowing without consequences than the United States Congress.

As much as members of Congress want to find scapegoats, the root of this problem is political greed in Congress. Members of Congress from both parties wanted short-term political credit for promoting home ownership even though they were putting our entire economy at risk by encouraging people to buy homes they couldn’t afford. Then, instead of conducting thorough oversight and correcting obvious problems with unstable entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, members of Congress chose to ignore the problem and distract themselves with unprecedented amounts of pork-barrel spending...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Profile in Partisanship.

Perhaps she just couldn't help herself. Perhaps Ms. Pelosi is just so partisan and doctrinaire in her marrow, that the opportunity to take cheap political shots with a national stage provided by the House vote on the "Bailout Bill" could not be refused. Whatever the reason, given the grave nature of the crisis that has been claimed and the need for political unity to insure passage of the bill, Pelosi made an extremely foolish choice in dogpiling on the GOP. It was a embarassing display of arrogance and a moronic misjudgement of human nature and behavior.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Revealing Character, or Lack Thereof.

It seems that in any Democrat congressional leader's discussion of the financial crisis is a required divestment of any responsibility of any Democrat for the mess. Their interpretation of the responsibility for the problem seems to coincide with the 2001 inauguration of George Bush, or with the rise of the GOP leglislative power in 1995 (but abruptly ending with the recovery of that power by Democrats in 2007).

One can easily excuse this revisionism as typical politics. But this excuse debases the justified anger that Americans feel toward the extraordinary negligence demonstrated by our government leaders, in both Congress and the White House, of both Republicans and Democrats. It demonstrates a lack of character, a clear lack of comprehension of the essentials of politcal leadership.

In other words, ladies and gentlemen, cut the crap and own the problem, and maybe history will bestow a scintilla of honor upon you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Essential Reading.

Enormous spin is being applied by the Democrat Congressional Politburo on the "causes" of the Mortgage Meltdown. Investor's Business Daily has published a five-part history of the disaster, whose genesis can be traced as far back as the late '70s. It's a story of good intentions (expanding home ownership), employing delusional economic ideas (one can loan money to people who will likely default; marketing securities based on these risky mortages), and strong-arm partisan politics (the stonewalling of effective oversight by Fannie and Freddy through the purchase of political protection).

Brace yourself against the fierce winds that will be blowing, claiming that "the private sector got us in this mess, and government will get us out".* And read the IBD special reports.

*Recent discharge by Barney Frank.