• The middle class ain't working at Wal-Mart, Mike.

    June 15, 2009 at 6:19 p.m.

  • VBB
    I cannot remotely compare Yoakum to Chicago…Don’t know what you are talking about.

    I want the free market to prosper; my portfolio depends on it, but I also know that the middle class must have a decent wage, benefits, and rights in order to purchase goods these corporations offer…It’s a two way street.

    The Chicago City Council was acting on ordinances voted in by the voters. Works both ways municipals give tax abatements or other incentives to entice new businesses and enact city ordinances to keep some out…The American way…The ballot box.

    June 15, 2009 at 12:21 p.m.

  • Sorry, but I am a free market loyalist, always have been, always will be. We should have never bailed anyone out, sink or swim, there are others that will step up & replace those that failed. We must always have mistakes to learn from. As far as Wal-Mart is concerned, I haven't stepped foot in one in about a year & I have no plans to in the near future. It does make me wonder how those that work at Wal-Mart outside Chicago downtown like being paid considerably less. City Councils should never be allowed to set pay scales for businesses in their cities....look at Victorias city council...I don't trust them as far as I can throw them. Also the thought of keeping a captive work force (keeping out big box stores or making them pay more)may not be in the publics best interest, not to mention ethically responsible....for a good example of that...see Yoakum.

    June 14, 2009 at 6:12 p.m.

  • VBB
    Is that the same free market that said “leave us alone” and when they went under said “bail us out?”

    Anyway the $10 an hour was for the downtown district and the city council voted that in…Are you saying that a city cannot vote on city ordinances?Wal-Mart is in Chicago on the out skirts ,the last time I was there.

    Those companies would have never paid a decent wage,hired minorities and women,extentended benefits on their own…e.g. Lilly Ledbetter, a production supervisor at a Goodyear tire plant in Alabama, filed an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, six months before her early retirement in 1998. The courts gave opposite verdicts, first supporting the pliant and later opposing; in conclusion the pliant brought the case to the attention of the Supreme Court. The latter ruled in 2007 by a 5-4 majority vote that Ledbetter's complaint was time-barred because the discriminatory decisions relating to pay had been made more than 180 days prior to the date she filed her charge, as explained by Justice Samuel Alito. The minority position explained by Justice Ruth Ginsburg proposed an interpretation according to which the law runs from the date of any paycheck that contains an amount affected by a prior discriminatory pay decision.[2]
    EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK benefitted women ….Big business loves a free-market loyalist

    BTW mega retailers will not stay out of Chicago,volume,volume,volume, will still allow them to give those elaborate golden parachutes,CEO pay and benefits and maybe they can use Chicago to say "see we pay a good wage and give benefits."..Good PR

    June 13, 2009 at 10:11 a.m.

  • I do hope mega retailers steer clear of Chicago. I'm sure their are many in Chicago that would be more than happy to have a job at Federal minimum wage. How is it the governments business to mandate certain companies pay their employees more than other companies have to pay? Isn't that kinda what the unions did to the car manufacturers? The ones who aren't unionized are doing okay, the ones who are..well look where they are. Government needs to butt out of the free market.

    June 12, 2009 at 9:28 p.m.

  • Settle down Mike, I already knew about certain localities imposing there own minimum wage. Besides my comment did not mention minimum wages ( indirectly, I guess it did).

    A living wage is a relative term, depending on the cost of living of a area.

    If you ask anyone what a living wage is, I am sure you would get a wide range of answers. After all, they will live, but maybe just not like they want to. Hamburger instead of Prime Rib ect.

    Living beyond there means, a big factor as to why we are in the financial shape we are.

    June 12, 2009 at 7:48 p.m.

  • The Republicans Party irrelevant and Right wing conservative talk show hosts have sealed this fate. Considers the following:

    The latest USA TODAY/Gallup poll, in which 33% of Republicans questioned had an unfavorable opinion of their own party. Another thing that might be discouraging for the GOP is that most people have no clue as to who is their leader.

    “A 52% majority of those surveyed couldn't come up with a name when asked to specify "the main person" who speaks for Republicans today. Of those who could, the top response was radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh (13%), followed in order by former vice president Dick Cheney, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former House speaker Newt Gingrich. Former president George W. Bush ranked fifth, at 3%.

    So the dominant faces of the Republican Party are all men, all white, all conservative and all old enough to join AARP, ranging in age from 58 (Limbaugh) to 72 (McCain).”

    And in line with Rush being named by the most people as spokesman for the GOP, the survey also said the Limbaugh Lemmings are willing to follow their leader off the cliff.

    “A majority of those surveyed said the party should make changes to draw moderates. Among Republicans, however, nearly two-thirds said the party would be better off by holding a conservative line and advocating it more effectively — as Limbaugh advocates.”

    “From Bush's inauguration in 2001 to Obama's inauguration in 2009, Republicans lost significant support among nearly every major demographic group, according to a Gallup analysis — among men and women, Americans at all income levels, residents of every region and those ages 18-64.

    The losses were particularly steep among those under 30, the rising Millennial generation. Support for the GOP among college graduates fell by about 10 percentage points. Surveys of voters as they left polling places also showed a significant decline among Hispanics, the nation's fastest-growing ethnic group.”

    The party of Abe Lincoln has become the party of Abe Simpson.

    June 12, 2009 at 7:39 p.m.

  • Legion I expect people to know a little before mocking.
    Anyway I found the source.

    Chicago approves a plan requiring big-box retailers to pay a "living wage" to their employees, making it the biggest city in the nation with such a law. The city council brushed aside warnings from Wal-Mart and other companies to pass the

    ordinance after three hours of debate. The measure requires mega-retailers to pay wages of at least $10 an hour plus $3 in fringe benefits by mid-2010. Critics say it will lead to hemorrhaging of jobs in the city. A court challenge is expected.

    June 12, 2009 at 7:17 p.m.

  • Well Mike I was unaware of varying minimum wages...thanks for the info! If they do have universal healthcare then we should not do you said...look at their economic state. God forbid the rest of the country goes the way of California.

    June 12, 2009 at 7:13 p.m.

  • Since legion seems to mock everything he does not understand ,here is part of the story ,and if I have time time ,I will provide anoyher source.
    Statement on the passage of the Chicago Living Wage Ordinance, by Paul Blank, campaign director of

    "By passing the Chicago Living Wage Ordinance by a veto proof margin, the City Council sent a loud and powerful message to irresponsible companies, like Wal-Mart - it is time for you to change and become a more responsible corporate citizen.

    June 12, 2009 at 7:12 p.m.

  • VBB
    I was Chicago in 2005 when Wal-Mart was being kept out the city limits because they wouldn’t pay the $10 minimum wage. I believe Boston,NY and San Francisco have the same laws…San Francisco has universal health care to boot but we know California’s economic shape….I threw that in as a bonus…I know how much you love that state.

    Cities can’t go below Federal minimum wage but they can have their own.

    June 12, 2009 at 7:06 p.m.

  • LOL, yeah I know, that's why I read & reread it a few times before I commented.

    June 12, 2009 at 7:01 p.m.

  • Mike seems to be prone to a few misstatements lately VBB.

    Of course he will tell you that you took it out of context.

    June 12, 2009 at 6:57 p.m.

  • Mike..."higher paying minimum wage jobs"...huh??? Isn't the minimum wage the same everywhere? Are there degrees of minimum wage that I was unaware of? I'm confused & this time it's not due to the double Jack & Ale I had on the plane.

    June 12, 2009 at 6:23 p.m.

  • Sorry that should have been "why I bother" instead of "I don't know I try"

    June 12, 2009 at 12:36 p.m.

  • Johnny
    I don’t know I try; everything I post comes back with a 1000 word rebuttal with credentials to….I am just a lowly poster with an opinion.:-)

    For decades, Americans have trickled steadily out of cities into suburbia -- and then into exurbia. But with gas prices high and likely to stay there, the wallet-conscious are now poised to trickle back in. In 2003, the average suburban household spent $1,422 on gasoline annually; in April 2008, that had leaped to $3,196 per year. "Before it was 'we spend too much time driving,'" says Phil Boyle, who commutes nearly an hour into Denver, Colo. "Now, it's 'we spend too much time and money driving.'" A recent survey of 903 real estate agents found that 78 percent of prospective home buyers cited fuel costs for their inclination toward city living. Though sprawl has become as American as a flag lapel pin, experts say the trend to move inward has the potential to revamp the look of the U.S. city.

    I know the 903 real estate agents from Denver are not representative or something like that.:-)

    June 12, 2009 at 12:29 p.m.

  • Johnny
    We have a multi-culture country today; so that movement is coming from apartment dwellers that have moved into the city for higher paying minimum wage jobs. Nothing to do with politics but all to do with looking up the new demographics. A current look at the unemployment figures will bear that out. I’m not exaggerating anything.

    BTW I am able to read and I have access to newspapers, television, radio, documentaries, and the public library… Believe it or not.

    June 12, 2009 at 12:05 p.m.

  • As far as people flocking to cities, flocking is a pretty big exaggeration. Regardless, a mass urban inflight of the degree to be called "flocking" would be pretty hard to do when you can't sell your house because everyone is abandoning the suburbs. That in itself disproves the enmasse urban inflight argument (ie: the argument you hear from the politicians proposing such a punitive approach to alternative energy development).

    Most of the urban regentrification we see today is from two primary groups: young single or newly married homebuyers and empty nesters. Urban inflight is not a meaningful trend amongst families. I've seen many intelligent and informed opinions that this urban revitalization trend is a leading indicator of a future material negative native population growth (ie: less people will be having kids, those that do will be having less kids, most population growth will come from immigration).

    It is pretty clear the enmasse urban inflight argument is a half baked rationalization to further the promotion of an unsound proposal. We must remember, people can rationalize virtually anything back into moral or fundamental boundaries. It is the exact same thought process that we see from excessive deregulation attempts.

    June 12, 2009 at 11:51 a.m.

  • This is a discussion, not a one sided argument. I am avoiding any "personal opinion", sticking to the facts as they are known publicly and the discussions had amongst market and risk analysts (of which I am one). That in itself introduces opinion as the discussions largely consist of prediction.

    I have never suggested that the status quo is the perfect answer. But it is better than some half rationalized idea that putative taxes on the average American citizen, along with higher tax on industry, is going to generate alternative fuels and transportation infrastructure overnight.

    Farmers and ranchers were going out of business left and right last summer. The Federal Government does not subsidize farmers to such a degree to avoid a material decline in production capacity with a gas tax. Even the current Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, is strongly opposing a gas tax for these reasons, among others. I'll trust his information and professional opinion well above that of some Congressman from innercity-LA.

    Lets talk about the lingering ill effects of when gas went to $3, and then $4 a gallon due to commodity speculators. Nearly all airlines were on the brink of bankruptcy, the auto industry is now in bankruptcy, trucking companies and railroads were falling left and right, food prices increased rapidly, food shortages exacerbated in developing countries (as they are heavily reliant on the US), personal savings rates plummeted, personal discretionary spending plummeted, it materially contributed to the depreciation of homes in suburban and outlying markets, amongst many many other negative results.

    As I said before, and it really is the bottom line, which is why the majority of legislators are not seriously considering such a punitive tax, it that the average American has no other viable alternative. A 50% increase in fuel prices will reek economic havoc. Cash (or wealth) is finite and always must source from somewhere. Increased taxes must be paid by reducing cash out flow to someplace else. Cash flow is far more often indirect than direct. This is to say, direct cash flow is a person gets paid for doing a job. Indirect cash flow is a cause/effect relationship, akin to "a penny saved is a penny earned". As I said before, absent existing viable alternatives, all a gas tax will do is unnecessarily stress our economy.

    June 12, 2009 at 11:46 a.m.

  • Johnny
    No offense intended but you have their way of turning a simple concept into a long drawn out, point by point, one sided argument. It is as though no perfect solution ,is the reason for status quo. It is quite obvious that the comparison between land mass, population, and habits between United States and Japan are different. General Eisenhower could have used the same logic instead of investing in interstate highways. As I recall the naysayers were saying the same thing about JFK expensive space exploration.

    Anyway I think you are wrong because when the price of gasoline went to $3, without any prodding from government, the people in large metropolitan areas started using and the metro system. According to a USA Today people are flocking to the cities, not vice versa. Agriculture for the most part is subsidized by the United States government, so they will never go under. No one is buying those scare tactics anymore. Politicians need to quit pandering to the Iowa corn growers because corn ethanol will not be part of our alternative energy solution. Congress is currently looking at the farm subsidies and deciding whether it is in the best interest of this country to continue rewarding corporate farms. We have a financial crisis and eventually we must all make a sacrifice.

    The jury is still out.

    June 12, 2009 at 10:54 a.m.

  • Bankruptcy varies from state to state due to things like differences in legal entity structures, community property rights, homestead exemptions, estate laws, etc, all of which are state specific legal issues.

    As it relates to Japan's experiment with gas taxes, the US is a far different place than Japan. Japan is a far smaller place, with far more compact population centers and a far more advanced public transportation infrastructure. Driving 20 miles to work in Japan is rare. Here it is commonplace. For such an idea to have the same results here, you would have to bulldoze down all suburbs, bulldoze most of all US cities, rebuild the cities to be much more compact and to contain masses of high density housing, and immediately establish high speed public transportation systems.

    In Japan, there were in place viable alternatives. Due to the compact population centers, it was possible walk or ride a bike a few blocks up to a few miles to work. Even the more further transportation needs could be met be existing public transportation or riding scooters in relatively slow moving traffic.

    None of these are viable options in most of the US. Not to mention, Japan imports most of its agricultural commodities from places that do not have such a punitive fuel tax (ie: primarily Russia and the US). Here, agriculture is the largest natural resource industry we have. Such a punitive tax would drive up food prices while simultaneously driving farmers out of business. Such a tax would effect every element of agricultural production, from fertilizer cost (made from fossil fuels), to planting and harvesting cost (big tractors are fuel hogs), to increased delivery costs.

    Maybe a fuel tax would work in concentrated cities like NY, but it seems a very short sighted idea for the rest of America.

    You have a point as to the rating industries. However, once again, that was caused by a mix between ignorance as to the nature of the investments and a lack of regulation (as opposed to de-regulation). The ignorance is inexcusable in regards to the rating industry, that is what they a hired to do. But once again, it is easier to determine risk with a road map then it is to guess what’s around the bend when trudging through unexplored wilderness.

    I still think an investigation will only be for academic purposes. Not that such would be fruitless. It would help fill in the road map. But, other than the here and there low level of individual specific bad behavior, I do not think such will uncover a mass fraud or organized malfeasance.

    June 12, 2009 at 9:28 a.m.

  • Legion357
    Scroll down for the proper context.
    I mentioned credit cards and bankruptcies.

    June 11, 2009 at 8 p.m.

  • "I disagree credit cards have imploded and the upcoming months will prove that out.As unemplyment keeps rising"

    Huh? If unemployment keeps rising it only makes sense that more consumers will choose to keep there lights on and to eat, than to pay there credit cards and the usurious interest rates credit card companies charge.

    Credit card companies may have not imploded yet, but they may.

    All that being said, credit card companies have already been re payed as far as the principal is concerned, they will only miss out on the interest they expect to earn.

    June 11, 2009 at 6:03 p.m.


    As consumers face a cornucopia of bad financial news -- plunging home values, higher food and gas prices, a shrinking job market and the like -- there is one place they may be turning to fill in the gaps: credit cards.

    U.S. consumers are already burdened with a mountain of debt: $2.54 trillion at the end of February, according to the Federal Reserve. Revolving debt, which typically comes from credit cards, has increased at a faster rate than overall debt since the summer of 2006 -- right about when the housing market began to implode

    I disagree credit cards have imploded and the upcoming months will prove that out.As unemplyment keeps rising

    June 11, 2009 at 5:38 p.m.

  • Johnny
    I am not necessarily disagreeing with your scenarios and theories but I am saying the jury’s is still out.

    WASHINGTON -- The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is opening a probe into causes of the global financial crisis, focusing in part on whether bond-ratings firms, driven by conflicts of interest, boosted mortgage investments that have since collapsed.

    I don’t know what you meant by bankruptcy laws are different from state to state

    Each of the 94 federal judicial districts handles bankruptcy matters, and in almost all districts, bankruptcy cases are filed in the bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy cases cannot be filed in state court. Bankruptcy laws help people who can no longer pay their creditors get a fresh start by liquidating their assets to pay their debts, or by creating a repayment plan.

    Bankruptcy laws also protect troubled businesses and provide for orderly distributions to business creditors through reorganization or liquidation. These procedures are covered under Title 11 of the United States Code (the Bankruptcy Code). The vast majority of cases are filed under the three main chapters of the Bankruptcy Code, which are Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13.

    The lack of oversight theory that most pundits and economists agree on, is that everyone was making money and no one wanted to be the one to burst the bubble.

    The final story has not been told.

    Japan used the high gasoline method and it worked well for them;keeping them out of the red for 70 years..They are in the red now but still ahead of the U.S....

    June 11, 2009 at 5:21 p.m.

  • As it relates to artifical inflation in fuel prices, I was referring to the talk (out of Washington and elsewhere) of putting jacked up taxes on gasoline and diesel as a means to pressure alternative development. As there exists currently no viable alternative, that will only stress the economic system and create across the board inflation. It is akin to punishing a kid because the teacher failed to assign homework. If there was currently available a viable alternative, such punative taxes may work as desired.

    As to the perfect storm, where we depart is that I consider a perfect storm consisting of the coming together randomly of separate and unrelated events, thereby creating an exponential increase in damage potential by the combining of effects.

    With the exception of the specualtor driven fuel prices in 2008, the financial and real estate crisis are all closely related events, whereby a self feeding cycle was created, similar to the ultimate result of any Ponzi scheme.

    Bankruptcy laws vary state to state, and credit cards have not yet imploded. That is one item that if did occur now, would undeniably move us from severe recession to a full blown depression.

    Regardless, oversight was lacking, but then again, it was more due to ignorance (ie: not understanding the effects of swamping the market with completely new forms of investments and thereby completely lacking in regulatory oversight) as opposed to malfeasance (ie: de-regulation for dubious reasons).

    To say otherwise, is to say that the investment banks pushing the supply driven demand (ie: the demand was from investors seeking more mortgages, which in turn created an incentive for buyers to purchase) where intentionally setting themselves up for catastrophic financial failure. In hindsight, it is clear the only possible result of these activites would be some form of a real estate correction. Maybe less, or maybe more than what we are currently undergoing.

    Our financial system has many times in the past reinstated previously disbanded regualtions upon recognizing the makings of a financial crisis. In other words, historically speaking, we had a road map from previous cycles, which resulted in regulation (which later were removed). When the same type of things start happening, the Fed was quick to reinstate such regulations.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:55 p.m.

  • Johnny
    This is what the investigation is revealing (congressional hearing) so all I am saying is “Hold the boat” on all the answers..All the answers for the financial crisis have yet to come out.

    Capitol Hill Republicans investigating the fire sale purchase of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America last year are digging for evidence of improper behavior by two Bush appointees – former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

    Newly uncovered e-mails from inside the Federal Reserve, released by these Republicans, show that Paulson, Bernanke and other government officials used a heavy hand to make sure Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis completed the already-announced acquisition.

    At issue is whether or not the government put improper pressure on Lewis to move ahead with the proposed acquisition of Merrill Lynch, even though he had learned that Merrill’s losses were far worse than he thought, and he worried that the purchase might imperil his own shareholders.

    June 11, 2009 at noon

  • Johnny
    Yesterday, we found out that Mr. Lewis CEO of Bank of America was pressured to buy Merrill Lynch, even though he knew it was a failing proposition. Check out yesterday’s congressional hearing on YouTube…. We never want to over regulate the financial markets but we need relevant information, so the SEC can decide what the leverage should be. Congress needs to do their oversight obligation.

    You want to dismiss my perfect storm scenario, like AAA credit ratings being manipulated by the bondholders, stricter bankruptcy laws, and giving the credit card companies more control over their predatory policies but the democratic Congress is not.

    An artificially increase in fuel prices is not what I proposed. I proposed a temporary stable price on the price of fuel. If the price of a barrel of an oil remains low, the profit generated by the stable prices would distributed as a rebate to those that are more vulnerable and the remaining would be and use for alternative energy grants. It is thought that if fluctuation in fuel prices discourages the innovator and investors. Part of the reason we are in this economic mess is because our leaders and fail to think beyond the box and the continued to practice the same old failed policies.....IMO

    Like I continue to say, I’m not an expert and I don’t hold a “truth certain” but I find the subject fascinating and I continue to learn every day.

    June 11, 2009 at 10:05 a.m.

  • Other than for academic purposes, I'm not sure what the purpose of an investigation will be. This was not foreseen, it was not the result of any one party (or person) manipulating the system for their gain.

    This was the result of an accumulation of new, misunderstood financial products, whose foundation was in poorly underwritten consumer credit instruments, which in turn were based on artificially high collateral values due to the market feeding upon itself. This is to say, as demand for homes went up due to artificially low interest rates (again, the product of an attempt to tamper back down the economic market correction which was naturally occurring in the first few years of the 21st century), prices increase, as prices increase, fairly recent home purchasers become sellers in order to get in on the fun; eventually, the artifical value increases exceed the ability for the very consumers (and individual speculative investors) that were playing this game to afford to play any longer. Then, as demand dries up, prices fall, demand by non-specualtive homebuyers then decreases further (because who in their right mind would by anything today when it is certain to be cheaper tomorrow). This shock wave of immediate seizure of cash flow through real estate market speads across the economy, and the chain reaction goes on.

    As an auxillary effect, the value of the mortgage backed securities plummets. Investors lose tons of capital due to the value drop, and those institutions which had pledged supporting derivatives (ie: a form of value guarantee) cannot support their obligations as unlike regulated forms of insurance, there were no required capital reserves. As a result, these institutions begin to fail also.

    Someone said, it was a perfect storm. Not exactly. Other than the increased severity due to the already weakened consumer spending ability caused by severe oil price inflation, in hindsight, this was a self fufilling prophecy in which there was really no other possible step down from the self-feeding frenzy. Once again, it is the severity of correction that has gotten out of hand.

    What I find incredulous, is that we now have people seriously talking about artifically increasing fuel prices as a means to curb emmissions when a like artifical price on fuel (caused by market speculators) was one of the primary issues that weakened our economic structure so severely that left our system incapable of absorbing the real estate correction.

    All in all, it was the speculators, be it speculators in: oil, mortgage backed securities, hedge instruments, or even the actual home itself, who are are the crux of the current economic crisis.

    June 11, 2009 at 9:21 a.m.

  • Johnny
    I hope you accept my sincere apologies for my obnoxious answer to your well thought out post...I was wrong to do this.

    It is just that I get so angry when people think Barney Frank or Frank Rains are the main players in this crisis.

    I am also frustrated because a lack of an investigative committee….I cannot elaborate much because it will taken as rumor or a conspiracy theory, but I can say this much….Joe Biden is from the credit card capital of the world, Deleware…The credit card industry received favorable legislation on their usury fees and the bankruptcy laws were tighten favoring the lenders…This is what I am calling a perfect financial storm…This all happened in that time frame.

    This is a not a partisan issue and not necessarily illegal. You certainly do, but, we must all do our homework and don’t let group think allow legislation do us in.

    Again I am embarrassed, so I hope you accept my apology.

    Wayward You might well be right ,and that frustrates me.

    June 10, 2009 at 6:12 p.m.

  • Mike..."Someday we will have a complete investigation into the whole matter"

    Wanna bet? This will be covered up as so many other government debacles over the years. NO government officials will ever be indicted, but I'll wager a Big Mac to a Whopper that there will be some bank officers who will be. The biggest reason I'm a member of NO party is that government at all levels is (mostly) corrupt.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:42 p.m.

  • Only an investigation committee will detail all the facts.
    We still have to know the details of the Hank Paulson, Bernanke and Christopher Cox connection like Citi Group and Goldman Sachs.

    Alan Greenspan has already told congress about his role in purposely keeping interest rates low instead of following market standards….The 40% leverage was overlooked..The GOP failed to do its oversight obligation and the Dems followed suit.

    To simply say here are all the facts is just not creditable….I certainly don’t pretend to know everything that went wrong because we have not proved that truth certain.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:22 p.m.

  • Again that's your one-sided story that does not coincide with the facts.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:08 p.m.

  • Mike, not exactly. The problem was not solely due to de-regulation, but rather, a lack of regulation on new forms of securitized investment products (ie: mortgage backed securities). Mortgages, which in turn were issued on much reduced underwriting standards.

    These reduced mortgage underwriting standards, however, were the result of de-regulation. De-regulation passed by a bi-partisan vote in a Republican majority congress. De-regulation supported and signed into law by the Democrat administration (note: Clinton had cabinet members stumping in front of Congress in support of this very legislation).

    Where the de-regulation you guys mentioned gets mixed up in this is that the Gramm legislation (also approved on a bi-partisan basis) removed restrictions on banks from involving themselves in certain investing activities. While it is true the de-regulation made it easier for banks to bundle these mortgages and offer them as security instruments, only so to the degree that all they would of had to do otherwise is set up an affiliated investment firm. This was the exact same practice prior to Gramm de-regulation, which was one of the motivating factors to gain approval as the existing regulation was largely seen as nothing more than a requirement to file useless paperwork (ie: because the market had already found a means to circumvent legally).

    Neither of these two de-regulation acts, in and of themselves, caused the current problem. However, market abuses up the entire chain, from envious consumer to greedy institutional investors, created a supply driven demand enabled by the combination of the effects of these two forms of de-regulation in addition to a complete lack of regulation on new investment products and the risk hedging instruments associated with them (ie: derivatives).

    June 10, 2009 at 5:02 p.m.

  • DonMader

    A bad choice of words on my part after re-reading your post but It was early January 2007 when Mr. Frank gave that false report about the condition of Fannie & Freddie, but even thou John McCain warned about it and President Bush mentioned the problem, the GOP controlled house, senate and executive never brought up any legislation, besides like I said Alan Greenspan’s low interest rates made the conditions favorable for a perfect financial storm......Mr. Franks assessment had nothing to do with AIG, Citi Bank and the Wall Street credit defaults…Like Malaise correctly pointed out this all started by (R) Phil Gramm's work in deregulating financial institutions…..The SEC was asleep and as we speak congress is grilling the Fed Chairman….We now know that the that the banks went out looking for the perfect credit risky candidate to prey on…True, the consumer did not have to sign but many did.

    Someday we will have a complete investigation into the whole matter and we will be all surprised on what we find….Greed is found in all parties, creed, and color…Let the chips fall where they may.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:28 p.m.

  • Mike,

    I didn't say that ol'Barney was the only one at fault but the problem has been developing for quite awhile. Even John McCain warned about the problem several years ago, AND, correct me if I'M wrong, but as late as a year ago or so Barney Frank went out of his way to claim everything was just peachy dandy keen with Fanny and the bank loans being offered to people who wouldn't ordinarily qualify. Now that was ludicrous!

    June 10, 2009 at 4:06 p.m.

  • Somehow that does not surprise me.
    About Byrd....So.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:21 p.m.

  • Speaking for myself, I will be buying Ford products until GM and Chrylsler are no longer owned by the goverenment or UAW.

    Also, in the effort to be fair and balanced, Senator Robert Byrd (D) was a Klan member.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:19 p.m.

  • Stop bashing Bush? Nah, he's like a bad rash or jock itch that won't go away.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:47 p.m.

  • Thanks Malaise

    NBC is reporting this story.

    NBC News is reporting that the suspect in Wednesday's shooting at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. is James W. Von Brunn, an 89-year-old man with ties to white supremacist groups.

    All the stories about Sotomayor being a racist, tying the murder of Pvt. Long to a political agenda, and glorifying the death of Dr. Tiller will only fuel these crazies. A Man who threaten the life of President Obama was arrested last week in Arkansas.Is that the fifth one?

    Political differences are one thing, but the constant barrages of lies, misstatements, and half truths should never be part of the story. If you can’t prove your point with the truth, what good is it?

    June 10, 2009 at 2:08 p.m.

  • Don't forget (R) Phil Gramm's work in deregulating financial institutions.

    I guess these people will find a way for blame Obama for the shooting at the Holocaust Museum today. Looks like the extremists are frustrated about being out of power. They've declared open season on Jews, gays, people of color, doctors who perform legal surgeries, anything that makes them mad.

    Domestic terrorism. It ain't just for Timothy McVeigh any more.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:52 p.m.

  • DonMader
    As I recall a statue limitations did not run out on Bill Clinton until about eight months ago.

    President Bush has been out of office for about five months but his policies are still intact. In fact it was he who turned the problems of the big three automakers to Barack Obama. Dick Cheney verified that last week.

    If you think the Congressman Barney Frank created this banking crisis, you ought a step back, read a little bit more into what Alan Greenspan said in his mea culpa to. congress. The GOP had a bubble economy led by the Feds artificially low interest rates to coincide with housing predatory loans and Wall Street derivatives…. Blaming the financial crises on one person, or any particular party is ludicrous and not well founded.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:38 p.m.

  • "I speak today as both a citizen of the United States and of the world." Ronald Reagan 6/17/82.

    Thrice-married Newt is a self-absorbed liar and self-promoter. Converting to his wife's religion isn't going to help.

    Rush drives an import worth several hundred thousand dollars. Who is he to be telling working Americans what not to drive in affordable transportation?

    Dreaming up projects for their listeners won't matter. In a short period of time they'll all forget what the project was about as they go after birth control pills or whether 18 year olds should have access to library books.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:28 p.m.

  • I can’t keep up anymore Vet, first it was changing the name of French fries to freedom fries because France did not support a “War of Choice’, Bill O’Reilly said the Factor’s boycott hurt France..Lol … He uses some obscure financial magazine to back up his claim. Then it was a threat to boycott Spain, if they continued their efforts to put the former vice president Dick Cheney on trial for war crimes….. Before this boycott, it was the grassroots Tea Parties sponsored by Fox News…lol

    Then there was that culture war captained by Mr. Bill O’Reilly and Operation Chaos (Obama v, Clinton) led by Commander Rush Limbaugh.

    If only they could put this much effort into finding solutions for the problems of today.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:22 p.m.

  • VietnamVet,

    You really need to get over it and stop bashing Bush - it's all old news. why don't you pick on a current politician who's worthy of bashing because of his support of Fannie Mae, etc., who helped create the banking crisis by turning a blind eye to the clowns who caused it? Say... somebody like good old Barney Frank?

    June 10, 2009 at 1:16 p.m.

  • In essence they're boycotting Bush:

    Didn't this used to be called un-American.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:03 p.m.