Wall Street Lessons from Full Metal Jacket

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: [after discovering Private Pyle’s unlocked footlocker] Jesus H Christ. Private Pyle, why is your footlocker unlocked?

Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, I don’t know, sir.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: Private Pyle, if there is one thing in this world that I hate, it is an unlocked footlocker! You know that don’t you?

Private Gomer Pyle: Sir, yes, sir.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman:If it wasn’t for ****heads like you, there wouldn’t be any thievery in this world, would there?

This exchange between actors R. Lee Ermey and Vincent D’Onofrio in the movie Full Metal Jacket illustrates the proper role of government in the regulation of financial institutions.

It doesn’t matter how many honest men have access to your barracks, only how many thieves. If you leave your footlocker unlocked, a thief will likely find it and steal from you, and, as much as you would like to blame the thief for being a thief, it is your fault for giving them the opportunity to steal. It’s not like no one has ever stolen from a footlocker before and you shouldn’t have foreseen the probability of theft.

It also matters less how many good soldiers are in your unit than how many bad soldiers are in your unit. A single stupid, foolish or careless soldier can a lot of smart, thinking, deliberate soldiers killed.

In civilian life most thieves and idiots have little impact on the rest of us.

A Burglar can only break into one home at a time. Occasionally a neighborhood may be temporarily plagued by multiple burglaries, but even so, a relatively small percent of the population are hit for a relatively small amount of their personal wealth. It’s not like everyone in the neighborhood had their entire personal wealth wiped out. Just as with footlockers, it’s usually homeowner negligence that leads to a burglary – burglars usually enter through unlocked doors or windows.

While the small number of dolts we encounter in our daily lives may inconvenience or even temporarily infuriate us, they don’t usually get us killed. If every jerk that cut you off on the freeway caused a deadly accident, we would be extinct by now. It’s certainly infuriating to deal with computer tech support people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing and can barely speak English, but it is highly unlikely you will suffer bodily harm (aside from a possible stroke) as a result of your phonecall.

Things get different at the so-called “top of the heap” though. Look at how much damage 535 congresspeople can do the other 300 million of us, and, believe it or not, some of them are actually not drooling idiots hell bent on taking every dime you earn.

So it is in the financial world. A very, very small number of people making the wrong decisions can really screw us all. By the early 2000s it was clear that deregulation designed to increase home ownership (translation: government regulation forcing banks to lend money to people who could not repay it) and make money easier to get (translation: government regulation allowing banks to lend money to companies who could not possibly repay it) had the potential for a calamitous downside. This was the unlocked footlocker. Congressional Democrats (and to be fair, a few Republicans), who blocked Bush Administration efforts to raise mortgage standards slightly and to protect our financial institutions from the inevitable stupidity or thievery among their ranks for the last five years are the fools who didn’t lock the footlocker.

A few months back I wrote a column on the Mortgage Meltdown. It and a follow up column sent to subscribers to my real estate newsletter were not well received by most real estate or mortgage brokers or by my friends in financial services industries. I predicted that as a result of easy money to people who could not repay it:

“¢ Credit would tighten
“¢ Home sales would slow further
“¢ Home prices would continue to drop around the country and would start to drop in Portland
“¢ The economy would slow as a result

Friends will also remember what I said in private. If there was going to be real economic trouble, the kind that would hit everyone in the country hard, it would come in September or October. Being correct is small comfort.

I’ll close this column with the same quote with which I closed that other column. “Get ready for a bumpy ride.”

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  • Rupert in Springfield

    Thank you for putting this out there. I especially like how you have set the record straight on the double speak that is “decreased regulation” when applied in this instance.

    It is no secret that the government had been leaning heavily on banks to lend to people who couldn’t afford it. That’s not decreased regulation, that’s just simple regulation. The first I remember of it in recent times was with Janet Reno’s almost weekly press conferences talking about how she was dredging up the old “red-lining” scam to try and win Clinton support from minorities.

    Democrats invented the insanity of the government/corporate hybrid and now we are paying the price. This is especially so in regards to Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you have an entity operating as private corporation with all of its risk guaranteed by the government, what you essentially have is the corporate equivalent of a teenager set free with daddies charge card. The teenager does all the spending and reaps all the reward, daddy is stuck with the liability of the bill. What a surprise to find Chris Dodd and Obama are number one and number two on the bribery list from this bunch.

    Gee, I wonder if anyone will gain the same noteriety as Enron president Ken Lay did. Well, since most of the bribe money was going to guess who then I guess not.

    It sure would be nice if the stupid party, Republicans, would figure it out for once on this one. What the hell is the federal government doing in the home mortgage business? How does a creation as obviously financially insane as Freddie Mac Fannie Mae operate for as long as it did without people catching on to the fact that it is essentially a government slush fund?

  • Reper

    So Rupert what would you have Republicans do now?

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Step one would be McCain growing a pair.

    For one, get off of defense with this whole regulation/deregulation thing. What got us into trouble with Fmac and Fmae is the insanity of having government in the home loan business. Id that out, Id also point out how that tends to lead to predatory lending by government. The American people are on the hook for bailing out an bunch of jerks who either bought homes they couldn’t afford, or who bought homes as speculation with the taxpayer guaranteeing the loan. That has to stop. Why is government in the mortgage business might be a good question to start asking. FDR is dead, I mean really really dead. He is gone, in the ground. do you think it might quite possibly be time to start changing some of his basic ethos which has become the fundamental construct of our federal government?

    Second I don’t think failure of some of the businesses is the end of the world. You want to be Mr. Change? Point out that government is not in the business of bailing out private companies. People are plenty mad about the Bear Sterns bailout, don’t add to it.

    Stockholders will lose their investments? Granny is going to have to eat cat food? Too bad. I don’t pay taxes to insure your investments granny.

    Third. Go out and slap Nancy Pelosi. Did you ever see the movie Midnight Express? There was this big guard who every time there was trouble came in with this fast walk and this look on his face and tortured Brad Davis or whoever else was making trouble in the Turkish prison. I do that look and walk real well. It was kind of a more serious, Ill torture you, version of Ricky Ricardo’s “Lucy, you got a lot of splainin to do” look.

    Id offer to teach it to McCain. He needs to walk in with that walk and face and tell Pelosi that leadership is not being the first out of the box to say “don’t blame us, not our fault”. Tell her she can either get with the program and stop using the excuses of an eighth grader or get out of the way.

    Fourth. Republicans need to point out a little bit of the history here. Who was taking all the bribe money from Fmac and Fmae? Get the Robert Reich clip where he says that a lot of the Clinton policies led to this. Bush policies did as well, but Republicans are real quickly moving into their traditional bend over position on this one.

    Fifth. Republicans need to get it through their stupid idiot heads that the press will never like them. Playing nice nice never works for them. When the press, or Obama start going on and on about how this is about lack of regulation, Republicans need to be on offense. That means pointing out how federal regulation designed to pressure banks into issuing loans to anyone with a pulse was maybe a bad idea.

    Sixth. Haul Charlie Rangel out of the house in an official “stupid bag”. What the hell is this crap of being the head of the Ways and Means committee, the one that writes the tax code, and not knowing you had to pay taxes on your vacation house? What’s this crap about having four rent controlled apartments, something that is prohibited, in NYC?

    Ok, the sixth one is gratuitous, but if McCain wants to win this one, he better start doing some smack downs real quick because this whole thing has the potential to shift the “mo” in Obama’s direction real quick.

    • Tim Lyman

      Great points.

      I would add:

      7. Hard jail time for some of the board members of FNMA who used their respective foundations as funding sources for pet liberal causes and committed fraud to maximize their pay and bonuses.

      Remember Jamie Gorelick, she of “the wall” fame?

      From slate.com:

      Jamie S. Gorelick, whose official résumé describes her as “one of the longest serving Deputy Attorneys General of the United States,” a position she held during the Clinton administration. Although Gorelick had no background in finance, she joined Fannie Mae in 1997 as vice chair and departed in 2003. For her trouble, Gorelick collected a staggering $26.4 million in total compensation, including bonuses. Federal investigators (PDF) would later say that “Fannie Mae’s management directed employees to manipulate accounting and earnings to trigger maximum bonuses for senior executives from 1998 to 2003.” The New York Times would call the manipulations an “$11 billion accounting scandal.” Gorelick, it should be noted, has never been charged with any wrongdoing.

    • dean

      Rupert…I like your ideas. Politically that is. In for a dime, in for a dollar I say. Republicans and McCain should take this opportunity to go full stop down the Phil Gramm highway and get the federal government entirely out of “managing” the economy. Close down the Fed. Fire all the economic advisors. Free market all the way. Its a self-rigthing ship by definition. Who cares if it keels all the way over? Sure, a few grannies and single moms and their too many snot-nosed kids will drown, but hey….get over it. Its a watery jungle. get your own life raft. I think McCain could definitely win on that one don’t you? Its pithy.

      Otherwise what do you have? Tough minded, free market worshipping Republicans acting like weenie Democrats calling for MORE REGULATION to bail out their own bad investments! Dig it. Let the world economy tank. Fire all the regulators. If anyone breaks a law and gets caught, their head on a pike. Otherwise let the wild rumpus resume. Build a statue to Herbert Hoover and re-issue “Happy Days are Here Again”. Well okay, that was FDR’s song….but Obama can borrow it for a while.

      I’m right behind you Rupert old pal.

      • Crawdude

        Dean, isn’t this what you liberals always wanted ? The government in control of mortgages, insurance, pensions etc…? It socialism at its best, the complete control over every facet of a persons life.

        Granted , this was a back door way to gain control, very shrewd, no one saw it coming.

        Its looking like we are going to give the big 3 another 25 billion to bail them out. When they default on the loan the Feds will own them too………………….and we’ll be stuck with their pensions.

        Isn’t this what you want?

      • cc

        dean,

        Where is the reasoned, temperate persona we’ve come to know and loathe? You are suggesting wild and obviously unworkable actions that would destroy our country. Please take your medications.

        …Oh…

        Was that an attempt at humor?

        I repeat: take your medications!

        …and don’t quit your day job.

    • Tim Lyman

      Oh, and you can put Barney “I didn’t know my boyfiend was pimping 15 year olds out of our apartment” Frank in the stupid bag too.

      • dean

        Gee Tim….maybe homophobia will divert attention from the imploding Bush-McCain economy. It worked last time around with the war. Gays might get married….oh my Gawd!

        CD… If you mean we liberals want to have a collapsing financial structure just so we can impose socialism on the rest of you, the answer is no, we are not that well organized or that powerful. What we are experiencing is a consequence of foolish, short-sighted, ideologically driven deregulation of financial instututions….period. Are Democrats complicit? You bet. A number of them voted along with the Republicans, like McCain and Graham and Gingrich, who led the charge in carrying out Reagan’s dereg revolution. The Bush Administration and 12 years of a Republuican dominated Congress managed to dump enough ballast off the ship of state to allow it to list over to the side, in the mistaken idea that ballast was slowing down forward progress. They are now frantically pumping bllast back in beofre the ship keels completely over, but in rough seas it is anyone’s guess whther they are too little too late. It turns out you only need ballast when seas get stormy. Duh.

        Speaking only for 1 liberal, myself, what I want is a well regulated economic structure that inspects the books of lending institutions so they don’t go out on a thin limb, that insures deposits, and maintains a social safety net (including health insurance) that is not reliant on or invested in the stock market. In short, as I have argued previously, I want a mixed economy that includes capitalism and socialism in roughly equal proportions, more like western europe, but nothing like communism. I want ballast….not too much….not too little. Just enough.

        I want those managing government (sailing the ship) to be well educated, with good ethics, acting in our interest. in short….ELITISTS. I don’t want us electing a pair of yahoo know-nothings because one of them is physically attractive, folksy, an knows how to gut a moose.

        Little known fact. The national economy, by every meaningful measure (inflation, unemployment, GDP growth, deficit, etc…) has performed significantly better statistically under Democratic presidents than under Republican ones since the end of WW2…which is the only era when we have had govenment oversight of the economy. I can point you to the statistics if you like.

        • Crawdude

          Stats are useless, they can be made to support anything if manipulated enough.

          I think you vision is a grand idea, unfortunately with the corruption that permeates our government its a pipe dream.

          As far as the elitists, remember that the elitists are the ones in charge and we are in the shape we’re in still. You may not like the current ones but elitists they are all the same. What you want is “YOUR” elitists in charge, undfortunately they wouldn’t do any better I’m afraid.

          Be careful what you ask for, you may end up getting it.

          • dean

            Stats may be useless to you, but to me they give us a reality check. Sure, stats can be selected or used to decieve, but I’m talking here about the basics: GDP, inflation, unemployment, and so forth. One problem conservatives have right now, in my opinion, is with reality, which is why they hate statistics and pointy-headed elitists like me. But if we are going to have any objective way to understand how things are going beyond our own back yard, we have to rely on actual facts and not just how we feel about things.

            You have a good point though. Bush is basically an “elitist”: Andover, Yale, Harvard, old money east coast family, who has managed to trick his supporters and opponents into thinking he is a regular guy. His tendency towards political cronyism and disdain for government oversight led to him putting people in charge of agencies who had no idea or no interest in regulating. So they didn’t, from Iraq to Katrina to the SEC. Heckuva job Bushie.

            I think “my elites” will do better because they have more interest in appointing people to these positions who actually want to regulate. And I think “my elites” are more likely to reimpose regulatory standards that should never have been weakened to begin with. Historical statistics back up my belief. The economy does better under Democrats.

            So I do not think elites are “all the same.” And going back to my orignial post, if you, libertarians, other conservatives, and Republicans really want to get government out of the way, then put that proposal on the table and stay with it. Sell that one to the American people. Stop supporting politicians like McCain who are deregulators for 26 years and then all the suddent want to regulate. Its schitzoid behavior. If you really believe in the free market, then go for it and let the chips (or ship) or grannies fall where they may.

            Otherwise you don’t really believe in your own snake oil.

        • Gertrude Stein, Jr.

          As usual you do not address the poster’s points, but engage in character asassination.

          So exactly which part of Lyman’s statement about Barney Frank’s boyfriend pimping teenagers out of their apartment is untrue?

          Is it homophobic to point out Frank’s boyfriend’s crimes or Frank’s unbelieveable assertion that he didn’t know what was going on simply because they are gay?

          Would Lyman’s statement somehow cease to be homophobic if Frank wasn’t sleeping with the guy who was pimping teenagers out of their apartment?

          You are such a tool. No, that’s not character asassination, that’s character asessment.

        • Anonymous

          “Little known fact. The national economy, by every meaningful measure (inflation, unemployment, GDP growth, deficit, etc…) has performed significantly better statistically under Democratic presidents than under Republican ones since the end of WW2”

          Yeah, I remember the great economy we had under Jimmy Carter and my father remembers the great economies we had under Harry Truman and LBJ.

          More like well known lie.

  • Bob Clark

    Government! Can’t live with it. Can’t live without it.

    Government has a lot of blame in fostering the current market excesses, what with the likes of Allen Greenspan calling for folks to go into adjustable rate mortgages and keeping rates unusually low at 1% so people were tempted into speculation. But not all manias are caused by government. Cycles are a natural element of capitalism and someone is needed to cleanup when the “poker game” has gone bad. But no matter how much the government might try at first, there’s sure to be another poker game sometime down the line.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Dean:

    Once again you have lurched into the childish tactic of:

    1) Not reading what people say before launching your argument. One can only conclude you are as poor a listener as you are a reader.

    2) Taking the absurd case. Here of arguing that if someone is against some regulation, then its safe to infer they are against all regulation.

    Its childish, but from you, quite expected.

    I gave up long ago hoping you would take a more adult approach in your reasoning skills. Yet somehow your flailing away at what is for you a rather high wall into the castle keep of the realm of reason is always good for a giggle. Strange isn’t it? Colour me mysterious I suppose.

    • dean

      Rupert…I read your post word for word. You said McCain should “grow a pair” and presumably should advocate taking government out of the home loan business altogether. By saying “FDR is dead,” I presumed you meant repealing New deal era banking and stock oversight regulations. Did I assume wrong? Which would you keep? You said businesses should be allowed to fail. I assume you meant including AIG, even though most economists seem to think that would mean allowing the entire US financial system to tank. Did I asume wrong? Were you excepting AIG but not saying so? Don’t leave me guessing.

      Then you said so what if someone’s granny has to eat cat food. So I included a drowed granny on the overturned ship metaphor. Was that unfair? Should I have left her floating, clinging to a piece of wood, perhaps to be rescued by WallMart or FEMA, whichever got there first?

      As for your advocating “slapping Nancy Pelosi,” I let that slide. I could have said it was a sexist comment, but didn’t.

      And as for Charlie Rangel, I tend to agree with you.

      No….I’m not saying if someone is against some regulation then I should infer they are against all of them. What I am saying is that if your political/economic philosophy is that government is nearly always wrong or unecessary, and that free markets are best left alone, then go for it. Make that the actual program and live with the consequences. Take some responsibility for what you advocate. Conservatives are supposed to be into individual responsibility rather than blaming others for all their woes.

      And I am pleased to have amused you yet again.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Dean, one would think maybe at some point you would catch on that most people don’t fall for the straw man argument. It never works for you. Why do you persist in it? In this case we have typical Dean strategy number one, set up a straw man based upon non or misreading of clear statements.

    >I read your post word for word. You said McCain should “grow a pair” and presumably should advocate taking government out of the home loan business altogether.

    Yes.

    >By saying “FDR is dead,” I presumed you meant repealing New deal era banking and stock oversight regulations.

    Then you obviously have either incredibly poor reading skills or poor logic skills or are starting to lay the foundation for another inane straw man argument. Pick one.

    Look, don’t waste my time. You know what it means if you can read. See the sentence preceding it? Are you such a complete boob that you assume the sentence that follows, the one you refer to, has nothing to do with the preceding sentence?

    Here is the quote – “Why is government in the mortgage business might be a good question to start asking. FDR is dead, I mean really really dead. He is gone, in the ground. do you think it might quite possibly be time to start changing some of his basic ethos which has become the fundamental construct of our federal government?”

    You are so ridiculous, I mean this is the most childish set up of a straw man I have seen from you in a while.

    Do you ever win an argument? I mean ever?

    >Did I assume wrong?

    Of course not. You simply decided to set up a straw man argument in a plainly self evident manner.

    Now we both know you will never admit to that, and now you begin to feign an attitude that my writing is unclear. Like a child, you cant admit you are wrong

    >You said businesses should be allowed to fail. I assume you meant including AIG, even though most economists seem to think that would mean allowing the entire US financial system to tank.

    I sure would. And don’t give me most economists crap. You have a table that shows the total number of economists? give me a break. I don’t believe that AIG this sacred company that cant be allowed to fail.

    >Then you said so what if someone’s granny has to eat cat food. So I included a drowed granny on the overturned ship metaphor. Was that unfair? Should I have left her floating, clinging to a piece of wood, perhaps to be rescued by WallMart or FEMA, whichever got there first?

    No, it means I don’t feel any compulsion, morally or otherwise to back up granny’s investments. The next time I see a business endevour of mine fail, or I lose money on a stock trade and see the over 65 crowd rushing in to reimburse me, Ill reconsider it. I’m tiered of propping up the richest demographic by age by taking money from some kid who works at Burger King.

    >As for your advocating “slapping Nancy Pelosi,” I let that slide. I could have said it was a sexist comment, but didn’t.

    Good thing you did. Assuming Nancy Pelosi is immune from the suggestion that she deserves to be slapped based on her sex is about as sexist as it gets. Nice thing you recognized it.

    What’s up with you and the sexist and homophobia stuff today?

    Are you just in a really righteous mood?

    Oh, and on the homophobia tip from the another post. Do you actually even know any gay men? I don’t think you do. I think you are one of those liberals who a few decades ago was all about “some of my best friends are black”.

    I don’t think you have a single homo as a close friend.

    Yep, I think you are fagless in the friend department Dean.

    Oh, and don’t go giving me any BS about Barney Frank and the prostitute thing because I know a thing or two about the whole gay congressman thing.

    Guess who is a fag?

    ME, well at least some of the time, now I’m monogamous straight and married. Huh, that sounds weird. Oh well. Anyway…..

    Guess whose male ex dated the guy that Congressman Gerry Studds got all in trouble with?

    ME

    so guess who is a famous fag by proxy?

    ME

    So don’t you go giving me any sexist homophobe stuff.

    And yes, that was a slap.

    And what are you going to do about it?

    I’m waiting…………… my hands are on my hips.

    >And as for Charlie Rangel, I tend to agree with you.

    Why do I suddenly hear Aaron Copeland playing in the background?

    Oh my God, you actually criticized a Democrat.

    Well knock me over with an extremely flaky and delicious croissant. I never thought Id see the day.

    >What I am saying is that if your political/economic philosophy is that government is nearly always wrong or unecessary, and that free markets are best left alone, then go for it.

    I do

    >Make that the actual program and live with the consequences.

    Who ever said I didn’t?

    What you talkin ’bout white man?

    >Take some responsibility for what you advocate.

    Are you trying to psych me out with some sort of trick-knowledgy designed to confuse me by repeating the obvious?

    >Conservatives are supposed to be into individual responsibility rather than blaming others for all their woes.

    Affixing blame on the appropriate source is not the same as blaming others for ones woes.

    >And I am pleased to have amused you yet again.

    You always do you charmer you.

    A little homo lingo for you there. Don’t sweat it, I hate the Guatemalan hippie vest look.

    • dean

      Rupert…so much there to think about, including things I’d rather not think about. For now: yes I have actual gay friends, as well as those who go back and forth. Ran into a gay neighbor friend just yesterday at a sidewalk cafe in downtown Portland. Had a nice mutual kevetch about our little Damascus. I’m not sure that has anything to do with anything, but there it is.

      Beyond that…since you basically acknowledged every interpretation of your position I made, I’m going to sleep tonight knowing that my LTRR skills have greatly improved, even though you failed to give me any credit. It turns out I had no need of a straw man. I had you Rupert. The real deal.

      No…I have no comprehensive table of economists. You have me there. Let’s just say I have yet to read an article by a mainstream economist, or any economist that suggests that the government should allow AIG to go under and damn the consequences. Suck it up people, and let the market do its thing. Not a one.

      And on Pelosi…I said “I could have said” your comment was sexist. I didn’t say it, therefore you should not assume I thought it was sexist. I was actually being facetious, given all the sturm and drang over Sarah Palin expressed in these parts over the past few days. Imagine if Barak or Joe had said they feel someone should slap her! Rush Limbaugh would have a cow man!

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >Beyond that…since you basically acknowledged every interpretation of your position I made

    Damn, I knew you would do the weasel out thing. That’s funny.

    >And on Pelosi…I said “I could have said” your comment was sexist. I didn’t say it, therefore you should not assume I thought it was sexist.

    You are slipping man. I don’t think even you are exactly proud of this one.

    Look, the meaning of “could have” is plain in the English language, don’t try your words don’t have meanings crap with me. Remember I am the guy who called you on your inability to understand the difference between “several” and “all” which is the basis for 90% of your straw man set ups.

    Ok, so lets go to the tote board:

    You backed down when I pointed out your straw man by weaseling.

    You totally backed down on the sexist comment, that’s good. I kind of felt like my mom there with your response to my calling you on it.

    “What did you say young man?”

    “Nothing mom, I didn’t say it”

    “That’s right, I didn’t think so”

    And no, I don’t believe you really have any homo friends. I do believe you have homo acquaintances. I tend to find those on the left who are hypersensitive on sexist and homophobe issues tend to be the biggest sexists and homophobes around. I think its some sort of compensating thing. Anyway, its fairly common, that’s why I pointed it out.

    With me, you certainly proved your sexism with the Pelosi comment. I mean what the hell was that? That was like something my Dad would say and he is the biggest sexist I know, and he would tell you that.

    • dean

      Oh…I bet my dear departed dad would have out homophobed out sexiisted, and out racisted your dad any day of the week and twice on Sunday. He made Attila the Hun look like a liberal.

  • John in Oregon

    Turning the news into a video game, “Wall Street Meltdown” appears onscreen, and the Legacy Media talks up the problem, speaking gobbledygook about things they barely understand.

    I and others have seen the Scowling Faces pronounce the “guilty” list.
    George Bush (15),
    John McCain (14),
    Deregulation (12),
    Wall Street (10),
    Republicans (10)
    Predatory Lenders (9),
    John McCain’s staff meeting (9),
    Greed (8),
    CEO’s (4),
    Brokers (1),
    Irresponsible Borrowers (1),
    Congress (1),

    Concerned faces standing in the financial winds attacking the sea wall barely holding back a flood disaster. Ohh wait that’s a metaphor from a different mis-reported news story.

    Never to be uttered, never to pass the Legacy Media lips, corruption.
    Corruption.
    Government corruption.
    Fannie / Freddie corruption.
    Corrupt Government demands and social justice green line law suits.
    Political fixers lubricated with a $150 million lobbying slush fund.
    The OFHEO corruption investigation.
    Congress persons and Senators rushing to circle the wagons and block reform.
    Barny Frank railing that Fannie / Freddie must do more of the same mere hours before they collapse in financial ruin and the stench of corruption.

    The footlocker lid ripped off its hinges by corruption, government corruption, and the corrupt quest for Government power. Aided and abetted by a corrupt Legacy Media hell bent on telling the people what the Legacy Media know damn well is best for the country.

    • dean

      John…ok….what lobbying reform do you support? McCain-Feingold? Isn’t lobbying basically a free speech exercise with money and or votes as the message?

  • Crawdude

    Now that I think of it: Vincent D’Onofrio played the part of Animal Mother not Pyle in that movie.

    This whole discussion was based on a flawed quote, silly us!

    • Tim Lyman

      Animal Mother was played by one of the Baldwin brothers.

  • John in Oregon

    > *Isn’t lobbying basically a free speech exercise with money and or votes as the message?*

    The Constitution protects the God given right of the people to speak. Privately owned business and corporations, as an extension of the people owning and controlling them have the right to speak.

    Fannie, and Freddie, are government operations with a Politically appointed board and policy set by the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The constitution does not guarantee right of the Government to speak.

    It is however unnecessary to consider this question. Any similarity of the actions of Frank, Dodd, Schumer, Raines, Gorelick, and Johnson with those of Lobbying are unintentional.

  • John in Oregon

    > *John…ok….what lobbying reform do you support? McCain-Feingold?*

    Oh my Dean, thank you for asking. McCain-Feingold is campaign finance, but what the hey.

    But then Dean you are in good company.
    *Bloomberg*
    Sept. 18
    “The Democratic-controlled Congress, *acknowledging that it isn’t equipped to lead the way to a solution for the financial crisis* and can’t agree on a path to follow, is likely to *just get out of the way”*

    “One reason, *Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid* said yesterday, is that *”no one knows what to do”* …”

    Typical isnt it? The Liberal children turn their Play Pen into a Pig Pen and expect the Adults to fix the mess for them. Dripping with sarcasm, you damn betcha. Dodd, Frank, Schumer and the rest of the lot should serve 20. And I don’t mean serve 20 in Congress while storing cold hard cash in the freezer.

    But then, you did ask what us adults should do. That is a fair enough question.

    The first step is to recognize the source of the finical problem, Government and it’s Fannie / Freddie GSEs. Some solutions;

    *O* Implement the 1999 Gramm deregulation which removes the requirement that banks must make bad loans. In other words, stop digging the F**ING hole.

    *O* Implement the 2002 McCain, Gephardt legislation to create Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission and give it the authority to criminally charge Senators, Congressmen, and private individuals for corruption. Put a firm sunset on the commission so it won’t become another cesspool of corruption.

    *O* Implement the 2003 regulation and independent oversight of GSE proposed by President Bush in 2003 with the goal of eliminating all current GSEs by 2012.

    *O* Based on the 2004 OFHEO investigation develop criminal penalties for corruption.

    *O* Implement the 2006 proposal of Senator Sununu that would create a new regulatory body for Fannie / Freddie and give that body the authority to crack down. Sunset the body when the GSEs are eliminated.

    *O* In the 2008 campaign, kick the bums out of Congress, out of the Senate, and out of Government.

    *O* In 2010 put Pres. McCain and VP Palin on the road to campaign for clean candidates. If that means campaigning for a Clean Democrat against a corrupt Republican, so be it. Too bad, so sad.

    Let it be said, I have now illusions about the massive task at hand. Government Power is the ultimate corrupting influence, those that have it and those that want it will do anything, what ever it takes, lie, cheat, and steal to keep or get it.

    That really is the lesson here. When Government has the power to take your job, to take your land, to take your business, to take your family and to indoctrinate your children then no one is safe.

    To quote a line from a movie. We are mad as hell and we wont take it any more.

  • Crawdude

    The most current bailout for billionaires is nothing move than a nationalisation of our financial system.

    We will now be 11.3 trillion dollars in debt…………debt! Before we can fund any other item, be it infrastructure, defense, healthcare, social security, medicare, PGSC, Welfare etc….. we are still 11.3 trillion in debt! Our budget is 5oo billion over budget now, how does anyone think we can afford anything, period?

    Dean, a couple months ago, you had a plan the allegdly freed up 100 billion dollars. How do you feel that can be used to do anything? Like the boy putting his fingers in the hole in the dike?

    In the last 6 months the Federal government has nationalized our Mortgage industry, our Insurance industry and if they aren’t stopped they will totally controlly the financial sector of this country. They will soon have the power to tell you what you’ll pay and when you’ll pay it.

    Dean, your dream has come true but it will turn out to be the greatest nightmare this country has ever experienced…..and may be the start of its downfall.

    If you can’t control which elitists are in charge, the absolute power is wielded by people without the understanding to wield it.

    If you can control the elitists who wield absolute power………its called a dictatorship and only the few are taken care of, much fewer than are now.

    Its the final outcome of all socialism!

    • dean

      Dude…my dream is for a better social safety net for the poor and midle class, not a better social safety net for millionaires. You have me confused with someone else.

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