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Left behind

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Rapture is postponed. Good thing. Not that I was going anywhere, but I assume a good fraction of the tough guys who make the toilets flush and the internets flow would have been gathered at the Final Call. They’re here. We’re queer. Let’s get started.

Fresh Air…. what an insipid and presumptuous bit of condescencion that logism contains. You know these skunks; their position in so-called Public Broadcasting and Murphy’s Law assures that, wherever you drive, the subsidized voices of liberal salvation will always come through the radio clearer than anything but the spanish stations. These cats are defininitely Left Behind under any recognized scenario. They are as adamantly against rapturees as they are for perfectly modulated saccharine tumbling out of their oh-so-well compensated pie holes.

The doof on the pyre today is the unlikely named Dave Davies, although really, he is of little consequence except as an exemplar. And his fulfillment of that duty pales compared to the object of his recent interest; a pair of Registered Genii, financial reporters for the New York Times no less. They have written a book, well titled Reckless Endangerment that explains the hows and whys of our financial meltdown.

Let’s go to the audio. If you actually had the fortitude to spool that up you were met with the predictably soothing cadence of Mr Davies, the stereotypical thrumming of his gentle voice percolates like a well-tuned aquarium ornament implying to the Fresh Air audience that all is well, which is how they like it. Ms Morgenson likewise speaks as blandly as a pilot telling passengers to ignore the smoke erupting from the wings. This pair are as bloodless in their interest as any entymologist examing an ant hill. No outrage or consternation afflicts this pair even though the facts Mr Davies inquires after and those Ms Morgenson elucidates are as outrageous as any of our modern history.

The book commences in 1994 with Clinton’s introduction of a raft of policies designed to expand home ownership throughout the nation generally and among racial minorities and the “poor” specifically. The centerpiece was the Community Re-investment Act, a series of alterations to bank regulation and the underwriting policies of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac designed to make lending cheaper for the borrower. Ms Morgenson has her facts in order indeed. The CRA was just the beginning, of course. Through easing of verification requirements from the borrowers end and the easing of capital reserve requirements on the lenders’ side the mortgages certainly did flow far more freely than before. Where such subtlety failed there was then the mob occupation of banks by ACORN, demanding an end to “redlining” which was always a hoax of their own contrivance. The infamous and ruinous “Liar Loans” that required NO documentation of income or even employment were born from this morass. The issuing of predictably bad loans would have been impossible without a carrot for the banks which was Fannie/Freddie’s willingness to buy up these loans, package them into mortgage backed securities and sell them on the open market. She seems to understand full well the scurrilous figures on this stage, foremost was James Johnson, an operator in the mold and on the scale of the Teapot Dome hucksters. Barney Frank, Congressman from Massachusetts is exposed as having secured a job at Fannie for his long time companion producing a princely income for the latter and a rabid defender in the House for the former. Ms Morgenson is all over Frank’s chicanery which is only now really coming to the forefront of the public mind. She well recognizes Frank’s role as the chief facillitator of Fannie’s self-dealing, it’s role as a lavish perch for Democrats with little or no legitimate qualifications for such positions and above all the deceptions Frank has engaged in right up to this day, to conceal his collusion that has cost the nation and indeed the world, so dearly while guess what? not fulfilling their stated goals.

There is, of course, far far more. All is addressed by Morgenson and Davies with the same monotonous clinicality that one would expect at a chat on comparative literature. Morgenson  does several times express how “amazed” she is or how “amazing” is some more bitter fact. But amazement is not what it used to be.

One element Ms Morgenson conspicuously does NOT address is that, contrary to her implications and the grand nature of her resume, none of these facts were awaiting the delicate camel brushing of her archeology to expose them. No ma’am. Every single event, every single individual, every single meme, concept, illegality, absurdity, lie, distortion, self-dealing, conflict of interest and just straight up theft that she believes she has unearthed have been well known to many Americans since the very day they happened. Foremost here is Barney Frank’s sexually based cronyism but the lesser events were just as well exposed, years ago, as they happened but NOT, amazingly, in the financial section of the New York Times! Nor any other section of that pitiable sheet. On the contrary, on the odd occassion that circumstances forced The Times to print a column inch on these controversies it inevitably carried the water for Frank and his numerous accomplices in the greatest graft scheme in all of human history.

Certainly, much of what ailed us then and now was not secret in the least; there were alterations to banking regulations (and no, never “de-regulation” never. not a bit) and other policies that could not be secret but their impact to the nation, to Joe Average, and their enriching effect on any insider low enough to milk them (which was all of them) were never adduced in the Times. The Washington Post does have a modestly superior record on this account but not by much. Even that alleged outpost of sanguinary conservatism, the Wall Street Journal handled the affair with kid gloves. The benefit of the doubt and free-roaming benefits WITHOUT doubt were ladeled onto Frank, Johnson, Dodd, Mozillo and on those twins of pump-and-dump, Fannie and Freddie. The only outlets chronicaling these eventually momentous happenings were those of the Right, and certainly nothing a Times newsie would pollute her ears with. Also absent is any recollection that there were two figures who tried on multiple occassions to reign in this lumbering monstrosity. One was John McCain. The other was George Bush.

No wonder Ms Morgenson suffers shock and awe. For all she knew of the goings on of her own beat, she may as well have spent the last twenty years on another planet. Now that reality bites her own little tuckas she is as baffled as any unbeliever surrounded by jesus fish and empty clothing in the middle of a sudden traffic jam. Her most innocent bleat comes near the end, where she declares the greatest and most terrible shock at her realization that those who were supposed to benefit from this contraption are now hurt the most! Wow, who could have predicted that? But Ms Morgenson has not quite fallen to earth just yet. Yes, her intellectual exercise has brought her some dreadful conclusions but it’s unlikely in the extreme that she has had to miss a latte due to the financial contraction. In the stratosphere of the media world which she inhabits “money problems” mean not expanding the beach house this year.

As for the rest of us, for the most part we have seen Judgement Day. Not a few of us have suffered a couple Judgement Years. We were not spirited off to Heaven nor cast down into Hell however. We have stumbled into Limbo; a grey, trackless doppleganger of America without the verve. For us the Morgenson Revelations are some good news. Fifteen years after the fact, the leading national newspaper’s financial wizards are catching up with Rush Limbaugh and his ilk. Now that the simple, long plain realities  have been ratified by elite opinion brokers we might have a bit of rationality leaking in. This might even mean we won’t do it all again. You never know. But for your friends and neighbors with glassy eyes who have been bewildered at the failures of Bonafide Genius to remedy our problems, these will be difficult times. They now have permission to believe what they already knew, a painfully disorienting situation. Welcome to the party, Ms Morgenson. Now grab a pail.

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One Response to “Left behind”

  1. Looks like through poor reading comprehension I have conflated Johnson, a married man, with Herb Moses, his predecessor. I regret the error and perhaps Herb does, too.

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