I'm just mad right now.
As I think we all should be. See, we are sure going to miss all that money we have to spend bailing out banks and insurance companies...
According to this article in the Marietta Daily News by Don McKee, this financial bailout has been anticipated by many over the course of the last five years, but CONGRESS has stalled attempts to reform.
Does it make you want to know how your congressmen and senator voted?
Does it make you want to vote out the bums who waited around until it was to late to do anything?
An Article Among Many
In September 2003, President Bush recommended what even the New York Times described as "the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago."
Bush's plan called for a new oversight agency for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage industry giants that urgently needed reining in. Immediate opposition came from such groups as the homebuilders association and Democrats in Congress concerned about low-income and affordable housing.
This was how Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, then the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, put it: "These two entities - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."
Republicans had a majority in Congress but only by the narrowest margin in the Senate, which meant any measure opposed by the Democrats could not get through, particularly since it would take a super majority of 60 votes to overcome procedural roadblocks.
When Congress convened in January 2005, then-House majority leader Tom DeLay of Texas predicted regulatory reform would come. The House approved a reform bill that included affordable housing funding, while the Senate Banking Committee voted 11-9 in a party-line vote for a bill that did not include the housing provision.
In a Senate speech on May 25, 2006, Sen. John McCain pointed to Fannie Mae's self-serving accounting manipulations by senior management, resulting in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal that included phony earnings to trigger big payoffs for the former CEO.
McCain called for reform "without delay." As a co-sponsor of the Senate reform bill (S.190), he urged quick passage. He told the Senate:
"If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole. I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this....reform legislation."
But for the third straight year, regulatory reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac foundered, "derailed by partisan disagreements over investment portfolios and an affordable housing fund," Congressional Quarterly Weekly reported. The Senate bill never made it to the floor because of those "partisan disagreements."
In August last year when the financial system was rocked by big losses in Europe on packages of U.S. mortgage securities, Bush rejected a plan to let Fannie and Freddie go over their mortgage investment limit. First, he said, Congress should reform the agencies.
No, said Democrat Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and a presidential candidate: "There is no reason why such reform is a necessary precondition to a modification of the cap."
Now we'll see if they can put Humpty Dumpty together again.