Obama only at 46.9

October 29, 2008

But I have to say it’s scary to me that 21% of self-described conservatives say they’re going to vote for Obama. On th other hand should they come to their senses McCain could still pull this out.




Double Standard

October 2, 2008

Coulter’s column doesn’t absolve Palin from her weak, recent performances. Yet it does speak to a double standard. Reagan had to deal with the same thing, but the press had to hide its bias more in those days and he managed to hide his contempt for them fairly well. And he just stuck to his game plan. I recall Carter making fun of him for saying pollution came from trees (yes, Reagan did say that), and he still creamed him in the debate.

We’ll see what happens, but it seems the only thing preventing China from taking over Asia and Africa, any remaining allies in South America falling to leftist insurgents, and the resurgence of productivity-killing, independent-thinking-hating labor unions is a halfway decent performance by her tomorrow.


A friend replies:

Well aren’t you mister gloomy tonight.

My reply:

Actually, I haven’t even begun to get gloomy. Those were just the first few consequences that came to mind. It’s kind of the opposite of the idea that it will be the moment the oceans began to subside.


Fannie and Freddie

October 1, 2008

A followup email regarding a conversation about Freddie and Fannie:

I’m not so convinced that Fannie and Freddie didn’t play a large role in the subprime mess, beyond just being thinly capitalized, as we discussed/concluded on Monday. I don’t think we either knew or acknowledged that these two institutions were the largest purchasers of packaged subprime mortgages between 2004 and 2007, as the article below states.


So, it seems to me that if an agent of the Federal Government is buying this stuff up in great quantities, it bears a great deal of the responsibility for the demand it created. This doesn’t absolve the bankers on Wall Street, but without a rabid buyer, their incentive to move these mortgages through the system would have been greatly reduced.

This article also goes on to talk about the press and the Boston Federal Reserve’s (Seriously, other than Babe Ruth, has anything good come out of Boston in the last 100 years?) contribution to putting pressure on banks to create such loans.

This article from 2002 by Allen Fishbein (who appears sympathetic to the general idea of greater access to capital) discusses the potential negative consequences of Fannie and Freddie’s move into subprime mortgages. The concluding paragraph:


“It is ironic that, with all of the talk in Washington about investor need for greater transparency about the capital market activities of the GSEs, the discussion does not extend to finding ways to improve the monitoring of their loan purchase activity. Yet this is precisely what is needed to judge the impact of automated underwriting, risk-based pricing, and increased GSE subprime activity on affordable housing and credit access by underserved groups.”

Anyway, I’m left with the impression that Fannie and Freddie played a bigger role in the subprime mess than we concluded on Monday, even if they didn’t provide guarantees for the loans themselves.