Skip to comments.ALL FOR THE LOSS OF A NAIL..........(AND 9/11)
Posted on 01/02/2009 11:25:01 PM PST by WayneLusvardi
Johnathan G. Shibleys letter in the Long Beach Press-Telegram (Deregulation was culprit) blaming a neocon philosophy of laissez faire and deregulation for our current financial crisis fails to account for the effects of 9/11.
http://www.presstelegram.com/opinions/ci_11352019 (see letter below this post).
What brought about our present financial crisis was 9/11. After 9/11 and the rise of terrorism, foreign investors were looking for a safe haven for their money. What could be safer than U.S. real estate?
To avoid a major recession after 9/11, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates and stimulated huge infusions of cash into the economy. Prior to 9/11, U.S. government regulators had pressured banks, insurance companies, and savings and loans to reduce their investment in real estate after massive overbuilding in the 1980s. Developers and property owners needing capital had little place to go for money but to stock and bond markets.
Soon after 9/11, Wall Street invented collateralized mortgage bonds and securitized stocks which injected trillions of dollars of foreign money into U.S. real estate, thus circumventing the U.S. central bank which conventionally manages the money supply.
Gauged by contributions to the two major U.S. political parties, Wall Street at the time was dominated by investment firms supporting the Democratic Party contrary to the popular notion that Wall Street is Republican.
This massive infusion of foreign capital resulted in an oversupply of money, historic low interest rates, the diminishing value of the dollar, a skyrocketing price for oil as a substitute for the exchange rate, and a real estate bubble. The shock wave of foreign money into real estate collapsed lending and regulatory standards as loan underwriters just handed off the risk to others in the financial food chain by packaging loans into derivatives.
The idea of derivatives was to spread and reduce risk; for example by selling the cash flow from each year of a home loan to a different investor. But these loan derivatives became unforeclosable when homeowners defaulted on paying their loans because they were spread out over the whole world.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, run by high-profile Democrats, had to be taken over by government due to mega-billions in bad derivatives. Ginnie Mae, run by a Republican, is still sound and has no derivatives.
The real estate bubble boosted the homeownerhip rate in the U.S. from 64% to 69% and subprime loans to low income families went from 5.6% in 2001 to 20% in 2006. In other words all those laissez faire capitalists Mr. Shibley blames for the financial crisis inadvertently brought about a huge increase in homeownership for former renters even though Republicans got no credit for it. Anti-redlining laws also helped expand homeownership but unintentionally have left many low income families straddled with loans with ramping up interest rates.
Hows that Benjamin Franklin rhyme go? (paraphrased) For loss of a nail the shoe was lost. For loss of a shoe the horse was lost. For loss of a horse the rider was lost. For loss of a rider the battle was lost. For loss of a battle the kingdom was lost And all for the loss of a horseshoe nail.
Just substitute 9/11 for a nail and you have an analogy for our current financial mess. Moral of story: People, like nails, lose their effectiveness when they lose direction and begin to bend. Walter Savage Landor
JONATHAN G. SHIBLEY LETTER EXCERPTED FROM LONG-BEACH PRESS TELEGRAM Culprit was deregulation
You recently ran an article which asked if 2008 could be the start of a great depression. It could well be. I have never seen anything like this in my life and I have been around for several decades.
One thing is certain: it was adherence to the neocon philosophy of laissez-faire capitalism and deregulation which brought us to where we are now.
The American people were warned about this by the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s (subprime's little brother) and the recession of 1990. Reagan and his successors engaged in deregulation of the airlines (now a shambles) and industry in general.
Laissez-faire capitalism did not work under Coolidge and Hoover in the 1920s, it did not work in the 1980s and it did not work under Bush this century. Free enterprise is necessary to a viable society. However, government regulation is often necessary.
Jonathan G. Shibley
Pretty sound analysis. Bin Laden seemed to think that the US Financial System would collapse some time after the 9/11 attack. Sounds like designs within designs within designs. All of it thanks to the Democrat party of Gorelick, Raines, Johnson, Frank, Dodd and Schumer.
Read the book Niagara of Capital: How Global Capital Transformed Housing and Real Estate Markets by Anthony Downs, a liberal. It explains all of what I have weaved together in the above post.
The view that effects of 9/11 brought about our financial crisis is antithetical to both liberals who blame “neocon deregulation and laissez faire capitalism” and to conservatives who solely blame the Federal Reserve and Allan Greenspan. Both are conspiracy theories of sorts. I’m trying to get beyond conspiracy theories and paranoia to what happened empirically.