Skip to comments.Paulson claims Russia tried to foment Fannie-Freddie crisis
Posted on 01/29/2010 4:06:54 PM PST by lwd
Russia proposed to China that the two nations should sell Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds in 2008 to force the US government to bail out the giant mortgage-finance companies, former US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson has claimed.
The allegation is in his memoir On the Brink in which he also suggests that Alistair Darling, the UK chancellor, blocked a rescue takeover of Lehman Brothers by Barclays Bank when he refused to support special treatment by UK regulators.
Russian officials had made a top-level approach to the Chinese, suggesting that together they might sell big chunks of their GSE holdings to force the US to use its emergency authorities to prop up these companies, he said.
Fannie and Freddie are known as GSEs or government sponsored enterprises.
The Chinese had declined to go along with the disruptive scheme, but the report was deeply troubling, he said. A senior Russian official told the Financial Times that he could not comment on the allegation.
Separately, Mr Paulson makes it clear that he believes that Mr Darling prevented a takeover of Lehman by Barclays out of fear that it would endanger the UK bank.
Mr Paulson said that Mr Darling telephoned him on Friday September 12 as the US authorities were scrambling to find a buyer for Lehman to express concern about a possible Barclays deal. Mr Paulson said that he did not realise at the time that this was a clear warning.
(Excerpt) Read more at ft.com ...
Why should they bother? We have our homegrown commies doing just fine.
And why would they, our “friends,” do such a thing?
I trust Putin over Paulson.
At least Putin is not trying to sell a book.
Why? Because they recognized the instability of it and wanted us to straighten up before it damaged the economy of the whole world?
Those evil bastids! /s
I wouldn’t trust Paulson if he said the earth moves around the sun.
Russia and China are our real enemies. Russia is arming Iran with nukes, and China could shut down DPRK any time they chose, but they keep these puppets or clients going to drain power and money from us. Meanwhile we treat Russia & China as diplomatic “partners” who will help us solve the problems caused by Iran and DPRK!
Wow, you have a good memory! It’s interesting how little has changed from a year ago. This economic purgatory has lasted longer than I expected.
I’m more nervous about China militarily, but Russia knows how to run circles around us diplomatically. I agree with your assessment on their relation with North Korea and Iran.
Paulson thinks Barney Frank, Rahm Emanuel, Franklin Raines are Russian????
Well, Mr. Awesome Paulson also saved us from 25% unemployment by bailing out AIG.
Method of attack is not unusual; GSEs Fannie and Freddie were and still are the weakest point, thus the obvious targets of any scheme to undermine financial system.
The problem is that our own government not only created the system (during Roosevelt’s New Deal) but kept perpetuating it and overburdening it to the breaking point.
The problem was not the repeal of Glass-Steagall or Wall Street’s “greed”, but the government underwriting of bigger and bigger part of US economic system (FNM / FRE / FHA went from 25% of real-estate loans to around 50% in just few years) and also relaxed the “standards” for originating loan requirements.
All it needed was a little push to start a chain reaction, which could come from different places and from different angles.
Osama’s 9/11 attack didn’t cause the US and worldwide financial collapse, but he left no doubts that that was exactly what he was counting on.
Can't blame the Russians... congress had plenty of warning this was coming and ignored it; well before the Russians did anything. THe blame belongs much closer to home. OCTOBER 2000 : (FANNIE MAE BUYS 2 BILLION WORTH OF SUBPRIME SECURITIES) Bear Stearns... was the first to buy subprime mortgage securities. In October of 2000, Fannie Mae purchased two billion dollars worth of these subprime securities. ------ "The CRA and Key Players, " 27 Sep 2008 by hiredhand
APRIL 2001 : () The Administrations FY02 budget declares that the size of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a potential problem, because financial trouble of a large GSE could cause strong repercussions in financial markets, affecting Federally insured entities and economic activity.OCTOBER 24, 2008 : (MD : FANNIE MAE CONTRACTOR RAJENDRASINH MAKWANA IS FIRED FOR ATTEMPTING TO DESTROY ALL DATA ON THE MORTGAGE GIANT'S COMPUTER SERVERS NATIONWIDE USING CODE PLANTED ON OR BEFORE OCTOBER 24... THE PROGRAMMED EVENT FOR THE DATA DESTRUCTION IS JAN 31, 09)
FEBRUARY 2003 : () The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) releases a report explaining that although investors perceive an implicit Federal guarantee of [GSE] obligations, the government has provided no explicit legal backing for them. As a consequence, unexpected problems at a GSE could immediately spread into financial sectors beyond the housing market. (Systemic Risk: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Role of OFHEO, OFHEO Report, 2/4/03)
NOVEMBER 2003 : () Council of the Economic Advisers (CEA) Chairman Greg Mankiw explains that any legislation to reform GSE regulation should empower the new regulator with sufficient strength and credibility to reduce systemic risk. To reduce the potential for systemic instability, the regulator would have broad authority to set both risk-based and minimum capital standards and receivership powers necessary to wind down the affairs of a troubled GSE. (N. Gregory Mankiw, Remarks At The Conference Of State Bank Supervisors State Banking Summit And Leadership, 11/6/03)
FEBRUARY 2004 : () The Presidents FY05 Budget again highlights the risk posed by the explosive growth of the GSEs and their low levels of required capital, and called for creation of a new, world-class regulator: The Administration has determined that the safety and soundness regulators of the housing GSEs lack sufficient power and stature to meet their responsibilities, and therefore should be replaced with a new strengthened regulator. (2005 Budget Analytic Perspectives, pg. 83)
FEBRUARY 24, 2004 : () CEA [Council of the Economic Advisers ] Chairman Mankiw cautions Congress to not take [the financial markets] strength for granted. Again, the call from the Administration was to reduce this risk by ensuring that the housing GSEs are overseen by an effective regulator. (N. Gregory Mankiw, Op-Ed, Keeping Fannie And Freddies House In Order, Financial Times, 2/24/04)
JUNE 16, 2004 : () Deputy Secretary of Treasury Samuel Bodman spotlights the risk posed by the GSEs and called for reform, saying We do not have a world-class system of supervision of the housing government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), even though the importance of the housing financial system that the GSEs serve demands the best in supervision to ensure the long-term vitality of that system. Therefore, the Administration has called for a new, first class, regulatory supervisor for the three housing GSEs: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banking System. -----Samuel Bodman, House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Testimony, 6/16/04
APRIL 13, 2005 : () Treasury Secretary John Snow repeats his call for GSE reform, saying Events that have transpired since I testified before this Committee in 2003 reinforce concerns over the systemic risks posed by the GSEs and further highlight the need for real GSE reform to ensure that our housing finance system remains a strong and vibrant source of funding for expanding homeownership opportunities in America Half-measures will only exacerbate the risks to our financial system. --------Secretary John W. Snow, Testimony Before The U.S. House Financial Services Committee, 4/13/05
DECEMBER 2007 : () President Bush again warns Congress of the need to pass legislation reforming GSEs, saying These institutions provide liquidity in the mortgage market that benefits millions of homeowners, and it is vital they operate safely and operate soundly. So Ive called on Congress to pass legislation that strengthens independent regulation of the GSEs and ensures they focus on their important housing mission. The GSE reform bill passed by the House earlier this year is a good start. But the Senate has not acted. And the United States Senate needs to pass this legislation soon. (President George W. Bush, Discusses Housing, The White House, 12/6/07)
FEBRUARY 2008 : () : Assistant Secretary David Nason reiterates the urgency of reforms, says A new regulatory structure for the housing GSEs is essential if these entities are to continue to perform their public mission successfully. (David Nason, Testimony On Reforming GSE Regulation, Senate Committee On Banking, Housing And Urban Affairs, 2/7/08)
APRIL 2008 : () : President Bush urges Congress to pass the much needed legislation and modernize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. [There are] constructive things Congress can do that will encourage the housing market to correct quickly by helping people stay in their homes. (President George W. Bush, Meeting With Cabinet, the White House, 4/14/08)...
VIA 8 posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 1:44:09 PM by roses of sharon
I don’t know what you base that on but it is a non-sequitur in this context.
What this story does not cite is the role of George Soros and that the Sept. 15th 2008 redemption of $550 BILLION worth of U.S. Treasuries in just a few hours, is what triggered the financial meltdown that cleared the path for Obamas election.
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