Curses: An election about the economy

Well, my worst nightmare for this election year has been realized. I had thought that this was a no-lose year for me. I liked McCain and I liked Obama, so what could happen to mess things up?

But if you’ll recall, back in January I said that this was shaping up as a very good year, except for one thing — the possibility that we’d be talking about the economy.

I freaking HATE talking about the economy. My entire career, a newspaper front page that leads with an economic story has always been, to me, a signal that nothing interesting is happening in the world.

It’s not the economy per se. It’s money. It bores me to moaning, retching tears. Talking about it, or being forced to hear other people talking about it, is torture, torture of a sort I’d hope even W. would disapprove of. (I suspect some of y’all feel the same way — the post I reluctantly put up about it has drawn only seven comments so far — even though I tried to dress it up in Looney Tunes language.)

And now, this mess on Wall Street, whatever it’s all about, has BOTH candidates for president — guys I used to like — talking about it. So it looks like McCain HAS flip-flopped on torture…

How did this happen?

70 thoughts on “Curses: An election about the economy

  1. bud

    It may be boring stuff but it’s soooo important. If Americans cannot buy food or life-saving drugs what difference does it make if Iran is building nuclear weapons?

  2. Brad Warthen

    I feel like Vince Vaughan talking to Frank the Tank again: Yes, bud, we know you have an awesome time talking about the economy. The whole town knows you have an awesome time. I was asking Mitch if he has an awesome time…

    Seriously, though, what you just said is a fundamentally flawed supposition. If I’m shooting rats at the county landfill to feed my family, Iran getting nukes is still a far more critical issue requiring the more immediate attention of the POTUS. No contest.

  3. Tim C

    Poor decisions by a Republican led Washington have created this debacle. Deregulation ended oversight. Boards of Directors rubber stamped the poor business decisions and get rich quick schemes and here we are. These company’s business practices were so inept that a Fifth Grader would know better. They spent billions of dollars buying boxes of loans sight unseen that were already labeled “Sub Prime.” What part of “Sub Prime” did these $100 million a year superstar executives not understand? Did it ever dawn on anyone that lending money to people without ever investigating their ability to repay might be a problem? These are the same folks that wanted social security privatized so they could pillage the retirements of hardworking Americans. McCain has consistently supported deregulation and privatization of social security. We should talk more about it and not less. It is incumbent that the voters are educated on these topics.

  4. bud

    Brad, I strongly disagree. Domestic issues are far more important than foreign. Domestic concerns claim more lives than any crackpot dictator. It’s just a bunch of fear-mongering that makes Iran such a threat. They really aren’t. Same with all this phony indignation about Russia invading Georgia. That is simply not something we should concern ourselves with. We ended up wasting 3 trillion dollars and 4,200 American lives by inflating the risk of Saddam Hussein. He simply was not a risk to our security. But that 3 trillion dollars has contributed much of our current economic plight. For you and me we may have to sacrifice that 42 inch plasma TV to buy the drugs we need to keep us alive but for millions without health insurance they don’t have that option. They simply do without while high blood pressure or diabetes slowly snuffs their life out. This is the main reason our life expectancy falls short of other industrial nations.

  5. Jimmy

    Unfortunately, the only thing fundamentally flawed is Bud’s understanding of what is the “economy”. Bear Stearns, Lehman . . . not so much.
    Economy is suffering from fits and starts right now based almost entirely on the housing crisis. (Nugget: The credit crunch is also a SYMPTOM of the housing crisis, not a function of the “economy”).
    Bush and McCain tried fixing a primary causative factor of the housing crisis years ago but were blocked. (See discussion below)
    What’s really sad is the Obama campaign now sees a great opening for the dying presidentail run and McCain’s camp is not cohesive (and maybe smart enough) to shut this pathetic little argument down.
    Obama may win this presidency just yet. Not because he deserves it but because his better equipped opposition can’t get his crap together.

  6. Jimmy

    Oh and Tim, the more the votes are actually educated, the more Obama’s poll numbers will slide. You better hope this argument stays at the 10,000 foot level.
    Query: Which political party actually favors home ownership for all? And how do you think you open home ownership to those that don’t have a $100 to put down or a paycheck to cover a traditional loan?
    Sub-prime goes hand in hand with no money down, 5% down and no proof of income mortgages. The villain in the dark are the bond rating agencies. Where were they when these securities were being traded as investment grade and cash equivalents?

  7. slugger

    What has really happened in this economic nightmare is the people that ran the banks, mortagage houses, lending houses were looking out for themselves. This is where the board of trustees are just as responsible along with auditors that told the board all was well. Greedy people cannot be left unchecked.
    There is enough blame to go around in all this mess. I just hate to see the ones that caused the problem (the CEO’s not Democrats/vs/Republicans) walk away with millions of bonus money that the taxpayers will have to pay back in the long run. The politicians helped do this but the buck stops at the CEO and any audit firm that covered it up.

  8. bud

    So, McCain, of Keating 5 fame, was trying to head off this crisis but was blocked. That’s a good one. The GOP controlled both houses of congress and the white house during the critical part of this situation. Yet they failed to head it off. Sorry Jimmy. Your guys failed, not the Democrats.
    This has become a theme of the failed GOP reign. Blame the Democrats. Gasoline prices go up. Blame the Democrats. The housing market collapses. Blame the Democrats. The financial markets crumble. Blame the Democrats. Really, is this all you guys have? The GOP controlled everything for 6 years. Why were they unable to build a consensus for passing effective legislation? Sounds like a failure of leadership to me. If John McCain was such a reach-across the aisle maverick why was he unable to help craft legislation to head this thing off? And why on earth would we want to elect the party that has failed us so badly? Frankly it’s laughable on it’s face. The GOP has run the country into the ground with it’s failed policies and now all they can do is blame the party who was out of power for so long. Their strategy is simple. Tell a lie long enough and loudly enough and pretty soon it becomes the truth. Not this time. The truth is the GOP has run things for far too long and now we’re all paying for it.

  9. Lush Rimbaugh

    Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh blamed something Bill Clinton supposed did in 1999 for the current economic meltdown.
    This is good to know as we can now hold George Bush responsible for every economic issue that occurs between now and 2016.

  10. Tim C

    It’s way past time Boards Of Directors and CEOs are held accountable. They authorized spending billions of dollars on speculation without conducting an ounce of due diligence. An analogy would be my spending $200 billion to buy apartment complexes in Russia/Georgia/Bolivia etc. never verifying they were actually built or built correctly to code; on deeded land; had utilities; or had a rental history. Would you call me nuts when I wrote the check? That is what deregulation accomplished. It allowed people to act completely irresponsibly, and get rich, while their Boards, who also got rich, sat by and watched. A philosophy of deregulation coupled with greed and laziness threatens the very foundation of our economy. Now who can fix it and prevent it from happening again?

  11. Jimmy

    Bud, I am not blaming the democrats for everything. There was a cataclysmic failure on the part of so many parties you can not blame anyone. It is a fact, however, that McCain co-sponsored a bill that would have transferred Fannie and Freddie into the direct oversight of the government. It never made it out of committee.
    You’re arguments echo both parties tried and true political agendas. “Its their fault”.
    When it comes down to it, however, McCain has blamed Wall Street and Biden/Obama blame the GOP.
    Its all for naught though. If Obama does not open a lead of at least 5 points in Penn and Michigan by vote week, it is over anyway. Even the CNN blowhards (and I consider the Fox news guys blowhards as well) admitted that if Obama loses one of those, it is over.
    I am a diehard independent. But the premise of Obama’s campaign (along with your argument) is total political BS. “4 more years of George Bush”. If you are such a candidate of change and a breathe of fresh air in Washington, please come up with something better than that. Tell me what you are going to do, not what somebody else did wrong. In my opinion, this is exactly why Obama’s polling numbers are fading and he can’t even get a appreciable bump when the stars are aligning in his favor.
    By the way, why do you think neocons and far righters hate John McCain? Because he falls in line with their policies. No, because he gives them the finger when they need him most.
    I’m so tired of this election already.

  12. tomfliesthebonnieblue

    Rush was talking about Clinton signing the act that repealed the Depression era law seperating investment and commercial banks. An act that both Biden and Harry Reid supported.
    Brad is right about economics being boring, and from reading some of these blog comments, several of you never got beyond high school home economics class.
    A simple request, if you are going to blame someone, have the courtesy to provide us with some facts to back it up.
    A question: wasn’t Sarbanes-Oxley supposed to stop all this malfeascance?

  13. bud

    You just gotta love stories like this. Our GOP run government is just about as incompetent as it gets.
    300 National Guardsmen out of food and water in Houston
    06:23 PM CDT on Sunday, September 14, 2008
    Associated Press
    HOUSTON – Hundreds of first responders at two staging areas in Texas for Hurricane Ike have run out of food and water.
    Congressman John Culberson said Sunday that 300 National Guardsmen, state troopers and other emergency workers are going hungry at a high-school football stadium — and at another staging area on Houston’s west side.
    Culberson blamed FEMA for the gaffe and says he tried to contact Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who is touring flood-stricken areas of Texas.

  14. bud

    Even Robert Reich has blamed the Clinton administration for some of the deregulation mis-steps. I don’t exhonirate Clinton totally from the current crisis. Yet it seems undeniable that over the last 14 years the GOP has been in control of either Congress, the White House or both. And yet that doesn’t stop the blame the Democrats first crowd from making the current economic mess the fault of the Democrats. What this really is is a problem with greed combined with very lax regulation. And John McCain’s ties to the Keating 5 incident makes his claims of being a reformer highly suspect. Plus his recent association with Phil Gramm further taints his credibility.
    I believe Obama will do a much better job of fixing the economy. His fiscal policy proposals are far more to my liking. He’ll provide financial incentives to working class people rather than cutting taxes for the highest income folks. His plans for dealing with the greedy corporations sounds like the type of medicine we need. The current problems had their start in the Reagan years, ideas that are now discredited. We don’t need some re-hashed version of trickle down economics. We need a fresh start.

  15. tomfliesthebonnieblue

    McCain was exonerated from any wrong doing regarding the Keating 5. If your claim was true, O man and the media would have been harping on it for the last six months.
    “The current problems had their start in the Reagan years, ideas that are now discredited.” Please provide some back up.
    “His plans for dealing with greedy corporations” Please substantiate.
    I think the current situation is above your paygrade, your simplistic responses add little to this discussion.
    Brad is right, if this election comes down to economic issues, it will be way over the comprehension level of most voters.

  16. Lee Muller

    Senator Joe Biden’s nickname is ‘Senator Credit Card’, for the way he protects the banks and credit card companies from regulation.
    Why isn’t the media asking some tough questions of Biden, and Congressman John Spratt, a banker and chairman of the House Banking Committee.

  17. Tim C

    Food for thought: if the security and solvency of our financial institutions are so instrumental to the foundation of our economy that we are willing to bail out institution after institution, why is government regulation and corporate transparency not legislated? Did we just wake up this week and figure out they were vulnerable. And why would we ever allow foreign ownership of our financial institutions if they could be manipulated so easily? We must now make sound fundamental changes to the rules regulating this industry and hold those responsible accountable. It appears to me Wall Street wants to socialize the losses but keep all the profits.

  18. bud

    McCain was exonerated from any wrong doing regarding the Keating 5.
    False. He was sanctioned by the Senate. He wasn’t prosecuted because money apparently never changed hands. But he was hardly exonerated. Here’s an excerpt from Wiki:
    McCain and Keating had become personal friends following their initial contacts in 1981,[10] and McCain was the closest socially to Keating of the five senators.[21] Like DeConcini, McCain considered Keating a constituent as he lived in Arizona.[18] Between 1982 and 1987, McCain had received $112,000 in political contributions from Keating and his associates.[22] In addition, McCain’s wife Cindy McCain and her father Jim Hensley had invested $359,100 in a Keating shopping center in April 1986, a year before McCain met with the regulators. McCain, his family, and their baby-sitter had made nine trips at Keating’s expense, sometimes aboard Keating’s jet. Three of the trips were made during vacations to Keating’s opulent Bahamas retreat at Cat Cay. McCain did not pay Keating (in the amount of $13,433) for some of the trips until years after they were taken, when he learned that Keating was in trouble over Lincoln.[6][23]

  19. Brad Warthen

    Why not allow foreign ownership of our financial institutions? We allow foreign ownership of the government — or at least, that would be the practical result (sorta, kinda, I think) if the Chinese ever try to cash in all the chits they own on our national debt.
    Everything about high finance — from Wall Street to financing the War on Terror — is more than a little crazy.

  20. bud

    Jimmy, it doesn’t matter whether we’re officially in a recession or not. The fact is unemployment is at a 10 year high and rising. GDP growth is for elitists. Unemployment is where the rubber meets the road. If the rich are still making money what good does that do the poor guy who can’t get a job.

  21. tomfliesthebonnieblue

    From the American Heritage Dictionary:
    Sanction: 1.Official permission, consent or approval. 2. Support or encouragement, as from public opinion. 3.A force or influence that determines action.
    the unemployment rate is still below the level during the clinton years…
    perhaps the man on the street should look into the ‘jobs that americans won’t do’, but that is another discussion.

  22. bud

    Tom, that’s one of Rush’s phony spin talking points. The actual unemployment rate when Clinton left office was 4.2%. Today it’s 6.1%. That’s the relevant comparison yet Rush and other right-wing spinmiesters (liars really) use the 8 year average unemployment rate. Since Clinton inherited a very high unemployment rate from Bush Sr. he had a lot of work to do. Eventually he was able to bring it down to where it was in December 2000. But if you average all the years out the Clinton average probably was around 6%. Irrelevant statistic for sure, but since that’s all the GOP koolaid drinkers have I guess they have to go with it. If my side had such bad numbers to work with I’d spin things too. Or, perhaps since as a liberal I actually have a brain I’d change sides.

  23. martin

    If the Editorial Board proudly knows nothing about the economy and is not interested, they should not make any political endorsements.

  24. martin

    If the Editorial Board proudly knows nothing about the economy and is not interested, they should not make any political endorsements.

  25. Brad Warthen

    Heard you the first time. To which I say, “Who on Earth said anything of the kind?”
    Hopefully, the discriminating reader can tell that even I (and I am not the editorial board) know a thing or two about this stuff; I just try to keep your expectations of my perspicacity on the subject as low as possible. That way, if I say something smart, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. But I really, truly hate the subject, and would rather talk about almost anything else (say, plantar warts). But I know SOMEthing about a lot of things that I hate spending time on.
    I even know what “perspicacity” means, but you won’t see me going around LETTING ON to know it, because that would be uncool.

  26. Jimmy

    It appears that the facts are whatever you want them to be.
    Everyone, alert the Fed, the Banks, the media (got that one covered here), Congress, the President, foreign governments and companies and let them know we are in a recession because Bud says so Dangit! The GDP is for elitists can’t you see. (I can’t help but laugh every time I read it and I am determined to find the website he is quoting all of this far-left liberal crap from)
    I keep flashing back to that scene from Good Will Hunting when Matt Damon calls that Harvard guy out. But Bud would keep going and going and going with these baseless arguments. The GDP is elitist. Sorry, had to say it again because it keeps making me laugh.

  27. Harry Harris

    Frankly, I wonder. How could we be distracted from an out-of-control medical price and insurance mess? $2 to $3 to $4 per gallon gasoline. How could we be distracted from rip-off level energy prices? A wall street mini-crash. How can we be distracted from an economic meltdown? Trash campaign ads, push polls, and bogus emails from backers of the McCain campaign. I hope it doesn’t work – this time.

  28. Lee Muller

    The only part of the medical industry with price increases is the 58% of it which is under federal control.
    The rest of it has seen prices decline for the past 20 years, even as treatments become better.
    – Source: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

  29. Lee Muller

    The Muslim side of Obama
    It is past time for the media and debate moderators to ask Barack Obama to produce an original birth certificate, and explain why he has received so much money from Muslims for his education, from the Wahabe school in Indonesia, to his Pakistani roomates at Columbia U, to paying his way through Harvard Law School.

  30. Norm Ivey

    The mortgage crisis was brought by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. Written by Republicans and passed by a Republican congress (with a veto-proof vote), the GLBA removed the protective regulations that had existed since the 1930s (that Roosevelt fella was a smart guy) that prevented commercial banks, investment banks and insurance companies from merging. The energy price crisis was brought on by a bill called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which excluded energy trading from regulation (and created the Enron mess).
    The primary sponsor and author of both bills was Phil Gramm, McCain’s chief economic advisor.
    Brad, if your really don’t like talking about the economy, The State should endorse Obama. The economy performs better with the Democrats rather than the Republicans in power. Good economy, no more discussing it, right?

  31. Jimmy

    Please explain how Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act caused the mortgage crisis. Please take all the time you need to search wiki and google it and find some crazy explanation that backs up your ludicrous theory.
    Here’s the nuts and bolts of it. What started this mess was decades ago when mortgage back securities took shape. When people started realizing how much money the could make selling paper (that’s what MBS’ are), the market started getting flooded with them. The i-banks started leveraging themselves silly with MBSs. The value of MBSs is, of course, dependant upon the cash flow backing them. A number of factors converged to water down and undermine the mortgage market. The advent of sub-prime, interest only, arms, no down payment and no proof of income mortgages led to the approval of borrowers that should have never been approved. The bond rating agencies were giving these MBSs high ratings even though they were backed by, tom put it mildly, iffy cash payments. The I-Banks started trading these MBS and putting them up as collateral for all sorts of other trades. AIG and other insurers had to insure these trades. When people started defaulting on their mortgages because they never should have had them in the first place, these MBSs crashed in value. I-banks balance sheets were stuffed with these and they had to start writing off their assets. Then blah blah blah and here we are.
    In short, your theory is laughable.
    As for energy, the theory is, as in any free market economy, deregulation will increase competition and help consumers. For a good example, get Brad to give you a run down Certificate of Need laws in health care. Go ask Lexington Medical Center what they think.
    The DOJ hates CON laws because they feel it stifles competition. Thus, they want to deregulate healthcare.
    All of these arguments from the left are so overly simplistic they are silly. This is a highly complicated issue and no one in particular is to blame. Democrats nor Republicans.
    You need to look at real estate appraisers, mortbage brokers and bankers, CEO’s and Boards of banks (I and retail), bond rating agencies and many many others. In reality, investors didn’t really do their homework either.
    This house of cards was bound to fall eventially and here we are. Can Obama get elected based on this, we shall see. I doubt it.

  32. Jimmy

    Please explain how Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act caused the mortgage crisis. Please take all the time you need to search wiki and google it and find some crazy explanation that backs up your ludicrous theory.
    Here’s the nuts and bolts of it. What started this mess was decades ago when mortgage back securities took shape. When people started realizing how much money the could make selling paper (that’s what MBS’ are), the market started getting flooded with them. The i-banks started leveraging themselves silly with MBSs. The value of MBSs is, of course, dependant upon the cash flow backing them. A number of factors converged to water down and undermine the mortgage market. The advent of sub-prime, interest only, arms, no down payment and no proof of income mortgages led to the approval of borrowers that should have never been approved. The bond rating agencies were giving these MBSs high ratings even though they were backed by, tom put it mildly, iffy cash payments. The I-Banks started trading these MBS and putting them up as collateral for all sorts of other trades. AIG and other insurers had to insure these trades. When people started defaulting on their mortgages because they never should have had them in the first place, these MBSs crashed in value. I-banks balance sheets were stuffed with these and they had to start writing off their assets. Then blah blah blah and here we are.
    In short, your theory is laughable.
    As for energy, the theory is, as in any free market economy, deregulation will increase competition and help consumers. For a good example, get Brad to give you a run down Certificate of Need laws in health care. Go ask Lexington Medical Center what they think.
    The DOJ hates CON laws because they feel it stifles competition. Thus, they want to deregulate healthcare.
    All of these arguments from the left are so overly simplistic they are silly. This is a highly complicated issue and no one in particular is to blame. Democrats nor Republicans.
    You need to look at real estate appraisers, mortbage brokers and bankers, CEO’s and Boards of banks (I and retail), bond rating agencies and many many others. In reality, investors didn’t really do their homework either.
    This house of cards was bound to fall eventially and here we are. Can Obama get elected based on this, we shall see. I doubt it.

  33. Lee Muller

    Good post, Jimmy.
    That’s a lot of work to reply to Democrats who don’t know a thing about finance – they are merely pasting talking points from the Obama hate machine.
    The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was what PREVENTED Merrill-Lynch from being broken up in bankruptcy, by permitting Bank of America to buy ML. G-L-B was what saved some banks from total failure, by letting Morgan Stanley buy them.
    The average Obama voter has no clue about stocks, bonds, mortgage-backed securities, because they are government workers or living off some welfare program like Social Security, Food Stamps, WIC, etc.
    This election is between the working people and the Obama people.

  34. p.m.

    Yeah, Norm, Obama certainly knows something about the economy — Fannie and Freddie, that is. Since 1989, they’ve paid him more than any other legislator in Washington save one.
    And he hasn’t been there very long, as I recall, and most of the time he’s been there, he hasn’t been there, because he’s been running for president.
    Putting Obama in charge would be putting the fox in the henhouse.

  35. p.m.

    And, Brad, how on Earth can you, an editorial-page editor, someone who’s supposed to know what’s important and what isn’t, say “nothing interesting is happening in the world” when the banking system is your country is on the verge of collapse and the stock market is in freefall? Will it take folks jumping out of Wall Street windows to alert you to the danger virtually anyone who has money put away in anything faces right now?

  36. Norm Ivey

    Thanks for your description of the nuts and bolts of the crisis. It is informative, but nuts and bolts do not make a complete machine. The GLBA was the machine that came to life–sort of like the laundry machine I remember from an old Stphen King short story. The GLBA removed the barriers that prevented investment banks, commercial banks and insurance companies from engaging in one another’s financial affairs. Commercial banks since the 1930s had been heavily regulated with an eye to protecting the consumer–no speculating with deposits, for example. The GLBA removed those safeguards.
    Henry Paulson understands the need to correct the regulatory mistakes of the law. Even deregulation fan John McCain is saying now that oversight is needed.
    I agree with you on three points.
    First, that it is more complicated than either of us have described it.
    Second, that there is plenty of bipartisan blame to go around. Still, deregulation is a Republican philosophy, and this crisis is a result of deregulation.
    Third, that a free market serves most of our needs quite well. Having said that, there are also factors which are so vital to the health of the economy and the day-to-day lives of citizens that they must be regulated to protect the economy and citizens from greed and speculation (that’s why the Glass-Steagall banking laws were written in the first place). Energy and mortgages are two components of the economy that we cannot allow to slide into crises like the ones they are experiencing now. We would not be in this all-consuming mess had we maintained reasonable regulation that considered the needs of everyone, not just the avarice of the few.
    To: p.m.
    You see, I feel the same way about many Republicans–that the foxes have been guarding the henhouses for years, and we’ve nothing left but bones and feathers.

  37. Lee Muller

    The mortgage crisis was caused by government loans to blacks, illegal aliens, and speculators who lacked the proper income, assets, and repayment history to receive conventional loans.
    Affirmative Action caused the mortgage debacle.

  38. Jimmy

    Deregulation is absolutely not the cause unless by deregulation you mean lack of over-regulation. The financial markets are well regulated but it is piecemeal at best. In addition, dozens of parties looked the other way as everyone was making money hand over fist. All of this could have been fixed if the ratings agencies rated MBSs correctly. If that would have occurred, i-banks couldn’t have loaded up on them and caused leverage ratios of 30:1 to 40:1. Those are devastating ratios.
    People of each party have different views regarding the need for regulatory oversight. But make no mistake, someone was asleep and the fox got into the henhouse. But, in my opinion, no amount of regulation could have stopped this financial crisis. Bad investments are bad investments.
    You do understand that all the i-banks are stand alones right. What you are seeing now (the bailouts) are the result of the ability of i and retail banks to work together. If they were barred from working together, they would all fail unless the government saved all of them. That would be devastating. Their ability to comingle is saving us right now.
    So I somewhat confused by your argument.
    And another thing, please explain the “energy crisis” to me and how that was impacted by deregulation. I think the oil market is absolutely corrupt and rigged, but I don’t think regulation can fix that. Oil should not be traded in my opinion, period.

  39. Norm Ivey

    Thank you for responding. I’m deferring to your knowledge of this situation. Help me to better understand.
    The financial markets are well regulated but it is piecemeal at best. In addition, dozens of parties looked the other way as everyone was making money hand over fist sounds like the opposite of being well-regulated. Are the ratings agencies regulated (I don’t consider self or voluntary regualtion to be real regulation)? Prior to the GLBA, could commercial banks package mortgages and sell them as highly rated securities to the i-banks? Why would commercial banks make bad loans unless they knew they could dump the mortgages onto someone else? If it wasn’t GLBA (or another piece of legislation in the past decade) that led to this collapse, why did it happen now instead of 30 years ago (as near as I can tell, that’s about how long MSBs have been around)?
    As to the energy crisis–I worded that poorly. What we have is an oil price crisis. The Commodity Futures Modernization Act in 2000 excluded energy from any sort of trading regulation, which allowed speculators to drive the price of oil to the ridiculous levels we saw this summer. I think it is commonly referred to as The Enron Loophole. If the oil market is absolutely corrupt and rigged, doesn’t that scream for regulation?

  40. Jimmy

    We are actually pretty close to agreement here. Yes, credit rating agencies are regulated. The ball was dropped. Yes, mortgage originators are regulated. The ball was dropped. Yes, appraisers are regulated and the ball was dropped.
    Don’t discount the role of the appraisers in this mess. Houses got appraised for the asking price no matter what. You can’t get a mortgage for a house for more than it is worth.
    Everything that needs to be regulated is, it just wasn’t enforced. There really is an easy solution but it is going to be very very tough for the liberals to swallow. That is what McCain said in his op-ed piece and that would fix the foreclosure crisis which caused MBSs to go to nearly worthless.
    There needs to be very strict requirements for getting a mortgage. There is nothing wrong with repackaging mortgages as securities and selling the paper. It happens in every industry. Payment obligations are sold every day in every form and our financial system is dependent on that type of credit.
    The problems start when whoever is issuing the credit does not thoroughly check the creditworthiness of the individual to whom the credit is issued. Think about how long a credit card company would stay in business if they didn’t make sure the person they issued a credit card to could afford to make the payments.
    Regulations can sometimes cause more problems than they are worth. Look at HIPAA for instance. Billions of dollars later and little to show for it. Ultimately, I don’t know how this can be fixed but I don’t think overregulating is the answer. Ultimately, the Bear’s and Lehmans made really bad investments and they are paying for it. Unfortunately, this is causing a massive credit crisis. This is a systemic crisis and these toxic securities will eventually go away and regulation of them will be unnecessary. Knee jerk reactions may make it worse
    If I could solve this problem I would be running for president or heading up the Fed (which I think is doing a pretty good job dealing with a horrible situation that they didn’t cause). I do think, however, that Obama and the liberal idea of catering to the middle class through home ownership opportunities, tax breaks and credits and so forth will make solving this problem much much harder.
    This is just my opinion and while there is blame to go around, if payments were being made on these mortgages, there would be no problem. Sure, the i banks would still be severely leveraged but why did the investors not see this and run away? These were very poorly run companies that were very profitable for a relatively short period of time. Investors saw the huge profits, large dividends and skyrocketing stock prices and got lost in the mix.
    I agree with you regarding oil. I don’t think there needs to be any regulation relating to oil as a commodity because I don’t think it should be a commodity. It should be sold directly to consumers from the producer at market prices. But that’s where I get into conspiracy theories and move way off into left field.

  41. bud

    Jimmy, I’m glad you raised the oil issue. I don’t find much in the way of conspiracy theories, speculators or the fall in the dollar to explain the rise in oil prices over the spring and summer. Most of it was driven by the fundamentals of supply and demand. Once the hurricane effect eases gasoline prices will fall, perhaps to under $3/barrel. This is due to the huge drop in demand and is largely unrelated to increased supply which is negligible. But in a few years the price hikes we saw in Columbia this past week will be tame in comparison. That’s because the supply plateau that the world is on will suddenly drop into the abyss. Net world oil exports are below the 2005 peak and this is unlikely to change. One major exporter after another will become a net importer. We’ve already lost Indonesia and Great Britain. Mexico will follow suit in about 2010-2012. One by one the OPEC nations will lose their “E” status. And no amount of drilling in the U.S. is going to change this.

  42. Ish Beverly

    I’m impressed with all the comments that have been posted. Smart bunch of guys. I don’t know anything about finance but maybe that is why I can be more logical The legislation in place would have worked but everyone involved with Fannie and Freddie would have had to be ethical. President Bush, being the nice fellow that he is, left some Democrats from the Clinton adminstration in place with Fannie and Freddie. President Bush did this in other areas also. The federal attorneys were one other. And in the case of Fannie and Freddie, most all of the loans were made to low income- no income Democratic voters. Any Republican who disagreed, questioned, or became concerned would have been called every hateful name in the book by the liberal media. Sen. McCain has to be careful how he lays the blame because of that liberal media.

  43. Lee Muller

    Obama receives illegal funds from Palestine
    According to Federal Election Commission filings, Barack Obama has received illegal donations from Palestinians living in Gaza, a hotbed of Hamas terrorists.
    Obama received more than $24,000 in campaign contributions over a period of two months last fall from three Palestinian brothers from the “Edwan” family in Rafah, Gaza, which is a Hamas stronghold along the border with Egypt. The story was uncovered by Pamela Geller of the Atlas Shrugs blog.
    Federal Election Commission report:
    Foreign nationals are barred from making contributions in connection with any election — federal, state, or local — and an individual is allowed to give only $2,300 per election to a federal candidate or the candidate’s campaign committee.

  44. bud

    Has anyone brought up this bizarre proposal. From the Huffington Post:

    McCain proposed Tuesday to create a commission to study how the economic crisis came about. McCain compared it to the Sept. 11 commission established to investigate the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    OH – MY – GOSH! The wrinkly, white-haired dude has lost his mind. A commission to study the crisis. That’s not leadership, that’s passing buck.

  45. Jimmy

    Bud, you are right, maybe McCain has lost his mind about a commission. Let’s call it a hearing and that will make it all ok right.
    Do you have anything relevant at all to what was an intelligent well thought out discussion until you dropped back in to name call and pass on the propaganda.
    From yesterday:
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered a broad, swift investigation of Wall Street and will demand testimony from Bush administration officials and captains of finance, congressional officials said.
    House Democrats plan to aggressively look at the administration’s role in the meltdown over the weekend and to explore further regulation and government structures that would be taken up under the new president.
    And the trouble could run even deeper than has been clear so far — and get more expensive for the U.S. government. The Associated Press reports that the fund established to insure bank deposits is dwindling, with the taxpayer as the lender of last resort.
    “The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., whose insurance fund has slipped below the minimum target level set by Congress, could be forced to tap tax dollars through a Treasury Department loan if Washington Mutual Inc., the nation’s largest thrift, or another struggling rival fails, economists and industry analysts said,” The AP reported.
    The hearings ordered by Pelosi will take place over the next few weeks, the officials said. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who regularly appears on Capitol Hill, will be called to testify as part of the investigation.
    As the main event, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House oversight committee, wrote to Richard Fuld, chief executive of the imploded Lehman Brothers, to ask him to appear on Capitol Hill on Sept. 25.
    “The hearing will examine the regulatory mistakes and financial excesses that led to yesterday’s bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers,” Waxman wrote. “The committee will also explore the impacts of the Lehman bankruptcy on financial markets and the United States economy.”

  46. Lee Muller

    McCain received $117,500 from Lehman Bros.
    Obama received $370,524(!!) from Lehman Bros.
    John McCain got $36,875 from AIG
    Barack Obama raked in $75,899
    Top Recipients of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008
    1. Dodd, Christopher $165,400 in 15 years
    2. Obama, Barack $126,349 in 3 years!!

  47. Lee Muller

    This market drop is a preview of what Obama’s proposed tax increases would do – kill the economy, erase profits, and result in much LOWER tax revenues.

  48. Norm Ivey

    Thanks for the impromptu mini-lesson. It is interesting and complex. I really do appreciate your taking the time to discuss it respectfully. However, I’m afraid you’re not going to convince me that Republicans are the answer to this or any of the other issues we’re facing. If regulations are in place and not being enforced, that’s the same as lack of regulation. When rules in an institution are not enforced, it’s often because the lack of enforcement starts with an attitude of it doesn’t really matter at the top. I still have some unanswered questions, and I will continue to educate myself.
    I’ve no problem with stricter mortgage guidelines, but I also have no problem with incentives that make it easier for the middle class to buy a home. For many, it’s the only real investment they will ever have. For me, home ownership is going to make it easier for me to provide my daughters with the college education they want, and I want for them. (The girls are also the reason I am convinced the debt must be reduced—it is a tax on their future incomes, which is more insidious that even a tax increase on out current incomes.) Incentives that give other families the same opportunities I have should be encouraged.
    I read your later post and the article about McCain’s proposal to fire Cox. I think the president can ask for a resignation, but cannot dismiss him. I’ve been reading a lot of stuff, and I’ve not seen any criticism directed his way. I don’t think he’s the problem.
    I also made note of the paragraph about Obama’s links to Fannie and Freddie (which is probably what you were directing me to). I was already aware of the connection, and that doesn’t dissuade me. We could trade connections criticisms all night long about Obama and McCain, and neither of us would convince the other. I don’t believe McCain has the intelligence, caution and reflective thought we need in a president. When our nation has been faced with big challenges, it’s always been the Democrats who come up with big ideas. That’s what we need this time.

  49. Randy E

    The McCain camp actually has to be thrilled that the focus isn’t on McBush’s weakness, foreign policy.
    Here’s a link to an audio clip of McCain answering questions from a reporter from Spain asking him if he’d meet with Zapatero, the president Spain.
    He launches into a Busheque declaration that he would meet with leaders “in this hemisphere” who share our beliefs. It’s clear he doesn’t recognize who the leader of a major Nato country is.

  50. Jimmy

    Wasn’t intending to give you a mini-lesson, but I try to look at the facts and my understanding of the market and apply that to my decision at hand. I vote for the candidate that I think is the best fit for the situation at hand. That can be a Democrat or a Republican (or even a Liberterian posing as a Republican – Sanford).
    You need to re-read the article I linked or just see this quote:
    “The primary regulator of Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission kept in place trading rules that let speculators and hedge funds turn our markets into a casino,” McCain is to say. “They allowed naked short selling — which simply means that you can sell stock without ever owning it. They eliminated last year the uptick rule that has protected investors for 70 years. Speculators pounded the shares of even good companies into the ground.”
    The regulators, McCain said, “were asleep at the switch.”
    Isn’t this exactly what you are saying. McCain is saying no one enforced what we had at our disposal and heads are going to roll for it. That is exactly what needs to happen. He’s blaming his own party, not the Democrats. If that isn’t maverick and the perfect example of someone who will change Washington, I don’t know what is. All Obama/Biden will do is blame the Republicans.
    And I didn’t link the connection to Fannie Freddie donations. I don’t really care about donations and since EVERY politician does it, I don’t think it really influences them that much.
    Making home ownership available to everyone is what America is all about and I fully support that. The problem is when you start allowing people to buy homes with no equity, no proof of income, or allow them to qualify for mortgages that you know good and well they will not be able to afford in five years. That is why we are in the situation we are in now and it will stop, like it or not.
    And as to your last paragraph, I am waiting for big ideas to come from Obama. Please link to me to his big ideas, seriously, maybe I missed them. All I have heard from him is change and McCain would be “4 more years of Bush”. I find this comparison offensive because McCain has made a career of bucking the system.
    Look at this article from a (i don’t know their political leanings, if they have one)
    The algorithm counts usage of first person nouns – “I” tends to indicate less spin than “we”, for example. It also searches out phrases that offer qualifications or clarifications of more general statements, since speeches that contain few such amendments tend to be high on spin. Finally, increased rates of action verbs such as “go” and “going”, and negatively charged words, such as “hate” and “enemy”, also indicate greater levels of spin. Skillicorn had his software tackle a database of 150 speeches from politicians involved in the 2008 US election race (see diagram).
    When he analysed the speeches of John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, he found that even though the speeches were rehearsed, written by professionals and delivered by trained speakers, there were discernable differences between them. “It’s clear that the speeches are still highly individualised,” says Skillicorn. “This makes sense as the speeches have to, in some manner, reflect the speaker’s own voice and opinions. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to deliver them convincingly.”
    Additionally, he says, little details count: pronouns such as “we” and “I” are often substituted subconsciously, no matter what is written in the script.
    Each of the candidates had made speeches containing very high and very low levels of spin, according to Skillicorn’s program, depending on the occasion. In general though, Obama’s speeches contain considerably higher spin than either McCain or Clinton. For example, for their speeches accepting their party’s nomination for president, Obama’s speech scored a spin value of 6.7 – where 0 is the average level of spin within all the political speeches analysed, and positive values represent higher spin. In contrast, McCain’s speech scored -7.58, while Hillary Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention scored 0.15. Skillicorn also found that Sarah Palin’s speeches contain slightly more spin than average.
    I post that for discussion purposes. It sounds like hooey to me, but merits discussion nonetheless and Obama routinely accuses McCain of spinning the truth.
    Check out the CNN article on the Bush administration’s move to settle the market’s, its immediate effect, and all the good news on the “fundamentals of the economy”. Looks to me like they are doing all they can. Obama calls McCain a moron for saying he would form a commission and then pelosi says essentially the same thing.
    I relish a good debate and certainly don’t take anything pointed at me as criticisms, just differences in opinion. One of my best friends is a bleeding liberal and my parents and sisters are diehard republicans. They can’t stand their indepedent friend, son, brother but I love hearing their points of view and why they think I am a moron.

  51. Bart

    I am a first time poster so here goes.
    After reading the back and forth about who is to blame, who didn’t do what, who warned who first and who didn’t listen, who signed what in 1999, so on and so on – in other words, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.
    Obama is gonna fix everything; no, McCain is gonna fix everything. Folks, no president is capable of fixing everything by himself. He really is not capable of fixing much at all. He can only react to what is placed on his or her desk after it clears the House and Senate. Once given the authority to do something like Bush was given in Iraq, then they are capable of doing something other than making the other side mad as hell. We go through this every four years. Nothing different this time around either.
    What we are going through now is not all that difficult to understand if you stand back and think without trying to overcomplicate it. This is a problem that has come from an honest, well intentioned attempt at social engineering by encouraging lending institutions to make loans to those whose credit may be suspect and to lower the down payment requirements so the burden of coming up with 20% would not be so stringent.
    Then, when the mechanism was in place to make it happen, the sheer greed of some but not all in the financial market place took over. The predatory practice of approving Subprime loans when the borrower did not meet the requirements for loans that were the accepted practice prior to signing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 was the next step in the process. The rest is history, unfortunately, history we are witnessing as we speak.
    To diverge for a moment here. If you care to check it out, the votes in favor were overwhelming for Gramm-Leach-Bliley when it was passed by both houses AFTER each side had time to make all changes each side wanted. Senate 90-8-1; House 362-57-15. Sounds like a bi-partisan agreement to me. And I don’t think either side had an overwhelming majority at the time.
    Yet, when Bush tried to get more oversight in 2003, he was met with stiff resistance from BOTH sides of the aisle and it died on the vine. Then McCain introduced legislation for oversight but guess what? Again, it got nowhere. Resistance from BOTH sides again. Legal payoffs in the form of political contributions made to members of BOTH parties once again insured no government oversight.
    Now the taxpayers are once again saddled with paying for poor and unwise decisions of our elected representatives and bailing out greedy crooks and thieves working on “Wall Street” used in the generic term. The loan officers at places like CountryWide sat across the desk taking applications from people they knew could not afford to buy a home because they didn’t earn enough money, had a very large debt load, no job at all, and everything else that screamed, “FORECLOSURE”!! Then bundling them in packages with good loans to market to other investors including banks was done so with full knowledge. This should be a crime and prosecuted as bank fraud. Should those who borrowed the money knowing they couldn’t make the payments, knew they were in over their heads, didn’t show sound judgment, and common sense not be held accountable? No, they should accept personal responsibility for their foolish decisions as well.
    No matter who is elected to the White House, he will have his hands full. The anger and division between Democrats and Republicans is greater than ever before and each side is forgetting we are all in this together. National and international financial failures have no conscience nor political affiliations.
    I support McCain because he fits my political and social beliefs closer than Obama does. But, if Obama is elected, I will give him my support as my president. I may not like his policies but George Bush was no walk in the park either when it came to some issues.

  52. Jimmy

    Well said Bart. Bush’s and McCain’s attempts to increase oversight of Fannie/Freddie is very conveniently overlooked.

  53. randy e

    I applaud McCain’s strong response to the economic crisis. He’s so mad that he’s calling for the chair of the “FEC” [sic] to be removed. Little did I know it’s the election officials who are to blame. The man who created the Blackberry certainly has insight others do not.

  54. Bart

    randy e., Idiots abound on both sides in this election. Some jerk in McCain’s office made the Blackberry comment and any thinking person who knows what a Blackberry is knows better. What’s your point anyway? Is this supposed to be another “lipstick on a pig” non-issue?
    If you want to use common sense, understand that Obama is a great writer. He understands the use of a nuanced comment to get a point across and his audience is very much in tune with him. Of course the lipstick reference was meant for Palin. If not, it would have not drawn the immediate, enthusiastic response it did. So, he hit her with a direct hit. So what? My concern is the overreaction by McCain and his indignantion. If Sarah can’t take it, she needs to go home.
    The same with Obama’s campaign when they “hit back” at the slightest provocation or over any minor insult.
    I just watched Bush’s speech about the economy and what is planned. We have a nasty situation on our hands and what ALL should be doing is trying to resolve, solve, and initiate action to bring us out of it and do everything we can within intelligent reasoning to prevent it from happening again down the road. Not everyone will be pleased or happy with whatever proposals or legislation is enacted or steps taken to shore up our financial foundations but at least the first steps have been taken to stop the bleeding and prevent a further weakening.
    If our economy was not “fundamentally sound”, no amount of cash infusion would help. No litany of laws and regulations would rescue it from a dangerous situation. The economy is fundamentally sound because of us, the people who go to work each day, care for our families, buy goods, and pay taxes. We survive in spite of greedy speculators, predatory lenders, and irresponsible borrowers.
    If at this time of crisis, this country cannot come together and at least have faith and confidence in us, the people who actually do the work of keeping America at the top, then we truly have no hope for the future. If we are told the truth without the usual sugar coating offered by pandering politicians lusting after our votes, we the American people are more than capable of making good decisions. We have done so in the past and it is my inherent belief we will do so for a long time to come.
    To me, this is not a political thing anymore. It has become an issue of faith in our standards of decency, morals, principles, and sound judgment as a people. I might not agree with my liberal friends but I do agree with their love of America. They see things one way, I see them another.
    I don’t expect Obama or McCain to be experts on everything. I just expect them to be able to use good, solid, sound judgment when presented all of the facts and listen to knowledgable people from BOTH sides of the aisle. Conservatives are not always right, neither are liberals. Together, it is possible to reach a common agreement that will work for the majority of the citizens of this country while protecting the rights of the minority. No matter what, some will feel left out or discriminated against.
    We do not live in a single issue country. We tend to forget about that when election time comes around. Right now we are focused on the economy and for many voters it will give them cause to become a single issue voter.
    This is an important election on many levels. But, before stepping into the voter’s booth, look at what is really important, study the issues without listening to the gotcha soundbite commericals, actually talk to and listen to the other side, make an informed decision about what is truly important to us as a nation. I am glad to see Barack Obama running for the presidency. Something I never thought I would see in my lifetime. Now, it is win or lose but hopefully on the issues, not the color of his skin.

  55. bud

    Just a very general non-partisan observation about the housing crisis. It seems like for years the government has overly encouraged home ownership. Both sides have bragged about the percentage of people who own there own homes. I heard this during the Clinton years from the left and the Bush supporters have been equally strident in making that claim. The biggest single entitlement of all is the mortgage tax deduction. Uncle Sam is underwriting home ownership with this. Why? Seems like government is way too involved in the housing industry in a number of ways. The lax regulations are just a part of the government interference in the workings of the free market with regard to housing.

  56. Payday Loan Advocate

    Some politicians, such as Barack Obama, are looking to outlaw the payday loan industry. A large part of this intention was stirred by the flawed idea that payday lenders fall under the same moral values as illegal loan sharks. Being misinformed can accumulate some severe consequences. Although this statement is true, they take no notice of the genuine fact that the main source of these consequences is based on a course of action on inaccurate information. Sadly, a number of politicians have successfully passed legislation in their states, city and towns which controls, or even takes away your ability to get a payday loan. Now is the time to take action and educate your friend and family to protect your rights to financial independence.
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  57. jamie

    Guess what, deregulation was partly to blame. And once he’s in office, Obama should put stopgap measures in place to regulate the financial markets. But let’s face it, the Good Ol’ USA can weather **ANY** financial storm as long as our financial house is in order. But, our financial house i WAY out of order.
    WE ARE SPENDING $5,000 per SECOND = $12 BILLION DOLLARS PER MONTH BORROWED FROM CHINA TO FINANCE THE IRAQ WAR FOR OIL!!! If we didn’t have that debt, we could weather any financial storm. Here’s a link for George Bush, Karl Rove, DICK Cheney and John McCain, its called “Debt-a-holic’s Anonymous”
    Somehow, with this HUGE NATIONAL 700 Billion dollar debt, George, Dick, Karl and John have managed to become MULIT-MULTI-MULTI-MILLIONAIRES!!!!
    The republicans have fought for deregulation and screamed about lowering the taxes for the Rich. How can the USA be expected to lower taxes when the GANG running the country spend money like drunken sailor’s???
    Can we PLEASE stop calling the republican party “conservative”? My grandmother and grandfather were conservative Democrats, they were CAREFUL WITH THEIR MONEY. The republican party is the TRUE PARTY OF “SPENDING LIBERALLY” and not being conservative.

  58. Bart

    Quick question jamie – if this war was all about oil, then why was the development of the oilfields given to China, not the good ol’ oil hungry USA? Given by the Iraqis by the way. Considering all of the regulations being imposed by Democrats on their oil, they said no thanks.
    Do you have proof that George, Dick, Karl, and John are receiving money directly from all of these oil revenues someone is supposedly making from Iraq? Your words are pretty strong and it would be nice if for once someone could provide positive proof of these accusations.
    George Bush, Dick Cheney, and John McCain were millionaires before 2000. I don’t know about Rove but I imagine that since he LEFT the White House, his fortunes have increased just as Bill and Hillary’s did after they left. They are now multi-millionaires. Are you aware that the richest person serving in Congress is a Democrat? As a matter of fact, Democrats and Republicans share the title equally with maybe the Democrats having an edge. And with a majority in the Congress for Democrats for two years now, why haven’t they introduced the necessary regulation as you are saying Obama should introduce. Now that the lid has blown off the mess, Democrats are coming out and telling us how they knew this was coming. Chris Dodd was head of the banking committed and Schumer served with him. They were aware of the pending crisis if you listen to what they say so why didn’t they do something when they had the chance. Bush didn’t prevent them from holding hearings and presenting legislation to provide regulations. If he did, please provide proof of what you are saying. Ask Barney Frank why he opposed imposing stricter rules for obtaining a loan several years ago.
    I am not happy about the fact that Bush never used his veto more than he did. He should have stopped the out of control spending in its tracks. However, if you understand a little of how things actually work in Congress, if during the time when veto was a dirty word, at any given time, if Democrats were so upset over the bills endorsed and approved by our elected representatives, they could have filibustered until they were dead. And, don’t forget that Bush’s working margin in both houses was very slim. Bill Clinton went through the same situation when he was President. He had to deal with an opposition majority as well and overall, he did a decent job.
    But, you are right in one aspect. The good ol’ USA can weather any financial storm because our economy is still fundamentally sound. The economy is going through a very difficult time and transition but in the end, I have confidence in the most important asset we have in this country which is the foundation of a sound economy – the American people. What is becoming increasingly difficult is the ability to have an intelligent discussion without it devolving into anger and finger pointing.

  59. Lee Muller

    Clinton cronies at the heart of mortage scandal:
    Janet Reno and Jamie Gorelick went public with threats to prosecute banks who did make enough loans to racial minorities, regardless of income, credit history, or employement.
    The Clinton administration’s White House Budget Director Franklin Raines ran Fannie and collected $50 million. Jamie Gorelick — Clinton Justice Department official — worked for Fannie and took home $26 million. Big Democrat Jim Johnson, recently on Obama’s VP search committee, has hauled in millions from his Fannie Mae CEO job.

  60. Payday Loan Advocate

    America and Capitalism are both based on the freedom of choice. We as Americans and Capitalists should have the financial freedom to choose how we use our money, and we should be able to choose where we get a loan. The fact that certain states are banning a financial resource such as the payday loan industry is ridiculous. These states are taking away the availability of a loan to those who need money quickly, who don’t have the credit to attain one from a bank, who only need a few hundred dollars loaned instead of thousands. Don’t let the legislation take away your financial freedom and vote for your rights as an American citizen.
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  61. Payday Loan Advocate

    Last Tuesday, October 7th, the second presidential debate that took place in Belmont University in Nashville attracted over 60 million viewers. Instead of coming to a more firm deliberation on how to improve the well-being of the United States and all of the American citizens who inhabit it, more questions have raised about how exactly these presidential candidates intend to better our obliterated economy. Frequent questions asked about the $700 billion Wall Street bailout were left unanswered. People are upset and even fear that it would not work and are in search of reassurance and a solution. It seems like their main focus is basically to criticize each other in hopes of rounding up a larger number of followers than the other. Their proposed intentions are based on completely irrelevant issues. Let’s take Barak Obama’s stance on payday advance lenders for an instance. He categorized them as “predatory lending”- effectively sanctioning the industry. This is not an issue that is downheartedly affecting our economy. As the real economic problems are ignored, they spend more time finding and using the pettiest affairs to add spice to the banking production.
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