Sound Off (Feb. 25)

Sound Off (Feb. 25)

There are 73 comments on the Las Cruces Sun-News story from Feb 24, 2009, titled Sound Off (Feb. 25). In it, Las Cruces Sun-News reports that:

Lately, we have seen expressed all the ills of socialism, implying that capitalism is the solution.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Las Cruces Sun-News.

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big rob

Gallup, NM

#1 Feb 25, 2009
For the last time FOOLS!!! Bush warned 11 times....in a texas tone of speak for you dummy demo's...those purse strings in the banking system are way to liberal....Barney "F_A_G" Frank and his other liberal buddies said..that is WRONG President Bush so now we have this problem. 11 TIMES! Get that through ya'lls big dumb heads. Look it up...The Sun-News won't do it for you...they are just as dumb and liberal as YOU!
duh

Santa Fe, NM

#2 Feb 25, 2009
Big Rob, its fitting that you're sticking up for Bush. Clearly you are a biggot and an ignorant fool, just like the buffoon that you worship...good riddance to Bush, his cronies, and all the idiots who put him there, like you.

Since: Jan 09

Las Cruces, NM

#3 Feb 25, 2009
From that bastion of conservatism, the New York Times.

LOOK AT THE DATE.

Take an especially close look at Paragraph 3.

September 30, 1999
Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
By STEVEN A. HOLMES

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer.''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites

Since: Jan 09

Las Cruces, NM

#4 Feb 25, 2009
In case anyone doubted the source of the NY Times article, here's the link:

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...

Oh, and about Franklin D. Raines, the head of Fannie Mae during that time:

"In 1991 he (Raines) became Fannie's Mae's Vice Chairman, a post he left in 1996 in order to join the Clinton Administration as the Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, where he served until 1998. In 1999, he returned to Fannie Mae as CEO, "the first black man to head a Fortune 500 company."

On December 21, 2004 Raines accepted what he called "early retirement" from his position as CEO while U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators continued to investigate alleged accounting irregularities. He is accused by The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), the regulating body of Fannie Mae, of abetting widespread accounting errors, which included the shifting of losses so senior executives, such as himself, could earn large bonuses.

In 2006, the OFHEO announced a suit against Raines in order to recover some or all of the $90 million in payments made to Raines based on the overstated earnings [6] initially estimated to be $9 billion but have been announced as 6.3 billion.

Civil charges were filed against Raines and two other former executives by the OFHEO in which the OFHEO sought $110 million in penalties and $115 million in returned bonuses from the three accused. On April 18, 2008, the government announced a settlement with Raines together with J. Timothy Howard, Fannie's former chief financial officer, and Leanne G. Spencer, Fannie's former controller. The three executives agreed to pay fines totaling about $3 million, which will be paid by Fannie's insurance policies. Raines also agreed to donate the proceeds from the sale of $1.8 million of his Fannie stock and to give up stock options. The stock options however have no value. Raines also gave up an estimated $5.3 million of "other benefits" said to be related to his pension and forgone bonuses.

An editorial in The Wall Street Journal called it a "paltry settlement" which allowed Raines and the other two executives to "keep the bulk of their riches." In 2003 alone, Raines's compensation was over $20 million."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Raines

That's $90 million bucks, folks.

And how much did YOUR home lose in value during the past two years??

Since: Jan 09

Las Cruces, NM

#5 Feb 25, 2009
duh wrote:
Big Rob, its fitting that you're sticking up for Bush. Clearly you are a biggot and an ignorant fool, just like the buffoon that you worship...good riddance to Bush, his cronies, and all the **** who put him there, like you.
Rather than name-calling, can you substantiate an argument to the following FACTS? Or is name-calling your only acquired method of debate?
The following are attempts by President Bush to reform Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac since he took office in 2001.
Unfortunately, Congress did not act on the president's warnings:
** 2001
April: The Administration's 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."
** 2002
May: The President calls for the disclosure and corporate governance principles contained in his 10-point plan for corporate responsibility to apply to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.(OMB Prompt Letter to OFHEO, 5/29/02)
** 2003
January: Freddie Mac announces it has to restate financial results for the previous three years.
February: 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)
September: Fannie Mae discloses SEC investigation and acknowledges OFHEO's review found earnings manipulations.
September: Treasury Secretary John Snow testifies before the House Financial Services Committee to recommend that Congress enact "legislation to create a new Federal agency to regulate and supervise the financial activities of our housing-related government sponsored enterprises" and set prudent and appropriate minimum capital adequacy requirements.
October: Fannie Mae discloses $1.2 billion accounting error.
November: 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)

Since: Jan 09

Las Cruces, NM

#6 Feb 25, 2009
More for "duh":
** 2004
February: The President's 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: CEA Chairman Mankiw cautions Congress to "not take [the financial market's] 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 Freddie's House In Order," Financial Times, 2/24/04)
June: 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)
** 2005
April: 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)
** 2007
July: Two Bear Stearns hedge funds invested in mortgage securities collapse.
August: President Bush emphatically calls on Congress to pass a reform package for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying "first things first when it comes to those two institutions. Congress needs to get them reformed, get them streamlined, get them focused, and then I will consider other options." (President George W. Bush, Press Conference, The White House, 8/9/07)
September: RealtyTrac announces foreclosure filings up 243,000 in August – up 115 percent from the year before.
September: Single-family existing home sales decreases 7.5 percent from the previous month – the lowest level in nine years. Median sale price of existing homes fell six percent from the year before.
December: 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 I've 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)

Since: Jan 09

Las Cruces, NM

#7 Feb 25, 2009
And not to mention:

** 2008
January: Bank of America announces it will buy Countrywide.
January: Citigroup announces mortgage portfolio lost $18.1 billion in value.
February: 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)
March: Bear Stearns announces it will sell itself to JPMorgan Chase.
March: President Bush calls on Congress to take action and "move forward with reforms on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They need to continue to modernize the FHA, as well as allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to homeowners to refinance their mortgages." (President George W. Bush, Remarks To The Economic Club Of New York, New York, NY, 3/14/08)
April: 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)
May: President Bush issues several pleas to Congress to pass legislation reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the situation deteriorates further.
"Americans are concerned about making their mortgage payments and keeping their homes. Yet Congress has failed to pass legislation I have repeatedly requested to modernize the Federal Housing Administration that will help more families stay in their homes, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure they focus on their housing mission, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to refinance sub-prime loans." (President George W. Bush, Radio Address, 5/3/08)
"[T]he government ought to be helping creditworthy people stay in their homes. And one way we can do that – and Congress is making progress on this – is the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That reform will come with a strong, independent regulator." (President George W. Bush, Meeting With The Secretary Of The Treasury, the White House, 5/19/08)
"Congress needs to pass legislation to modernize the Federal Housing Administration, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure they focus on their housing mission, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to refinance subprime loans." (President George W. Bush, Radio Address, 5/31/08)
June: As foreclosure rates continued to rise in the first quarter, the President once again asks Congress to take the necessary measures to address this challenge, saying "we need to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." (President George W. Bush, Remarks At Swearing In Ceremony For Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development, Washington, D.C., 6/6/08)
July: Congress heeds the President's call for action and passes reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as it becomes clear that the institutions are failing.
In 2005-- Senator John McCain partnered with three other Senate Republicans to reform the government’s involvement in lending.
Democrats blocked this reform, too.

“Live Free or Die Trying”

Since: Feb 09

Las Cruces

#8 Feb 25, 2009
BottleRocket wrote:
And not to mention:
** 2008
January: Bank of America announces it will buy Countrywide.
January: Citigroup announces mortgage portfolio lost $18.1 billion in value.
February: 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)
March: Bear Stearns announces it will sell itself to JPMorgan Chase.
March: President Bush calls on Congress to take action and "move forward with reforms on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They need to continue to modernize the FHA, as well as allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to homeowners to refinance their mortgages." (President George W. Bush, Remarks To The Economic Club Of New York, New York, NY, 3/14/08)
April: 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)
May: President Bush issues several pleas to Congress to pass legislation reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the situation deteriorates further.
"Americans are concerned about making their mortgage payments and keeping their homes. Yet Congress has failed to pass legislation I have repeatedly requested to modernize the Federal Housing Administration that will help more families stay in their homes, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure they focus on their housing mission, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to refinance sub-prime loans." (President George W. Bush, Radio Address, 5/3/08)
"[T]he government ought to be helping creditworthy people stay in their homes. And one way we can do that – and Congress is making progress on this – is the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That reform will come with a strong, independent regulator." (President George W. Bush, Meeting With The Secretary Of The Treasury, the White House, 5/19/08)
"Congress needs to pass legislation to modernize the Federal Housing Administration, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure they focus on their housing mission, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to refinance subprime loans." (President George W. Bush, Radio Address, 5/31/08)
June: As foreclosure rates continued to rise in the first quarter, the President once again asks Congress to take the necessary measures to address this challenge, saying "we need to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." (President George W. Bush, Remarks At Swearing In Ceremony For Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development, Washington, D.C., 6/6/08)
July: Congress heeds the President's call for action and passes reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as it becomes clear that the institutions are failing.
In 2005-- Senator John McCain partnered with three other Senate Republicans to reform the government’s involvement in lending.
Democrats blocked this reform, too.
Remember, don't try to confuse a liberal with the facts. It makes them mad enough to almost purchase a gun.
East Mesa Democrat

Las Cruces, NM

#9 Feb 25, 2009
BottleRocket wrote:
From that bastion of conservatism, the New York Times.
LOOK AT THE DATE.
Take an especially close look at Paragraph 3.
September 30, 1999
Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
By STEVEN A. HOLMES
In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.
(...)
This was a back-room deal worked out by President Bill Clinton to settle a lawsuit brought against Citi Bank by a group of lawyers that included our current president, Barak Obama. And now he talks about taking responsibility!
East Mesa Democrat

Las Cruces, NM

#10 Feb 25, 2009
Caller Said "For about as long as most can remember, Presidents Elect have made public their personal education and medical records for public review. Even George W Bush, commonly but undeservedly thought of as the least intelligent/educated President, released his education records. So, what is President Obama trying to hide. And who is footing the huge legal bill for the staff of lawyers in charge of keeping the records sealed?"

OK, just what is President Obama hiding? What did he list on his college applications as far as nationality or place of birth? Did he rip off the government by claiming some sort of benefit for which he wasn’t entitled? I say the DoJ force the records public! Where is this transparency he promised?
Joe

Las Cruces, NM

#11 Feb 25, 2009
TIp, to keep your license plate from fading, wax it when you wax your car. That's what I do, and mine still looks as good as the day I got it.
john

United States

#12 Feb 25, 2009
Can anyone tell me why the NM Motor Vehicle Dept is so backwards? They are the only place in town that does not take debit or credit cards. Even my childs elementary book fair takes debit cards. Come on MVD you need to change with the times.
Ray D

United States

#13 Feb 25, 2009
john wrote:
Can anyone tell me why the NM Motor Vehicle Dept is so backwards? They are the only place in town that does not take debit or credit cards. Even my childs elementary book fair takes debit cards. Come on MVD you need to change with the times.
Would you yourself accept credit anything from the types that walk in there? You can thank our governor for facilitating and accomodating such shady, high risks in the first place.
Curious George

Las Cruces, NM

#14 Feb 25, 2009
Ray D wrote:
<quoted text>
Would you yourself accept credit anything from the types that walk in there? You can thank our governor for facilitating and accomodating such shady, high risks in the first place.
Credit and debit cards don't bounce like checks, and they guarantee that the business gets paid. How is that a risk?

Your argument is weak.
ZAP

Albuquerque, NM

#15 Feb 25, 2009
john wrote:
Can anyone tell me why the NM Motor Vehicle Dept is so backwards? They are the only place in town that does not take debit or credit cards. Even my childs elementary book fair takes debit cards. Come on MVD you need to change with the times.
For a tag renewal they will take a credit card or a debit card at their online site. However, they will tack on a transaction fee it you use that method of payment.
Among you Soon

United States

#16 Feb 25, 2009
OK, I'm convinced! Since the Candy Man has promised to cure Cancer now, we have nothing to worry about!

I'll have the vanilla with some fudge!
Among you Soon

United States

#17 Feb 25, 2009
East Mesa Democrat wrote:
<quoted text>
This was a back-room deal worked out by President Bill Clinton to settle a lawsuit brought against Citi Bank by a group of lawyers that included our current president, Barak Obama. And now he talks about taking responsibility!
I actually like the part where the Candy Man complained (again) about the large deficit he and his band of left-wing Socialists inherited, but completely ignored the fact that with his nifty bailout bill, he just created the largest deficit in history.

Yes indeed folks, that's what I really love about politicians, they dazzle you with BS on the one hand, while the other hand picks your pocket!
Andres

Albuquerque, NM

#18 Feb 25, 2009
doomsday is around the corner! Hurry Up!
Shannon

Albuquerque, NM

#19 Feb 25, 2009
I just love reading bottlerocket and lcirishman blogs and all the other conservative people. It makes me think I'm not alone in New Mexico.

“I'm not worried.”

Since: Feb 09

Las Cruces

#20 Feb 25, 2009
"Lately, we have seen expressed all the ills of socialism, implying that capitalism is the solution. Capitalism is fine except for all the thieves it has created, and continues to create, that have robbed government and society. And by the way, each day we salute the flag with the pledge of allegiance, we are being socialist. The pledge was written by a socialist Christian minister by the name of Francis Bellamy. He was aided in the writing of the pledge by his socialist cousin, Edward Bellamy."

I don't agree with the caller that reciting the pledge makes you a socialist, but it did lead me to some very interesting research on the subject of Mr. Francis Bellamy.

I find it interesting that My. Bellamy did not include the phrase "under God" in the original pledge even though he was a Baptist minister. The words "under God" were inserted into the pledge in 1954.

I also find it interesting (and somewhat humorous) that the original salute to the flag while reciting the pledge is with the hand stretched out toward the flag with the palm up. The close resemblance of this salute to the Nazi salute led president Roosevelt to make the change in 1942 to the hand over the heart. In New Mexico, school students do a variation of the Bellamy salute when reciting the New Mexico pledge.

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