Newt Gingrich made headlines in October because he suggested that Barney Frank and Chris Dodd should go to jail for authoring the so-called Dodd-Frank banking reforms. Taken together the “landmark” reforms look a lot like an Obama speech: very wordy, very partisan, but full of inaction, cross-purposes and the typical liberal confusion about economics, society and man.
The legislation crafted by Dodd and Frank has reformed none of the systemic failures in our banking system, but it sure has made it harder for banks to loan money, or for you and me to buy a house.
Much of the failure of the housing sector to recover since 2008 can be laid at the feet of the misshapen and misanthropic Dodd-Frank reforms. And much of the failure of the economy in general to recover since 2008 can be laid at the feet of the failure of the housing sector to recover.
Loaning money was not a problem when Dodd and Frank both were getting favors from the industries they regulate. Dodd got a VIP loan from one of the most reckless sub-prime lenders, Countrywide; and Frank got his live-in lover- boyfriend, husband, wife, whatever- a job at Fannie Mae, the largest of the government mortgage mills- and Frank went on to staunchly defend Fannie as safe and sound in the run-up to the mortgage meltdown.
So naturally when Congress was looking for a pair of geniuses to fix the banking sector, Dodd and Frank had comedic resumes that stood out. It’s the way Congress has always done business.
"All being corrupt together," wrote E.L. Godkin, of Congress in 1873, "what is the use of investigating each other?" Godkin made a name as a muckraker and a reforming journalist who helped found the periodic magazine The Nation. Note that Godkin was a fierce critic of socialism.
But of course Frank and Dodd’s chances of seeing a jail cell are not just remote; the chances are nonexistent mostly because they would be judged by others who share the same ethical lapses that Dodd and Frank do.
You are either part of the club or not.
And it’s gotten to the point that we are just not even surprised anymore at the depth of depravity of our political class.
The TV news magazine 60 Minutes recently did an expose of how members of Congress, most notably our former Madam Speaker, Nancy Pelosi and our current Madam Speaker John Boehner, have possibly traded stocks on non-public information for their own benefit. And the reaction from Congress has been a tepid attempt to make Congress follow the same insider trading laws that the rest of us have had to follow for decades.
Despite some strong indications of ethical lapses not just jail, but even strongly-worded censure is out of the question.
This week it was revealed that at the height of the financial crisis at Fannie Mae, secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson, former chairman of Goldman Sachs, stopped by some Wall Street offices and shared with traders his plan to have the government seize the assets of Fannie Mae, while he was publicly telling investors and the press the opposite.
Congress won’t investigate, and it practically won’t comment on the matter either.
Former US Senator, New Jersey Governor and Obama pal, Jon Corzine- according to vice president Joe Biden, Corzine was the first person Obama called for economic advice after the election and a key architect of the stimulus law passed by Obama- ran futures firm MF Global so solidly into the ground in a little over a year after being bounced from office that the firm dipped into customer accounts to pay their bills. Not only is that an ethical problem, it’s also illegal. No arrests have yet been made as of December 1st. Charlie Gasparino at Fox News says that as much as $1.2 billion dollars in customer money may be missing.
And that’s how Congress will treat it.
Sure it issued a subpoena to Corzine.
But don’t expect the man to ever face jail time.
Now that the government is firmly in the business of business, expect the graft to multiply.
Our government subsidizes not just government guaranteed loans, as seen in the green graft Solyndra scheme, but government guaranteed profits to prominent campaign contributors.
As our featured writer Mike Shedlock observed on Monday, in 2009 the FDIC turned over a bank to an investment group led by George Soros that in one year made more than a billion dollars in profit- more than the group invested to buy the bank- despite the federal government still being on the hook for $11 billion in potential bad loan losses.
From the LA Times:
The billionaires' club of private financiers who took over the remains of IndyMac Bank from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. turned a profit of $1.57 billion last year on the failed mortgage lender -- more than they invested less than a year ago.
Yet under the sale agreement, the federal deposit insurance fund still could lose nearly $11 billion on bad loans that the Pasadena institution made before it was sold last March and renamed OneWest Bank.
And soon, thanks to Barney Frank’s retirement, we could be looking at Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-God Help Us) in charge of tweaking the Dodd-Frank reforms as the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee. Waters, named by Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington as one of the most corrupt politicians in DC, is under an ethics investigation for trying to secure a federal bailout for a bank she is personally, financially involved with.
Jail time? Ha!
Look for the House to tell Waters how very disappointed they are with her as she ascends to the number one post on the Financial Services Committee, while the US continues its descent into hell.
PS- If you friend me on Facebook you get sneak peeks of columns! Act now, because I'll hit the friend limit soon.
The email function at the top of the page is working. So, let the Hate Mail begin!
Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/bamransom -See more top stories from Townhall Finance.
New Homepage, more content. ---Be the best informed fiscal conservative.