Obama: We Need A Main Street Solution, Not Just A Wall Street Fix

In his statement today on the financial crisis, Senator Barack Obama said, in part:

[W]e cannot only have a plan for Wall Street. We must also help Main Street as well. I’m glad that our government is moving so quickly in addressing the crisis that threatens some of our biggest banks and corporations. But a similar crisis has threatened families, workers and homeowners for months and months and Washington has done far too little to help.


For too long, this Administration has been willing to hit the fast-forward button in helping distressed Wall Street firms while pressing pause when it comes to saving jobs or keeping people in their homes. We already know that the credit crisis that has emerged from our largest financial institutions is becoming a credit crunch for small business owners, homeowners, and students seeking loans in big cities and small towns. Now that American taxpayers are being called on to share in this new burden, we must take equally swift and serious action to help lift the burdens they face every day.

In the same bipartisan spirit that is being shown with regard to the crisis on Wall Street, I ask Senator McCain, President Bush, Republicans and Democrats to join me in supporting an emergency economic plan for working families – a plan that would help folks cope with rising gas and food prices, spark job creation through repair of our schools and roads, help states and cities avoid painful budget cuts and tax increases, help homeowners stay in their homes, and provide retooling assistance for America’s auto industry. John McCain and I can continue to argue about our different economic agendas for next year, but we should come together now to work on what this country urgently needs this year.

The second principle I would like to see in the emerging plan from the Treasury and the Fed is that our approach should be one of mutual responsibility and reciprocity. It must not be designed to reward particular companies or the irresponsible decisions of borrowers or lenders. It must not be designed to enhance the personal gain of CEOs and management. The recklessness of some of these executives has helped cause this mess, even as they walk away with multimillion dollar golden parachutes while taxpayers are left holding the bag. As taxpayers are asked to take extraordinary steps to protect our financial system, it is only appropriate that those who benefit be expected to contribute to the protection of American homeowners and the American economy. Just as support is not designed to payoff egregious executive compensation, it should not reward those who are ruthlessly foreclosing on American families.

I recommend the HOLC idea to you Senator Obama.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< HOLC Beats RTC | En Banc Rehearing for Qwest's Joe Nacchio Next Week >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    If he doesn't get onboard with the HOLC idea (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:45:29 PM EST
    it will be one more slap in my American face after the FISA bill.  Come on Obama, get real serious about being a Democrat and watch the people start to light up!  A real solution for the people would cause your campaign to explode instead of just plod along.

    Hillary is out there explicitly pushing (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:29:09 PM EST
    the DEMOCRATIC agenda via HOLC.

    I guess her idea is to demonstrate what SHE, and other Congressional Democrats, are committed to doing about the economy if Obama wins the election.

    She is clearly signaling that they intend to push Obama further than he is currently willing to go on the economy.

    Good strategy from Hillary.


    My husband just came home from (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:21:32 PM EST
    work and told me that the Democratic congress was to blame for some of this.  He has been properly humbled now :)

    MT, when you ever get a moment (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:26:26 PM EST
    of leisure, here's a novel you may enjoy:  The Stone Angel [1974], by Margaret Laurence, a Canadian.  The protagonist is a feisty, very opinionated woman.  Great read.

    Sounds like he will (none / 0) (#16)
    by coigue on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:08:52 PM EST
    he just didn't explicitly say HOLC.

    I'll invest in HOLC issued bonds (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:23:40 PM EST
    I'll invest in America's families.

    Ho Yeah... (none / 0) (#27)
    by coigue on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:24:20 PM EST
    That's the stuff!

    Post-partisan (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by TheRealFrank on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:02:32 PM EST
    He's going for the post-partisan shtick on this. See the "politicians of both parties" part.

    It seems, combined with his 2-minute ad, that the angle is to provide a contrast with McCain's attacks, blaming Democrats, to appear serious and presidential. It seems designed to get independents on board.

    I don't know. Maybe it works. The whole post-partisan thing makes me uncomfortable.

    Some explaining to do... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:53:02 PM EST
    Obviously, both McCain and Obama have not been the most prescient on the economy. We know what is holding McCain back (until very recently)--the traditional conservative decentralization view together with previous ties with the Bush administration. But, being honest, we need to realize that our Obama has big ties with Wall Street as well (in terms of contributions and, especially, with his advisor James Johnson, the former CEO of Fannie Mae.) The Washington Post editorial today has a relatively harsh editorial about Obama on particular economic critiques today; and, the Wall Street Journal has a stinging editorial about John McCain's remarks. Go figure...the world is upside down on the newspaper reaction. The point: As the story moves, the Wall Street mess may well get muddier and curiouser for both candidates. I continue to believe that whoever of the two can capture the American imagination with a propose action (or two or three) would be a move ahead in the chess game.

    It's one economy (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Manuel on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:02:39 PM EST
    When Wall Street catches cold, Main Street catches pneumonia.

    Obama is sounding the right note here.  Democrats need to fight for making sure that in stabilizing the housing crisis the expansion of home ownership is proteted.  They also need to fight for fair tax rates.  I am less sure about the benefit of another stimulus package.

    More than just trying to fix the mess (5.00 / 4) (#22)
    by scribe on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:15:59 PM EST
    which Bush, McCain and the rest of the Republicans have left, people need to go to prison for this.

    The cheats and schemers who put together these schemes to rape the average person are the ones who need to bear that burden, and do the time.

    I'm usually one in favor of criminal defendants, but this is one of those cases where I'm not.  A lot of people have been and will be hurt by a financial system set up to hurt them and benefit a very few people who were able to set up that system.

    As one commentator said a couple days ago, "The Republicans have far outdone Lenin's wildest dreams.  They've destroyed more capital (this week) than he ever did."

    And, if you think there's no precedent for this, think again.  As the story goes, early on in his first administration, FDR sought to have the SEC created and the 33 and 34 Acts passed and many on Wall Street undertook to fight that to the bitter end.  Among them was the patriarch, Joseph Kennedy, both considered a leader on Wall Street and known to have been one of the worst offenders against the rules of the market as they existed then - trading on non-public information, short scares, etc.  FDR had it communicated to Kennedy that he could either support the creation of the SEC and passage of the Acts, or suffer all the consequences the government could bring to bear upon him.  Kennedy came out and lent his strong support to FDR's program, collapsing most of the opposition.  (There remained some, including the Bush family, but that's another story.)

    Obama's going to have to be even more ruthless on this than FDR was, because the rot is worse.

    good history, scribe (none / 0) (#60)
    by sancho on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:51:16 PM EST
    and the "that's another story" you mention involving the bushes is (or a part of it is) the one that has been playing out before us. i wish prison were a real choice for dealing with these folks but i doubt it will be. what a robbery. epic, really. and they attempted robbery on social security too.  

    Actually, the "that's another story" (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by scribe on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:09:15 PM EST
    I was referring to was the alleged involvement of Prescott Bush in the Business Plot, which sought to stop the New Deal and install a fascist government right here in the US of A in 1934, revealed through the testimony of Marine Gen. Smedley Butler, a military hero who was to have been a public face of the plotters.

    That episode in our history has always been a little too murky - and deliberately so, it would seem.


    i thought as much (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by sancho on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:15:04 PM EST
    i can never hear enough about that story, myself. proof that dynastic families exist even in america and have interests and pursue them against the welfare of the rest of us. undoing fdr has been the near public battle cry of the republicans since reagan (marketed as an ex-fdr democrat) and so many gullible people help them along.

    It was their battle cry before Reagan (none / 0) (#99)
    by scribe on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:47:47 PM EST
    going all the way back to the thirties, but it was just that undoing the New Deal was viewed as "never happen" in those days, so responsible people didn't listen to them.

    We saw how well that turned out.

    But, going a little sideways, I used to work in an area which has been the very horsey-set Republican majority since back in the day.  One of the cars you'd see - on a sunny day - was someone's old '38-'40 Ford Woody.  The car they'd use to pick someone up at the train station and bring them to the country house.  Thus, the name "station wagon".

    It still had its original "Wilkie in 40" window sticker.

    And that's something Obama (assuming he wins) has to understand - Republicans never give up.  Establishing their aristocracy and destroying the middle class is a multi-generational project for them.  They know and accept it likely will not happen in their lifetime, but nevertheless keep on pushing.  Never. Give. Up.

    Remember, Goldwater got trashed as badly as anyone ever did, and a worse Rethug managed to in 4 years later.


    indeed, indeed (none / 0) (#124)
    by sancho on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 09:52:48 PM EST
    as reagan was at the hustings all those years for GE but reagan, as a symbolic ex-fdr'er, said it was ok for those former fdr dems still living, and their children, to surrender the power they had. he symbolized and enacted the very successful takedown of fdr policies that the far right had been dreaming of since the failed coup.

    your confidence in obama greatly exceeds my own. but i hope for the best b/c what else can one do.


    Ridde me this..... (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by Oje on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:53:14 PM EST
    Here we have Obama clearly pointing the blame at a bipartisan Washington, via MyDD:

    We did not arrive at this crisis by some accident of history.  What led us to this point was years and years of a philosophy in Washington and on Wall Street...

    At the same time, Obama tells Americans that his plan is to submit to what Washington and Wall Street insiders decide to do out of a spirit of bipartisanship:

    Today, I fully support the effort of Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke to work in a bipartisan spirit with Congress to find this kind of solution.

    He is supporting today what he decried yesterday, no?

    The newspapers report this as Obama "deferring" to others on a course of action, but more damaging, some reports suggest that Obama is not strategizing a solution, but strategerizing how to present himself as presidential:

    Although he usually speaks without notes, in recent days he has consistently used a teleprompter, to avoid errors that would undercut his attempts to sound presidential.... In an example of the frenetic efforts by the Obama side to keep up, the candidate late Tuesday asked for a conference call with core advisers. Mr. Volcker answered his cellphone on a Manhattan street corner, Mr. Rubin called in minutes after landing in New York from London, and they joined others to discuss how Mr. Obama should react.

    I am not impressed by the example of leadership here. Senator Obama needs to step up with something concrete.

    Geez, I am going to have to stop commenting today because I do not see any substantive leadership from our candidate.... The rules are rules at talkleft!

    lol (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Salo on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:57:55 PM EST
    We did not arrive at this crisis by some accident of history.  What led us to this point was years and years of a philosophy in Washington and on Wall Street...

    This I agree with.
    But is there an alternative economic and social philosophy that Obama is willing to embrace? If the crisis is patched up a bit i expect a return to orthodoxy.


    Why would Obama suggest working in a (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:11:24 PM EST
    bi-partisan manner with the GOP ARSONISTS who burnt down the freakin' house?

    I just don't get why Obama doesn't get it. He is, evidently, unwilling to grasp and/or channel the outrage the public feels toward the GOP right now.

    What, presumably negative, blow-back does he imagine will happen if he actually did hold the GOP accountable in forthright terms?


    Blowback (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by oldpro on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:36:54 PM EST
    would be the loss of campaign funds from you-know-who...and it's not those folks on the internets.

    What he will have to do depends on the Nov. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Christy1947 on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:50:23 PM EST
    results. If you have been watching, the too slim margin that Dems have, especially in the Senate, has left all of us open to the blackmail, blizzards of amendments, procedural calls and other obstacles which a completely united Republican minority has thrown up which means it takes 61 and not 51 votes to get anything controversial through the Senate, and 67 when Bush opposes it (and the 51 becomes 50 whenever Liebermann chooses to act up, with Cheney given the Constitutional right to break the tie). Thus the Dems have to negotiate and dance and will continue to have to do so until some more Dems can be elected.

    When the Repubs were in the majority, you may remember, they also exercised party discipline, and excluded Dems from decision making entirely, having only to negotiate a deal within their own party for which all Repubs then voted.

    The House is not that much difference because a material number of Dems are Blue Dogs who are more sympathetic to R positions on many issues we care about and vote accordingly, unless bribed sufficiently with other stuff we don't like either. Pelosi has been reasonably successful in coming up with compromises which keep enough Blue Dogs at home, at a cost to her on sites like this one. Because the posters here are nto the ones electing the Blue Dogs.  

    This is NOT an O problem, but a party discipline problem generally.


    Equivocating will not get Obama elected. (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:50:03 PM EST
    We need iron-clad policy wrapped around an iron will, in the form of a person with a generosity of spirit and infinite grace.

    What is the Dem standard bearer doing to increase (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by jawbone on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:52:30 PM EST
    the likelihood of voters thinking straight ticket?

    If bipartisan is such a great goal, why not give whichever man wins a Congress of the opposite party? And why strengthen the Dems?

    Oh, and ever notice that when the Repubs talk about the Dems needind to be more bipartisan, it means do what the Repubs want? And for the Dems, it means moving toward the Repubs' stands?



    It could be.... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Oje on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:02:24 PM EST
    I just do not get - more like I just do not accept from a Democrat - the kind of superficial personality campaigning that is at the heart of Obama's strategy. Here is another article in which Obama explains his plan:

    "This is a serious situation and people want to see someone who is calm," an Obama official told ABC News.

    "Others may be popping off" today, said the campaign official, but Obama will be repeating his economic principles, which the official say are close to what is being considered by Congress and the U.S. administration.

    Obviously, the Obama team has used his personality positioning to good effect. His maneuvers to kite (in the mmorg sense) the personalities of his more experienced opponents works as a method to deflect attention from their proposals and convinces his most avid followers that he is truly a substantive and policy-driven candidate. My guess is that Clinton's speech from yesterday (? - posted on TL today) is as much part of calculations in today's response as McCain's speech today.


    If you're going to quote, please (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by scribe on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 04:21:04 PM EST
    make sure you quote completely.  You leave out:

    The events of this week have rendered a final verdict on that failed philosophy, and it will end if I am President of the United States.  We must build upon the ideas I have laid out over the last several years about how to modernize our financial regulation in this country, and establish commonsense rules of the road for our financial system to help restore confidence in our financial system.

    Of course, had you quoted completely, the "point" you try to make, viz.:

    I am not impressed by the example of leadership here. Senator Obama needs to step up with something concrete.

    Geez, I am going to have to stop commenting today because I do not see any substantive leadership from our candidate.... The rules are rules at talkleft!

    would have collapsed of its own weight, filmy and insubstantial though it might have been.

    Your post reveals instantly a fundamental lack of understanding of a pair of issues:  knowing when one can say too much, in the context of markets, and knowing where and to what a candidate can, may and cannot speak in the context of a crisis.

    As to "when one can say too much, in the context of markets", any neophyte looking at the way public figures - particularly politicians - and people involved in markets speak, when the markets (or parts of them) are involved in crisis would have seen Obama's speech today was well-calibrated to both not exacerbate the situation and not get in the way of the people in office trying to deal with the problems.  No public figure (and that would include executives) would know that speaking too much could move markets - in ways that would be irresponsible.  So, by limiting his speech to telling Wall Street that the Wild West Casino will be closing when he becomes President, Obama is both being responsible, and stating a clear position.  

    Those are qualities of leadership, well displayed.

    And, in not commenting on (and explicitly abjuring commenting on) the work being performed by the people in office trying to deal with the problems, Obama is showing both tact and respect for the professionals at work and is avoiding making their jobs more difficult.

    Those are both qualities of leadership.  Well expressed, again.

    Your comment seems to favor something along the lines of the barroom "fire the SEC head" reaction which McSame displayed yesterday and which made McSame, rightly, look foolish. (Particularly when it came out that a President can't fire the head of the SEC).

    Which leads me to conclude that you'd be better served commenting on public affairs from a stool in a public house, where impaired ramblings are both welcome and expected, rather than here at TalkLeft, where they inspire giggles.


    oops. (none / 0) (#111)
    by scribe on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 04:23:49 PM EST
    I wrote:  "No public figure (and that would include executives) would know that speaking too much could move markets - in ways that would be irresponsible."

    When I meant to write:
    "Any responsible public figure (and that would include executives) would know that speaking too much could move markets - in ways that would make speaking irresponsible."


    Wow, how unfriendly and misleading..... (none / 0) (#123)
    by Oje on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 09:31:25 PM EST
    Indeed, I did call myself out as having an unconstructive criticism to Obama's deference on a solution to the financial crisis. I am invested in his election. Thus, my final sentence.

    However, your response is wholly dishonest.

    First, the quote you clip, that you suggest that I "leave out" is not congruous with the sentence I selected.... It is about 6 paragraphs below. I did not clip the quote or leave out anything, unless you would have me quote "completely" his entire speech. Your actions here speak volumes about you.

    Second, Obama's "say" in the market is about... zilch. He is not the head of the federal reserve, nor is he the president. He is candidate for president, nothing more at this point. All that he says is a reflection on the kind of candidate he is, the kind of president he will be. As many have said on any number of issues (hint: FISA), as the Democratic candidate his only power now is to leverage what Democratic ideals he holds.

    If he choses to hedge his bets by offering nothing but his past "principles," that has little to do with what you regard as the power of his spoken word over the volatility of the markets. McCain's words have not sent us into a dizzying plummet, and the power of his "say" is exactly equal to... Obama's. This is just a ridiculous argument about leadership, imho.

    Perhaps you are incapable of seeing Obama's predicament. He wishes to criticize the current crisis as the outcome of a philosophy that pervades "Washington" and then submit to a bi-/non-partisan solution to the crisis. Obama recently began to flame the Republicans for their perverse and destructive ideology, but is still bound to the "bi-partisan" narrative of his campaign.

    In fact, the economic crisis is causing Obama to dilute and mix messages to voters. At this time, he seem to have at least three messages: condemnations of both parties, condemnations of a predominant "Washington" philosophy/ideology, and condemnations of Republican's philosophy/ideology.  

    Bipartisanship is a solution to one of those charges, change is a solution to another, and Democratic partisanship is the solution to the third. And, yet, he is trapped by his first solution, the one heralded during the primaries.


    Jim Lehrer says the first debate (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:45:17 PM EST
    will be about foreign policy and national security.  Why?

    Because those, supposedly, (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:48:50 PM EST
    are the core functions of gvt?

    Not this week. (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:50:06 PM EST
    True, dat. (none / 0) (#67)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:59:41 PM EST
    That should be a quick debate.... (5.00 / 0) (#62)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:55:11 PM EST
    our new foreign policy will consist convincing sucker-nations worldwide to buy US Treasury bonds.

    The new national security will be citizen milititias along the coasts...bring your own muskets.  It's all we can afford.


    I said it at length on the HOLC post that BTD (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Christy1947 on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:02:18 PM EST
    put up, and say it a bit differently here. What is going to matter is something which will be determined in the next few days. If what the Govt is going to buy is the mortgage notes or securities each of which owns literally a percentage of the mortgage notes themselves, it can do a lot to rework them so they are reduced to market value of the homes they cover, and Main Street can be helped. There will be a huge delay in finding out who actually owns the mortgage notes and which securities are entitled to ownership rights, and those and only those should be bought out to be reworked into some sensible sort of fixed rate mortgage on the current value of the house. Assuming a 'current market value' for the houses can in fact be determined (I am trying to sell my house, and exactly two other houses have sold in my area in the past ten months) this will help homeowners who can pay, but given the collateral slow collapse of other businesses owing to people cutting back on purchases generally, and the usual run of bad debtors, there will be some who will not ever be helped.

    The problem will come with the securities which a lot of financials own which are not connected to the ownership of the notes but to the income stream which they generate. My guess is that the buyout will be by the dumptruck full, and will include a huge lot of the 'interest in the income stream' securities, rather than 'interest in the mortgage note itself' securities,in which event the buyout will help the investors, but not the homeowners.

    IMHO, the distinction between income stream investors and mortgage note percentage holding investors is very important, and the success of the buyout in telling the difference and buying only the percentage of mortgage note securities, and then reworking the loans, will determine whether the Trillion goes for Main Street or Wall Street.

    Yes, I may be oversimplifying, but please if you want to post that, explain what structure for buyouts will have to be to help Mainstreet, rather than just calling me a moron.

    Why not just say that any institution that (none / 0) (#80)
    by santarita on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:13:21 PM EST
    participates in the buy out/bail out has to agree that the underlying  mortgages will be subject to modifications of terms including loan write downs?  I recognize the complexity involved but at the end of the day, the Fed should have the right to make without recourse transactions.  

    Doesn't this penalize people like me (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:24:22 PM EST
    though who made sure that I got the loan I needed for the house that I could afford?  Doesn't this mean that I got the house I could afford and now the government is going to afford the McMansion for everybody else?

    That puts a fine point on it (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:31:45 PM EST
    and is the problem with bailouts generally.  But a banking collapse is unthinkable....

    I think any bailout must entail a loss of all equity (shareholder value) before the feds' guarantee is triggered.....I think a lot of shareholder equity has been forfeited as part of the deal, but I think it should be all....Although it has been hard to track the specifics of what is being proposed.


    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 08:25:54 PM EST
    The government supported, and encouraged, home loans to people who couldn't afford those homes.  They propped up Freddie and Fannie.  Now, those companies, and the people who got the loans, will again be propped up, with YOUR money, and mine.  

    Those of us who did it right, saved money for a down payment, and bought a house we could afford, get nothing from the taxpayers, while Freddie and Fannie executives rake in millions and people get to stay in houses they shouldn't be in and couldn't afford.  

    Your government at work.  With your money.  Nice.


    One reponse is that by preventing a precipitous (none / 0) (#105)
    by jawbone on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:58:23 PM EST
    decline in local property values due to empty unsold houses, it actually may keep your own house's value intact.

    Just something I've heard during discussions.

    Plus, should you need to move, if there's little liquidity in the credit markets, you may not be able to sell or subsequently buy a new house.

    I have no idea how realistic these rationals are.


    Well, I sort of "cheated" on that too (none / 0) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 04:11:22 PM EST
    in the past inflated like crazy market.  We purchased from people who had two homes and were having problems moving this house. And I paid bargain basement price for this house.  That is what happens to you though when your father is a contractor, you don't see houses through the same lens that other people do.

    Yes, but bailouts are infuriating, (none / 0) (#117)
    by santarita on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 06:18:55 PM EST
    especially when people who knew better might have prevented this crisis.  But if the bailout works, then everyone will benefit from economic stability (at least until energy costs start the next crisis).

    How do you decide (none / 0) (#94)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:29:50 PM EST
    which mortgage holders get their loans written down?

    7 reasons why foreclosures occur:

    One reason can be a poor local or national economy.

    Second reason can be personal problems. Most commonly, foreclosure is caused by divorce, death of the sole provider, or, increasingly, overwhelming medical bills

    Third reason is the tendency of some first-time home buyers to over-extend themselves.

    Fourth reason is the availability of loans with high loan-to-value ratios.

    Fifth reason is the lenient terms offered by such governmental agencies as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or the Veteran's Administration (VA).

    Sixth reason is the existence of predatory lenders.

    Seventh reason is, oddly enough, low interest rates. Low rates can tempt buyers into purchasing more house than they can afford.

    I would feel ever so much better (5.00 / 6) (#71)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:03:06 PM EST
    about the future of the U.S., including its economny, if Hillary Clinton were the Dem. Presidential candidate.  

    If he (3.50 / 2) (#5)
    by sas on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:49:39 PM EST
    really wants to fix it, he will call on Hillary and Bill.

    Bet he doesn't.

    Oh leave it alone. (3.66 / 3) (#14)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:05:27 PM EST
    Obama is running for President because he wants to see the economy screwed up? Feh.

    Do (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by sas on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:43:01 PM EST
    you really think that is what I said?

    Are you an Obama troll?  Trying to change the subject?

    I ask you, who knows the economy backward and forwar, and would be a positive contributor to actually helping Obama get something done?

    There are alot of people - but none better than the two I mentioned.

    Hillary gave a fact filled speech on the recent economic crisis. AND it contained actual solutions, not the blathering in generalities and criticisms of McCain that Obama has offered up.


    Yes. (3.66 / 3) (#34)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:50:21 PM EST
    Do you really think that is what I said?

    You write clearly, and it's right there in the comment I responded to.


    No it (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by sas on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:04:21 PM EST
    is not right there.

    If you want to think I said he is running to screw up the economy , you may do so, but I did not.

    I said if he wants to fix it he will call upon Bill and Hillary.

    Curious your connection of the two....my comments have nothing to do about his purpose in running.


    When (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by sas on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:13:11 PM EST
    I write "Bet he doesn't" it means I bet he does not call upon Hillary and Bill.

    Now I see your thinking, you thought "bet he doesn't" means you think I said bet he doesn't want to fix the economy....

    So let me re-emphasize....I bet he does not call on Hillary and Bill for help to fix it......


    What y0ou meant was (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by oldpro on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:27:31 PM EST
    perfectly clear.

    He may, in fact, call on the Clintons (he could listen to Hil's speech on this website today!) but it won't be in public and I doubt he'd give them any credit...unlike BTD's posts today.


    are you saying (none / 0) (#49)
    by TimNCGuy on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:31:14 PM EST
    that it would be "bad" or "out of character" for Obama to admit in public that Hillary may have a good solution? I can't tell from your comment which one you mean.

    Out of character. (5.00 / 0) (#74)
    by oldpro on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:06:43 PM EST
    Whether it would be bad or good to give a Clinton public credit is a political call and Obama has a rather public history on this particular topic!

    My comment re BTD should have clued you in to what I think.  What Obama thinks is anybody's guess...I guess we'll have to wait and see.


    Means the same thing. . . (3.00 / 2) (#50)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:32:21 PM EST
    if the action he must take if he wants to fix the economy is call the Clintons, and you think he won't call the Clintons, then you must think he doesn't want to fix the economy.

    no (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by sas on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 04:10:00 PM EST
    that is not the argument at hand

    that means even tho' he intends to fix the economy

    - i dont think he will call on the Clintons to do it


    Well well well (none / 0) (#106)
    by sas on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 04:07:04 PM EST
    he called on the Clinton economic team today


    that is a positive


    If he wants to fix the economy. . . (3.00 / 2) (#46)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:20:21 PM EST
    then he will call the Clintons.

    He will not call the Clintons.

    Therefore, he doesn't want to fix the economy.

    Welcome to syllogism.

    All syllogisms have three parts.  Therefore, this is not a syllogism.


    you two are fiddling while Rome (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:59:52 PM EST
    burns, IMO.

    Hmmmm (none / 0) (#109)
    by sas on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 04:19:58 PM EST
    If X then Y

    Not Y

    Therefore Not X




    Uh (none / 0) (#112)
    by Steve M on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 04:48:12 PM EST
    Actually that's extremely valid in this case!  See here.

    Please (3.66 / 3) (#17)
    by coigue on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:09:35 PM EST
    get off it.

    very tiresome.


    ODS (3.00 / 2) (#18)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:10:47 PM EST
    I would gladly (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by sas on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:21:24 PM EST
    be more positive of him if he would offer solutions, not just criticism.

    You (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by sas on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:15:55 PM EST
    have mis-interpreted...of course I could have said it differently...it did not occur to me...but it did to you...


    re-read my statement

    BTW, even some people with ODS might actually have something worth listening to...


    Guess I misinterpreted too. (none / 0) (#118)
    by coigue on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 06:46:05 PM EST
    Big time. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Faust on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:12:01 PM EST
    Guess you (4.33 / 6) (#24)
    by sas on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:19:34 PM EST
    didn't see Hillary's speech yesterday about the crisis.

    With specifics.

    Still waiting for Obama to say one concrete thing.....


    Typical Obama (3.25 / 8) (#8)
    by fercryingoutloud on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:56:39 PM EST
    Broad brush words with no plan of action. Just another "no Red states, no Blue states" speech void of real substance. Totally another attempted 'feel good' moment by him.

    McCain or Obama - either way we are screwed.

    I really loath the ill informed people who backed him over Clinton as they truly have no idea what our country is up against and how it will take an experienced adult, not a jokester, to even have a chance of beginning to pull us out of the morass we are in.

    Wish he would (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by TheRizzo on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:50:43 PM EST
    Give an actual plan to how he would fix it.  He gives the ideas of what needs to be fixed but never says how he would actually do each step.  I understand he is trying to avoid making mistakes but I really do hate his over cautious take.

    Well, if past behavior is any indication, (5.00 / 4) (#78)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:11:35 PM EST
    he was waiting for Hillary to deliver the details, as she did in her Senate remarks, so any moment now, I expect him to run to the head of that line and pretend he was there all along.

    This is one of my biggest problems with Obama - he is afraid to lead.  He fills up the airwaves with generalities while he waits for someone to flesh out the details, and show him where he needs to go, and then ne seems to have the confidence to move forward.

    Is it better than having someone go off half-cocked?  Depends on whether you think the consequences of moving too fast are equivalent to the consequences of moving too slow.


    True (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:13:47 PM EST
    He doesn't appear to be much of a leader.  I fear that he thinks things to near death before he acts on them.  That will not work in defending our country or cleaning up this economic mess.  I sure hope he gets better, quick.

    I have 't been able (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:24:18 PM EST
    to read this blog much lately....But glad to see not much has changed with very predictable posts.....I haven't missed anything....

    I agree (5.00 / 0) (#65)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:58:21 PM EST
    Obama wants a bipartisan approach?  Holy cow.  I want to hear OBAMA'S  approach!  Americans can't wait around for a committee to do something!   Obama comes off as too policy wonkish here, long on talk, short on action verbs in his sentences.

    I think this guy is right:

    What Obama needs to say and do.


    On being jaded (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by christinep on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:06:06 PM EST
    The thing about the SEC's Cox the other day (where McCain called for his resignation or firing) is a marker for people. IMO if we are all to witness this play out without some responsibility being affixed on "wrongdoer(s)" in some way, the depth of cynicism in our country may well deepen. The thing about Cox is that the call resonates with a general desire for accountability. Of course, it is a form of scapegoatism in the raw. Yet, it is understandable that we are hearing more and more of people wanting (how shall I say it) penalties or retribution. I don't want to pussyfoot around the words or the feelings...just listen to the neighbors. In short: A good plan has to be more than academic, thoughtful, and bipartisan. It does have to have clear accountability--and, not just in futuro. Otherwise, Main Street will not even listen to what you are talking about.

    Chris Cox (none / 0) (#91)
    by MKS on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:27:11 PM EST
    is probably the wrong guy to blame....A former corporate partner at Latham & Watkins.....

    But as head of the SEC, he was not as pro-Wall Street as he was thought to be.....


    Tired logic (4.33 / 6) (#9)
    by Faust on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:59:41 PM EST
    McCain or Obama - either way we are screwed.

    Enough with your Naderisms. One will clearly be better than the other.


    Clearly? (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by fercryingoutloud on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:34:48 PM EST
    On what issues? You speak in the same broad bush words as does Obama. He said nothing regarding a tangible solution and you said nothing that changes my personal feelings about loathing his supporters. Of course I can read your type of post a million times a day all over the internet. Talk about tired.

    To be fair. . . (4.75 / 4) (#13)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    (and I agree with you on the whole) we really are in trouble regardless of who is elected.  Obama will almost certainly be far, far better on this issue than McCain but even the best possible solution is still likely to see a lot of pain.

    I don't disagree (none / 0) (#15)
    by Faust on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:08:34 PM EST
    the $hitpile is baked into the cake. The question is which party we want at the helm during this crisis.

    Some posters, like the one I was responding to, believe that Obama is so bad, so incompetent, that he will be just as bad as McCain. THAT is the "logic" I reject.


    "The question is which party..." (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Oje on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:27:22 PM EST
    Which is why the bipartisanship and the deference (qua leadership) to Paulson and Bernanke is the key part to read in Obama's actions today and during this crisis....

    Rightly or wrongly, Americans are pointing to the Great Depression and New Deal programs as the comparison for this current situation. When FDR took office, liberalism as we now know it, did not exist. FDR and his allies in Congress had to ignore and then beat back a 50+-year tradition of economic and judicial thought built into the powers of government  in order to achieve what Democrats did at that time.

    FDR grew into the role of President, but he was feisty and opposed what bipartisanship (and what a common economic ideology in both parties) had wrought by 1932.


    Obama can't be as bad as Carter (none / 0) (#76)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:07:48 PM EST
    On the economy.  Not to say that I know what Obama will do.  I am still not too clear on that (other than raise taxes).  

    Interestingly enough (none / 0) (#79)
    by patriotgames on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:12:39 PM EST
    "Obama will almost certainly be far, far better on this issue than McCain but even the best possible solution is still likely to see a lot of pain."

    Who was preaching against just the likelihood in 2003? It SURE wasn't Obama.


    But it's true... (none / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:14:09 PM EST
    neither Obama or McCain has a magic wand.  

    We are screwed...on the economic front, the liberty front, and the war/occupation front.

    But yeah, Obama would be a kinder, gentler screwed...that's something, but not enough for this "Naderite".


    Suit yourself (none / 0) (#52)
    by Faust on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:39:56 PM EST
    I would have prefered getting "screwed" by Gore than being "screwed" by Bush. Apparently you chose the latter via abstention. Enjoy the results.

    Not at all.... (none / 0) (#53)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:42:06 PM EST
    I voted for the only option on the ballot who wasn't out to screw....ain't my fault all those Gore and Bush voters don't see what I see.

    Faust (none / 0) (#114)
    by MichaelGale on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 05:25:29 PM EST
    I agree.

    You know, let the whole damn financial pyramid fall. I figure that when we have "donated" billions and billions to keep these greedy jerks afloat, we will be the poorest nation of the civilized world. I am beginning to loathe both these men. And the entire Congress.

    Neither one should be even running for President.  I wake up every day and, when I have time, I just say to myself, "we are so screwed."


    I don't imagine... (1.00 / 1) (#23)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:18:28 PM EST
    ...insulting people is going to help your cause all that much.  

    Maybe it never registered to you (5.00 / 6) (#30)
    by fercryingoutloud on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:38:24 PM EST
    that I am the one that is insulted. Insulted when I read his empty words compared to Clinton's recent 22 minute fact based solution oriented speech.

    BTW - your constant troll rating of people speaks volumes about you. And it isn't good.


    Oh noes!!11!... (1.00 / 2) (#41)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:05:10 PM EST
    ...however will I find the strength to go on without your love and approval!?.  Woe is me--I made a poor anti-Obamite sad.  

    BTW--a "1" rating is a troll rating.  But, it is good to know that a "2" bothers you so.  Thanks for that info.


    Grow up (2.00 / 1) (#122)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 08:33:45 PM EST
    And who was in the background behind Obama.. (none / 0) (#2)
    by steviez314 on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:46:08 PM EST
    Warren Buffett.  Paul Volcker.  Paul O'Neill (ex Bush TreasSec).  

    Phil Gramm would call them all whiners.

    Is this true? (none / 0) (#3)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:47:47 PM EST
    Did all those people appear in public with Obama?

    Yes. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by oldpro on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:15:52 PM EST
    Three former Treasury Secretaries and Warren Buffett.

    I saw Bob Rubin (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:48:34 PM EST
    Not necessarily the others.

    I'm still hoping for an endorsement. . . (none / 0) (#6)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:53:51 PM EST
    from Warren Buffet, and some high profile endorsements by Republicans.

    Me too (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 12:54:59 PM EST
    Buffet especially.

    He'd be well served to just be cooperative... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Salo on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:49:32 PM EST
    ...rather than endorse. However, billionaires are not going to be terribly popular for the next few weeks.

    Buffett has a really good record (none / 0) (#127)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 09:00:52 AM EST
    on both the economy and economic populism - he and William Gates Sr. bot appeared before Congress to testify in favor of the Estate Tax - they stepped up to the plate against the Sam Walton's family - of Wal-Mart - among others who have been trying to get Congress to eliminate it for years.  The Bush Administration and the Republicans can try to destroy his image, but it would be extremely difficult for them to go after Buffett and actually succeed.

    Buffett's already endorsed and hosted (none / 0) (#10)
    by steviez314 on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:00:14 PM EST
    fundraisers, but he doesn't yet seem interested in doing anything more high profile.

    Buffet endorsend Obama in (none / 0) (#32)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:48:08 PM EST
    HuffPo is (typically) overstating the case. (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:00:37 PM EST
    The May/08 headline says Buffet "BACKS" Obama for President; the text says:

    Buffett told a press conference here Monday he had offered support to both Obama and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton but that since it appeared Obama would win the party's nomination, "I will be very happy if he is elected president".

    It appears, Buffet is still in default mode on Obama.

    Buffet thas been very supportive (none / 0) (#126)
    by inclusiveheart on Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 08:56:40 AM EST
    of Obama throughout and complimentry.  He is advising him now and fundraising for Obama - so I don't really think it is an overstatement that Buffett endorses Obama and the Democratic ticket at all.  Having a man like Warren Buffett take time out of his schedule to fundraise for you is no small thing.

    BTD, why do you think Buffet hasn't (none / 0) (#36)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:55:16 PM EST
    expressly endorsed Obama? Any theories going around?

    Wasn't he standing with Obama today (none / 0) (#98)
    by coigue on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:43:20 PM EST
    during the press conference?

    That doesn't address the question. (none / 0) (#104)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:54:09 PM EST
    Obama didn't endorse McCain when he was "standing beside" him at ground zero, on 9/11/08.

    Erm...OK. (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by coigue on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 06:08:10 PM EST
    All Obama's financial advisors...including Buffet were standing in a line to either side of Obama as he gave a press conference discussing what he has been working on with his advisors.

    If you want to see that as similar to standing next to McCain during a memorial to 9/11 that is your choice.


    You're too literal minded ;-) (none / 0) (#120)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 08:26:05 PM EST
    riiight. (none / 0) (#121)
    by coigue on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 08:32:58 PM EST
    Buffet (none / 0) (#75)
    by blue prairie on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:07:01 PM EST
    was on the conference call as an economic advisor.

    Hecklers in Coral Gables (none / 0) (#37)
    by Roschelle on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 01:55:42 PM EST
    Obama was heckled earlier in Coral Gables by a group of black protesters. Here's the video of the disruption. Why do people think they speak for the masses by holding up one home-made sign?

    Why do people think (5.00 / 0) (#63)
    by oldpro on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:55:29 PM EST
    they can 'speak for the masses...?'

    For the answer to that, see Nixon and 'the silent majority' re the Vietnam War.

    In the beginning, there were only a few of us with homemade signs while Nixon had the votes AND the 'silent majority' to back him up...until he didn't...

    Same with the civil rights movements for African Americans and other minorities, for women, for gays and lesbians.

    It always starts with a few brave souls with homemade signs.

    Although, to be sure, the cause (whatever it is) may not be a just cause worth paying attention to.  I wouldn't give a second look to a YAF demonstration, for instance.


    So Wall St. f'd up and we're pissed (none / 0) (#42)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:07:21 PM EST
    that the gvt's gonna bail them out, but we should support the gvt bailing out the auto industry?
    and provide retooling assistance for America's auto industry.

    I say no there as well.... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:43:53 PM EST
    one of these days we have to stop subsidizing incompetence.

    One of these days....


    YES!!!!! (none / 0) (#83)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:17:15 PM EST
    Let the markets work.  If the government had been backers of Freddie and Fannie they would never have been able to approve all those loans that they shouldn't have.  They took too many risks because it was all risk free to them, the government would fix it all.  And they did.  When will it end?  Will taxpayer have to bail out every single company that goes under?????  

    OOPS (none / 0) (#84)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:18:02 PM EST
    That should have said if the government had NOT been backs of Freddie and Fannie, they would never have been able to get away with doing what they did.

    Next time.... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:25:04 PM EST
    I blow my whole paycheck at Belmont Park (and there will be a next time:), I'm gonna ask for a bailout.

    What am I thinking...I'm not connected, you gotta be connected to get a bailout.


    The ponies... (none / 0) (#97)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:43:18 PM EST
    ...are probably a better investment than the stock or housing markets these days.  

    Always have been for me.... (none / 0) (#100)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:48:45 PM EST
    my old man taught me a little bit about the ponies and how to read the form.  It's tough to beat the rip, but it can be done.

    I know d*ck about stocks or real estate...but it seems neither do the stock and real estate professionals:)


    At least you are... (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:52:46 PM EST
    ...entertained while you lose your money.  I know nothing about the horses--so I tend to stick with blackjack.  Hard to go broke with the $5 limit we have here!

    Thats the current trend (none / 0) (#66)
    by dead dancer on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 02:58:22 PM EST
    And it just kills me. We are fanatically against any form of socialism, but when companies eff up ...

    And i have a tool for the auto industry! :)


    Who's against socialism? (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:19:23 PM EST
    Many of us support it, to some extent.  We certainly believe in taking more from the rich and giving it to the poor, income redistribution.

    Who is against socialism? (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:29:07 PM EST
    Nobody, apparently.

    Any objections to socialism you may have heard from the right were merely complaints about who got the redistribution (the poor), they love them some socialism when you steal from the poor and give to the rich.

    There are no principles anymore....


    As I was listening to this (none / 0) (#96)
    by s5 on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 03:36:49 PM EST
    I forgot for a moment that Bush is still the president. Ahh, bliss.

    Trickle Down Solution (none / 0) (#115)
    by Doc Rock on Fri Sep 19, 2008 at 05:37:24 PM EST
    Obama's right--it is still trickle down economics.  The fact is that the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches have all contributed to savaging the "fundamentals", i.e., the American workers and consumer upon whom an economy is built.  Robbed of a fair share of production, deprived of bankruptcy protection, gouged for credit, victimized by predatory lenders, and now we are supposed to pay off their debts of greed and avarice!  We should have been taking care of those losing homes, who've lost jobs, and who pay a disproportionate share of the burden of the economy sharing so little in it. Hell no to eating "toxic debt".