Location: Pantego, Texas, United States

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The financial crisis in the United States seems to have its roots in the political decision to promote home ownership in the "minority" population. This started under the Carter Administration, but was not pushed. Under Clinton regulators imposed quotas on financial institutions. That led to a situation where home loans were being made to people who were credit risks to the extent that they were unlikely to be able to repay the loans. Eventually the financial institutions were actively seeking out minority people to whom to make loans. The government supported entities Freddy Mac and Fannie Mae bought, at the insistence of politicians, mostly Democrats, all loans no matter how poor the quality. Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac packaged up the risky loans with good loans, and sold them to financial institutions, much like putting lipstick on a pig, to use a phrase that is in vogue today. After the Enron collapse, the regulators also instituted a mark-to-market accounting rule that is ill-suited to real estate. Then in 2004 regulators allowed companies to increase their leverage significantly. These factors appear to have caused the crisis in the US. But, it now appears that the crisis is worldwide. The foreign nations did not have a lot of the home mortgage issues that led to the problem in the US. It is true that they seem to have bought some of the toxic loans from the US. But, I can't help but wonder how much the attempts to control CO2 emissions have hurt the economies in Australia and Europe. From what I read on the internet, it does appear that these activities have had a significant negative effect in Great Britain, and to a lessor degree in Australia. I appears to me that climate control measures which may be unnecessary, and which are likely to be ineffective in any event, will cause a depression in the Western World.


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