Pete the Banker: Wise Up – Occupy Washington, DC!!

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In a Wall Street Journal piece by Democrat pollster, Doug Schoen (here), we discover this  about our Occupy Wall Streeters:

…[T]he Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people—and particularly with swing voters who are largely independent and have been trending away from the president since the debate over health-care reform.
The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies. 

In other words they’re not a terribly bright lot and don’t brook crazy talk about the morality of capitalism.  Undoubtedly these people have been undereducated at America’s finest universities for which they now complain they have paid too much. They’re right. But what about the rest of their beef do they not understand?

The push to liquidity by the Federal Reserve (courtesy of Basel II) early in this century coupled with a half century of failed Federal Government socially engineered housing and housing finance policy resulted in the 2007 Capital Market Crisis, the Financial Crisis of 2008, and the ensuing Great Recession with its subsequent spike in unemployment.  Underlying the inception of the Occupy Wall Street movement has been the subsequent economic stagnation and accompanying unemployment which has created the very economic injustice and disparity that the Occupiers suggest they so detest.

Peter J Wallison, a prominent attorney and member of the Financial Reform Task Force and Financial Crisis Inquiry Commissions in 2009 recently suggested that the Occupiers were demonstrating in the wrong venue.

“Their anger should be directed at those who developed and supported the federal government’s housing policies that were responsible for the financial crisis,” Wallison wrote. “Beginning in 1992, the government required Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to direct a substantial portion of their mortgage financing to borrowers who were at or below the median income in their communities. The original legislative quota was 30 percent. But the Department of Housing and Urban Development was given authority to adjust it, and through the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, HUD raised the quota to 50 percent by 2000 and 55 percent by 2007.”

Wallison noted that over 70% of subprime loans were “held or guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie or some other government agency or government-regulated institution.” While acknowledging that the “private financial sector must certainly share some blame for the financial crisis,” he said that it was not the primary source of the crisis.”

Prominent economist and co author of “This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly”, Kenneth Rogoff supports Wallison’s contention that Federal Government interference is primarily responsible for the situation that the housing industry faces today.  It’s an obvious slap at the Obama Administration’s “lack of political will”.  He stated,
“Had the nation allowed more mortgages to default and go into foreclosure earlier, more of the housing problem might be behind us, he said.

“Debt levels, they’ve come down a little but they are still really high,” he said.

Financial crises, he said, give countries an opportunity to “use a crisis to do things better” but requires the political will to make policy changes.
Consumer uncertainty caused by Federal Government housing intervention has been amplified by growing private sector  uncertainty created by constant Federal Government intervention inclusive of Obamacare, Dodd Frank, Drilling moratoriums, EPA/DOE cap and trade initiatives, not to mention the Administration’s political attacks on the Banking Industry, the Energy Industry, the Medical Insurance Industry, the Car Industry/Car Industry Bondholders and the Boeing South Carolina debacle.  The Wall Street Journal estimates the total cost of regulation this year at $1.7 Trillion, some 12% of GDP.  Since consumers and private industry account for over 70% of GDP, it is hard to imagine a sustained economic recovery without an end to Federal Government meddling.

Washington DC has perpetuated the very economic malaise and economic injustice that seem to be the focus of the Occupiers.  

As the WSJ suggests of Occupy Wall Street, “their cause would be better served in Washington, D.C.”  The WSJ went on to state, “Three years into the current Administration, most Americans are getting wise to the source of their economic woes. It’s a couple hundred miles south of Wall Street.”

Perhaps it’s time for the Occupy Wall Street crowd to wise up!

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://

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