The Regulators

Originally published By Mike DeVine, Legal Editor for The Minority and HinzSight Reports

[Friday, October 10 – UPDATE: Wachovia and Charlotte dodge Regulators’ bullett as Wells Fargo wins Wachovia: Combined bank to rival giants BofA and Chase Gamecock argues below that the Fed should not have been twisting arms behind closed doors, so we were especially interested in this quote:

In a statement Thursday evening, FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair said she supported the efforts of the Federal Reserve to resolve the situation and praised Citi for letting the deal go forward. “While some outstanding issues remain, this announcement brings much needed certainty to the process,” she said.

Notice Bair’s praise to Citibank for supposedly “letting” the deal go forward. The free sales and legal markets would have most certainly dictated that the WF-Wachovia deal go forward and that Citi’s only remedy for breach of contract be a civil action for damages. The unspoken message is that the Fed, i.e. Big Brother (or, under Bair, Big Sister) “let”, i.e. centrally planned, the deal go forward.

Thankfully, the blind squirrel stumbled upon the right nut this time.]

[Thursday, October 9 – : McCain mortgage plan UPDATE

The details of McCain’s mortgage re-fi plan is significantly more limited in scope than was suggested by the vague language he used in the debate. Only borrowers who made down payments would qualify and other details of the requirements listed on his website also greatly limit the number of borrowers that would qualify.

The statement on the McCain Web site fills in some other details: It says the plan would buy mortgages directly from homeowners and mortgage servicers and replace them with “manageable, fixed-rate mortgages.” That help would be available to mortgage holders who live in the home as a primary residence, who can prove they didn’t fake their qualifications for the loan, and who provided a down payment. The statement also indicates McCain believes the purchases can be made quickly as a result of the authority given the Treasury Secretary in various pieces of legislation.

]Panic abounds post-passage of the $700 Billion Paulson Panic Prevention Plan. The hundreds of billions of Bear Stearns, Lehman, and AIG dollars allocated behind closed doors by the President’s Treasury Secretary on Sabbaths and Sundays pre-PPPP will soon be exceeded by the billions more for AIG and from Paulson prognosticated bank failures. The arteries of credit markets Henry sought to un-clog remain cluttered with bad cholesterol as “regulators” dared not allow Wells Fargoans and CitiBankians unclog their own arteries in a free market and legal markets for Wachovia. The “regulators” said they feared how the market would “react” to such a free market spectacle. No, they prefer the bear-they made roar louder-market-chaos they have “regulated” everyday since President Bush signed the “see, we did something and so can go home and campaign and say so” “Rescue” f/k/a Bailout, Bill. The view of the new world the regulators have created must look better in the smoke-free backrooms they decide the fate of the world within, than it does from the less congested high-gas price semi-deserted roads and streets in Charlotte, where Wachovians ponder why the new Gods couldn’t let Wells Fargo pay a higher price to their shareholders and let a judge decide Citi’s damages.In the meantime, as many acolytes of Milton Adam Smith Freidmanites took solace that Big Brother would, at least, as specified in the final version of the PPPP, only seek to “minimize” foreclosures like any other mortgagee (lender), along comes a, now masked, John, Maverick Loan Arranger (kudos to WSJ’s James, Best of the Web, Taranto), McCain with a dusted off housing floor market seeking proposal from last April, that would have Central Planner Paulson allocate $300B of the $700B “in” the “peel the green off the Greenback” bill, to Housing Gamblers Anonymous (HGA). The latest science indicates recovery by HGAers can only be had in mortgaged homes.Meanwhile, this Forgotten Man issues a reverse Marie Antoinette refrain:LET THEM RENT!They rented before they placed the bet on the two-story brick house on Wager Street. They can rent again, like many of us non-gamblers.We were told that the purpose of the PPPP was to free up capital for NEW GOOD LOANS. That can happen for the new buyers of these homes after the gamblers move out and the price falls. There is no special remedial effect in new loans for particular bodies that can be made warm in a rented homes, much like the non-gamblers, that saved up a down payment over the past several years, who would buy up the semi-vacation from reality shells of the over-wagered.Obama argues, and Paulson tacitly affirms, that, despite the negotiated “minimize” language, Daddy Treasury “has the power” already, to re-do all the mortgages they wish to re-do under current legal authority. Conservatives have long decried the, law unto themselves, five lawyers in robes that re-write Constitutions ratified by We The People. So, we thought, that, Gods and Oligarchs had to be appointed for life for such brazen raw power, but, after all, the Regulators are “only” re-writing mere statutes, enacted by representatives of We The People.Seeing a trend, “We the People”?Stephanie of Hang Right Politics sees echos of a former Coercive and Abusive Spouse in Big Government clothing:

I’m not a victim anymore and that’s why I want to say something. The last few years of that marriage were a nightmare because I fought hard for the right to think my own thoughts and make my own decisions and I sit here and watch as the government wants to now take those rights away from me and confer them on someone else who knows nothing about me while expecting me to fit some image they have determined is what I should fit. On top of that, no matter how hard you try to fit that image, the rules are always changing. I see these same things going on with government and I just don’t want to live like that anymore.

Other portions of StephC’s Plea and a Promise (above link) ring true in how we pay for the whims of CEO do-gooder liberals, that are insulated from the consequences of their own caprice. The mask is coming off of Goldman Saks’ former CEO Paulson, like his stuttering, drunk driving Democrat predecessor governing New Jersey, and like another of our so-called best and brightest elites that qualify as head regulators in this Brave New World who has recently shed his:

In 49 years of living in Charlotte, I’ve seldom offered my opinion in writing and never submitted a piece such as this. The condition of our country compels me…Only one of them demonstrates the needed intellect, fortitude and temperament. That is why I have decided to publicly support Barack Obama…What is needed in Washington is sound judgment and exceptional leadership…I see them in Obama: a sharp intellect, stiff spine and steady hand. Obama’s economic plans will restore market confidence and provide a blueprint for a better future. His pragmatic, intelligent economic plan will stop our financial slide and restore the expansion and confidence we knew in the 1990s. Obama’s tax relief plans for small businesses and the middle class should provide much-needed economic stimulus.Obama also has an energy plan that makes sense. He will shift energy use from foreign oil toward alternative, domestic sources. This will create millions of “green collar” jobs and enable us to capitalize on alternative energy. These cleaner energy solutions will protect the planet for our children and grandchildren and free us from depending on hostile nations…I greatly respect all that John McCain has done for our nation. But it is Barack Obama whom we need now.

That was, incredibly, Hugh McColl Jr., former chairman and CEO of Bank of America in last Monday’s Charlotte Observer. The caprice of green collar jobs!

You see above, Exhibit A for the two main truths of Robert Bork’s Slouching Towards Gomorrah that are leading us to destruction: radical egalitarianism and radical individualism.

The defining characteristics of modern liberalism are radical egalitarianism (the equality of outcomes rather than opportunities) and radical individualism (the drastic reduction of limits to personal gratification). These may seem an odd pair, for individualism means liberty and liberty produces inequality, while equality of outcomes means coercion and coercion destroys liberty. If they are to operate simultaneously, radical egalitarianism and radical individualism, where they compete, must be kept apart, must operate in different areas of life. That is precisely what we see in today’s culture. Radical egalitarianism reigns in areas of life and society where superior achievement is possible and would be rewarded but for coercion towards a state of equality. Quotas, affirmative action, and the more extreme versions of feminism are the most obvious examples but, as will be seen, radical egalitarianism is damaging much else in our culture. Radical individualism is demanded when there is no danger that achievement will produce inequality and people wish to be unhindered in the pursuit of pleasure. This finds expression especially in the areas of sexuality and the popular arts.

We see, in the current crisis, a strange merging of the “two radicals”, that indicates to gamecock that we must be moving within the gravitational pull of Gomorrah proper. The consequences of the former vice of gambling will now be visited upon non-gamblers for the crime of not joining the conspiracy with the do-gooder CEOs outside the government. These same CEOs that for decades have posed as free-marketers while all the time surrendering to their politically correct regulators of office flirting (see harassment); charity (see affirmative action of the quota avoiding lawsuit variety); and religion (surrender to Pope Gore of the Global Warming Church and the expected arrival of the Second Coming of green jobs.)

Weeks ago we learned that government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “too big to fail,” even if We the People are not. Today, Hank announced that the government may exercise its new power to be a shareholder in what banks remain. That will make banks out and out GSEs as well.

In fact, let me quote our own Jack Savage from his recent column:

Through this bailout bill, and Social Security, and Medicare, and Medicaid, and unemployment insurance, and welfare, and housing assistance, and mortgage interest deductibility, and a host of other federal, state and local programs, every individual in America is a government sponsored enterprise. Every last one of us. The dream of the socialists and communists that run the Democrat party has been fully realized, and they are now aided and abetted by the votes in Congress of the last defenders of freedom – the Republican Party.

What will remain of our freedom if The Regulators take over the industry that builds our homes? Will we have enough left within those homes to rise up a Paul Revere to warn of whose coming by land or sea if they are already inside the house?

Houses? The examples of family homes in other nations that turned housing over to Central Planners ended up with several families living in the same room.

When we avoid the consequences of irresposibility, we also give up the reaping of the rewards of responible conduct and soon the incentive to acheive fades away.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson