Tag: Financial Crisis

Ian Tuttle of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate the House passing “Kate’s Law” and agreeing to further crackdowns on sanctuary cities. They also discuss the dismal financial prospects of Illinois, which has racked up massive amounts of debt and that additional tax increases cannot solve despite the insistence of Democrats. And they contemplate the partisan fallout if Twitter releases a “fake news” button for its site. Finally, they extol the genius of America as they prepare to celebrate Independence Day and the Three Martini Lunch pauses until July 5.

That Wal-Mart Greeter May Drive You Home


shutterstock_342694016When the New York Yankees fired 70-year-old manager Casey Stengel in 1961, the team openly stated he was “too old for the job.” A resentful Stengel quipped: “I’ll never make the mistake of being 70 again.”

While many corporations are addressing ageism, most folks look to retirement as their time to slow down and reap the rewards of their lifes’ labor.

But for many, that choice may not be possible. When I lived in Las Vegas in the 1990s, a recurring and depressing reality was hopping into cabs driven by septuagenarians who volunteered they were once the proud owner of a healthy retirement fund, but … oh, that darned stock market, sports-books, tables, slots, etc. Instead of cruising Alaska or comfortably watching Wheel and Jeopardy!, they were now hauling gaggles of the inebriated for $5 tips.

“Ethnic Spoils System” Indeed


This, ladies and gentlemen, is what ethnic favoritism looks like. Ethnic favoritism isn’t “code words,” or “pandering to the fears of white America.Via the WSJ:

By the end of this week, the U.S. government will be a step closer to sending out millions of dollars to minority borrowers who were allegedly discriminated against by auto lender Ally Financial Inc. But there is a potential hitch: No one knows for certain whether all the people getting the checks will actually be minorities.

Did Hillary Clinton Really Just Blame the Bush Tax Cuts for the Financial Crisis? Does Bill Agree?


Hillary-Clinton-6-14-15-Reuters-500x293During her presidential announcement speech over the weekend, Hillary Clinton offered this interesting explanation for the Financial Crisis:

We’re still working our way back from a crisis that happened because time-tested values were replaced by false promises. Instead of an economy built by every American, for every American, we were told that if we let those at the top pay lower taxes and bend the rules, their success would trickle down to everyone else.

What happened? Well, instead of a balanced budget with surpluses that could have eventually paid off our national debt, the Republicans twice cut taxes for the wealthiest, borrowed money from other countries to pay for two wars, and family incomes dropped. You know where we ended up.

On the Continuing Political Aftermath of the Great Recession and the Financial Crisis


In my new The Week column, I write about the GOP’s problem — particularly Jeb Bush’s — with the Great Recession and Financial Crisis: Republican George W. Bush happened to be president when it happened. That is a tough-to-remove stain on the Bush brand and the GOP brand. Now as I wrote awhile back, “Obama didn’t end the Great Recession that Bush didn’t cause.” W.’s tax cuts/budget deficits/income inequality/financial deregulation aren’t the real story.

But life isn’t fair. Presidents get much of the blame or credit for what happens when happens when they’re in the Oval Office. What’s more, the economic collapse has tempered the public’s enthusiasm for pro-market policies. Now it is certainly worthwhile to try and correct the record on causality. I think the GR&FC were more or less a replay of the Great Depression, where the Fed took a modest downturn in the making and made it much, much worse. In their Financial Crisis Inquiry Report dissent, Keith Hennessey, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, and Bill Thomas outline a variety of domestic and international factors: credit bubble, housing bubble, nontraditional mortgages, credit ratings and securitization, financial institutions concentrated correlated risk, leverage and liquidity risk, risk of contagion, common shock, financial shock and panic. In that same report, my colleague Peter Wallison states “the  sine qua non of the financial crisis was U.S. government housing policy.”

Still Worth Arguing About the Financial Crisis


shutterstock_73682491Who controls the past controls the future. — George Orwell, 1984

The candidates who are announcing for president will be cheered to know that the Democratic Party has been hemorrhaging popularity the way the housing market lost value in 2008. In 2009, 62 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the party. In January, only 46 percent said the same.

But the Democrats’ loss has not been the Republicans’ gain. A 2015 Pew survey found that 40 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of Republicans in 2009, and just 41 percent do today.

Loosening Home Lending Standards — What Could Go Wrong?


051414housing-600x396After a near-depression and worst-ever financial crisis that cost the US economy as much as $14 trillion, one might think Washington would be careful to avoid repeating the same policy mistakes. One might think, for instance, Washington would think twice and then thrice before loosening mortgage lending standards to boost home ownership, particularly among low-income borrowers. Because, you know, loosened mortgage standards seem to have played some role in helping set the stage for the catastrophic mortgage meltdown.

Recall three conclusions from the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States:

1.) From the majority report: “We conclude collapsing mortgage-lending standards and the mortgage securitization pipeline lit and spread the flame of contagion and crisis.”