Mortgage Giants' Mess Falls to Their Regulator
By David S. Hilzenrath and Zachary A. Goldfarb Washington Post Staff Writers Thursday, September 11, 2008; D01
With the government's seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Sunday, the federal regulator who oversaw the mortgage giants during their long descent is now in charge of restoring them to financial health.
In the months before the takeover, James B. Lockhart III repeatedly assured investors that the mortgage giants were financially sound. In March, he even called fears about a government bailout "nonsense" as he reduced the financial cushion they were required to maintain.
He eventually came to a different conclusion, deciding the companies were in perilous shape and would pose a major risk to financial markets if the government did not intervene.
Why is this not a surprise in the culture of Washington under Bush? If things are on track and the time-fame doesn't run out, Jim Lockhart will get a Presidential Medal of Freedom for his gross negligence.
It is absurd--there is no other appropriate word--to have the idiot who never saw the train coming, pick up the pieces after a derailment. How does Henry Paulson dare show his Wall Street profile with such absolute arrogance?
Were they unable to get Alan Greenspan to sputter his way out of retirement? Are there no other less capable perps on the presidential perp-list? Taxpayers are being asked to foot yet another bill for blatant fraud in yet another failed financial institution and are being entirely fucked-over in the process.
Freddie and Fannie have been criminally negligently run and overseen. Their CEOs are being negotiated with for severance pay in the tens of millions of dollars, instead of indicted for criminal activity. Job loss and recycling back into the old-boy network instead of sent off the the slammer in cuffs and leg-irons.
Is there no crime for which this administration will be held accountable?