Friday, February 20, 2009

House of Cards, CNBC Looks at the Housing Crisis....UPDATE

Last week, CNBC had a special on by David Faber, when I watched it, I did so with a jaded eye. Knowing how they feel about policing themselves usually, and how they are so tied into Wall Street and the bankers who are part of this mess that we are in.

So, I was pleasantly surprised when I found it was actually pretty good, and pointed fingers basically where they needed to be. From the web site of CNBC there is this review of the program:

CNBC presents the definitive report on the defining story of our time. CNBC correspondent David Faber investigates the origins of the global economic crisis, with first person accounts from home buyers, mortgage brokers, investment bankers and investors – most of whom let greed blind them, leading to the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression.

Here is a quote from an internal email that was leaked out from one of the bankers that shows they knew exactly what they were doing and that there was no shame involved in it.

Let's hope we are all wealthy by the time this house of cards falters. 12/15/06

The above link will take you to the web site for CNBC and you can read more about this show which tells about this. It was a great watch. It tells about Bush's role in this, it talks about the role of many of the players in it, Chris Cox, SEC chairman, several other people who you wouldn't think about.

Another key player in this House of Cards, was former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. He is also featured in a story on Huffington Post. It also talks about his role in the banking mess and the housing crisis.

He had such a key role in this entire decade of deregulation and financial ruin of most of the middle class. He was along with most of the republican party pushing for the upper class and putting down the little guy.

Greenspan's tenure coincided with a period during which total wealth increased dramatically, although much of the growth was concentrated among the richest of the rich, not just the top one percent of the income distribution, but the top 0.1 percent.

As I said he was all for the wealthy, with nothing for the little guy...but that is typical of all republicans. My dad used to always tell me that the republicans were for the wealthy and big business and the democratic party was for the rest. Well I think we have seen that for sure.

When he was interviewed for the program House of Cards, Greenspan admitted his role in the housing crisis and said he was amazed when they told him how bad it was. This is what he had to say.

"I remember my initial response when [in 2005] a staff member came up to me and he says, 'I don't know if you have seen something like this'," while showing the then-Fed chairman data that subprime mortgages represented 20 percent of all new mortgages. "I said, 'I don't believe that number,'"

He then said if they had acted this is what would have happened:

if the Fed had taken action, the results would have been disastrous: "We could have basically clamped down on the American economy, generated a 10 percent unemployment rate. And I will guarantee we would not have had a housing boom, stock market boom, or indeed a particularly good economy either."

Most recently, Greenspan's ideological journey has taken an abrupt left turn. On February 18, the Financial Times reported that the one-time libertarian devotee of Ayn Rand now thinks the government might be best advised to take over 'lemon' banks. "It may be necessary to temporarily nationalize some banks in order to facilitate a swift and orderly restructuring," he said in an interview.

Now, there is no way to predict what the former Chairman will say in his next commencement address.

That is my emphasis... but look at what he is saying... so would it have been better to have had that 4 years ago.. 3 years ago.. or now. Because that is what we have now basically. I guess he doesn't read the news...if you look at the real unemployment numbers, taking into account the ones who are working part time, who are now unable to draw and who fall through the cracks, our unemployment numbers are at about 13.5%, the stock market is lower than it has been in 20 years, the housing market has crashed, and our economy is in the toilet. So thank you Mr. Greenspan.

By the way...if you would like to watch House of Cards, it will be back on CNBC again Wednesday, February 25th, 8p ET; Sunday, March 1st, Midnight ET; Sunday, March 15 9p ET


Just to add a note here.. Time had an article about the 25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis, I didn't read it, I did look at the picture, but I was not interested in the article because I thought it was a little misleading just from some of the people I saw in the picture.

David Fiderer at Huffington Post has an article that exposes it as a rewriting of history. D.K.Raed pointed it out in her post over at Redheaded Wisdom. She has a neat article up about the story on Time and about the Frontline Program from PBS called Inside the Meltdown. It is still available online. You can go to her site and check it out and see the program there.

I haven't watched it yet. But am planning on it later today. Thanks D.K. for reminding me.

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