Saturday, March 1, 2008

John McCain and Bubbles

Nope.  I have not joined the New York Times and discovered a connection between John McCain and an exotic dancer.  This is a conintuation of my entries today on the bursting of the housing/credit bubble.  Again, I am suing an imported comment from AOL to launch my own analysis:

"i dont think fabricating incomes and falsifying home prices were what the government had in mind when they "relaxed" the subprime standard"

Indeed it was not.  That is what I meant when I said "predatory lending" and government regulation of underwriting standards (necessarily not meant to be overly restrictive, because we still have a free enterprise system) have nothing to do with one another.

What happens when a "bubble" bursts?  It exposes all of the shady practices going on.  (There are ALWAYS some shady practices gong on).  In the 1980's, the tax laws on real estate changed.   What happened?  Real estate deals that had been made only for tax reasons fell apart. The artificially inflated real estate bubble burst.  Result:  the Savings and Loan "crisis".  It seemed like all of the savings and loans in the country went under.  We promptly discovered that there had been some pretty shady practices going on in the savings and loan industry.  But did those shady practices CAUSE the bubble to burst?  Not on your life.   The bubble bursting just caused the shady practices to come to light.

The Keating 5 scandal, by the way, arose out of the search for "blame" in the Savings and Loan "criisis". That scandal involved 4 Democratic Senators and one Repubican--John McCain. Bob Bennett (attorney for Bill Clinton in the Monical Lewinsky matter, and recent counsel defending John McCain against the New York Times SMEAR) says,  in his recent book, that he wanted to absolve John McCain of any wrongdoing in the Keating 5 matter, WITHOUT referring him to the Senate for discipinary action with the rest of the Keating 5. However, Democrats in the Senate did not want the scandal to be all about Democrats, and so they insisted that McCain be part of the Keating 5. Bennett--a Democrat--was counsel for the Senate Ethics Committee at the time, and had been assigned the job of analyzing the situation.

So "bubbles" are not new. Looking around for "blame" is not new. And playing politics, rather than rationally looking at the facts, is not new.

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