American Elephants

Did You Know that Bush Called For Reform 17 times in 2008 Alone? by The Elephant's Child

You undoubtedly saw in the news the report that President Bush called for reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 17 times in 2008 alone, didn’t you?  You didn’t? There was a press release from the White House on September 19th.  I only found out through the courtesy of Sweetness & Light.

April, 2001:The Administration’s Fiscal Year 02 budget declares that the size of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is “a potential problem.” because “financial trouble of a large GSE could cause strong repercussions in financial markets, affecting Federally insured entities and economic activity.”
2002: The President calls for the disclosure and corporate governance principles contained in his 10-point plan for corporate responsibility to apply to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (OMB Prompt Letter to OFHEO, 5/29/02)
January, 2003: Freddie Mac announces it has to restate financial results for the previous three years.
February: The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) releases a report explaining that “although investors perceive an implicit Federal guarantee of [GSE] obligations,” “the government has provided no explicit legal backing for them.” As a consequence, unexpected problems at a GSE could immediately spread into financial sectors beyond the housing market. (“Systemic Risk; Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Role of OFHEO,” OFHEO Report, 2/4/03)
September: Fannie Mae discloses SEC Investigation and acknowledges OFHEO’s review found earnings manipulations.
September: Treasury Secretary John Snow testifies before  the House Financial Services Committee to recommend that Congress enact “legislation to create a new Federal agency to regulate and supervise the financial activities of our housing-related government sponsored enterprises” and set prudent and appropriate minimum capital adequacy requirements.
October: Fannie Mae discloses $1.2 billion accounting error. [continue reading]

…and the story continues. Do read it all. That is, if you plan to vote.

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