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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Who Caused The Recession?

Rarely in history has this sort of opportunity arisen.  To name the person most responsible for bringing about the greatest destruction of wealth this country has ever experienced.  In this case the Great Clinton/Bush/Obama Recession.

And, oddly, the name won't be recognizable to most people who read it.

James A. Johnson.  A United States Democratic Party political figure.

Or, as George Will, frames the man's place in American history:
Put on asbestos mittens and pick up “Reckless Endangerment,” the scalding new book by Gretchen Morgenson, a New York Times columnist, and Joshua Rosner, a housing finance expert. They will introduce you to James A. Johnson, an emblem of the administrative state that liberals admire.

The book is another cautionary tale about government’s terrifying self-confidence. It is, the authors say, “a story of what happens when Washington decides, in its infinite wisdom, that every living, breathing citizen should own a home.”

In 1994, Bill Clinton proposed increasing homeownership through a “partnership” between government and the private sector, principally orchestrated by Fannie Mae, a “government-sponsored enterprise” (GSE).

There was a torrent of compassion-speak: “Special care should be taken to ensure that standards are appropriate to the economic culture of urban, lower-
income, and nontraditional consumers.” “Lack of credit history should not be seen as a negative factor.” Government having decided to dictate behavior that markets discouraged, the traditional relationship between borrowers and lenders was revised. Lenders promoted reckless borrowing, knowing they could offload risk to purchasers of bundled loans, and especially to Fannie Mae. In 1994, subprime lending was $40 billion. In 1995, almost one in five mortgages was subprime. Four years later such lending totaled $160 billion.

Under Johnson, an important Democratic operative, Fannie Mae became, Morgenson and Rosner say, “the largest and most powerful financial institution in the world.” Its power derived from the unstated certainty that the government would be ultimately liable for Fannie’s obligations. This assumption and other perquisites were subsidies to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac worth an estimated $7 billion a year. They retained about a third of this.

Morgenson and Rosner report that in 1998, when Fannie Mae’s lending hit $1 trillion, its top officials began manipulating the company’s results to generate bonuses for themselves. That year Johnson’s $1.9 million bonus brought his compensation to $21 million. In nine years, Johnson received $100 million.

By 2003, the government was involved in financing almost half — $3.4 trillion — of the home-loan market. Not coincidentally, by the summer of 2005, almost 40 percent of new subprime loans were for amounts larger than the value of the properties.

“Reckless Endangerment” is a study of contemporary Washington, where showing “compassion” with other people’s money pays off in the currency of political power, and currency. Although Johnson left Fannie Mae years before his handiwork helped produce the 2008 bonfire of wealth, he may be more responsible for the debacle and its still-mounting devastations — of families, endowments, etc. — than any other individual. If so, he may be more culpable for the peacetime destruction of more wealth than any individual in history.
For more information on the man who allegedly (with a lot of help) brought this country to its knees go here.  Amazon has Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon on sale. Buy a copy for a friend.

And learn to fear those who talk of "compassion" at the same time they have their hands in your wallet.

An American disgrace.

An ongoing, worsening American disgrace.

It's Come To This

Can you say desperate?
Fire Up the Grill, Not the Atmosphere
By Brian Palmer, New York Times

Food is responsible for 10 to 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. By many estimates, cooking represents more of a meal’s carbon footprint than transport. For certain vegetables, it accounts for more emissions than agriculture, transport and disposal combined.

Fourth of July, the national celebration of combustion, presents an opportunity for atonement.

I’m not advising you to forsake grilling this holiday and join the ranks of raw-foodists. Nor do I believe that we can reverse climate change by eating burgers rare instead of well done. But a little creative thinking can reduce this year’s Fourth of July carbon emissions without gustatory sacrifice. And maybe that awareness will carry into other days and other parts of our lives.

Consider potato salad ... [link]
I think he's serious.

If so, I almost feel sorry for this poor, miserable fool.

Term Limits? This Congressman Makes The Case.

Democratic Representative John Conyers, Detroit:

This is the first time that I can remember being confronted by members of the Congress, my colleagues, who say, ‘I don’t care if I get reelected or not, I want to cut the budget by $100 billion or whatever. I’ve never seen that kind of a member before. It’s a dangerous point of view from my perspective.”

Yes, he's known as being less than bright. And yes, his attitude (as well as his aptitude) is a fair reflection of that of his colleagues in Washington.

I read things like this and realize we are doomed as a nation.

Another Environmental Alarm Proves To Be False

The Great Barrier Reef is dying!

The Great Barrier Reef is dying!

Or not.

Andrew Bolt, writing in the the Herald Sun:
All that alarmism, relentlessly pushed by this desperately dishonest government, is now blown out of the water by the latest research by Townsville’s Australian Institute of Marine Science:

"Monitoring data collected annually from fixed sites at 47 reefs across 1300 km of the GBR indicate that overall regional coral cover was stable (averaging 29% and ranging from 23% to 33% cover across years) with no net decline between 1995 and 2009....

"Crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) outbreaks and storm damage were responsible for more coral loss during this period than either bleaching or disease despite two mass bleaching events and an increase in the incidence of coral disease.

"While the limited data for the GBR prior to the 1980’s suggests that coral cover was higher than in our survey, we found no evidence of consistent, system-wide decline in coral cover since 1995. Instead, fluctuations in coral cover at subregional scales (10–100 km), driven mostly by changes in fast-growing Acroporidae, occurred as a result of localized disturbance events and subsequent recovery."

You have been deceived again and again and again.
We'll look back on these days and wince at how primitive our thinking was. And at how easily we were frightened by the unknown. In that regard, we are no different from the ape men who wandered the earth one million years ago and who feared the moon.

I Keep Checking

Yup, it says right here - the man is a Republican.

But he could have fooled me:


Maybe the Obama administration will let him back in after his dreams of glory are finally extinguished.