Dem0nstrating once again his hatred for free markets and his determination to socialize the economy, Congressman Barney Frank (who, it should be noted, didn’t mind when his page-boy lover engaged in a little free enterprise by running a brothel from their apartment) has introduced legislation to bail out real estate developers. Here’s the deal: during the bubble, some big time developers bought rent controlled apartment buildings in the hope of converting them to non- rent controlled status and making a killing. Didn’t happen, and now they’re losing their buildings to other developers/investors, who are paying pennies on the dollar. Fine, right? Risk reward and punishment. The system is working just fine. But Barney’s got friends, I suppose, as do his co-sponsors of the bill, who want us taxpayers to help them out. So, under the guise of yet another “emergency” and to keep these buildings from deteriorating, we’ll toss in billions of dollars and the developers can avoid bankruptcy. Sounds like a great deal, just not for us.
Tag Archives: Barney Frank
Out of work? Can’t pay your mortgage? Underwater on loan to value? How about we taxpayers stepping up to the plate and paying that bad ol’ loan for you? Barney Frank thinks it’s a great idea, and to object would be traitorous. Besides, it’s just a loan, secured by your worthless house, so when prices come roaring back, everybody wins.
Repentant sinners crucified in our former colony.
Congress has demanded that the Accounting Standards Board get rid of the “mark to market” rule and, probably as early as today, banks will now be able to value their toxic assets at whatever they say they’re worth.
This is the same philosophy that drives so many of my fine colleagues in this town when dealing with real estate: if you don’t like what the market says your client’s house is worth, just come up with a value they do like. When it doesn’t sell, look around for someone to blame.
If he hasn’t retired by then, look for Chris Dodd to be in front of the cameras three years from now, face red, finger jabbing, demanding to know why bankers lied to the American public. In this case, since it is the bankers who have asked to discard the rule, they’ll deserve everything that slimy blowhard sends their way.
Under intense political pressure, the board that sets accounting rules in the United States will meet on Thursday to complete changes in accounting rules that are aimed at reducing the losses banks have been forced to report as the values of their mortgage-backed securities have crumbled.
The changes, proposed two weeks ago after a Congressional hearing in which Robert H. Herz, the chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, was essentially ordered to change the rules or face Congressional action, are generally supported by banks, although some want the board to go even further.
But they have produced a strong reaction from some investors, with one investor group complaining that the changes would “effectively gut the transparent application of fair value measurement.” The group also says changes would delay the recovery of the banking system.
UPDATE II: Lest we forget, three years from now, Barney, “There’s nothing wrong with Fannie Mae!” , Frank is also behind this rule change.
We are concentrating power in Washington at a rate that would astonish and delight even the most ardent fascist. Yesterday we saw the President of the United States remove a private corporation’s Chief Executive. Here’s today’s outrage:
[I]n a little-noticed move, the House Financial Services Committee, led by chairman Barney Frank, has approved a measure that would, in some key ways, go beyond the most draconian features of the original AIG bill. The new legislation, the “Pay for Performance Act of 2009,” would impose government controls on the pay of all employees — not just top executives — of companies that have received a capital investment from the U.S. government. It would, like the tax measure, be retroactive, changing the terms of compensation agreements already in place. And it would give Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner extraordinary power to determine the pay of thousands of employees of American companies.
The purpose of the legislation is to “prohibit unreasonable and excessive compensation and compensation not based on performance standards,” according to the bill’s language. That includes regular pay, bonuses — everything — paid to employees of companies in whom the government has a capital stake, including those that have received funds through the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The measure is not limited just to those firms that received the largest sums of money, or just to the top 25 or 50 executives of those companies. It applies to all employees of all companies involved, for as long as the government is invested. And it would not only apply going forward, but also retroactively to existing contracts and pay arrangements of institutions that have already received funds.
In addition, the bill gives Geithner the authority to decide what pay is “unreasonable” or “excessive.” And it directs the Treasury Department to come up with a method to evaluate “the performance of the individual executive or employee to whom the payment relates.”
The bill passed the Financial Services Committee last week, 38 to 22, on a nearly party-line vote. (All Democrats voted for it, and all Republicans, with the exception of Reps. Ed Royce of California and Walter Jones of North Carolina, voted against it.)
Barny Frank, whoremaster of Georgetown, is pushing to ban all bonuses,any bonuses, being paid to any employee of a company that’s received TARP money. He also wants Congressional oversight over all salaries. Frank proposed this a year or so ago, pre-TARP and didn’t succeed. Now armed with a new rationale for the same fascist goal, he’s got a chance. I’d rather see my company collapse, throwing all my employees out of work and start again, rather than grovel before someone like Frank for permission to pay people what I thought they should be paid. I’ll be disappointed if a large number of corporate chiefs don’t agree.
Mr. Frank is in high dudgeon over Northern Trust spending money entertaining clients at a golf outing and has demanded that the money expended therefor be returned to the U.S. Treasurer. Fair enough, but I wondered how careful Frank is himself when it comes to junkets on my dime. I looked and voila, here’s a peek at the man’s own travels. Here, for instance, are just a few of his most recent trips in 2008 and 2007 (follow list for full list).
NYC – Gay Lesbian reception
NYC – Gay Rights
LA – Bill Mahr Show
Jacksonville FL (in Feb,, of course) “Sub prime mtg conf.”
NYC – More gay rights
Franfurt and Berlin, Germany – International Red Cross
Nashville, TN – Insurance
Tampa, Fl – gay rights reception and fund raiser
NYC – paid speaking engagement, Deutsche Bank
This recession is not a failure of market economics. It is a reassertion of market economics after a decade in which we paid ourselves more than we were producing, and funded it precariously and temporarily by complicated credit instruments that it took a while for the market to rumble. Now a prosperity that always baffled ordinary citizens has collapsed. The collapse of confidence is not irrational; it’s the correction to a long run of irrational confidence. All that stuff about the emerging Asian giants wasn’t just phrasemaking for party conference speeches. It was true. We’re falling behind. We face a mountain of debt: the difference between the life we are able to sustain and the life we were enjoying.
Professor Reynolds: The “stimulus” isn’t about fixing things — it’s an embodiment of Rhett Butler’s theory of wealth accumulation in bad times. My take remains this one: “This is not so much a stimulus, as a massive transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected.”
And just in time to prove the point, this:
BOSTON HERALD: Barney Frank’s Hypocrisy:
Ah, the dirty little secret is out. That $700 billion TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bill was in part simply a variation on congressional pork – except this time the recipients were banks with friends in high places.
One of those powerful friends was Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. And one of the recipients of a $12 million infusion of federal cash was the troubled OneUnited Bank in Boston – a bank that had already been accused of “unsafe and unsound banking practices.” Its CEO, Kevin Cohee had also been criticized by regulators for “excessive” pay that included a Porsche.
Frank admits he included language in the TARP legislation specifically designed to bail out OneUnited. He also acknowledges contacting officials at the Treasury Department about the bank’s bailout application.
Our own Chris Dodd’s identical efforts in protecting his favorite banking contributors is missing from the Herald’s coverage of Barney Frank, but now that Dodd has released the loan documents from his Countrywide deal he’ll no doubt receive the attention he deserves. What? He still refuses to produce them? What’s he hiding?