Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Barney Bait.

As one man succinctly put it, responding to a Bill O'Reilly tears into Barney Frank thread ("This was fucking great. To see Bill just tear apart Barney 'the shit stain' Frank, was beautiful"),

"the coachmen steered towards the cliff, jumped off, then handed Frank the reigns. Phil Gramm, Alan Greenspan, Bill Clinton, and George Bush are the primary reasons we're in this mess."


Fox, O'Reilly and the Neocons lured Barney Frank into their web by deliberately spreading lies about his contribution to the economic meltdown. Barney Frank, like any normal human being, wanted to correct Bill O'Reilly's "errors" about an event sure to go down in history as one of the worst periods our economy has faced.

Why isn't Bill O'Reilly going after the #1 culprit, Phil Gramm? Gramm pushed through historic banking deregulation bills that all but guaranteed this massive meltdown. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act eliminated the barriers - by tearing down the walls created by Glass-Steagall - between commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, and securities firms. This started a wave of mergers which exposed banks to all kinds of securities they were restricted from owning before this bill.

That wasn't enough for Phil Gramm. He then pushed through the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, written by financial industry lobbyists, in order to "protect financial institutions from overregulation" according to Gramm. In other words, this bill, famous for the Enron loophole, completely deregulated "credit default swaps", all $62 trillion dollars worth! The same swaps that are literally responsible for making investment and commercial banks go under.

Besides falsely extending Frank's time as Chairman over the House Finance Services Committee by one year, O'Reilly dug up a Frank quote from something he said five years ago, four years before Frank assumed his position...at a time when the GOP controlled everything from Congress, the House, the Executive Branch to the world!

Does anyone really think Frank's quote from 2003 had anything to do with this fiasco? Yes, Barney Frank may have been wrong about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and as I said in my previous post, Frank should accept some blame. However by the time Barney Frank took over as Chairman, most of the damage was done, and even though the Democrats won over the House and Senate in 2007, most of their time has been spent in Republican generated gridlock. The bottom line is Barney Frank's contribution to this crisis is negligible in comparison.

2 comments:

Anonymous,  13:28  

You must be kidding! Barney Frank couldn't be more responsible. He was the only one directly involved.
There may have been others but he started the ball rolling with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Get a clue!

Roth's stepchild 12:10  

He was not the only one involved ... not by a long shot.

Increasingly, since the Reagan Administration, legislation passed through the House and Senate deregulating the financial industry to the point of no return.

Barney Frank had absolutely nothing to do with this. It was the Republican party who pushed their version of the "free market" which became the mantra that defined America for the last 30 years. People bought it hook, line and sinker.

Between the total deregulation of the derivatives market and then in 2004, the legislation that released limits on leverage (investment banks), there was nothing Barney Frank could have done to stop this unavoidable train wreck.

Thanks for the comment!

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