Tag Archives: Banking

Ratings agency Moody’s downgrades 15 banks, some by two notches

From Yahoo News.

Excerpt:

Ratings agency Moody’s downgraded many of the world’s biggest banks on Thursday, lowering credit ratings of 15 companies by one to three notches.

Morgan Stanley, one of the most closely watched firms, had its long-term debt rating lowered by just two notches, one level less than had been expected, and its stock rose in after-hours trading. The downgrade left Morgan Stanley more highly rated than Bank of America Corp and Citigroup but a step below Goldman Sachs Group.

Credit Suisse , which last week was warned about weak capital levels by Switzerland’s central bank, was the only bank in the group to suffer a three-notch downgrade. But its new A1 deposit and senior debt ratings, however, rank higher than many of its peers.

[…]In addition to Morgan Stanley, downgraded by two notches were Barclays , BNP Paribas , Royal Bank of Canada , Citigroup, Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase , Credit Agricole , Deutsche Bank , and UBS .

Falling one notch were Bank of America, HSBC Holdings , Royal Bank of Scotland and Societe Generale.

Nomura and Macquarie were included in an original list of global banks, but have already been downgraded.

I don’t think that the Obama administration should be so concentrated on legalizing gay marriage and subsidizing green energy right now. I also think that if you are going off to college, you would do well to study a STEM field. There’s a storm coming.

Which politician received the most money from Wall Street in the last 20 years?

The Daily Caller explains how Barack Obama has received the most money from Wall Street bankers of all politicians in the last 20 years. (H/T Neil Simpson)

Excerpt: (with links removed)

Despite his rhetorical attacks on Wall Street, a study by the Sunlight Foundation’s Influence Project shows that President Barack Obama has received more money from Wall Street than any other politician over the past 20 years, including former President George W. Bush.

In 2008, Wall Street’s largesse accounted for 20 percent of Obama’s total take, according to Reuters.

When asked by The Daily Caller to comment about President Obama’s credibility when it comes to criticizing Wall Street, the White House declined to reply.

[…]In fact, the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan watchdog group that tracks lobbyist spending and influence in both parties, found that President Obama has received more money from Bank of America than any other candidate dating back to 1991.

An examination of the numbers shows that Obama took in $421,242 in campaign contributions in 2008 from Bank of America’s executives, PACs and employees, which exceeded its prior record contribution of $329,761 to President George W. Bush in 2004.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wall Street firms also contributed more to Obama’s 2008 campaign than they gave to Republican nominee John McCain.

“The securities and investment industry is Obama’s second largest source of bundlers, after lawyers, at least 56 individuals have raised at least $8.9 million for his campaign,” Massie Ritsch wrote in a Sept. 18, 2008 entry on the Center for Responsive Politics’s OpenSecrets blog.

By the end of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, executives and others connected with Wall Street firms, such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, UBS AG, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley, poured nearly $15.8 million into his coffers.

Goldman Sachs contributed slightly over $1 million to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, compared with a little over $394,600 to the 2004 Bush campaign. Citigroup gave $736,771 to Obama in 2008, compared with $320,820 to Bush in 2004. Executives and others connected with the Swiss bank UBS AG donated $539,424 to Obama’s 2008 campaign, compared with $416,950 to Bush in 2004. And JP Morgan Chase gave Obama’s campaign $808,799 in 2008, but did not show up among Bush’s top donors in 2004, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Obama’s close relationship with JP Morgan Chase was highlighted earlier this year when he tapped Bill Daley, a former top executive with the bank, to replace Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff.

Wall Street’s generosity to Obama didn’t end with his 2008 campaign either. Wall Street donors contributed $4.8 million to underwrite Obama’s inauguration, according to a Jan. 15, 2009 Reuters report.

So far Wall Street has raised $7.2 million in the current electoral cycle for President Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Obama’s 2012 Wall Street bundlers include people like Jon Corzine, former Goldman Sachs CEO and former New Jersey governor; Azita Raji, a former investment banker for JP Morgan; and Charles Myers, an executive with the investment bank Evercore Partners.

This ought to put to rest the myth that Wall Street is composed of greedy Republicans. But it will only work for people who care about the facts.

I blogged before about the Wall Street bailout that Obama pushed through – remember that? Do you think that maybe he was paying off the people that got him elected? Is that what “stimulus” spending really means? Is Solyndra just another example of “stimulus” spending to bail out the people who got him elected?

After causing the first recession, Democrats plant seeds of the next recession

From the Competitive Enterprise Institute. (links removed, please see original article for links)

Excerpt:

The Wall Street Journal today writes about how the Obama administration is repeating the “mistakes of the past by intimidating banks into lending to minority borrowers at below-market rates in the name of combating discrimination.” Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez has argued that bankers who don’t make as many loans to blacks as whites (because they make lending decisions based on traditional lending criteria like credit scores, which tend to be higher among white applicants than black applicants) are engaged in a “form of discrimination and bigotry” as serious as “cross-burning.” Perez has compared bankers to “Klansmen,” and extracted settlements from banks “setting aside prime-rate mortgages for low-income blacks and Hispanics with blemished credit,” treating welfare “as valid income in mortgage applications” and providing “favorable interest rates and down-payment assistance for minority borrowers with weak credit,” notes Investors Business Daily.

Under Perez’s “disparate impact” theory, banks are guilty of racial discrimination even if they harbor no discriminatory intent, and use facially-neutral lending criteria, as long as these criteria weed out more black than white applicants. The Supreme Court has blessed a more limited version of this theory in the workplace, but has rejected this “disparate impact” theory in most other contexts, such as discrimination claims brought under the Constitution’s equal protection clause; discrimination claims alleging racial discrimination in the making of contracts; and discrimination claims brought under Title VI, the civil-rights statute governing racial discrimination in education and federally-funded programs. Despite court rulings casting doubt on this “disparate impact” theory outside the workplace, the Obama administration has paid liberal trial lawyers countless millions of dollars to settle baseless “disparate impact” lawsuits brought against government agencies by minority plaintiffs, even after federal judges have expressed skepticism about those very lawsuits, suggesting that they were meritless.

Fearing bad publicity from being accused of “racism”, banks have paid out millions in settlements after being sued by the Justice Department, even though they would probably prevail before most judges if they aggressively fought such charges (although doing so would probably cost them millions in legal fees).  A Michigan judge called one proposed settlement “extortion.” These settlements provide cash for “politically favored ‘community groups ” allied with the Obama Administration, and the Journal’s Mary Kissel predicts that “many” of the loans mandated by these settlements “will eventually go bad.”

This is exactly what caused the first recession.

Who caused the first recession?

Here’s a summary of how we got into the first recession – it was caused by the Democrats, and the Republicans tried to stop them.

First, watch this video of Barney Frank obstructing regulators and defending Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (H/T Verum Serum)

Now look at this Boston Globe article.

Excerpt:

When US Representative Barney Frank spoke in a packed hearing room on Capitol Hill seven years ago, he did not imagine that his words would eventually haunt a reelection bid.

The issue that day in 2003 was whether mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were fiscally strong. Frank declared with his trademark confidence that they were, accusing critics and regulators of exaggerating threats to Fannie’s and Freddie’s financial integrity. And, the Massachusetts Democrat maintained, “even if there were problems, the federal government doesn’t bail them out.’’

Now, it’s clear he was wrong on both points — and that his words have become a political liability as he fights a determined challenger to win a 16th term representing the Fourth Congressional District. Fannie and Freddie collapsed in 2008, forcing the federal government to buy $150 billion worth of stock in the enterprises and $1.36 trillion worth of mortgage-backed securities.

Frank, in his most detailed explanation to date about his actions, said in an interview he missed the warning signs because he was wearing ideological blinders. He said he had worried that Republican lawmakers and the Bush administration were going after Fannie and Freddie for their own ideological reasons and would curtail the lenders’ mission of providing affordable housing.

“I was late in seeing it, no question,’’ Frank said about the lenders’ descent into insolvency.

This is not in doubt – this is a known fact. Democrats caused the recession by meddling in the free market.

Democrats caused the recession and Republicans tried to stop them

Here is Barney Frank in 2005 claiming that fears of a housing bubble are unfounded.

Here’s the timeline showing who wanted to regulate Fannie and Freddie, and who blocked their attempts.

Here’s video from a hearing showing Democrats opposing regulations:

That’s right – Republicans wanted to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Democrats said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are “doing a tremendous job”.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had paid the Democrats off handsomely during multiple election cycles, but I’m sure that the Democrats’ opposition to regulations had nothing to do with those political contributions.

The only ones to try and stop the Democrats were George W. Bush in 2003 and John McCain in 2005. Both attempts were blocked by Democrats.

Ezra Levant interviews Mark Steyn on Sun TV

Blazing Cat Fur uploaded this new video featuring free speech warriors Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn. It also has funny Canadian commercials!

They talk about Mark Steyn’s new book “After America”.

Fiscally conservative Canada campaigns against global bank tax

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Story from Breitbart.

Excerpt:

Canada will “resist” a bank tax, Industry Minister Tony Clement said Tuesday as ministers fanned out across the world to raise opposition to the proposal for avoiding another financial crisis.

“Canada is, and will remain, opposed to a tax that would penalize financial institutions that remained strong and prosperous while many of the world’s banks failed,” Clement told a press conference with Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon.

“We will resist the bank tax here at home and we seek to convince other heads of government of the virtue of our position,” he said as senior ministers echoed his message in Mumbai, Beijing and Washington.

Attempts to reach international agreement on coordinated bank taxes at last month’s G20 and IMF meetings ran aground.

Nations including Canada and Brazil, whose banking sectors emerged largely unscathed from the financial crisis, objected to the plan, favoring higher capital reserve requirements instead.

[…]Clement said the bank tax would “encourage risky behavior” if it is used to create a bank bailout fund and “reward bad behavior” of those institutions responsible for the recent financial crisis in the first place.

As well, it would “unduly burden” Canadian banks and put them at a “competitive disadvantage” to other financial institutions.

“This tax would reach into consumers’ pockets and punish our financial institutions which have taken precautions to avoid the very turmoil that is afflicting other parts of the globe,” Clement lamented.

Stephen Harper is a fiscal conservative. He knows that low interest rates are bad, so he created tax-free savings accounts to get people to work and save their money. And he knows that people who buy houses need to be able to pay for them, and his banking policies reflect that. There is no Democrat-sponsored “Community Reinvestment Act” in Canada to allow the socialist mafia (ACORN) to pressure private banks into making risky loans. And there are no Democrats taking political contributions while blocking attempts to investigate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And there are no bank bailouts!

The Conservative Party of Canada keeps its banking sector squeaky clean. They even plan to cut spending! And the Canadian people support fiscal conservatism. That’s why they aren’t facing the mess we are facing. And they have lower unemployment, too – 8.1% compared to our 9.9%. Canada is kicking our tails! How can this be? How did they manage to elect an economist, while we are stuck with this perpetually-bowing flibbertigibbet and his legions of bloviating boffins, each more corrupt and incompetent than the last? Democrats have no real-life experience! They just had rich parents!

Look at this article from the Financial Post.

Excerpt:

“In Canada, there were no taxpayer bailouts of financial institutions, so we believe there is no justification for levies on banks and financial institutions,” Harper said at a news conference following meetings with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

[…]Canada and the EU are in the midst of negotiating an ambitious trade deal. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was launched at the 2009 Canada-EU summit and to date, three rounds of negotiations have taken place. There are at least two more to go over the next year.

The deal will give Canada greater access to the markets of the EU’s member countries and will strengthen an economic relationship that is already worth $75-billion in trade. The EU is Canada’s second-largest trading partner after the United States and is also Canada’s second-largest source of direct foreign investment, putting $162-billion into Canada in 2009.

This is grown-up fiscal policy. Government should stay out of the mortgage-lending industry, and sign as many free-trade deals as possible. The exact opposite of what the Obama administration is doing.