Monthly Archives: October 2012

Michael Olenick: How Fannie Enriches Private Equity Investors at Taxpayer and Homeowner Expense

By Michael Olenick, creator of NASTIACO, a crowd sourced foreclosure document review system (still in alpha). You can follow him on Twitter at @michael_olenick or read his blog, Seeing Through Data

There’s a strong argument that the competing goals of HERA, minimizing loss while promoting affordable housing, are impossible. But doing the opposite, increasing losses while discouraging affordable housing, is even harder, yet Fannie has done that.


Yes, Virginia, Sound Regulation and Oversight Pay for Themselves

The spectacle of failure being rewarded during the financial crisis while the rest of us suffered in the resulting economic downdraft has led even people who are cautious about regulation in goods markets to acknowledge that finance is different and needs vigilant oversight. The fact that Elizabeth Warren took her job as the head of the Congressional Oversight Panel seriously produced a huge win for the public. And that is the sort of thing you’d expect if we had more tough-minded regulators in place.


Bill Black: The Great Betrayal – and the Cynicism of Calling it a Grand Bargain

By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

Obama intends to begin to unravel the safety net (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) to convince the Republicans to enter into this Faustian bargain. Just as only a conservative Republican could visit “Red” China, only a Democrat can begin the destruction of the safety net. The difference, of course, is that normalizing relations with China was a good thing while unraveling the safety net is a terrible thing.


A “Fossil-Fueled Storm” Calls for an Immediate Crash Course on Climate Change

by Matt Stoller (

If you’ve been following twitter, you’ve probably seen a bunch of pictures of various parts of the Northeast subjected to the climate nightmare known as Hurricane Sandy. This storm is not a natural disaster, it is a result of us pumping huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere for over a century. As the fantastic new group Forecast the Facts notes, this is a a fossil-fueled storm.

So how is the organizing going? Well, the climate change related group did a climate action before the storm in Times Square, asking for an end to the climate silence during the Presidential debate.


Mr. Market Says the Military Industrial Complex Will Be Largely Spared in Upcoming Grand Bargain

It’s been remarkable to witness the public complacency in the face of the certain-in-trajectory, less-clear-in-details “Grand Bargain” that Obama and Romney are determined to foist on the hapless middle class and poor in this country. One part of the deficit equation that has gotten comparatively little attention: the fact that the military appears likely to be spared the budget axe.


The Democrats’ Dubious Record on the Supreme Court

One of the rationales generally regarded as a knockout among center-left types in the “who is less terrible, Romney or Obama” debate, is the idea that Presidents nominate Supreme Court justices, and Romney’s picks would be further to the right than Obama’s, particularly as far as their position on social issues like reproductive choice and gay rights are concerned. However, the power to nominate is not the same as the power to appoint. It’s disingenuous for Democratic party operatives and their allies in the punditocracy to act as if the move of the court to the right is solely the doing of evil Republicans.