Barney Frank: "Fannie and Freddie are Sound"

I’m hoping somebody can help clarify/defend Barney Frank’s role in the current economic whatever-you-call-it-today. Start with this O’Reilly interview. (Warning: It’s an O’Reilly interview! Sorry the link is such a biased site, but I didn’t feel like digging through Fox to find it. HP is just hosting Fox’s video though.)

Generally, I have always liked Barney, but not so much this week… His F&F position seems to expose him as a plain old corrupt politician. Bill is of course very much Bill in that clip, but in spite of his hatred, he has a point. Barney will not address the quote from just months ago that F&F were sound, and would improve. He did qualify that they weren’t the best investments to be had, but he still said they were sound. When confronted, he strictly focuses on that qualifier, and will not explain his logic for stating that they were “fundamentally sound” and “not in danger of going under”.

IMHO, he was in a position where he should have known that was not so at the time he made the statement. Add to that the money trail of contributions. Plus the fact that he skips right by it when confronted with the quote.

Why won’t he defend it? Has he explained his reasoning for their apparent “soundness”, from his July 08 point of view, in some other interview since F&F collapsed? Did things change so fast when they went down that nobody saw it coming only a month or two out? I find that unlikey, but I am admittedly ignorant.

Fight my ignorance? Defend Barney? Point and laugh at Bill?


I take it that you’re ignoring the statements by George Bush(President), Henry Paulson(US Treasurer), Ben Bernanke(Chairman - US Federal Reserve Bank), and John McCain - the man seeking to be your next President, all saying earlier this yera that the economy was strong, even in the face of rising un-employment and unstable financial institutions and exploding foreclosure rates.

Barney Frank - a US Representative who has only been chairman of the House Financial Services Committee for less than 2 years, says that F & F is sound and it makes runaway news to right wingers.

The last 8 years had a Republican extreme right winger as POTUS, and for 6 of those years this country had a Republican Congress.

Now tell me - did this economic crisis suddenly materialize only when the dems took control of Congress in January 2007, and are you only interested in Barney Franks echo of what was the administrations stance on the economy?

What would you have preferred his response to be?

He said they’re not a good investment, but they should be OK long-term.

Perhaps you would prefer if he said that they were failing and everyone should drop them like a bad habit? Then we could blame a congressman for causing a bunch of people to lose money. Oh wait a minute…

No politician is allowed to speak a bad word about the economy. That goes triple for the people in charge of regulating it. The only time you can say something is bad is when you follow that statement with a solution to the problem.

I don’t see any reason for a politician to do otherwise. Carter said the economy sucked in the 70s, and he got hell for it. No one has been stupid enough to do it since.

You can probably blame Frank for doing nothing to stop this in 07 and 08, but I don’t know if he had the political capital to pull a solution through. The people weren’t chanting for regulations, and Wall Street didn’t call for any, so what incentive was there for the House to act on this in two years?

Good job by Bill, scream at Barney Frank and then inform the voter exactly why they are in this mess. Oh wait… :rolleyes:

I don’t know why you take that.

I didn’t mean to imply that he exclusively owns what is happening. Only that I am about ready to lump him in with the aforementioned company as somebody who had a hand in the thing going wrong, was blowing the proverbial sunshine, and now refuses to recognize that. I realize that R leadership got us most of the way here, but I don’t think that absolves him of standing there in July telling the public something he likely knew was not true. I’m assuming something there, and that’s part of my question. Am I crazy to think that his position would have been THE position to notice F&F’s condition, or raise the alarm, or help change something, or what… ? One defense I have read is that he resisted the R calls for “reform” because they have much different aims in that “reform” than he wanted to see accomplished. Fair enough, resist their policy shift. But what was the basis of July’s “soundness”? I understand the whole “don’t panic the market” thing, but is that really an outright license to lie on any scale? We should *thank *them for those lies? Look where “Everybody tell a good lie so as to not panic the market,” gets us. Isn’t there something between “they are sound. they are not in danger of going under.” and “omg we’re all gonna die!”? Something like, “They will need help, and here’s an idea”.

O’Reilly was a bad place to start :smack: