Monday, September 29, 2008

What Caused the Crisis? We Have Answers.

Burning Down the House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis. Keep your cursor on the pause'll need to read some of the screen shots.

Just in case you are tempted to chalk this all up to partisan politics....former President Bill Clinton agrees. He told ABC News about the Democrats blocking reform of Fannie and Freddie when he was in the White House:

Four years ago, Congressional hearings were held. Republicans warned of impending, serious problems at Fannie and Freddie. Democrats defended both companies. Watch them, in their own words:

Remember as you watch these videos that:

* Franklin Raines earned $90 million in his five years as Fannie Mae’s CEO, from 1999 to 2004, while cooking the books. One of his successors, Daniel Mudd, collected $11.6 million. Fannie Mae — a quasi-governmental corporation created by Congress to support FHA-insured or VA-guaranteed secondary mortgages — failed so badly in late 2008 that, to prevent total collapse, the feds bailed it out for $200+ BILLION (along with sister organization Freddie Mac) and took control of it.

* In August 2007, Bank of America bought failed subprime-mortgage peddler Countrywide Financial for $2 BILLION — after CEO Angelo Mozilo sold $121 million in company stock and the feds bailed it out for $51 BILLION.

* In October 2007, the board of Merrill Lynch fired CEO Stanley O’Neal, who collected a cool $160 million bonus payout on his way out the door. His successor, John Thain, earned $17 million for one year — before selling Merrill to Bank of America for $50 BILLION.

* James Cayne, as CEO of Bear Stearns, “earned” $49.31 million in the last two years of his firm’s pitiful existence — before collapsing, receiving a $29 BILLION government bailout, and becoming part of JP Morgan Chase.

* Richard Fuld, CEO and largest shareholder of Lehman Brothers, collected $354 million in total compensation in the past five years — before declaring bankruptcy and melding into Barclays Financial.

* Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke orchestrated an $85 BILLION withdrawal from taxpayer coffers to save insurance giant AIG from bankruptcy.

* Alan Fishman, CEO for just 17 days of Washington Mutual, the nation’s largest S&L, floated out the door on an eye-popping $20 million parachute as it became the largest bank failure in US history, taken over by FDIC, and handed to JP Morgan Chase for the bargain price of $1.9 BILLION.

Now, Congress and the President can't understand why 'we the people' are angry and protesting the ADDITIONAL $750 BILLION dollar bailout of Wall Street. Someone needs to get a clue.....and it isn't us, folks.

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