October 8, 2009
BLOG: Quick Links 10/8/09
*From Forbes, a look at the massive escalation in Community Reinvestment Act-driven lending that led up to the Fall 2008 credit crisis.
As is true of the Great Depression, there will probably never be a consensus on the causes of the credit crisis, or at least on what weight to assign to the many various contributing causes. I'm skeptical of any effort to boil it down to just one culprit. But the Left has its work cut out for it in trying to deny that the visible foot of government meddling played a number of significant roles - including the GSEs, the CRA and the Fed's monetary policies. And there is something to be said - as was true in the case of California's electricity crisis earlier in the decade - that half-assed government interference can be even worse than more heavy-handed intervention, when the government unbalances the incentives in a market and cuts off some of the safety valves. A lesson to remember as the next rounds of proposals to ramp up government involvement in virtually everything make the rounds.
*Baucus Bill? There is no Baucus bill.
*Ben Domenech at TNL has an excellent piece on the Right's institutional failure to fund effective activists rather than bloated think tanks and vanity projects. I know he and I and others on the RedState and New Ledger staffs have beaten the drum repeatedly about the massive financial imbalance of power between the Left and the Right in terms of online and grassroots activism and investigative journalism, but it's not just that they have Soros and we don't (although in the world of funding bloggers, one billionaire can make a big footprint) or that they have the SEIU and we don't; Ben hits the nail on the head as to the dysfunctional structures in place.
*Also a must-read at TNL is Benjamin Kerstein's look from Israel at how and why Obama became so unpopular so quickly there. Add Israel to the list with India, Great Britain, France, Canada, Poland and Honduras (assuming he doesn't succeed in supporting the toppling of its government), among others, where Obama's created real problems with our bilateral relationships. Granted, to a lot of Obama's supporters, being unpopular with Israelis is a feature, not a bug.
Per a Federal Reserve study: Banks subject to CRA requirements were 66 percent less likely than other lenders to originate a subprime mortgage loan, and 58 percent less likely to originate subprime loans to low- and moderate-income borrowers, even though CRA banks were 16 percent less likely than other lenders to deny a loan application.
Who needs terrorists, when one has Goldman Sachs?
As for Forbes and Peter Schweizer:
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
I have been writing for years that conservatives are missing the boat. Hugh Hewitt and a number of others have delighted in pointing out that the MSM is a dinosaur in decline. True, but it still has the power to make the difference in elections (although the biased coverage that tilts so far left is most effective during times when there is no election).
Conservatives whine and complain about the coverage. Conservatives delight in looking to a future when the MSM's influence will be further in decline. But conservatives don't have any effective plan for doing a damn thing about addressing the present ongoing damage.
Elections are decided by the mushy middle that doesn't pay much attention. Those voters don't read political blogs and don't listen to talk radio. They are influenced by late night TV, Oprah, and a vague sense of what the MSM is preaching.
Conservatives have made no effort to educate and inform the people who decide elections. Conservatives have made no effort to hammer home message that the MSM is nothing more than the activist propaganda wing of the Democratic party. If we don't challenge the legitimacy of the news pitched by the MSM, the mushy middle will continue to believe the message.
Evans Thomas said that the MSM is trying to win elections for the Dems. They only need to influence 1 or 2% of the votes to shift control. They certainly do that.
So when will someone start doing what really needs to be done?
I'm already anticipating the obama-nobel peace prize post.
Can you explain why huge corporations (MSM) favor Democrats over Republicans. I had always been told the GOP was the party of big business. Is this just another lie I had been fed, and that the Democrats are actually the party which favors big corporations?
I have always wondered why some of the "rich" conservatives have not bought parts of the MSM. You can buy the newspapers for pennies on the dollar. You can buy a major network as well.
Good luck wresting the MSM from the hands of ultra-liberals like Murdoch and General Electric.
Wow. I didn't think anyone was really stupid enough to still think that the 1950s era formulation of big corporations vs. unions had some relevance today. Anyone who has actually paid attention to the real world can readily see that Big Business and Big Labor have always loved Big Government. To describe the political divide in economic terms today, the Democrats are a coalition of special interest rent-seekers and the Republicans are the party of the taxpayers. The economic group most likely to support the GOP is that of small business operators -- the single proprietor working 80 hour weeks. They support the GOP because they don't have the power to lobby the feds for big handouts.
Im always amazed that left-wing fools believe that radical left-wingers such as Ted Turner or Punch Sulzberger can have their news organizations magically turn into right wing support groups by virtue of filing a piece of paper at the Sec of State's office incorporating their news business.