Valentine: Frank at heart of problem

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Let's face it. People are downright frightened these days. The recent sprint to socialism has caught a lot of Americans off guard but it's neither sudden nor accidental.

The seeds of this revolution were planted decades ago and they have been carefully cultivated over the years. There are many moving pieces to this quiet coup and there are numerous players. However, one name keeps surfacing time and time again.

Remember what lies at the epicenter of this financial crisis? It was the resurrection of the Community Reinvestment Act in 1995, a Carter-era (or error) program pushed by leftists who deemed it unfair that inner city banks were denying more loans than the suburbs. Then-President Bill Clinton hatched a plan with willing accomplices in Congress to force lenders to make risky loans to people in certain underserved areas all under the guise of repairing past discriminatory lending practices. One manual issued by the federal government instructed, "Lack of credit history should not be seen as a negative factor."

Pushing for all of this so-called reform was Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.). As the problem of risky loans grew it was Frank who famously ran cover for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2003 when the Bush Administration wanted to move oversight of the two entities from Congress to Treasury because of their growing fear of a financial collapse. It was Frank who famously said, "These two entities are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

Up until 1998, Frank was dating a top executive at Fannie Mae, Herb Moses, who was in charge of product initiatives for Fannie, including expanding loans to high-risk borrowers. During that period Frank was on the committee that had jurisdiction over Fannie, the House Banking Committee. A top Republican House aide told Fox News last October, "C'mon, he writes housing and banking laws and his boyfriend is a top exec at a firm that stands to gain from those laws? Imagine what would happen if Frank's political affiliation was R instead of D?" Imagine, indeed.

This is the same Barney Frank who was reprimanded by Congress in 1990 for hiring a male prostitute who was running his male escort business out of Frank's Washington apartment. Frank admitted to paying the male prostitute for sex and using his congressional office to fix 33 of the hustler's parking tickets. Had any heterosexual male congressman done that he would have been run out of Washington on a rail.

At every juncture leading up to this financial crisis, Barney Frank was there at the scene of the crime. Just this week the very same Barney Frank who helped bring about a collapse of the housing market threatened legislation that would allow bankruptcy judges to write down a person's monthly mortgage payment if the banks don't stop the foreclosures.

The really chilling news is Frank's House Financial Services Committee this past week approved legislation that would allow regulators to limit executive pay for all publicly held financial institutions, not just those that took the bailout money. The plan, if approved by Congress, will surely expand to all publicly held companies. The net effect will be a stampede of companies going private. What would that mean for the stock market . . . if there's a stock market left?

Capitalism and this republic are joined at the hip. Barney Frank is trying to burn capitalism to the ground and, if he's successful, he'll destroy this country in the process.