Clinton Launches Dishonest Attack on Trump

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (photo credit: Marc Nozell via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

The Clinton campaign released a new attack ad against Trump yesterday, accusing him of cheering the housing collapse in order to buy property inexpensively. This was a coordinated assault with Clinton surrogates in key states also making the charge that Trump profited from others’ suffering.

Trump’s response was unapologetic. That is what any smart business owner does — you buy assets when the price falls.

No one should mistake what Clinton and her allies are trying to do here. They are trying to turn Donald Trump into Mitt Romney, who they successfully branded as a “vulture capitalist.”

But it is a very dishonest attack. As Bernie Sanders has pointed out, Hillary didn’t have any moral dilemmas about accepting millions of dollars from Wall Street bankers who were bailed out by the taxpayers.

Leading Clinton’s charge was Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. But there’s just one problem: Warren has also bought distressed properties and flipped them for profit.

And let’s not miss the bigger picture here. If Clinton and Warren want to talk about the housing collapse, let’s talk about the role big government and left-wing policies played in creating that crisis.

Why did the housing market collapse? At least in part due to left-wing pressure that forced banks to make risky loans.

Gary L. Bauer served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for eight years, as Under Secretary of Education and as President Reagan’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor. Continue Reading

Liberal Senator Attacks Trump, He Reacts With This Great Tweet…

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) has been savaging Donald Trump on Twitter in recent days. Her last 29 tweets — yes, 29 — all criticized the Republican nominee.

If she was looking for attention from Trump, it worked. He fired back last night with a tweet of his own.

He wasn’t done. Apparently, “Goofy” Elizabeth Warren is a nickname that’s here to stay:

Poor Elizabeth Warren. She once had a future in the Democratic Party. Many liberals were clamoring for her to be Hillary’s vice president. Continue Reading

Elizabeth Warren’s Strange Journey

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (photo credit: AFGE via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

A friend who was a student of Elizabeth Warren at the University of Pennsylvania Law School assures me that back then she was a Republican.  So she has some history of political mobility.  But even by Washington standards, her latest flip (or is it a flop?) is pretty astounding.

Back when Senator Rand Paul introduced his “Audit the Fed” bill — a mischaracterization, since the real significance of his proposal was the removal of a prohibition against the Government Accountability Office critiquing the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve — Senator Warren denounced it, telling the Huffington Post: “I oppose … this bill because it promotes congressional meddling in the Fed’s monetary policy decisions, which risks politicizing those decisions and may have dangerous implications for financial stability and the health of the global economy.”

These concerns have not prevented Senator Warren from teaming up with Senator Vitter to introduce the “Bailout Prevention Act,” which would — wait for it — subject Federal Reserve emergency lending facilities to Congressional scrutiny.  The purpose of Warren-Vitter is to discourage (but not prevent) the Fed from undertaking emergency lending in a financial crisis which is available to fewer than five companies and which does not charge punitive interest rates.

Senator Warren’s trope for the past several years has been that she is all about saving taxpayer money by preventing bank bailouts.  So her new legislation would prevent the Fed from bailing out an institution which is insolvent, thereby forcing it into bankruptcy.  Continue Reading

The Horrors of Dodd-Frank “Banking”

Photo via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.5)

With “Audit the Fed” being described as the “direst threat” to the Fed since Dodd-Frank, it’s worth while noting the mounting number of horrid consequences to actual people who need to make a living, especially from the federalization of banks.

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that J.P. Morgan Chase—which is a bank, by the way—plans to jettison $100 billion in deposits in order to comply with new federal banking regulations, devised under Dodd-Frank authority.

“Isn’t a bank,” you might muse, “in the business of receiving deposits and putting that money to productive use?”

Isn’t that how banks help the real economy grow?

Not in the brave new world of Dodd-Frank.  The Wall Street Journal predicted precisely this event in a December 9, 2014 report on new capital requirements.  The Fed and other banking regulators are, under Dodd-Frank, busily pursuing a “deleveraging” of the American banking industry, brilliantly characterized in an op-ed by Richard Farley on November 24, 2014, in—you guessed it—the Wall Street Journal.  There is simply too much risk in the banking sector for the tastes of the Fed.

So what is the response of banks to this new directive? It is to make “safe” loans to the U.S. government and corporate borrowers such as Apple, rather than to riskier, more economically productive, job-creating borrowers.

This campaign of deleverage obviously does not benefit Main Street, which remains credit starved.

The not-so-funny thing is the classic case for the “independence” of central banks is to prevent the politically powerful from manipulating money for the government’s benefit at the expense of the real economy. Continue Reading

Bankers versus Rand Paul?

The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building – Washington, DC (photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Five of twelve regional Fed presidents have formally opposed Audit the Fed, and now Reuters reports:

A Reuters survey of 24 state banking groups has found that four are actively opposed to Audit the Fed and five would probably take a stand against the bill if it gains more support, giving the central bank an influential ally as the Fed ramps up its own public opposition. . .[T]he Ohio Bankers League. . .is sending 82 members to Washington this week [to oppose the bill].

Meanwhile, as previously reported, Sen. Elizabeth Warren has flip-flopped, recanting her support for Audit the Fed. It is unusual for the Democrats to line up with the bankers, at least in mainstream media mythology.

Paul Dupont is a legislative assistant at American Principles in Action. Continue Reading

Why Did Warren Denounce “Audit the Fed”?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (photo credit: Tim Pierce via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Steve, The Hill is reporting Elizabeth Warren had a private lunch with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in December:

A Warren representative declined to describe what was discussed at the meeting between Yellen and Warren, who frequently criticizes Wall Street.

But not the Fed, apparently.

Maggie Gallagher is editor of Continue Reading

Warren Now Opposes Audit the Fed

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (photo credit: Ben Wikler via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

That odd sound you hear is the baying of Keynesian economists, howling with indignity at the effrontery of Senator Rand Paul to propose scrutiny of the Federal Reserve (S. 264, “The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2015”, and its companion bill H.R. 24 introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie).  Ralph Benko previously noted that Wall Street and liberal economists have their knives out to savage Rand Paul and protect the Federal Reserve’s fantastic and undemocratic prerogatives.

The real significance of Senator Paul’s proposal is the removal of a prohibition against the Government Accountability Office analyzing and critiquing the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve.

Today Elizabeth Warren, the great liberal hope, joined up with Wall Street and 20th Street NW to shield the Federal Reserve from scrutiny by the GAO.

Senator Warren told the Huffington Post: “I oppose the current version of this bill because it promotes congressional meddling in the Fed’s monetary policy decisions, which risks politicizing those decisions and may have dangerous implications for financial stability and the health of the global economy.”

What the bill risks is that an honest appraisal of recent Federal Reserve policies will lay at its feet not only responsibility for the pathetic rate of recovery from the previous recession, but a hand in causing the recession of 2007 which in turn led to the banking crisis of 2008.

The American people are still suffering from the dysfunction of our economy.  Continue Reading

Elizabeth Warren’s Faux Populism

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) (photo credit: Tim Pierce via Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Elizabeth Warren wants to incarcerate banking executives.  She wants to insure former Wall Street executives don’t attain high government positions (recently claiming the scalp of Antonio Weiss).  Most of all she wants to prevent the repeal of any part of the Dodd-Frank regulatory monstrosity.

Senator Warren is correctly discerning the public’s economic discontent:  survey show large majorities of all parties believe the current economy favors the already-rich over the middle class, and even a majority of Democrats believe the economic policies of the U.S government are rigged against hard working middle class families. Senator Warren’s indignation is meant to pander to this discontent.  Unfortunately for those to whom she appeals, the policies she advocates will make things decidedly worse for Main Street and the American middle class.

We live in very peculiar economic times.  While the Department of Justice and bank regulators brag about the fines they have extracted from the banking industry for misdeeds during the Great Recession ($180 billion according to Market Watch), the Federal Reserve is coddling the big banks.  First the Fed overpaid banks for the government debt it purchased during “Quantitative Easing” to put downward pressure on interest rates; then it began to pay interest to the banks on the huge reserves created through QE–currently $2.5 trillion in idled funds, sitting at the Fed, doing nothing economically productive.  Paying interest on these deposits creates a disincentive for banks to loan out this money, and the Fed is preparing to increase the interest it pays, thereby increasing this disincentive. Continue Reading