Foreclosed Home for Sale

Cleo Chews Over Hot Topics - Bipartisan Bailout in the Works

For whom should I feel most sorry? The millions of people who bought and refinanced houses they knew they couldn't afford, conveniently ignoring the inflated appraisals, cash back at the closing table, and "no money down," from which even an idiot had to know that something was amiss? The lenders and brokers who convinced them that this was the American way? The old-fashioned masses who rented or made their payments on their 20% down and 30-years-to-pay mortgages and lived in a house they could afford? The foreign sovereign investment funds that foolishly bought derivatives backed by the sham mortgages, or the wall street workers who looked the other way while this was all going on?

It looks like our leaders are gathering forces to "compromise" by bailing out everyone except those old-fashioned people in the middle, who never made a dime off the lunacy that has been running amok at loan-closing tables all across our land for the last 10 years, and whose taxes and retirement savings will fund the bailout that is in the works. I guess that's the way it's always been, and probably always will be if I'm not elected president. The money is gone, so someone has to pay, and the ones who stole it are not likely to step up and pay it back, especially if no one makes them do it.

Roland Arnall is a good example of the way things have worked in recent years. He died this year, so I won't speak ill of him but his story is informative. He owned Ameriquest, a "subprime lender" that pioneered the mortgage lending practices that led us to where we are today. He gave a lot of money to politicians, both Democrat and Republican, while he was in business. Coincidentally, his industry avoided any significant federal regulation After making millions selling mortgages to people who couldn't afford to pay them, he decided to get out of the business. He asked his buddy George W. Bush (for whom he raised $12 million in 2004) if he could be an ambassador. Altough Arnall's first choice was Israel, Dubya convinced him to be ambassador to the Netherlands instead. Arnall sold Ameriquest for $1 billion. Sadly for him, his ambassadorship ran into problems. Democrats opposed his nomination on a technicality, to wit: 49 state attorneys general were investigating him for mortgage fraud. He solved that problem by settling the claims for $325 million (chump change), without admitting wrongdoing. He was then confirmd as ambassador on an uncontested Senate vote in 2006. Maybe someone will research the Senate records to see what Senators Obama and McCain said about that vote at the time. I honestly don't know, although Joe Biden and Barack Obama were on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where Democrats opposed the nomination, at least until Arnall paid off on the fraud claims. Arnall was our ambassador to the Netherlands until a month before his death this year. I don't know whether or not he did a good job.*

/s/ Cleo

*Sources: Los Angeles Times, Wikipedia, Chain of Blame