Friday, January 28, 2011

Quotes of the day

Fannie and Freddie were lowering their credit standards and participating in the non-traditional mortgage market—eventually buying up the credit risk of 12 million of the 27 million not-traditional mortgages—for one reason and one reason only: government regulation compelled them to do this. ... So why did Fannie and Freddie lower their standards and chase the shoddy mortgages that lead to their destruction? Because they were attempting to meet the government’s increasingly stringent affordable housing requirements. The responsibility for the collapse of Fannie and Freddie rests with the policies of HUD.--John Carney

Ex-EMC analysts admitted they were sometimes told to falsify loan-level performance data provided to the ratings agencies who blessed Bear's billion-dollar deals. But according to depositions and documents in the Ambac lawsuit, Bear's misdeeds went even deeper. They say senior traders under Tom Marano, who was a Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Mortgages for Bear and is now CEO of Ally's mortgage operations, were pocketing cash that should have gone to securities holders after Bear had already sold them bonds and moved the loans off its books.--Teri Buhl

... in contrast with the landed, and often leisured, aristocracies of previous eras, the elite now consists mostly of ‘‘the working rich,’’ in the words of Emmanuel Saez, an award-winning economist at the University of California, Berkeley, who is one of the leading students of income inequality. In 1916, Mr. Saez’s research shows, the richest 1 percent of Americans received only one-fifth of their income from paid work. In 2004, in contrast, paid work accounted for 60 percent of the income of that same sector.--Chrystia Freeland

[If I could go back in time and do things differently] I'd spend more time at home with my family, and I'd study more and preach less. I wouldn't have taken so many speaking engagements, including some of the things I did over the years that I probably didn't really need to do—weddings and funerals and building dedications, things like that. Whenever I counsel someone who feels called to be an evangelist, I always urge them to guard their time and not feel like they have to do everything. I also would have steered clear of politics. I'm grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn't do that now.--Billy Graham

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