Monday, September 22, 2008

MCCAIN WOULD NAME SUBPRIME BOOSTER CUOMO TO SEC SPOT

Ragged Thots - Last week was hardly John McCain's finest moment when, deciding that the Securities and Exchange Commission bore major responsibility for the Wall Street madness, he essentially called for SEC Chairman Chris Cox to be fired. . . On "60 Minutes" tonight, McCain amended that by saying that, yes, he recognized that, technically, after nomination by the president and confirmation by the Senate, the head of the SEC can't be "fired" by the president who appointed him in the first place. However, he asserted, "When I'm president, if I want somebody to resign, they resign."

So, correspondent Scott Pelley asks, who would McCain replace Cox with. The response: "This may sound a little unusual, but, I've admired Andrew Cuomo. I think he's someone who could restore some credibility, lend some bipartisanship to this effort."

Pelley points out that Cuomo "served in the Cabinet of Bill Clinton." McCain responds, "Yes, and he did a good job and he has respect and he has prestige.". . .

There's a strong case to be made that, as Clinton's HUD secretary, many Cuomo decisions actually may have exacerbated the mortgage meltdown that is at the heart of the current financial industry crisis.

In fact, the best case for that was made, in of all places, the Village Voice. Author Wayne Barrett is an ideological journalist (as, is, of course, the publication for which he writes), but in this case, that very bias gives more strength to the argument that Barrett makes in tying the Cuomo-led HUD's decision to push Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the subprime mortgage markets:

"Andrew Cuomo, the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history, made a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001 that gave birth to the country's current crisis. He took actions that-in combination with many other factors-helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments. He turned the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded 'kickbacks' to brokers that have fueled the sale of overpriced and unsupportable loans. Three to four million families are now facing foreclosure, and Cuomo is one of the reasons why."

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