President Obama wants new laws to regulate speculation on Wall Street and impose investment standards on the banking and finance industries. The president is correct in dealing with the problem that has harmed most Americans. There's no question the current recession was caused in part by greedy speculators who recklessly sold bad investments, and when those investments crashed, so did the U.S. economy.
"Talking Points" believes President Bush had no idea the financial industry was trafficking in bad mortgage paper, risky derivatives. He was stunned when he found out. You could see it.
So obviously the country needs new laws that would constrain financial corruption so that Wall Street gangsters could not undermine the economy again.
Now, I know some of you do not trust the federal government, and I am skeptical of the feds as well. But there's no other choice. Washington is the only place that can regulate and supervise the U.S. financial system.
Here's what President Obama said Monday night:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I believe in the free financial market. I believe that it's essential that we have a strong financial market because that helps to boost dynamic economic growth. But a free market doesn't mean you should be free to do whatever you want, however you can get it without regard to consequences. There have to be some rules of the road. There's got to be some accountability. There's got to be some transparency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Now, the problem is that many Americans, including your humble correspondent, are worried that the president may use a legitimate issue like controlling speculation to further expand the nanny state. The fact that the government mortgage houses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not included in the proposed new law is very telling. Fannie and Freddie hastened the collapse of the economy. So why isn't President Obama interested in regulating them?
I'll tell you why. Because the Obama administration uses Fannie and Freddie to redistribute income to provide mortgages to often underfinanced Americans.
So we have what they call a conundrum. We need reform on Wall Street. We need strict oversight on gangsters who would abuse the financial system. But that means more big government, and that means more power for people like Congressman Barney Frank, who totally blew it with Fannie and Freddie. What a mess.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Actress and weight-loss person Valerie Bertinelli ran the Boston Marathon on Monday. The 49-year-old mother of one finished in five hours, 14 minutes and used her celebrity to raise money for the Dana-Farber Institute, a very worthy cause. So Ms. Bertinelli is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, say hello to nudity in your neighborhood. A Boulder, Colorado, woman likes to garden with no clothes on. You can finish the joke here. But it is no joke for people who don't want to see that. However, the housing authority where the lady lives says it's OK with them. She can garden any way she wants. And so 52-year-old Catharine Pierce will be getting an all-over tan, but she is still a pinhead.