Common Sense

Cavuto: Calls to jail badly behaved bankers? Now that's rich

Wall Street execs may not be saints, but they're not the only sinners

 

After the meltdown, Hillary Clinton says it's time to put the hammer down. Because all these years after stocks and mortgages and the economy itself fell out of bed, it's high time we haul some corporate execs to jail.

Ben Bernanke says the same thing. He's got a new book out bemoaning the fact that none of these perps have walked; that no one's done time for the crime.

Tens of billions of dollars in fines won't do it. A corporate suit stewing in jail cell's the only thing that's going do it.

Well, Hillary and Ben, you'd better make it a big jail cell because the way I see it, while you're rounding up those who gunned the system, you might as well round up the folks who provided the gun.

Actually, that would be your husband, Hillary. And you, Hillary. And that would be you, Ben, actually the same Federal Reserve that was happy to keep pumping the bubble, ignorant of the fact the bubble was getting bigger.

You stoked and now you want someone else to stew? That is rich. Look, I'm not saying bankers are saints. I'm just saying they aren't the only sinners.

If I remember things right, Hillary, it was your husband who inspired something noble called the Community Reinvestment Act. His goal was to make it easier for folks to get mortgages. Barney Frank took that to a whole new level when he and many other Democrats took homeownership from being a goal to darn near a birthright.

This was the 1990s. Real estate was king. Your home was you're ATM and Washington wanted to make sure everyone shared in the fun, even if they didn't qualify for the game.

So along came no-doc loans and zero-down loans and don't bother, just sign here loans. It was fun. It was fast. And like a delirious drug, it was intoxicating.

Folks were flipping properties like pancakes, egged on by lenders who were egged on by Washington to keep lending. So they packaged those loans and mortgages like the hot properties they represented.

Everyone was buying and no one was warning. Not you, Hillary. Not your husband, Hillary. Not Barney Frank, Hillary. And not you, Ben, or anyone on the Fed, Ben. In fact, you said you rather liked these new mortgage-backed securities.

Funny, I don't recall any of you talking about a bubble then. I know, hindsight is always 20-20, but frankly, you're blinding me now thinking there's only one culpable party.

You egged on banks to do what they did. You pushed more liquor on a party you already knew was out of control. You made financial execs to be the rowdy drunkards, when you were the ones providing the free booze. And now you have the audacity to say they should go to jail because they did your bidding?

Like I said, these bankers love to make money, but that doesn't mean they were the only ones spreading the sheet. Let's just say they had a hand.

So may I offer you a finger for trying to deflect attention from a crisis you yourselves helped create and now have the unmitigated nerve to harrumph others should go to jail. Because I didn't hear a peep out of any of you when the party was roaring, only when the music stopped. Then you started worrying about our assets when you just seemed to be covering your asses.

Neil Cavuto serves as senior vice president, anchor and managing editor for both FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX Business Network (FBN). He is anchor of FNC's Your World with Cavuto - the number one rated cable news program for the 4 p.m. timeslot - as well as the FNC Saturday show Cavuto on Business. He also hosts Cavuto on FBN weeknights at 8 p.m. In addition to anchoring daily programs and breaking news specials on FNC and FBN, Cavuto oversees business news content for both networks and FNC's weekend business shows, including Bulls & Bears, Forbes on Fox, and Cashin' In. Click here for more on Neil Cavuto.