The man who’d break the banks of America 2

Obama took a leading role in causing the subprime housing crisis which triggered the recession, but he blames it on the financial institutions which he forced to provide the bad loans.

This is an editorial from Investor’s Business Daily:

Obama pushed thousands of credit-poor blacks into homes they couldn’t afford. As a civil-rights attorney, he sued banks to rubberstamp mortgages for urban residents.

Many are now in foreclosure. …

Obama focused on “housing rights” when he worked as a lawyer-activist and community organizer in South Side Chicago. His mentor — the man who placed him in his first job there — wasthe father of the anti-redlining movement: John McKnight. He coined the term “redlining” to describe the mapping off of minority neighborhoods from home loans.

McKnight wrote a letter for Obama that helped him get into Harvard. After he graduated, [Obama] worked for a Chicago civil-rights law firm that worked closely with McKnight’s radical Gamaliel Foundation and National People’s Action, as well as Acorn, to solicit lending-discrimination cases.

At the time, NPA and Acorn were lobbying the Clinton administration to tighten enforcement of anti-redlining laws.

They also dispatched bus loads of goons trained by Obama to the doorsteps of bankers to demand more home loans for minorities. Acorn even crashed the lobby of Citibank’s headquarters in New York and accused it of discriminating against blacks.

The pressure worked. In 1994, Clinton’s top bank regulators signed a landmark anti-redlining policy that declared traditional mortgage underwriting standards racist and mandated banks apply easier lending rules for minorities.

Also that year, Attorney General Janet Reno and her aide Eric Holder filed a mortgage discrimination case against a Washington-area bank that forced it to target minority neighborhoods for subprime loans. Reno and Holder also encouraged civil-rights lawyers like Obama to file local lending-bias cases against banks.

The next year, Obama led a class-action suit against Citibank on behalf of several Chicago minorities who claimed they were rejected for home loans because of the color of their skin. …

Which was untrue. Would-be borrowers, whatever their race, who can provide no deposit and have no job are  – obviously, you may think – not eligible for loans.

But Citibank eventually settled, despite the weak case. Under the 1998 settlement, Citibank vowed to pay the alleged victims $1.4 million and launch a program to boost home lending to poor blacks in the metro area.

Citibank underwrote thousands of shaky subprime mortgages to satisfy the court in Obama’s case. Defaults were common. When home prices collapsed, most of the loans went bust.

By putting them on the hook for loans they couldn’t pay, Obama did them no favors. Blacks have been hit hardest by foreclosures. But what does Obama care …  he pocketed at least $23,000 from the Citibank case.

Today, he blames the devastating wealth drain in black communities on [the very] subprime mortgages [he insisted upon]. He says “greedy,” “predatory” lenders tricked poor minorities into paying higher fees and interest rates.

His closest economic advisers also promoted subprime lending. … [His] Chicago pal Austan Goolsbee, who later became his top economist, sang the praises of subprime loans in a New York Times column. He argued they allowed poor blacks “access to mortgages.”

One of Obama’s top bank regulators, Gary Gensler, once bragged that thanks to subprime mortgages, banks made home loans to minorities at “twice the rate” they made to other borrowers … “A subprime loan is a good option when the alternative is no access to credit,” he said years before the crisis.

Obama hasn’t learned from his mistakes.

Far from it … The mammoth credit watchdog agency he created (with input from NPA radicals) will dust off Clinton’s 1994 minority lending guidelines to crack down on stingy lenders. And he’s ordered Holder, now acting as his attorney general, to prosecute banks that don’t open branches in blighted urban areas.

Not only has Obama scapegoated banks for the crisis he helped cause, he’s exploited minority suffering to continue reckless policies that hurt those he claims to champion.

But the bankers do have a share in the blame. Only it is their weakness, not their economic might, that should be held against them.

Now, against their better judgment and common sense, they are letting themselves be forced by Obama into yet another money-squandering scheme. While he has learnt nothing from the subprime disaster, they have failed to acquire a spine.

His new demand is that the banks throw masses of moola down the gullet of Gaia, the Goddess of the Green religion.

And again, though it couldn’t be more obvious that Obama’s demands are a recipe for bankruptcy, they meekly comply!

Obama’s goal is to wreck the capitalist system. Can the bankers not see this? Or have they decided it’s a jolly good idea?

This also comes from from IBD:

First the affordable housing crowd shook down banks for mortgage payola for the poor. Now the environmental lobby is shaking them down for cash to underwrite President Obama’s risky green agenda.

Risky? More like a dead cert loser.

In a strange announcement, Bank of America this week pledged an eye-popping $50 billion in loans for “renewable energy” projects — windmills, solar panels and hybrids — over the next 10 years.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank joins a number of other large banks making green commitments amid complaints from environmental groups that they finance coal extraction, the new bugaboo of the left.

Wells Fargo has already committed $30 billion in green payola. JPMorgan Chase has pumped nearly $7 billion into renewable energy projects.

Just as they bowed to bullying by Obama-supported NPA and ACORN into giving loans to borrowers who could not possibly repay them, they are now bowing to the same tactics used by greenies.

BofA upped the ante just one month after five radical greenies climbed Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, N.C., and unfurled a 70-foot-wide banner rebranding the stadium the “Bank of Coal.”

A group called Rainforest Action Network took credit for the stunt. A San Francisco-based green version of ACORN, founded by an anti-capitalist Obama donor [who no doubt became rich enough to be a donor through capitalist enterprise], RAN wanted to highlight BofA’s funding of coal plants, which it claims cause global warming. …

RAN sent its goons to BofA’s annual meeting. They demanded the bank stop funding coal mining — specifically mountaintop clearing — and “expand investments in renewable energy.”

BofA … agreed to stop funding mountaintop mining and start funding windmills, even though coal is a more cost-efficient energy source — and far more profitable than alternatives.

What mysterious perversion of their minds drives the beneficiaries of capitalism to wreck it?

Why would the nation’s largest bank let tree huggers dictate its investments? The same reason it agreed to underwrite billions in risky mortgages in response to threats from ACORN and other housing shakedown groups: to protect its corporate brand.

Is that why? How is its corporate brand protected by its heading for bankruptcy?

Just like banks didn’t want to be labeled “racists” then, they don’t want to be branded “polluters” now.

And extortionists like RAN, who play dirty, attacking bankers on vacation and at graduation speeches, prey on that fear. Their subversive tactics work. They know CEOs will pay them off if they apply enough pressure.

Only, BofA, Wells Fargo, Citibank and other banking giants already paid off housing-rights groups literally trillions of dollars in mortgage commitments in the run-up to the housing crisis. Yet, they’re all being sued now for lending discrimination.

Now they’re falling into the next trap. Obama and his pals are using the banking system to finance their illusory Green Economy. …

Put plainly, these are socialists trying to destroy our free enterprise system.

These Giants of Finance are not evil as Obama and the “Occupy” revolutionaries like to pretend, they are merely fools and cowards. But if many of those who have their hands on the levers of power are foolish and cowardly, they can ruin a nation.

The IBD advises them to “unapologetically defend your business and the capitalist system, make it clear your obligation is to customers and shareholders — not radical activists.”

We doubt they’ll take such sensible advice.

Oh really, O’Reilly? 0

We find it hard to believe that Charles Krauthammer or Brit Hume would obey instructions as to what they may say or not say on Fox News.

Yet it does seem that Fox has sold its soul to the devil.

This is from Family Security Matters:

Former prominent guests on Fox News, including Walid Shoebat, contend that the News Corporation has surrendered its “fair and balanced” coverage of Islam and events in the Middle East for a fistful of Saudi cash.

Their contention is based on a series of recent developments within the media giant.

The first development was the news that Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, invested $70 million in the Rotana Group, an enterprise owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of Saudi King Abdullah. The Rotana Group operates a host of TV channels throughout the Middle East and is a leading producer of Arabic movies.

Next came Mr. Murdoch’s decision to make Abu Dhabi, the headquarters of the News Corporation’s global media operations in the Middle East.

On Monday, the Fox Business Network announced that it will dispatch a full-time correspondent to the Middle East in order to inform Americans of the unique business opportunities in such places as Syria, a country that provides shelter for Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah and support the insurgents in Iraq.

In the wake of this announcement, Fox news commentators – including Glenn Beck, Charles Krauthammer, A.B. Stoddard and Bill Kristol – condemned Geert Wilders, a well-respected Dutch dignitary and critic of radical Islam, as a “fascist” and a “demagogue.” …

In the past, the former member of the Dutch National Parliament was a frequent guest on Fox News. Last February, Bill O’Reilly welcomed Mr. Wilders to America, while condemning a scared Britain for banning him entrance to the country.

Other news about the parent company of Fox News began to surface, including reports that Kingdom Holding owns at least 7 percent of the News Corporation and has become the second largest shareholder in the Murdoch conglomerate. Some speculate that the actual shares controlled by Kingdom Holding through a hedge fund may exceed 25 percent.

Kingdom Holding is owned by Prince Talal …

Listed by Forbes as the world’s 22nd richest person, Prince Talal also owns substantial shares of Time Warner, Apple, eBay, Disney, and Citibank.

As for charity, he gives millions to Hamas and other pro-Palestinian organizations.

Critics say that Prince Talal’s sizeable investment in the News Corporation accounts for Fox News programs critical of Israel, including a series of special reports in which Carl Cameron and Brit Hume [even he? – JB] alleged that Israel gathered information about the attacks of 9/11 and failed to warn the American people.

Walid Shoebat, a former member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who converted to Christianity, charges that Fox News now prohibits critics of Islam and Islamic terror from appearing on its broadcasts.

“He himself (Prince bin Talal) said, ‘I just had to make a phone call to [tell them to] stop using the word Muslim’ regarding the rioting in France,” Mr. Shoebat notes. “Bill O’Reilly says to Ibrahim Hooper, the head of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), that he is an upstanding citizen. Since when was the head of CAIR an upstanding citizen?”

Mr. Shoebat adds that viewers will no longer be seeing any so-called “Islamophobes” on Fox.

“Today, I’m not invited at Fox News. Neither is Robert Spencer or Brigitte Gabriel,” he laments. “But Ibrahim Hooper is invited to speak at Fox News. It used to be that experts on terrorism who are critical of the Islamic views [were] able to get a voice on Fox News. Those days are gone.”

Mr. Shoebat says that instead of airing those critical views of Islam, Fox News now legitimizes Hooper, the spokesman for CAIR, a group which he maintains is a front for Islamic terrorists.

American tax-payers strengthen Iran 0

 Robert Spencer writes:

An Iranian newspaper has reported that four American banks have issued formal requests to the Central Bank of Iran to open branches in Iran. Citibank, Goldman Sachs and two others left unnamed plan, according to the report, to establish temporary branches in an Iranian free trade zone if their requests are approved. The newspaper Jaam-e-Jam quoted an unnamed source explaining: “If they can work according to Iran’s banking law, they will be allowed to open branches in Tehran and other cities.”

Is this where the bailout money is going? 

It is curious that American banks – which probably wouldn’t still be in business but for the taxpayers’ largesse – would want to do business in a country where the government holds military parades featuring banners proclaiming “Death to America” and whose President has declared: “I say accomplishment of a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible.” 

It is just as ominous in the long term that the banks would apparently be willing to “work according to Iran’s banking law.” So in other words, Western banks operating in Islamic countries have to abide by Sharia Finance restrictions. And meanwhile, Western banks operating in Western countries likewise are increasingly accommodating Sharia Finance restrictions.

This is yet another manifestation of a stealth jihad phenomenon that is manifesting itself today in many areas besides finance: in Muslim countries, Muslims demand that Westerners conform to Islamic sensibilities, and likewise in Western countries, Muslims demand that Westerners conform to Islamic sensibilities…  

The most notorious example of accommodation to Islam is the increasing popularity of Sharia Finance, which Western banking institutions are rushing to offer to Muslims in the West even more quickly than they are rushing to open branches in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

There is, after all, so very much money to be made. Najib Fayyad of Unicorn Capital Turkey explains: “There are Islamic finance institutions operating in over 75 countries and with assets estimated at around US$700 billion, a figure which is growing at a rate of about 15% a year.” Some of the West’s leading financial institutions, including (besides Citibank and Goldman Sachs) Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Dow Jones, HSBC Bank, Lloyd’s, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Standard & Poors, have created “Sharia Advisory Boards,” staffed with Islamic clerics and scholars, in order to help them bring their financial practices into line with Islamic norms.

A benign exercise in multiculturalism? Not quite. Christopher Holton, Vice President of the Center for Security Policy, states that “America is losing the financial war on terror because Wall Street is embracing a subversive enemy ideology on one hand and providing corporate life support to state sponsors of terrorism on the other hand.” …

What’s more, Sharia Finance is another tool of Islamic separatism: instead of assimilating into American society, Muslims are demanding, and receiving, parallel financial institutions that reinforce the idea that they are unique, not subject to the laws and norms to which the rest of us are subject – a privileged class. At the same time, Sharia Finance initiatives are giving Islamic interests increasing control over Western economic life… 

The multiculturalist anxiety to accommodate Muslim principles and practices only makes Westerners even more vulnerable. Yet instead of engaging in careful strategic planning of both domestic and international initiatives, Citibank, Goldman Sachs and two other American financial institutions are working on opening branches in a country that has considered itself at war with the United States for thirty years. 

It is a test of Congressional resolve to regulate financial institutions. Will they allow the banks which American money has just saved to establish branches in a state sponsor of terrorism? 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, April 23, 2009

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