Anyone Paying Attention?

I went into a branch office of the nations largest bank yesterday and reality slapped me in the face. The signboard in the lobby, which had sat there forever displaying the mortgage rates on the different term loans the bank offered was pushed to the corner. All of the rates were erased.
No more mortgages?
A cornerstone of both the American economy and the American dream of owning a home over?

A call to the main office this morning dispelled my paranoia.

False alarm.

For now.

The finger-pointing of this near total meltdown will now begin. The era of “compassionate conservatism” is over. Hopefully we will now see a return to the days of the bean-counting, knuckle-dragging conservative types who will insist that borrowers actually earn the money they say that they do, will insist that borrowers put 10 or 20% down on a home so that walking away from a mortgage is something that will cost them dearly, and that banks will not be forced to make loans to individuals or into areas that they decide is imprudent.

The nation’s grand experiment in socialism has taken us to the brink of financial disaster. With that, a note from Senator John McCain who co-sponsored legislation two years ago to attempt to avert this near disaster:

America this week faces an historic crisis in our financial system. We must pass legislation to address this crisis. If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees. If we do not act, ever corner of our country will be impacted. We cannot allow this to happen.

Last Friday, I laid out my proposal and I have since discussed my priorities and concerns with the bill the Administration has put forward. Senator Obama has expressed his priorities and concerns. This morning, I met with a group of economic advisers to talk about the proposal on the table and the steps that we should take going forward. I have also spoken with members of Congress to hear their perspective.

It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration’s proposal. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.

Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me.

I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.

We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night’s debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so.

Following September 11th, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis. We must show that kind of patriotism now. Americans across our country lament the fact that partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country.

The response from Senator Obama?
“If you need me, call me.”

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