Mel Watt is one of the most dangerous financial oligarch puppets operating in America today. The first time he came across my radar screen was back in 2009, when he “gutted” Ron Paul’s End the Fed bill while it was in subcommittee, something I outlined in the post: Leverage in PE Deals Soars Despite Fed Warnings; Amidst Insatiable Demand for Risky Fannie Mae Debt.
Then in May of this year, I zeroed in on his latest authoritarian maneuver after being appointed to head the FHFA in the post: New Massive Federal Database to Hold Financial Information on Hundreds of Millions of Americans. Here’s an excerpt:
As many as 227 million Americans may be compelled to disclose intimate details of their families and financial lives — including their Social Security numbers — in a new national database being assembled by two federal agencies.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau posted an April 16 Federal Register notice of an expansion of their joint National Mortgage Database Program to include personally identifiable information that reveals actual users, a reversal of previously stated policy.
In a May 15 letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt and CFPB Director Richard Cordray, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, charged, “this expansion represents an unwarranted intrusion into the private lives of ordinary Americans.”
So what’s Mel up to these days? Well, Bloomberg reports that:
A U.S. housing regulator plans new steps to encourage banks to lend to buyers with less than-perfect credit scores, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Watt will also discuss an effort that would allow borrowers to put down as little as 3 percent of the purchase price on loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the people said.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FMCC), which have been under U.S. conservatorship since 2008, buy mortgages and package them into bonds on which they guarantee payments of principal and interest. Watt’s announcement is part of an effort to encourage banks to ease credit and follows a series of steps he first described in May.
It’s for the good of the people right? He’s a “liberal” so he’s always working for the little guy, right? Wrong.
The best characterization of Mr. Watt I’ve seen comes from realestate.com, here it is:
While some observers consider Watt’s appointment a significant lurch to the left compared to DeMarco, (he was among those named by the Democratic Socialists of America as a member of their caucus in 2009), Watt himself has raised a tremendous amount of money from banking and real estate-related corporations and trade associations. One report from the Sunlight Foundation found that for 2009, Watt had received some 45 percent of his total campaign funds from donors in the finance and real estate sector.
This is what all these phony “liberals” do. They pretend to be champions of the poor so that they can fool their clueless constituents and thus serve the oligarchy that much more effectively. This housing plan isn’t about helping families afford homes, it’s about creating artificial demand for overpriced homes so that stuck private equity and hedge fund mangers (who can no longer make it rain in the buy-to-rent trade) have some peasants to sell to ahead of the next crash.
Rule Number 1 of Oligarch Club: Always make sure you sell to the muppets before the music stops. Here we go again.