Shrimp Slayer leadership on bailout

They look upon Fraud as a greater Crime than Theft, and therefore seldom fail to punish it with Death: For they alledge, that Care and Vigilance, with a very common Understanding, may preserve a Man's Goods from Thives; but Honesty hath no Fence against superior Cunning: And since it is necessary that there should be a perpetual Intercourse of buying and selling, and dealing upon Credit; where Fraud is permitted or connived at, or hath no Law to punish it, the honest Dealer is always undone, and the Knave gets the Advantage...Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift (1735), Chapter Six, "A Voyage to Lilluput, p. 47.The foreclosure rate in the erstwhile congressional district of Dennis Cardoza, Shrimp Slayer-Annapolis, greatly exceeds that of the entire state of his present residence, Maryland. Anne Arundel County, near Annapolis, has a rate similar to Marin County's. The Merced County public wonders if he picked up a deal on the foreclosure market in Maryland. Regardless, as his votes on the bailout bill show clearly, Cardoza stands foresquare on the side of finance, insurance and real estate, except for whatever pork the bill might have provided by Senate additions and more earmarks the second time it passed through the House. In other words, he stands against the defrauded homeowners losing their properties in foreclosures in his (Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin County) district. One can hear the pious, self-righteous tones: "Lack of personal financial responsibility!"How delightful and emblematic of the moment that the Shrimp Slayer should have sold himself first to a handful of local plutocrats -- a title company, a few realty companies, some developers and large landowners -- and second, to the leadership of the worst House of Representatives since the Hoover administration. We know how to pick 'em! And he's unopposed. It has become a question of deep, artistic debate among some in the Shrimp Slayer's district -- in fact the only question -- Who shall one write in to oppose him? Mickey Mouse? Joseph Stalin? Willy Sutton? Mussolini? Salazar? Milken? Boesky? J.P. Morgan? Phyllis Diller? Tiny Tim? Wall Street Snopes? The list goes on. Please write us your suggestions and we'll publish a list before Election Day.10-4-08Modesto BeeValley politicos stick to positions on bailout...Michael Doyle, Bee Washington Bureau -- San Joaquin Valley lawmakers Friday stuck to their previous positions on a financial bailout package whose specific benefits to California residents still are being tallied.The bill is a grab bag. Altamont Pass wind power operators will retain tax credits. University of California at Davis biofuel research gets an indirect boost. The state's rural counties secure more money for schools and roads."The secure rural schools funding is obviously important to us," noted Spencer Pederson, press secretary for Rep. George Radanovich, R-Mariposa.Radanovich joined Democratic Reps. Dennis Cardoza of Merced and Jerry McNerney of Pleasanton in supporting the bailout bill. The supporters called the bill unpleasant but necessary to buck up the nation's reeling economy. Opponents called the legislation an ill-considered intervention in the free market and blamed congressional leaders for fomenting panic.The bill offers modest Treasury Department assistance to the valley's financially distressed homeowners. This could aid some of the owners of 35,252 homes and condos between Stockton and Bakersfield who received mortgage default notices between January and June, according to DataQuick figures.The Treasury Department can use "loan guarantees and credit enhancements" that might ease mortgage burdens and prevent foreclosures. Treasury officials are also directed to accept "reasonable requests" for mortgage modifications, including extending terms and lowering rates.The underlying $700 billion financial bailout package itself will ripple through the valley, which by some counts has led the nation in home foreclosures. The Treasury Department will use the money to buy up bundles of bad mortgages, the kind that contributed to more than 110,000 California homes being lost to foreclosure this year.On top of the financial bailout, the Senate added hundreds of pages of unrelated provisions designed, in part, to secure additional votes. Some hit home directly.The Turlock-based JKB Solar, for instance, is among those foreseeing benefits from a solar energy tax extension. A company official was among those contacting Radanovich's office in support of the bill, Pederson said.The rural county funding measure provides $1.1 billion over four years to counties that contain national forest land. The funding, totaling some $69 million annually for California, props up counties that can no longer rely on their share of timber harvests.Last year, the program provided about $1.1 million to Tuolumne County. The bill continues federal funding, though at a slowly declining rate.Fresno BeeRescue bill may not be enough to halt Valley foreclosuresExperts say government won't be able to alter loans...Jim Wasserman and Dale Kasler, The Sacramento Bee provisions for struggling homeowners in the Wall Street rescue bill signed into law Friday are largely voluntary and not enough to curb foreclosures in regions like the Central Valley, some analysts say. The bill authorizes the government to buy $700 billion in mortgage-backed securities tied to poorly performing home loans. But it has a secondary aim: to keep people in their homes. The legislation requires Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to "implement a plan to mitigate foreclosures" and "identify opportunities to modify loans." It also requires the government to work with lenders "to encourage loan modifications." That's not forceful enough, advocates say. "The government buying these securities does not allow them to substantially expand loan modifications," said Paul Leonard, California director of the Center for Responsible Lending, a consumer advocacy group. Leonard and others say the government won't be able to alter loans on its own because of the way the mortgage-backed securities it is buying are structured. Without unilateral authority to modify loans, they say, the rising tide of foreclosures won't soon subside. More bank-owned homes on the market mean home values will continue to fall."If you don't firm up the bottom of the housing market, the bottom of the pyramid will be like quicksand that will keep pulling down the structure," said Timothy Canova, economics professor at Chapman University School of Law in Southern California. "I think in six months to a year they will be back asking for another enormous bailout because it didn't deal with the root causes of the problem."...A key part of the bill signed Friday encourages loan servicers to modify mortgages through the government's new $300 billion Hope for Homeowners program. Launched Wednesday, it aims to refinance 400,000 borrowers with risky adjustable-rate mortgages into fixed-rate 30-year loans. But there's a catch: Loan servicers must "write down" the new loan amount to the home's present value. That means investors must accept losses.