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Fundamentalists Blame Economic Crisis on Gays

Jim Burroway

September 29th, 2008

Why didn’t I see this coming?

In a September 25th blog post titled ‘The Nation Will Right Itself If It Fixes Sex’, Christian Civil League of Maine Executive Director Michael Heath writes that the financial crisis facing Wall Street is a symptom of America’s sinful sexual culture, including the acceptance of gay unions.

…A related post by Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian at the National Review’s website pushes a similar theme, this time focusing on Friday’s failure of WaMu.  Krikorian suggests the big bank failed because it was too accommodating to minorities, including gays, African-Americans and Hispanics.

Update: There’s more blame coming our way.

Comments

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bls
September 29th, 2008 | LINK

It’s not even that fringe. A couple of weeks ago Neil Cavuto on FOX said that “I’m just saying, I don’t remember a clarion call that said, ‘Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.’”

It was, as you say, only a matter of time.

Buffy
September 29th, 2008 | LINK

We’re still still stuck in the stone age, where people choose to see every little problem as a matter of their chosen deity having a tantrum because somebody (usually their enemy) did something wrong. At least we’ve progressed past the stage where they’re sacrificing us on an altar to appease the deity, not that some of them wouldn’t do it if they could get away with it.

AJD
September 29th, 2008 | LINK

What’s scary is that historically, economic problems have often caused outpourings of intolerance against minorities. I hate to sound paranoid, but if we have a severe recession or depression, it could make things pretty ugly for the GLBT community and other minorities in some parts of the country.

David
September 29th, 2008 | LINK

There is nothing in the Page One Q report that actually shows Mark Krikorian blaming gays for WaMu’s problems.

Krikorian is clearly placing the blame on WaMu’s own stupidity.

Jim Burroway
September 29th, 2008 | LINK

David

Perhaps you should re-read the Page One Q report. It seems pretty clear to me.

And if you go directly to Kirkorian’s post, titled “Cause and Effect,” he describes the “cause” for WaMu’s demise being exemplified in their final press release, which touts WaMu’s earning a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. Titling the post “Cause and Effect”, I think, pretty much says it all.

Dave
September 29th, 2008 | LINK

Jim,

I read the Page One Q report thoroughly. I admit I wasn’t overly impressed with it, and typically won’t be any more impressed with the gay left’s attempts at smearing conservative Christians than I would be by the latter group’s attempts to smear homosexuals.

If Krikorian’s blaming the current banking troubles on gays is clear to you from the article, you’ll have to point out just where the author makes this plain. In spite of Santoscoy’s desire to lump Krikorian in with the likes of Michael Heath and Fred Phelps, I don’t see how he makes the connection.

As for Krikorian’s actual post at National Review Online (I thank you for providing the link), the reason he found WaMu’s very last press release laughable is obvious to anyone who is familiar with conservative political thought.

WaMu referenced the Diversity Elite list of Hispanic Business magazine and the Corporate Equality Index of the HRC, patting itself on the back for having “earned points for competitive diversity policies and programs, including the recently established Latino, African American and GLBT employee network groups, all of which have a corporate executive sponsor and champion.”

While their company was about to go down the drain WaMu’s managers seemed to be more interested in poltical correctness than in the health of their business.

This is especially ironic because the entire financial mess began (and Santoscoy seems to have missed this fact) with Congress’ demands that banks make loans more available to minority applicants regardless of finances — hence the title, “Cause and Effect?”

You can’t see Krikorians little post as an attempt to blame gays for the current banking mess unless you’re looking to be offended.

Neil H
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

This is especially ironic because the entire financial mess began (and Santoscoy seems to have missed this fact) with Congress’ demands that banks make loans more available to minority applicants regardless of finances

No it didn’t. Did “Congress’demands that banks make loans more available to minorities” force lenders to bundle subprime mortgages into Collateralised Debt Obligations and then sell them as supposedly grade-A security instruments?

This myth about the supposed start to the problem being “forced” lending to minorities “and other poor people” (funny how it’s always put like that even though minorities only comprised a, well, a minority of people who took out subprime mortgages) is a particularly toxic piece of revisionist history. Please don’t fall for it.

Jim Burroway
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

David,

You (and Kirkorian) clearly have no idea what press releases are all about. I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say I’ve seen millions of these. These are products of publicity departments. Nobody in the press (or anywhere else) would confuse these as representing the concerns uppermost in the minds of management. I didn’t think that needed explanation, but apparently I was wrong.

To raise press releases to that that level of management importance is to either fundamentally ignore their purpose and origin (which would reveal a startling level of ignorance) or is proof of a willingness to use any irrelevant piece of “evidence” to advance one’s frame for explaining WaMu’s failure. Since I don’t believe Kirkorian is that fundamentally ignorant, then I have to conclude the latter.

The whole purpose of this web site is to evaluate anti-gay claims against their evidence. Kirkorian’s “evidence” for his claim of “cause and effect” is not just laughable. It’s non-existent. But Kirkorian is able to use this flimsy evidence to claim that their being distracted by bending over backwards” for gays and Hispanics is why they went under. That seems as clear as the very words Kirkorian wrote.

Of course, instead of actually reading what he wrote and why he wrote it, anything can be explained away…

Jim Burroway
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

And one other thing…

Speaking of evaluating evidence, Congress “demand[ed] that banks make loans more available to minority applicants regardless of finances”??? When? Which Congress?

Because, you know, the Dems have only controlled Congress for 21 months. And as we all know, these subprime loans have been available for a whole lot longer. You’ve seen the TV commercials as well as I have.

How about some evidence that says Congress demanded these kinds of loans? Where is the law that levied such a requirement? Who sponsored that law, and how and when did it pass?

Jim Burroway
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

Update: There’s more blame coming our way.

David
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

Neil H: “Did “Congress’demands that banks make loans more available to minorities” force lenders to bundle subprime mortgages into Collateralised Debt Obligations and then sell them as supposedly grade-A security instruments?”

No. But where did all the subprime mortgages that were bundled come from?

The root of the problem is Congressional interference in the lending market. To state this is not to let the lenders of the hook, but only to call Congress to account for its own foolish actions.

Jim Burroway
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

David,

Assertions of fact require substantiation. And so as per our comments policy, let me ask again:

Speaking of evaluating evidence, Congress “demand[ed] that banks make loans more available to minority applicants regardless of finances”??? When? Which Congress?

David
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

Jim,

You are, I think, taking Krikorian’s post far more seriously than intended by its author.

I’m sure that Krikorian knows that companies have publicity departments that release these things. (Such departments do, however, answer to the management.)

Krikorian is poking fun at the political correctness displayed in the press release. A man should be able to do so without being accused of placing blame on the object of the political correctness (which in this case was hispanics and homosexuals).

You should note I wrote: “WaMu’s managers seemed to be more interested in political correctness than in the health of their business.” I never implied this was really the foremost concern in their minds during their last days as an independent business, or that Krikorian actually thought so.

Even if Krikorian definitely stated that WaMu’s treatment of hispanic and gay loan applicants was the sole or major cause of its failure he wouldn’t be blaming gays or hispanics as groups. He would be placing the blame on WaMu itself.

“Of course, instead of actually reading what he wrote and why he wrote it, anything can be explained away…”

Just what the hell is this supposed to mean? That I never actually read Krikorian’s post when I quite obviously did? And just how does one read the why of something being written unless the author explicitly states his reasons in the piece?

If you want this site to be about “evaluat[ing] anti-gay claims against their evidence,” you can’t read anti-gay prejudice into things which don’t contain any.

Timothy Kincaid
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

I think that it can be stated with some degree of certainty that much of the initiation of our current economic problem can be traced to sub-prime loans made to achieve a social agenda. The Australian puts it well:

In 1999, then president Bill Clinton instructed the Fannie Mae Corporation to ease credit requirements on loans to ethnic minorities and low-income earners. In this nationwide scheme, the pilot program alone involved 24 banks. This was to include what became known as the sub-prime sector. Fannie Mae’s chairman and chief executive in 1999 said that in addition to “reducing down payment requirements” the corporation would underwrite loans in the sub-prime market.

Of course, the sub-prime lending market was not limited to Fannie May or Freddie Mac. All the troubled financial institutions are troubled because of their involvement.

It was these sub-prime loans, often lent to unqualified candidates for no money down, which – along with middle-class housing spectulation – brought about the crisis. And as these minority borrowers were primarily black and Hispanic, it is indeed ironic that WaMu’s last words would be self-congratulatory about their standing in the Hispanic community.

But as for gay folks? We certainly didn’t get any breaks from Fannie May or any of the other lenders.

So I can recognize Krikorian’s amusement to some extent. But as gay folks receive LESS consideration in housing acquisition, it is purely insult to even insinuate that HRC approval was remotely associated with their failure.

ADENDUM: This is not in any way to blame the current crisis on Hispanics, blacks, or any other minority group. Heck, if someone is going to make you a loan for nothing down and promise you that by the time your interest increase hits your house will be worth double thus giving you free money, well it’s hard to blame someone for jumping at that opportunity.

The blame, in my opinion, is on those who sought to use the power of the government to force the market to behave in a manner that was contrary to market principles.

David
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

Jim,

You are being extraordinarily obtuse with regard to the ultimate origin of the banking debacle.

It is interesting that your mind goes immediately to the Democrats — I never mentioned any political parties. It is, of course, foolish to think that a scandal of this proportion will not have the fingerprints of members of both parties on it. Still, you are right — the demand that banks lend more to minorities is a Democrat rather than a Republican type move.

You are being very stupid, however, in insisting that any blame must rest only with the current Democratic Congress. While it is true that “the Dems have only controlled Congress for 21 months,” it is also true that prior to January 1995 the Dems controlled the House of Reps for 4 decades! During this time there were many years when they also controlled the Senate. So the Dems have had plenty of time to interfer with the lending market.

In 1977 a Democratic Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act which was signed into law by President Carter.

According to the FFIEC, the act “is intended to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods … The CRA requires that each insured depository institution’s record in helping meet the credit needs of its entire community be evaluated periodically. That record is taken into account in considering an institution’s application for deposit facilities, including mergers and acquisitions.”

David
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

It should be obvious that the desire to make banks better serve the low-income members of their communities was directed primarily at minorities.

Bill Clinton was not satisfied with the way the CRA was traditionally enforced. In 1993 he ordered new regulations for the act’s enforcement. If I may quote
Wikipedia again:

“The new rules went into effect on January 31, 1995 and featured: requiring strictly numerical assessments to get a satisfactory CRA rating; using federal home-loan data broken down by neighborhood, income group, and race; encouraging community groups to complain when banks were not loaning enough to specified neighborhood, income group, and race; allowing community groups that marketed loans to targeted groups to collect a fee from the banks.”

An interesting ,editorial by Terry Jones on Investor’s Business Daily sheds some more light on this:

“We have to use every means at our disposal to end discrimination and to end it as quickly as possible,” Clinton’s comptroller of the currency, Eugene Ludwig, told the Senate Banking Committee in 1993.

In the name of diversity, banks began making huge numbers of loans that they previously would not have. They opened branches in poor areas to lift their CRA ratings.

Meanwhile, Congress gave Fannie and Freddie the go-ahead to finance it all by buying loans from banks, then repackaging and securitizing them for resale on the open market.

That’s how the contagion began.

With those changes, the subprime market took off. From a mere $35 billion in loans in 1994, it soared to $1 trillion by 2008.

Wall Street eagerly sold the new mortgage-backed securities. Not only were they pooled investments, mixing good and bad, but they were backed with the implicit guarantee of government.

I think this should satisfy your demand for evidence.

David
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

Timothy,

It would indeed by insulting to “insinuate that HRC approval” had anything to do with WaMu’s failure.

Krikorian made no such insinuation.

Jim Burroway
September 30th, 2008 | LINK

David,

Thanks for the substantiation. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

If I recall, that regulation was put in place in the 1970′s when redlining was still a very serious problem. There was nothing in the regulations that required or even encouraged lenders to come up with No Income Verification loans, interest only loans, etc. In fact, these types of loans didn’t seriously proliferate until after 2000.

However, on another note…

As for the “stupid, and “obtuse” namecalling, that is not allowed here. Spirited conversations and vigorous debates are encouraged, but civility is an absolute requirement. There’s a lot that we not only allow, but encourage — especially divergent opinions. But behavior like that is not tolerated here.

David
October 1st, 2008 | LINK

Jim,

Providing the substantiation wasn’t very difficult, but it does take time to find it.

As for namecalling, that wasn’t my intent. I wanted to point out faulty reasoning on your part. I could have done so more civily, I suppose, but my patience does have limits:

“Of course, instead of actually reading what he wrote and why he wrote it, anything can be explained away…”

Look familiar? It should; you wrote it. It didn’t impress me as particularly civil at the time…

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