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Mark Binker of WRAL dives deep into the issues behind that strange new Koch brothers ad attacking Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan (among others) over a plan to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It's complicated, but here's the essence of Binker's exposé: Thanks to the financial crisis of 2008, investors in the two mortgage giants were mostly wiped out. Fannie and Freddie were then taken over by the federal government, and big hedge funds swept in to scoop up the companies' depressed stock, "essentially placing a bet that the companies would rebound under federal protection," as Binker puts it.

The proposed reform legislation (which his bipartisan support and the backing of the White House) would let the courts decide what should happen to those current investors, and their bet may not pay off. The Koch ad makes it seem like ordinary folks with their modest pension funds would be at risk, but as Binker explains, those sorts of people no longer have any exposure. They took a serious hit in 2007 and 2008, when Fannie and Freddie collapsed, but their investment funds have long since sold off that stock. The current owners are now those large institutional investors who, again, made a speculative play when the two companies hit rock bottom.

And yes, those guys could get screwed (oh, the humanity!), but teachers and firefighters are not among their numbers, despite what the Koch ad claims. When the spot first came out, we didn't have the benefit of Binker's detailed analysis, but we did say "it's a safe bet" that the Koch brothers' "personal financial interests are at stake." Now we know that that's almost certainly the case. When it comes to the Kochs, it's almost always a sure thing that they're peddling b.s. in furtherance of their own private agenda.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 09:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by North Carolina BLUE and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Kochs are strutting on a smug-high (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, eve, bythesea, boofdah, ShoshannaD, Matt Z

    All their plans are coming to fruition, and they're giddy at the thought of how in November the purchase of the country will be complete. It's a great time to be alive.

    Kind daypart! I do not have the masculine heat alongside. One Love, but imitations under it are thousands. - Russian mail-order bride Tatiana

    by Fordmandalay on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:40:59 AM PDT

    •  The Kochs are obnoxious ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caniac41

      But in this instance Kay is carrying water for her constituents Bank of America and Wells Fargo which stand to gain a huge deal from getting the business from Fannie and Freddie.  So let's stop defending Dems when they do stupid shit for their super-donors ...

      Maxine Waters has a MUCH BETTER more progressive reform proposal that protects the middle class homeowner and the community banks.

      I would say we should go further. Nationalize Fannie and Freddie and stop demonizing them -- they are all that stands between the middle class home-buyer and the greedy Big Banks.

  •  As more than 1/2 support Obamacare now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eve

    will people assume  that "bringing Obamacare to the mortgage industry" is a good thing?

  •  Blaming Obama for events of 2008 ... (3+ / 0-)

    might not be effective to sway people with calendars or memories - which I guess is now far outside of the GOP target voting bloc

  •  Uhhh...Uhhhh...Uhhhh......I was speechless when (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, MBNYC

    I heard this piece of shit.

  •  my guess is 80% of youtube views are liberals (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, ShoshannaD

    laughing at this bullsh!t

  •  it is possible (0+ / 0-)

    for retirement funds to be invested in the hedge funds, but the management fees would pretty much wipe out the gains if the Hagan's legislation failed and the investment paid off.

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:48:26 AM PDT

  •  David, Buffet is on record. He's OK with Keystone. (0+ / 0-)

    Never get between a hedge fund manager and his clients.  I don't like it.

  •  I heard the ad on the radio the other day (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musiclady, elwior, skillet

    and wondered what the hell they were talking about.

    What a load of crap. Wall Street speculators looking for another government bailout.

    Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

    by bear83 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 10:49:41 AM PDT

  •  The issue is more complicated than this (0+ / 0-)

    First: Kochs are scum, no argument there.

    Fanny and Freddy, though, were not the cause of the economy collapsing. It was the big banks who wrote the mortgages and deceived FnF, hence all the lawsuits that the banks have been settling and repaying FnF billions of dollars.

    How did the big banks get treated in the bailout? Cash infusion and release.

    How did FnF get treated? Cash infusion, then possibly illegal ammendment to the original agreement sweeping all profits to treasury in perpetuity. (FnF have already paid back to treasury more than they received in bailout money)

    The proposals to get rid of FnF do not solve the problems that caused the crisis and they do not do anything to preserve the 30-year mortgage that middle class home owners rely on, or to help ensure affordable housing (via, for instance, low down payment options).

    The "bipartisan" wind down bills are not progressive, they are another case of centrist/right-leaning dems bowing to the big banks and private hedge funds who would take over the role that FnF currently plays.

    •  Keeping an eye on right-wing revisionists (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ima Pseudonym

      They would have you believe that the cause of the 2008 crash was due to Fannie and Freddie (when they had a very small percentage, if any, of the problematic mortgages) and the Community Reinvestment Act.

      So when reading about the financial crisis and its origin, it's a good idea to take a look at the book's index.  If Fannie, Freddie, and the CRA are listed, don't bother buying or reading the book.

      As for "centrist/right-leaning" Dems, those are mostly the corporatist New Democrat Coalition in Congress and Third Way folks, all of whom are essentially neoliberals influenced by the so-called "Chicago school" of economics and want people to believe that this is a center-right country.

      Neoliberals are to economics what neoconservatives are to national security.

  •  Koch brothers going to bat for the little guy? (0+ / 0-)

    What's wrong with this picture??

  •  A thank you card (0+ / 0-)

    The Koch's really help out a lot of people.  What do you get them as a thank you?  Oh yea, millions of more dollars!

    http://lazyactivismrules.wordpress.com/...

    http://lazyactivismrules.wordpress.com/

    by LazyActivism on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 11:11:26 AM PDT

  •  Not screwed (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think the current investors would be really screwed. I'm sure they knew from the beginning it would be a long shot and are fully prepared for the likelihood that they would lose their modest investment in this.

  •  From the Plutocrats' Playbook: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caniac41

    Rule No. 1 -- Buy low, and if you ever sell, sell high.

    Rule No. 2 -- Privatize profits, socialize losses. (An old investors' adage)

    From The Main Street Guidebook for the 99%:

    Rule No. 1 -- whatever the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Pete Peterson, et al. are pushing, look it over very, very carefully.  There really is no pony in the pile of manure, regardless of what their slick PR may tell the gullible and credulous.

  •  We need four of these stories every day to begin (0+ / 0-)

    to inform the electorate on this issue.  Most people accept that the rich have more power than they do.  But the mendacity of decades long interference and obstruction, lies, deceit, and targeted propaganda is not really well understood.  Nor is the risk.

    I think this would matter to voters if they understood more.

  •  The sales pitch isn't complicated. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weaponsofmassdeception, irmaly

    Obamacare, scary, coming for your mortgage.

    In terms of propaganda, it's actually quite brilliant. When we're explaining something and the other side isn't, we're already losing.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Thu Apr 03, 2014 at 11:35:42 AM PDT

  •  The Great American Sport: (0+ / 0-)

    First up, Charles Koch.  He runs up to the plate, smacks the catcher with the bat, runs out into the field, chases down, and clubs each player, goes to each dugout, chases out the players, who flee onto the field, only to be met by brother David, who brutally smashes everyone in reach.  The two brothers then climb the barriers and go after the fans, one by one, who continue to whoop and applaud, until each and everyone is bloodied and silenced.  A calm wind surveys the scene.
    Managers and umpires quietly leave, their presence no longer needed.
    It's gonna be a long season.

  •  Rush Limbaugh (0+ / 0-)

    The Koch's must be launching their own version of a PR push, because between the editorial and the outright praising Limbaugh and other Right Wing hosts have been doing of them lately it was clearly designed to coincide with the recent Supreme Court decision which must have been in the bag.

    Limbaugh this week was proposing that the Kochs are actually the true liberals in this world because without them and their tax revenues government programs would exist.

    He said that the Kochs are paying for Obamacare subsidies, and that instead of being public enemy number #1 they should be exulted as heroes by the progressive left.

    It is all so over the top that there has to be some coordination going on in their world right now.

  •  Does the Dow Jones get ordinary investors? (0+ / 0-)

    If so, 16,545 > 7,949.

  •  thanks -I live in vegas (0+ / 0-)

    and I have been seeing our version. The irony is that the add targets Dean Heller not Harry Reid Pass the popcorn these people are now eating their own.

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