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Paul Kiesel
Paul Kiesel
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Democratic Convention to Focus on Hillary Clinton and Economy Tonight, Vice Presidential Nominee Joe Biden Stops by a Forum on Women's Issues and Economy

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Tonight’s focus and theme at the Democratic Convention shifts to Hillary’s anticipated speech and the economy. Hillary’s speech is what many will be tuning in to watch or listen to; the several pontifications on the economy (except within circles of political junkies) are likely to be afterthoughts at the water cooler tomorrow morning.

However, those economic issues will rise to the forefront of the presidential election in the coming weeks — the economy will be the centerpiece of at least the Democrats or Republicans campaign strategies, if not both — and, therefore, it is important that anyone tuning into the Convention tonight to pay attention to the people speaking on the economy, particularly those speaking on the housing crisis.

Campaigning in Davenport, Iowa Monday, Barack Obama spoke on the trials and tribulations that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are facing. Obama told the audience that he backed a potential government bailout, saying that the firms cannot fail. (To note: as the election season heats up and has heated up in the past two weeks, and parallel to that fervor the housing crisis — news of it — has somewhat subsided since the housing rescue bill was passed last month, there has been less focus on housing issues, even though many housing/mortgage problems continue to permeate the wounded economy and some are yet to occur.)

The Wall Street Journal quoted Obama saying, “As president, I don’t think we can allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to collapse [. . .] I’d like to punish them for their bad decisions. But the problem is they’re too (big) right now not to cause more damage.”

Obama’s right. Not only should Fannie and Freddie be punished, among other lenders who participated in the mortgage debacle irresponsibly, but, unfortunately, at this point in time, Americans need the two mortgage giants to function properly, and punishing them will ultimately punish taxpaying Americans. The lenders and brokerages responsible for the subprime mortgage crisis, who willfully went out into the market and shopped loans with several TILA violations (as proved by the many Attorneys General who have filed lawsuits against lenders like Countrywide, IndyMac, World Savings, etc.) will eventually get their comeuppance.

The Wall Street Journal points out that, “The housing market has been a major topic for Democrats, who successfully enacted a massive foreclosure prevention bill and other housing measures before Congress adjourned for the August recess. It’s the subject of numerous events in Denver [. . .]” (WSJ.com, 8/26/08).

If anyone is in Denver this week, pay attention to the several events that are focused mainly on the economy, as that is likely to be an issue of importance to anybody, Democrat or Republican, in the Mile High City. There are several housing-related forums that are scheduled throughout the week, including events sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders and other financial services groups. And who knows the guests that might drop by unannounced to one of these forums, as evidenced by Joe Biden’s surprise appearance at a roundtable discussion of women’s issues and the economy earlier today.