Just a couple of items:
- I know that the progressive thing to do is to talk about the riots in Egypt. I’m sorry, I’m not an expert on Egyptian politics, but my friend Brian Katulis at the Center for American Progress is an expert. He’s laying down his insight.
- It is no surprise to me that any objective panel would find that Wall Street may have violated federal securities law. The whole mortgage-backed security debacle was dependent upon two critical deceptions – first, someone had to be set up with a loan that was bigger than they needed. This was done in a variety of ways, but the most commonly used was the adjustable-rate mortgage. So, the home owner would sign up for an adjustable-rate mortgage and would either refinance the house or sell it within a couple of years in order to avoid paying the high mortgage payments. Secondly, the banks needed to securitize these mortgages and then sell them to pensions and municipalities who could only invest in very safe AAA rated bonds. As we now know, many these bonds weren’t even BBB in quality. The Ponzi scheme depended upon this type of deception. Thankfully, somebody’s paying attention.
- Gross Domestic Product grew at a higher than expected rate. I was ready for some good news and I guess this is it. 🙂
- Finally, I wanted to take just a minute to talk about Kelley Williams-Bolar. Ms. Bolar is a 40-year-old woman who was sentenced to 10 days in jail after it was discovered that she used a fraudulent address in order to get her kids into a better school system. Now, I think it is admirable to try to get your kids into a better school system. As a matter fact, I think it is a parent’s duty. I know that this is being done hundreds of thousands of times across the country, yet I don’t know of anybody else going to jail for it. With the overcrowding of jails I’m not sure that this is a jailable offense. But, being thrown in jail for 10 days is not the most egregious aspect of this case, in my opinion. For some reason this is a felony. This mother of two now has a felony on her record. She is trying to become a teacher’s aide, has been taking some sort of classes. She may not be able to get a teacher’s license because of this felony conviction. This simply isn’t right.