The October surprises are now coming fast and furious as Obama’s lead is slipping in most polls and on Intrade. So empty gestures to boost turnout in his heretofore spurned Democratic party base are the order of the day.
I’m a day behind on this item, but nevertheless thought it was so cynical as to merit special notice. A new effort to rally the troops, per Shahien Nasirpour at the Financial Times, is that the Administration has started messaging to pet activist groups that it will replace Ed DeMacro, the Administration’s favorite scapegoat for its negligence on the housing beat. Team Obama has backed the banks every step of the way, from its failure to use chain of title abuses and obvious tax code (REMIC) violations to pressure banks to do mortgage mods, to its unwillingness to prosecute senior bankers (Charles Ferguson, this blog, and others have set forth legal theories and evidence; the issue clearly is lack of political will), its refusal to undertake anything other than cursory “see no evil” investigations, and its bank friendly measures, from borrower-damaging, “foam the runway” HAMP to a fraud-institutionalizing mortgage “settlement”. But DeMarco, by refusing to endorse principal mods for Fannie and Freddie borrowers (which is a peculiarly short-sighted posture) serves an a convenient distraction for the Administration’s repeated refusal to take any serious pro-borrower measures. From the Financial Times :
But if Mr Obama wins re-election, Mr DeMarco’s days may be numbered, with senior White House officials quietly telling housing industry activists in recent weeks that he will be replaced..
Some borrower advocates have argued that the White House has kept Mr DeMarco in office in part because it provides the administration with an easy excuse when questioned about why they have not done more to prevent millions of home