SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

November 20, 2013

Anderson: Moody's blues: 'Too big to fail' back for another round

(Continued)

So, the zombies validated the greeders who got very rich selling, packaging and/or betting against the viability of subprime mortgages. I know this all sounds crazy; you have to read the book, which caused me to alternately laugh out loud and grab my jaw as it fell toward the floor. A great Christmas gift for people on your list who are annoyingly clueless about Big Government and Big Business.

At least, since all this has come out, regulators are keeping an eye on the subprime mortgage industry, sort of, though I still hear ads on the radio urging people to apply for a mortgage with no down payment, and for some reason, Fannie Mae is still in existence, and Moody’s is still rating bonds.

But here’s the new game to watch. Glancing at the Nov. 12 Wall Street Journal abandoned on a table, I saw bold headlines in the “Money & Investing” section: “Hedge Funds Muscling into Munis.” Get this: The same kinds of greeders who almost collapsed our private sector are now “barreling into the municipal-debt market at a time when many investors fear increasing defaults.”

Some of the nation’s municipalities face bankruptcy because of their unsustainable public employee benefits. So, now we toss Big Labor into the scary Big Government-Big Business combination.

Wanna bet there’s somebody looking for a way to bet that municipalities’ bonds fail? Let’s watch to see how many Detroits and San Bernardinos will go bankrupt before someone considers the aggregate failure “too big” and expects a bailout from a federal government that is already $17 trillion in debt of its own, with another $93 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Maybe the government can appoint a commission, chaired by our own Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and call it the Warren Commission.

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Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is president of Citizens for Limited Taxation and a Salem News columnist.

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