The Spectator

Letters | 11 October 2008

Spectator readers respond to recent articles

The blame game

Sir: While I do not flinch from looking on the Clinton era as a disaster for its neglect of the threat to global security posed by bin Laden et al and the tacit encouragement of Enron-style corporate accounting, I think blaming the Democrats for the credit crunch may be going a little too far (‘Clinton is to blame’, 4 October).

The politically correct housing agenda described in Dennis Sewell’s article was not conducted in secret, or if it was it would be difficult to imagine that the post-Watergate right-wing media in the US would have allowed it to be secret for long. It should have been possible for the highly paid analysts employed by all the financial institutions affected to have seen the quality of the securitised housing loans and valued them accordingly or had their employers steer clear of them completely.

Considering that the FBI is now investigating activities at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac among others, this indicates that pertinent information on the true value of the securitised loans may not have been made clear at the time of their securitisation. So what appeared at first to be a sophisticated financial instrument of mass destruction may be something far simpler and more familiar.

Paul T. Horgan
Crowthorne, Berkshire

Sir: Dennis Sewell makes a valiant attempt to blame the current financial problems on President Clinton, but the pachyderm in the parlour is that Clinton vamoosed eight years ago. I know George W. Bush has been frightfully busy saving Iraq from al-Qa’eda (now there’s a self-inflicted wound if you want one), and that he’s widely regarded as a pretty poor hand at mono-tasking, never mind the multi- variety, but come on! Either he or someone in his administration has had bags of time to have made the necessary changes to undo Clinton’s alleged bad work.

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