DID YOU MARRY FANNIE MAE?
by Marc H. Rudov
September 30, 2008
Profit via Failure
Men finally have figured out how to enjoy life like Heather Mills, the unjustly and grossly overcompensated ex-wife of Paul McCartney. They grew tired of watching women get bailed out of failed marriages, collecting obscene payouts and lifetime salaries called alimony. So, they developed a brilliant plan: become CEO of a teetering company, leave it in tatters, and exit with a golden parachute.
Here are examples of men living off divorce settlements like spoiled ex-wives, engaging in profit via failure:
Franklin Raines earned $90M in his five years as Fannie Mae’s CEO, from 1999 to 2004, while cooking the books. One of his successors, Daniel Mudd, collected $11.6M in 2007 compensation. Fannie Mae — a quasi-governmental corporation created by Congress to support FHA-insured or VA-guaranteed secondary mortgages — failed so badly in late 2008 that, to prevent total collapse, the feds bailed it out for $200B+ (along with sister organization Freddie Mac) and took control of it
In August 2007, Bank of America bought failed subprime-mortgage peddler Countrywide Financial for $2B — after CEO Angelo Mozilo sold $121M in company stock and the feds bailed it out for $51B
In October 2007, the board of Merrill Lynch fired CEO Stanley O’Neal, who collected a cool $160M bonus payout on his way out the door. His successor, John Thain, earned $17M for one year — before selling Merrill to Bank of America for $50B
James Cayne, as CEO of Bear Stearns, “earned” $49.31M in the last two years of his firm’s pitiful existence — before collapsing, receiving a $29B government bailout, and becoming part of JP Morgan Chase
Richard Fuld, CEO and largest shareholder of Lehman Brothers, collected $354M in total compensation in the past five years — before declaring bankruptcy and melding into Barclays Financial
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke orchestrated an $85B withdrawal from taxpayer coffers to save insurance giant AIG from bankruptcy
Alan Fishman, CEO for just 17 days of Washington Mutual, the nation’s largest S&L, floated out the door on an eye-popping $20M parachute — as it became the largest bank failure in US history, taken over by FDIC, and handed to JP Morgan Chase for the bargain price of $1.9B
Total cost to the taxpayers of these Wall Street divorce settlements: over $600B. Rationale: financial stability. Actual result: more turmoil and the need for another bailout.
By the way, these bailouts are unconstitutional because the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment prohibits the federal government from selectively helping businesses or people. But, let’s not allow the Constitution to interfere with politics.
Now, the American taxpayers are further enraged as President Bush and Congress have completed a rescue bill that will require them to pony up another $700B, on top of the first $600B+, to stabilize the US financial system. Cries of socialism abound. Let weak companies fail! they demand. How dare those Wall Street bandits clean up when we folks on Main Street are sucking it up!
Ignoring Jurassic Park
The main cause of this near-meltdown is socialism. That is why the only solution — a bailout — is also socialism. We can trace all the chaos back to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), passed during the Carter Era and buttressed during the Clinton Era, to help the have-nots own homes, to make home ownership an inalienable right.
Social engineers like Barney Frank imposed pressure on banks to put people of little means (many of them illegal aliens) into homes. The availability of easy cash and the weight of political correctness compounded to reward these unqualified borrowers for assuming home loans they couldn’t afford.
From there, the lending banks packaged and sold these “subprime” mortgages to the likes of Bear Stearns, which created tradable paper (mortgage-backed securities) linked back to said unqualified borrowers. Even worse, the financial system provided lax regulatory oversight of the whole mess. This scenario is akin to building a house with termite-infested wood.
Each member of this financial gravy train — unqualified borrower, greedy banker, and avaricious mortgage reseller — pursued undeserved wealth, exhibited massive entitlement, and enjoyed total lack of accountability. Any system functions according to the incentives and disincentives underlying it.
As mentioned before, the socialistic goal was to put have-nots in houses. The real outcome? A sea of foreclosures, people out of homes and on their asses, venerated financial institutions dead, sold, or on the verge of disappearing — and an economy Warren Buffet calls the financial equivalent of Pearl Harbor.
All the players ignored the simple lesson of Jurassic Park: defying the laws of nature effects calamity. Giving advantages to people who haven’t earned them always results in the whole of society paying a calamitous price.
American taxpayers have been livid about Bush’s bailout, verbalizing their anger via radio talkshows, letters to newspaper editors, comments on blogs, and the switchboards of Congress and the White House. As a result, the final bailout plan differs significantly from the original one proposed by Secretary Paulson, who wanted to be solely in control of managing $700B. Citizen outcry does work.
When we close this chapter of US history, CEOs no longer will be able to profit via failure, to act like ex-wives. Will the same be true of ex-wives themselves? It depends on you.
Main Street Sirens
If men were so motivated to protest bailing out a system that rewarded failure on Wall Street, why are they not equally outraged to revolt against rewarding unwed motherhood and failure in marriage? Why not? Is the principle of eliminating injustice not a universal one? Apparently not when women are involved. In fact, men — especially male gynocrats — are afraid of women and will kowtow to them endlessly. That’s why the party is over for Wall Street barons but in full swing for Main Street sirens.
I coined the term merchant maureen to describe a woman who drops her anchor into a man’s wallet, with his consent. When that merchant maureen becomes pregnant and/or adds a wedding ring to her finger, she rises in status to Fannie Mae. To me, Fannie Mae represents fraud, entitlement, and lack of accountability — a perfect metaphor for a woman who seeks to profit via failure by taking advantage of the financial incentives society offers her to marry, bear children, and divorce.
Too many women enter marriages with this attitude: Hey, if it doesn’t work out, I’m protected. And, that is why so many marriages fail: rewards for failure beget more failures.
If your wife is Fannie Mae, remember that you chose her — despite knowing that she fully agrees with and condones the following nonsense:
Women receive at least 90% of all child support paid in the US
Women receive at least 90% of all alimony paid in the US
If a woman marries and/or gets pregnant by a wealthy man, she is entitled to be maintained in his upper-crust lifestyle after they part company
If a woman isn’t financially qualified, in her own right, to indulge in her husband’s lifestyle before becoming part of it, she is entitled by law to do so after exiting it
A woman is not only allowed to take more capital and property out of her marriage than she put into it, she is allowed to draw a salary for life — alimony — tantamount to indentured servitude for her ex-husband.
The social engineers — most of them men — believe that, by incenting women to marry, divorce, and bear children, they create societal stability. The reality? A revolving door in female-ly court, where women bring 70% of divorces; an out-of-wedlock birthrate approaching 50%; rampant paternal alienation; hordes of financially ruined fathers; and a rising crop of undisciplined children (e.g., California’s highschool dropout rate is almost 25%).
Any system functions according to the incentives and disincentives underlying it. This one is, appropriately, failing — and we are paying a calamitous price.
The NoNonsense Bottom Line
Does your “Fannie Mae” differ from the unqualified borrower who bought a home he couldn’t afford or the CEO who fled a broken company with a taxpayer-subsidized payoff? No, she doesn’t. And, she would leave you broken without a second thought. The system of “profit via failure” encourages and incents her to do just that.
If men would exhibit as much outrage to their elected officials about abolishing marital fraud as they did about abolishing Wall Street fraud, we would see action. But, I suspect they won’t: too afraid of not getting laid and being labeled misogynists.
I, however, want action and propose the following policies to eliminate profit via failure in American homes:
Abolish all welfare and child support for unwed mothers, gutting the unwed-mother movement. Women who bear children out of wedlock will be totally responsible for supporting them, just like women who adopt children.
No monthly child support in equal-custody situations. Extra expenditures like summer camp must be mutually agreed and negotiated, or it doesn’t happen.
In unequal-custody situations, the child-support obligation of the noncustodial parent (almost always the father) will be no more than 5% of gross pay. Extra expenditures like summer camp must be mutually agreed and negotiated, or it doesn’t happen.
Abolish all alimony, no exceptions.
All couples must have prenups approved in advance before states let them marry.
By instituting the aforementioned policies — thereby removing all financial incentives to marry, bear children, and divorce — marriages will be entered into slowly and thoughtfully, decisions to bear children will be made cautiously and judiciously, and divorces will be approached rationally, objectively, and in the best interest of all concerned.
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Imagine this new setup where women must actually love men before “committing” to them. No more “strategic” marriages or “accidental” pregnancies. I know one thing: If you married Fannie Mae, she won’t like it. I know another thing, too: Unless you force your pols to scrap the old system, accept life with Fannie Mae.