The huckster and the wreckage: Jeb Bush and the subprime mortgage crisis

December 20, 2007

(Published at Counterpunch.com)  It was a classic run on the bank. Until his recent resignation under fire, Coleman Stipanovich, a Bush loyalist, headed the Florida State Board of Administration, responsible for investing billions of dollars of state funds. Stipanovich’s brother, “Mac”, is a former chief of staff in the governor’s office, Jeb Bush campaign manager, and now partner in the law firm, Fowler White, Boggs-the Tallahassee lobbying whip of the Growth Machine (he is also board member of US Sugar).

Jeb Bush left Tallahassee for Miami in January 2007, having served two terms as governor. He incorporated Jeb Bush & Co., and in June was hired as a consultant with Lehman Brothers, the Wall Street investment banking firm.

In July and August, Stipanovich approved the purchase of $842 million in securitized mortgage bonds from Lehman. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Vultures and the Growth Machine: Down on Desolation Row

December 15, 2007

(Published at Counterpunch.com)  The mainstream media in Florida sheds no light on the $13 billion dollar losses of the state-run Local Government Investment Pool. Those losses are tied to financial derivatives that underwrote suburban sprawl and the political fortunes of elected officials sitting at the knee of the Growth Machine. Read the rest of this entry »


Counterpunch: Sprawl and the Credit Crisis

December 7, 2007

Will the Free Market Kill Suburbia?

I wonder how much of the $6.3 trillion market for home loan bonds (“Bush’s subprime mortgage freeze stymies bond market”, Bloomberg, December 7, 2007) represents the failure of suburban sprawl as an economic engine for the US economy.

Sprawl is the unsustainable growth model that bond investors are fleeing as if their hair were on fire. What an irony it would be, if the free market kills suburbia.

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Counterpunch: Puffs of Financial Smoke

December 5, 2007

The Credit Bomb Detonates in Florida

Yesterday, Bloomberg reported, “Florida: just first to face National Run on the Bank.” And it is big news, indeed, that might be subtitled, “Hoist by their own petard”.

 How fitting that the detonation of the credit crisis would occur in Florida. The political influences that carried Jeb Bush to the governor’s mansion in 1998 and W. in 2000 were fueled by Miami campaign contributors who pushed the housing boom in Florida, and everywhere.

Read the rest of this entry »