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Wall Street knew

Written by Susan Mannella on .

Why is Jack Kelly feeding us nonsense disguised as intelligent commentary in his column "It's All About Cronies" (Feb. 19)?

Mr. Kelly claims, in discussing the book "Reckless Endangerment," that "Fannie [Mae] and ... Freddie Mac [as a favor to Democrats and liberals] bought bad loans from firms such as Countrywide Financial -- where 'fraud was systemic' -- then resold the toxic mortgages to Wall Street." Thus, according to Mr. Kelly, it was Fannie and Freddie, those two liberally inspired darlings of the left, and not the poor, unsuspecting Wall Street banks, that " 'brought [our] financial system to a halt in 2008' " (quoting the book).

If any American is moronic enough to believe that Wall Street's banks did not firmly believe (or at least strongly suspect) that they were purchasing "toxic" loans before they bought them, then he or she deserves to be taken wherever Mr. Kelly and his cohorts on the conservative right seek to take that boob.

The Wall Street bankers are the ones who sponsored the creation of the "derivatives" that attracted investments in the hundreds of billions of dollars, and netted those bankers personal fortunes, before the bottom fell out. Whatever blame others -- including Fannie and Freddie -- shoulder in causing the Great Recession of 2008, clearly many of the Wall Street bankers are at the top of that blame list.

MARVIN M. WITOFSKY
Mt. Lebanon

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