F&F, get your act together, NOW!

Fannie and Freddie, knock, knock, anyone there? Open up and listen up, reform is at the door and you are no longer operating behind closed doors as a bi-polar institution (some days quasi-government, other days private sector money machine). Your behavior and your business decisions must be brought fully and completely into the town square for regulators, lawmakers and the public to see.

President Bush’s new budget makes that clear, calling for tougher controls on the mortgage giants.

We agree.

We applaud the success of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but arrogance, relentless lobbying and defensiveness are now signs of hubris, that could cloud judgment.

Liquidity in the mortgage market can be achieved with responsible regulation.

God bless America, so pure and so puritanical

“Urban rabbit hutch.” That is what one homeowner in the waterfront town of Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, worries about the upscale enclave becoming if citizens vote to lift the ban on building multifamily housing.

Yes, indeed most tenants we know are rabbit-like, scurrying around with their little tales, smelling up every neighborhood they hang out in. And their pellet food, disgusting.

In fact, let’s call in Bush and his homeland security troops and scrub the land of this scourge: renters, enough already, they are messing up the land.

Question: Is that Janet Jackson hooligan a renter?

Something old, something new

An important component of any company’s corporate culture is its bias toward the new, or conversely, its bias toward the old. Companies that cherish the old have the security of what’s tried and true and what has always worked, while companies that embrace the new have the excitement of being on the bleeding edge and potentially getting a valuable jump on their competitors. The challenge is figuring out how to allocate limited resources between the core old business that still generates revenue and the tantalizing new idea that may well be the next big thing. The ideal culture respects the old while it embraces the new. What’s ironic is how quickly something that not long ago seemed new can become incredibly stale. –Marcie Geffner

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