Jeb Bush Tells Mortgage Bankers: Do Not Cower

Two high profile politicians spoke Tuesday before attendees of the Mortgage Bankers Association conference in Chicago. Their advice to the industry, which has been “tarnished” by the actions of some bad actors: be transparent and get ahead of the problem.

“I think you want to be on the forefront of transparency,” said David Axelrod, chief political advisor to President Obama. “Consumers need to know what they’re buying and the terms on which they’re buying,” he said.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, also speaking before the conference, advised advocacy. “Advocate and persuade. There is real hostility toward business in Washington. There’s not a lot of love. In those kinds of circumstances, most business organizations go into a fetal position. That doesn’t work,” he said.


Bush spoke against turning a blind eye, and instead encouraged proactivity.

“The problem that got us into this mess was the real estate problem, but there is very little going on to solve the real estate problems,” he said. “Who better to advocate a policy to get us out of this mess? What not defend your positions in the marketplace of ideas? Business has gotten way too timid. The natural inclination is to cower. I would encourage you to stand up.”

Transparency is paramount, Axelrod said.

“You have to acknowledge what the problems were…markets have to be transparent to work well,” he said.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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  • David has no idea what he is saying and Jeb gets the source of the problem wrong. 
    Is transparency the issue or is it simplicity?  How much more transparent could lending be?  It is politicians and regulators who have required convoluted explanations in minutest detail.  Here in California there are at least three disclosure forms regarding inappropriate purchase of annuities.
    Jeb suggests that the mortgage collapse was based on the collapse of the real estate market.  Price support in the residential sector is all about the ease of getting mortgages.  Either Jeb does not understand the housing market or he was playing to the audience.  Either way, Jeb shows himself a politician and not much of an economist or statesman.

  • I agree with Axelrod’s comments above, but this soundbite appears to suggest he doesn’t think we are doing that now (wrong).  I agree with Jeb, but Obama needs to learn to create consensus rather than division.   

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