SO, THIS WAS DIFFERENT. DURING OUR LATEST INTERVIEW WITH DAVE STEVENS, he got a random call offering him a free cruise to the Bahamas. I'm not kidding. It really happened. [paragraph] Wonder how they got his number? [paragraph] And just so you know, he simply hung up. No free cruises (with strings attached) for the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA's) chief executive officer. He wasn't born yesterday.
We have been watching the campaign trail along with everyone else, and feeling like it's a bit of a parallel universe. Democratic hopeful and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been railing against the unbridled power of Wall Street as though the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act never happened.
Stoking the fire of anti-Wall Street sentiment seems to be working well for the once-long-shot Democratic Socialist. He's been climbing in the polls against his rival for the Democratic nomination--Hillary Clinton. Apparently, there is a lot of voter anger to be milked when it comes to "Wall Street."
But we wondered, how does this message that nothing has changed in the world of Wall Street and the capital markets play with Stevens, who hears every day from his members about how the world of mortgage finance has been completely transformed? If nothing has happened, how come mortgage bankers are feeling so much pain?
So we asked him about it.
What also prompted us to ask was the fact that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) was speaking at a Washington event the very same week as our interview with Stevens. Her appearance came at an event marking the fifth anniversary of the delivery of the final re port from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC). "The business of financial reform is not finished," she told the gathering. (Sanders might have been a tad more colorful, with a lot more hand movements.)
Former FCIC Chairman Phil Angelides appeared on a panel at the same event as Warren. To recognize the anniversary, he wrote in an op-ed published in The Sacramento Bee, "Although we have made some progress, it hasn't been nearly enough to match the magnitude of the crisis and what the country endured." He added, "Since our report was presented, the Wall Street executives responsible for helping cause the Great Recession haven't paid any real legal, economic or political price."
It was all feeding into the Bernie Sanders narrative. So what does Stevens think about all this?
"I listen to the railing against Wall Street...