Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sweet Pygmy Jeebus On Toast , I'm Pissed Off!

This is something I've been reading about lately, but the events of the last two days are something we should all be enraged about. State Attorneys General - twelve of them, to be precise - have been investigating the legality of certain foreclosure practices, and working with a 50-state task force to probe the rampant foreclosure abuses by big banks.

One of them, NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was removed yesterday from his position on the task force leading the investigation. And it sounds very much like he was removed at the request of the Obama administration, if not Obama himself. Why? Schneiderman, a Democrat, was one of the attorneys general who did not want to rush into a quicky-settlement deal that will let the major banks off the hook legally.

As a post on Common Dreams explains, "Schneiderman, a Democrat who's in his first term as New York's top law enforcer, has been among a group of state legal officers who has also questioned the desire for a speedy resolution. He's leading his own investigation into mortgage improprieties, subpoenaing documents from the nation's largest financial institutions and reviewing court records for possible illegal home repossessions.

The Obama administration officials -- in particular, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan -- have publicly stated on numerous occasions that they want a quick resolution to the 50-state mortgage probe.

Sources said attorneys general like Schneiderman, along with the top legal officers from Massachusetts, Delaware and Nevada, among others, were complicating that goal by questioning the plan to scuttle the state and federal investigations in exchange for a settlement.

These attorneys general have said they're reluctant to sign on to an agreement that effectively kills their ongoing investigations or prevents new ones from being launched. Beau Biden, Delaware's top law enforcer, remains on the states' executive committee.

In a statement of support for Schneiderman, Biden said that the "events leading up to the mortgage crisis must be fully investigated, including origination and securitization practices, before any broad immunity is granted. The American people deserve an investigation," he added."

Top Obama administration officials recently reached out to Schneiderman and his allies, effectively requesting he get in line, people familiar with the discussions said. The New York Times editorial board on Tuesday declared that Schneiderman "should stand his ground in not supporting the deal."

"The administration says that a settlement would quickly deliver much needed relief to hard-pressed borrowers, but it’s doubtful it would provide redress on a par with the banks’ wrongdoing or borrowers’ needs," the board wrote."

Clearly the administration of BO didn't want anything or anyone mucking up their settlement, which will shut down ongoing investigations immediately. They were none too happy when individual states began acting like individual states and launching their own investigations.

The administration claim that it's to provide "much needed relief" to borrowers is a load of crap. If this administration was so concerned about borrowers, they've had the last three years to implement some relief, which they've chosen not to do. Obama could have added conditions to the continuing bailouts in 2009, but chose not to require the banks to assist any homeowners whatsoever as a condition for the billions of dollars they received in taxpayer funds.

No, they want to shut these investigations down NOW, on the behalf of the financial elites that actually run the government.

Gretchen Morgenson of the NYT says that “Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, has come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration to drop his opposition to a wide-ranging state settlement with banks over dubious foreclosure practices."

She goes on to point out that “In recent weeks, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and high-level Justice Department officials have been waging an intensifying campaign to try to persuade the attorney general to support the settlement. …”

Robert Sheer, posting on Truthdig, notes that "Donovan has good reason not to want an exploration of the origins of the housing meltdown: He has been a big-time player in the housing racket for decades. Back in the Clinton administration, when government-supported housing became a fig leaf for bundling suspect mortgages into what turned out to be toxic securities, Donovan was a deputy assistant secretary at HUD and acting Federal Housing Administration commissioner. He was up to his eyeballs in this business when the Clinton administration pushed through legislation banning any regulation of the market in derivatives based on home mortgages..."

Check out the rest, it's a real eye-opener. And unless you're a brain-dead zombie or a wingnut (same thing, right?) it will piss you off. So much for transparent government!


Blogger Peter of Lone Tree said...

It's too late for my son Steven.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

I'm sorry, PLT - it makes me sick to hear that! Sadly it has, and is, happening to millions of people - the ones Gov-Corp can't be bothered to help.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

P.S. Seems like it's high time for Bastille Day...for real.

11:27 PM  

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