July 21st, 2011 at 2:36pm
Does your Attorney General work for you, the consumer and taxpayer, or for Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, CitiGroup and Ally Financial?
An article by Scot Paltrow in Reuters yesterday entitled “States Negotiating Immunity for Banks over Foreclosures” seems to indicate that our state attorneys general want to get the Foreclosure Gate scandal of mega-banks’ robo-signing homeowners into foreclosure off their desks. Never mind that some of the activities of the banks may rise to a criminal level.
The “negotiation” undertaken collectively by the attorneys general of all 50 states would let the five banks collectively pay “up to (my emphasis)$25 billion in penalties and commitments to follow new rules,” rules which any ethical institution would have followed in the first place. In exchange, the banks would receive immunity from civil lawsuits by the states.
At the least, this sounds like dismissing serious corruption by sweeping it under the rug for a pittance.
So, $5 billion per bank for massive and willful corporate malfeasance. That’s less than $100 million per state and chump change for the likes of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, CitiGroup and Ally Financial. And as usual, no crooked C-suite executives lose any time off the golf course in depositions or court proceedings. It’s business as usual.
According to the Reuters article, only New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has objected to this wink to corporate corruption. And some of the senators on the Senate Banking Committee, including Republican Richard Shelby, have criticized banking regulators for failing to adequately investigate the robo-signing and other anti-consumer practices engaged in by the banks and their contractors, which Reuters alleges continue to this day.
Read the original article in Reuters.
Read about public banking.
May 10th, 2011 at 1:29pm
As the economic fall-out from the irresponsible lending practices of the big banks continues, we have to look to ourselves to solve this ongoing crisis. The banks are still lying about their willingness to consider loan modifications and still foreclosing on borrowers who have fulfilled the terms of their loan modifications or for whom bank representatives agreed to approve a short sale. The federal government and our elected representatives are doing little or nothing because their pockets are lined with campaign contributions, gifts and sweetheart deals from banking interests. Republicans and Democrats are equally guilty.
In addition, lenders such as Bank of America have reinstituted annual fees for the use of their credit and debit cards and have weasled exceptions to the limit on interest rates so they can steal even more. In biblical times, the name for these exorbitant fees was ”usury.”
There is only one answer to the destruction caused by the big banks and that is for all of us to let our state representatives know that we want public banking introduced into our states.
North Dakota is currently the only state that has public banking. Established in 1919, the Bank of North Dakota (BND) returns deposits back to the state in the form of loans. Not coincidentally, according to the Public Banking Institute, “As of the spring of 2010, North Dakota was also the only state sporting a major budget surplus; it had the lowest unemployment and default rates in the country; and it had the most community banks per capita, suggesting that the presence of a state-owned bank has not only not hurt but has helped the local banks.”
My money has been deposited with a local credit union for almost 35 years. The next time you deposit your money or take out a loan with Wells Fargo, JP Morgan (Washington Mutual), Bank of America and the other big banks, remember that you are supporting the corrupt, greed-driven private banking system that has resulted in tens of thousands of jobs being lost, as well as ruining thousands of lives.
Ellen Hodgson Brown, an attorney an author, is a founder of the Public Banking Institute. The Institute’s mission is to re-establish public banking and fiscal stability in all of our United States. Her book Web of Debt, a history of banking in the United States, is a must read for any thinking person, regardless of their political party affiliation.