Don’t Let Big Banks Break the Economy Ever Again

Contact your Congressional representatives to urge them to support the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. If we don’t break up the big bully banks and restore some safeguards, we’re setting up a cycle of boom/bust that always costs the average person and ends up putting more dollars in the pockets of the rich and powerful. And those rich banksters will keep using their wealth and influence to subvert the democratic process, ensuring the rest of us have no real say in how our country is governed.

“We weren’t sent to Washington to work for the big banks. It’s time for the banking a system that serves the best interests of the American people, not just those few at the top.”

“We weren’t sent to Washington to work for the big banks. It’s time for the banking a system that serves the best interests of the American people, not just those few at the top.”       ~Elizabeth Warren

Still don’t understand why you should get involved and insist that Congress pass Warren’s bill? Here’s a great op-ed piece by Robert Reich: Time to bring back Glass-Steagall.

Or watch this classic episode of Moyers & Company that explains the whys and wherefores very clearly.

Want to do more? Sign these petitions and share on social media.

PETITION TO CONGRESS: Pass Elizabeth Warren’s Glass-Steagall Bill

Help Elizabeth Warren rein in Wall Street

Pass Elizabeth Warren’s Glass-Steagall Bill

 

Wells Fargo’s Fraud Handbook

“When they did the bailout, they bailed out the banks … but they never bailed out the homeowners. The homeowners took the biggest hit.”

None of this comes as a surprise to any of us who have been dealing with the systemic idiocy of Wells Fargo’s mortgage loan modification review “process” over the past seven years or so. Nor, for that matter, anyone who has tried to re-structure a mortgage serviced by any of the “too big to fail” banks.

Falsified paperwork. “Lost” paperwork.Electronic “paperwork.” Paperwork that didn’t count because you didn’t sign it in the lower left-hand corner upside down with your own blood.

“What people don’t understand is this: 49 attorney generals went after
almost every major bank including Wells Fargo.
There was a $25 billion settlement for these kinds of fraudulent practices,but nothing to help the homeowners. That’s what is so crazy.”

Collaborative Regulators Set Up the Next Financial Crisis

Too big to fail and regulators aiming for lucrative jobs with the financial firms they’re supposed to oversee are setting up the next economic crisis.

“I’ve so given up on the idea that regulators will regulate the financial industry.”

“It feels like the relationship between the financial sector and the government regulators is essentially a collaborative one rather than an oversight one.”
~
Financial Journalist Michael Lewis

How Far Have We Come Since The Financial Crisis?

 

The Mortgage Modification Scam Still Alive and Well at Wells Fargo

Lest you harbor hopeful thoughts that a series of much-publicized no-wrongdoing-admitted settlements with the banksters means they’ve stopped cheating on mortgage loan modifications and other foreclosure-related transactions, consider the following. (They’re still cheating.)

These search phrases that brought readers to my blog tell me that people are still being jerked around by Wells Fargo. That in defiance of requirements specified in the National Mortgage Settlement, Wells Fargo is still dual-tracking and screwing around with short sales. Oh, and probably still employing overzealous lockout/trashout tactics. (Yeah, and how much would you bet that robo-signing is still going on in deep, dark basements somewhere?)

Yes, these examples focus on Wells Fargo, but given recent history, do you really believe the other big banks aren’t still doing exactly the same?

Here’s a sampling of searches from just the past 30 days:

  • i qualify so why wont wells fargo give me a home modification hamp
  • scams through wells fargo loan modification program
  • wells fargo ignores short sale request
  • has anyone been forclosed on while working with the bank on a modification with wells fargo
  • wells fargo is the most inflexible and dishonest mortgage holder
  • wells fargo cheated me
  • i was denied modification from wells fargo
  • loan modification wells fargo fraud
  • wells fargo fraudlent mortgage modifications
  • wells fargo scared my tenants into moving
  • wells fargo changing locks illegally
  • i got no home modification from wells fargo
  • wells fargo mortgage sold my loan before forbearance

Not that different from the web searches homeowners have been doing for the past six years as the banks have stolen millions of houses and screwed with the lives and livelihoods of millions of people.

I expect this will go on and on as long as 1) people continue to do business with the big banks, thinking government and fake regulatory agencies will keep them safe and 2) big corporate banks own the federal and state politicians who should be protecting the American people from financial ruin.

How can you protect yourself and beat the banksters’ scams? Pretty simple.

  • Take all your money out of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi, Ally, Chase and any other bank that’s focused more on making money than serving customers and instead do business with small regional/local banks and credit unions. Keep your money working in your community with a simple commercial bank, the kind that exists to provide services such as checking and savings accounts. You don’t want to risk being the cash cow for the greed-fueled traders at one of the “too-big-to-fail” investment banks.
  • Never, ever take out a loan with an institution that has the contractual right to sell your loan to another party or to sell the servicing rights to another party. You want to decide which financial institutions will get your business, not be a pawn in some bank executive’s greed-fueled frenzy to get a six-figure bonus.

Are You Buying What AG Holder is Selling This Week?

So, did you hear the big news this week? US Attorney General Eric Holder has finally noticed that maybe some big banks did bad stuff and screwed up the economy and things and maybe he should, you know, do something about that. (Seeing as how he is the nation’s top official in charge of enforcing laws and such.)

Too bad nobody told him before that these bank execs were running roughshod over their investors and their customers. But now that he figured out it was his job to address the illegal behavior, he got all ambitious and posted a video in which he calls out those big, bad banks:

“I intend to reaffirm the principle that no individual or entity that does harm to our economy is ever above the law,” Holder said in the video. “There is no such thing as ‘too big to jail.'”

Yep, heads will roll, I tell you. Heads will roll. (Uh huh. Sure they will.)

Pretty sure I’m not the only one who has some serious doubts whether anything will come of Holder’s newfound dedication to justice for the little guy. (The phrase “too little, too late” comes to mind, right after “bullshit!”)

If, however you believe the Justice Department has finally waked up and smelled the bank fraud, well, then maybe you’d like to consider doing a little real estate transaction with me.

“I’ve got some ocean-front property in Arizona. From my front porch you can see the sea …”

Update 7/14: Lest you still believe that AG Holder might actually do something useful to bring justice to all of us screwed over by the banksters, read this:
Insight: Top Justice officials connected to mortgage banks

 

Another Bank Punishment That Isn’t

Have you read the sensational headlines about the “record-breaking” $13 billion settlement levied by the impotent Justice Department against J.C. Morgan Chase for its part in bilking investors out of billions and bringing the U.S. economy to its knees?

Sound to you like justice is finally being done? Or maybe you’re one of those who thinks the government is leaning too heavily on Jamie Dimon’s empire? Wrong on both counts.

“In fact, this deal is actually quite a gift to Chase. It sounds like a lot of money, but there are myriad deceptions behind the sensational headline.”  ~Matt Taibbi, Nobody Should Shed a Tear for JP Morgan Chase

Turns out this is just another in a long line of faux enforcement actions taken by various agencies that are supposed to protect the public, but really end up kowtowing to the big corporate banks.

“In fact, the deal that has just been completed between Chase and the state represents the end, or near the end, of a long process by which people who committed essentially the same crimes as Bernie Madoff will walk away without paying any individual penalty.”  ~Matt Taibbi

Yep. That’s what I was afraid of. For one thing, the deal only specifies that about $4 billion be devoted to “mortgage relief,” which sounds to the uninformed like it will help head off the bank’s massive foreclosure machine but really means the banks find creative ways not to do that very thing.

Amazing how the banks keep throwing money at the fake enforcers with one hand and raking it in even faster with the other. These settlements (with no admission of wrongdoing and no jail time for any of the executives) perpetuate the false notion that our government is holding banks accountable. It’s not.

“Wake me up when someone goes to jail.”

The headline is a quote from investigative journalist Matt Taibbi, who has written some of the best articles on Wall Street fraud and greed and the mortgage/financial debacle. He’s writing about yet another bogus investigation into the unbridled greed and blatant fraud that brought the economy to its knees back in 2008.

Despite the hue and cry of millions of foreclosed homeowners and more than a few excellent journalists, there’s been nothing like real justice for what the big banks and Wall Street did to cause so much grief. And, aided and abetted by Congress (with a few notable exceptions), the Justice and Treasury departments, the President and the colluding “regulators,” the greed-crazed financial execs are winding up to take another whack at the economy.

How? By going on doing exactly what they were doing pre-2008, only now with even more arrogance and sense of entitlement, secure in the knowledge that they’ll get richer and get away with it again.

“These banks are not getting smaller; they’re getting larger. There are now more too-big-to-fail institutions than there were prior to the 2008 crisis.” 
~
Gretchen Morgenson, Why Banks Are Still Too Big To Fail

 The “too big to fail” myth is still alive and well five years after the first domino, Lehman, fell and seems to be accompanied by an overwhelming belief that the perpetrators are also too big to jail. That’s a very dangerous situation. Overthrowing countries dangerous.

And it’s not going to get reined in any time soon, not as long as our political leaders are so cozy with Wall Street and the big banks.

“When JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testified before the Senate Banking Committee earlier this year about the “London Whale” scandal, only two of the senators facing him had not received campaign contributions from his bank. Dimon was also called “Obama’s Favorite Banker” for a while.”
~
From Seven Things You Wanted to Know About Prosecuting Wall Street

Still holding out hope that somewhere, someone is investigating the facts behind your predatory mortgage loan or any of the fast-and-loose dealings that brought on the crisis? Sorry to say, the statute of limitations for some of the infractions is about to expire.

And that special task force on the mortgage crisis that President Obama announced in his January 2012 State of the Union speech? Well, without funds and staff, NY AG Eric Schniederman didn’t have much of a chance to

“…hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many homeowners.”
~ Barack Obama, 2012 State of the Union

I predicted at the time that it was just another of Obama’s false promises to beleaguered homeowners. Very disappointing that I was right.

What would revive our economy and our faith in the nation where we live? Easy. If you’re of a “certain age,” you probably said it every morning of your grade-school days:

“Liberty and justice for all.”

In the meantime, you can stop supporting the companies that are getting away with fraud by simply removing your patronage. Move your accounts to a community-oriented local or regional bank or credit union and go on about your business as if the big banks simply don’t exist.

I only want to hear about the banksters in one context: Wake me when someone goes to jail.