Time to Get Real About the Corporate Power/Land Grab

I’m pretty sure economist L. Randall Wray has it right on the nature of our current economic/political problem

“As the Global Financial Crisis rumbles along in its fifth year, we read the latest revelations of bankster fraud, the LIBOR scandal. This follows the muni bond fixing scam detailed a couple of weeks ago, as well as the J.P. Morgan trading fiasco and the Corzine-MF Global collapse and any number of other scandals in recent months. In every case it was traders run amuck, fixing “markets” to make an easy buck at someone’s expense. In times like these, I always recall Robert Sherrill’s 1990 statement about the S&L crisis that “thievery is what unregulated capitalism is all about.”

“After 1990 we removed what was left of financial regulations following the flurry of deregulation of the early 1980s that had freed the thrifts so that they could self-destruct. And we are shocked, SHOCKED!, that thieves took over the financial system.

“Nay, they took over the whole economy and the political system lock, stock, and barrel. They didn’t just blow up finance, they oversaw the swiftest transfer of wealth to the very top the world has ever seen. They screwed workers out of their jobs, they screwed homeowners out of their houses, they screwed retirees out of their pensions, and they screwed municipalities out of their revenues and assets.

“Financiers are forcing schools, parks, pools, fire departments, senior citizen centers, and libraries to shut down. They are forcing national governments to auction off their cultural heritage to the highest bidder. Everything must go in firesales at prices rigged by twenty-something traders at the biggest and most corrupt institutions the world has ever known.

“And since they’ve bought the politicians, the policy-makers, and the courts, no one will stop it. Few will even discuss it, since most university administrations have similarly been bought off—in many cases, the universities are even headed by corporate “leaders”–and their professors are on Wall Street’s payrolls.

“We’re screwed.”

And on the inevitable outcome. Either this:

“I see two scenarios playing out. In the first, we allow Wall Street to carry on its merry way, as the foreclosure crisis continues and Wall Street steals all homes, packaging them into bundles to be sold for pennies on the dollar to hedge funds. All wealth will be redistributed to the top 1% who will become modern day feudal lords with the other 99% living at their pleasure on huge feudal estates.

“You can imagine for yourselves just what you’re going to have to do to pleasure the lords.”

Or this:

“In the second, the 99% occupy, shut down, and obliterate Wall Street. Honestly, I have no idea how that can happen. I am waiting for suggestions.”

Neither one is pretty, is it? Time to get informed and take action, people. A good start would be moving your hard-earned $$ out of the big fraud-factory banks.

Update 7/26: Hmm. Zombeck thinks we’re screwed, too. Is anybody listening out there?
Below the Fold: Rumor Has It We’re Screwed

Mortgage Servicers Beware … The People are Coming for You

One of my favorite bloggers and foreclosure fighters, Martin Andelman, serves notice that with passage of California’s Homeowners’ Bill of Rights, the tide is starting to shift against the foreclosure-fraud-factory banks. I sure hope he’s right.

Here are some excerpts from his recent post titled “Attention Mortgage Servicers… Heed these words now, because it’s much later than you think.

Here he’s following foreclosure and mortgage-servicing fraud to its inevitable end:

“About three years ago, I spoke at a conference held by the American Bar Association in Park City, Utah.  I was there to speak about the foreclosure crisis, loan modifications and, of course, homeowners, who at the time were being treated in practically the same way that Tutsis were treated by Hutus in 1994.  In the audience were at least a couple hundred banking lawyers.

“What I said that day, however, was that our housing markets would most assuredly continue their free fall and that foreclosures, as a result, had nowhere to go but up… and up… and up.  I also explained that it was not the fault of homeowners that they would increasingly be falling into foreclosure, that it was not a case of mass-irresponsibility on the part of borrowers.  Rather, as I told the audience, it was the result of the credit markets being entirely broken and home values falling fast as a result.  Negative equity, I asserted, would be the primary driver of foreclosures.

I also explained that the way homeowners were being handled in the loan modification process, servicers were pushing the pendulum too far in one direction, and that it would eventually swing back the other way with even greater force… and knock them off their feet.

“In fact, at the end of history’s similar stories, the people either storm the Bastille or shoot the Romanovs as we all wonder what happened to Anastasia.”

And this bit should concern every politician, federal and state, running for office in 2012. Many many of them were complicit in allowing the big, rich banks to run roughshod over ordinary homeowners. Let’s face it, the banksters can (and do) contribute millions to fund political campaigns.

“The biggest change that servicers are feeling is the one that can’t be seen or even easily written down.  I imagine it’s similar to how homeowners felt when they discovered that their government didn’t give a Fudgsicle® whether they lost their house… or why they lost their house.”

And a little free advice to these big banks, the executives of which seem to have forgotten little items like customer service, professionalism, ethics, competence”

“Of course, there is a profitable way out, servicers.  I have the answer to this spreading virus that threatens to destabilize your collective collections mentality.  Change.  You can do it, there’s always been more than one way to skin this cat.  In fact, you already do it when you deal with your commercial customers.

“Treat [homeowners] like customers who, like the rest of the world, are caught up in a global recession so debilitating that no one dare to discuss it until after November.  Communicate effectively, educate, be reasonably transparent… don’t lie… and no one will want to sue you.  It may sound foreign to many in the industry at first, but it’s actually how most businesses have been avoiding bankruptcy and/or prison sentences for hundreds of years.”

Dying of Cancer? Too Bad. Wells Fargo Wants Your House Anyway.

Can you imagine being tortured by Wells Fargo’s delay-and-deny mortgage mod game while fighting cancer? Having to struggle to keep your home at the same time you’re fighting for your life? How awful!

I have so much sympathy for this North Carolina couple who are trying hard to keep Wells Fargo from taking their home while the very brave woman has stage-four breast cancer.

Of course Wells Fargo feeds the media the stock nonsense line about how much they want to help their customers keep their homes.

“We work hard to help our customers maintain homeownership and view foreclosure as a last resort.”

Right. Wells Fargo has certainly gone out of its way NOT to help me stay in my home, devoting hours and hours of staff time to giving me the run-around, telling me lies and faking numbers to justify foreclosing.

I expect they’re pulling the same crap on the Davis family. I sure hope the Charlotte TV station WCNC will keep this story front and center and maybe shame Wells Fargo into backing off and leaving these people alone.

More about Cindi Kirk’s fight against Wells Fargo and the people who are trying to help her win

Happy Independence Day!

And may we all soon be free from the corporate interests that have taken over our democratic system and are threatening to bring down this country.

Hope all the freedom fighters have a great day of rest and celebration today and come out tomorrow with renewed dedication to reclaiming our government, re-establishing the rule of law and restoring morals and ethics to the practice of business and politics in this country.