A great piece from Gretchen about the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help ourselves because no one else will.
LIVE and learn. And well we should, given that 2011 was packed with teachable moments.
Some of this stuff we already knew. Like the fact that banks love the perks that come with being too big to fail. They will lobby shamelessly to hang on to their riskiest businesses and stay perilously large. No surprise, really. A heads-we-win, tails-the-taxpayers-lose model has a lot going for it, at least for executives atop these institutions.
This wasn’t the way the “ownership society” was supposed to work.
IT’S dispiriting indeed to watch the United States financial system, supposedly the envy of the world, being taken to its knees. But that’s the show we’re watching, brought to you by somnambulant regulators, greedy bank executives and incompetent corporate directors.
This wasn’t the way the “ownership society” was supposed to work. Investors weren’t supposed to watch their financial stocks plummet more than 70 percent in less than a year. And taxpayers weren’t supposed to be left holding defaulted mortgages and abandoned homes while executives who presided over balance sheet implosions walked away with millions.
“Today’s action is another significant step toward leveling the competitive playing field and enforcing market discipline on all financial institutions, no matter their size,” Sheila C. Bair, the F.D.I.C. chairwoman, said in a statement. Under the Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul, “the shareholders and creditors will bear the cost of any failure, not taxpayers.”
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 21, 2010; 10:09 AM
The federal bailout for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could more than double in size during the next three years, according to projections from the companies’ federal regulator.
Fannie and Freddie, the federally-controlled mortgage finance giants, will likely need at least another $73 billion and perhaps as much $215 billion from taxpayers in the next three years to meet their financial obligations, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said.
The growing taxpayer infusions will cover losses Fannie and Freddie suffer on home loans, as well as payments the companies must make to the U.S. Treasury in exchange for a federal guarantee to provide cash to keep the companies solvent.
In fact, over time, the majority of funds flowing to Fannie and Freddie from taxpayers will go to pay that dividend.
To date, the Treasury has already injected $148 billion into Fannie and Freddie. Under the worst-case scenario, in which the country enters a second recession, the total infusion would equal $363 billion in three years.
Exactly 2 years ago to this day you held a rally in Toledo, Ohio. In your speech you spoke about our economy and the path it would travel if we did not propose “Change”.
In this speech in Ohio you proposed a 90 day Moratorium on Foreclosures.
You made this statement.
“We cannot allow homeowners and small towns to suffer because of the mess made by Wall Street and by Washington and for those Americans in danger of losing their homes today I’m also proposing a three month moratorium on foreclosures. If your a bank…if your a bank or a lender who’s getting money from the rescue plan that passed congress and your customers are making a good faith effort to make their mortgage payments and renegotiate their mortgage you will not be able to foreclose on their home for three months. We need to get to give the people the breathing room to get back on their feet”.
Today we come to the conclusion they not only are kicking us out of our homes but engaging in a “pattern of conduct” using fraudulent documents to do so. This is clear fraud upon the courts and this is unacceptable in AMERICA.
Yesterday I received an email informing me of a 74 year old woman will be evicted today. This is our sister, mother…grandmother. Can you imagine walking in her shoes and all she has struggled to maybe have a taste of being whole at 74? Do you understand the fear she has of not knowing where she will go, end up? Does anyone care what will happen to this human?
These are the emails that make me contribute to the cause.
I once had hope for change but now I am hopeless in what I witness being accepted.
Below is the actual video of the rally you held in Ohio. I hope you listen carefully to your own words and do the right thing for the American people today.
We are listening and demand a Foreclosure Freeze to this rampant Foreclosure Fraud.
The government’s $182 billion bailout of insurance giant AIG should be seen as the Rosetta Stone for understanding the financial crisis and its costly aftermath. The story of American International Group explains the larger catastrophe not because this was the biggest corporate bailout in history but because AIG’s collapse and subsequent rescue involved nearly all the critical elements, including delusion and deception. These financial dealings are monstrously complicated, but this account focuses on something mere mortals can understand—moral confusion in high places, and the failure of governing institutions to fulfill their obligations to the public.
Three governmental investigative bodies have now pored through the AIG wreckage and turned up disturbing facts—the House Committee on Oversight and Reform; the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which will make its report at year’s end; and the Congressional Oversight Panel (COP), which issued its report on AIG in June.
The five-member COP, chaired by Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, has produced the most devastating and comprehensive account so far. Unanimously adopted by its bipartisan members, it provides alarming insights that should be fodder for the larger debate many citizens long to hear—why Washington rushed to forgive the very interests that produced this mess, while innocent others were made to suffer the consequences. The Congressional panel’s critique helps explain why bankers and their Washington allies do not want Elizabeth Warren to chair the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The most troubling revelation in this story is the astonishing weakness of the Federal Reserve and its incompetence as a faithful defender of the public interest.
The report concludes that the Federal Reserve Board’s intimate relations with the leading powers of Wall Street—the same banks that benefited most from the government’s massive bailout—influenced its strategic decisions on AIG. The panel accuses the Fed and the Treasury Department of brushing aside alternative approaches that would have saved tens of billions in public funds by making these same banks “share the pain.”
Bailing out AIG effectively meant rescuing Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch (as well as a dozens of European banks) from huge losses. Those financial institutions played the derivatives game with AIG, the esoteric practice of placing financial bets on future events. AIG lost its bets, which led to its collapse. But other gamblers—the counterparties in AIG’s derivative deals—were made whole on their bets, paid off 100 cents on the dollar. Taxpayers got stuck with the bill.
“The AIG rescue demonstrated that Treasury and the Federal Reserve would commit taxpayers to pay any price and bear any burden to prevent the collapse of America’s largest financial institutions,” the COP report said. This could have been avoided, the report argues, if the Fed had listened to disinterested advisers with a less parochial understanding of the public interest.