New York Communities for Change has launched an innovative campaign to keep Americans in their homes: keep people in their homes, or else. They introduce the campaign:
We all know the Big Banks triggered the forecosure crisis in this country through predatory lending practices. Now they have the power to fix it - by working with families facing foreclosure, these banks can modify their loans to allow them to make payments and stay in their homes. But the Big Banks refuse to do this. It's time to send the banks a message - change your ways, or we move our money.
Fill out the form below to send an email to the CEO's of the Big Five - Chase, Citi, HSBC, B of A, and Wells Fargo, letting them know that if they don't improve their loan modification policies by August 31st, YOU will move your money to another bank and refuse to do business with any of these five.
Take the pledge. And, help keep Americans in their homes.
When a child spills his drink all over the table, that's worthy of a "sorry." When you contribute to the collapse of the global economy, you think we'd deserve a bit more. But, that's not what we got:
Charles O. Prince III, Citigroup’s former chairman and chief executive, apologized for the billions of dollars of losses that caused the company he helped build to nearly collapse. Instead, the bank required three government rescues and some $45 billion in taxpayer aid.
“I’m sorry the financial crisis has had such a devastating impact for our country,” Mr. Prince told the commission. “I’m sorry about the millions of people, average Americans, who lost their homes. And I’m sorry that our management team, starting with me, like so many others could not see the unprecedented market collapse that lay before us.”
Sorry, Charles. That's not good enough. We need more than just apologies from the banksters whose greedy and reckless behavior cost millions of Americans their jobs.
We demand accountability. And, we demand reform to protect consumers from the greed of the banksters. Their contrition is not enough. We need financial reform to protect consumers and hold accountable the people who preyed on the public lest the big banks will act recklessly again.
Tomorrow, the FCIC will hear testimony from whistleblower Richard M. Bowen. He makes it crystal clear that the warning signs were there:
In prepared statements, a former Citi mortgage lending officer and whistle-blower, Richard M. Bowen III, testified before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that he had alerted his bosses about problems in the bank’s mortgage portfolio... Mr. Bowen planned to tell the panel that he alerted top officers that as many as 80 percent of the loans the bank sold to Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae and other investors were defective.
“Since mid-2006, I have continually identified these breakdowns in processes and internal controls,” Mr. Bowen writes in a detailed November 2007 e-mail memorandum sent to Robert E. Rubin, an influential Citi executive and board member, as well as the bank’s risk and finance chiefs. “I know this will prompt an investigation into the above circumstances, which will hopefully be conducted by the officers outside the consumer lending group.”
There were warning signs, but, the greedy banksters ignored them. They drove the economy off the cliff. Testimony from whistle blowers like Richard Bowen show why we need strong protections for consumers and accountability for the banksters who preyed on the public.
Alan Greenspan is testifying now before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC). Watch now.
Tomorrow, Chuck Prince and Robert Rubin from Citi testify and Robert J. Levin and Daniel H. Mudd formerly of Fannie Mae will testify on Friday.
It's clear from this and past hearings that the big banks need to be held accountable. The greedy and reckless behavior of big banks on Wall Street caused a financial crisis that cost Americans millions of lost jobs, billions in taxpayer funded bailouts and trillions in last retirement savings.
Financial reform is more urgent now than ever before. And, it's clear that the FCIC needs to hold more hearings, issue more subpoenas and find out even more about what happened. In particular, the failures of former regulators like Christopher Cox need to be exposed. Never again should the people writing and enforcing the rules be beholden to the big banks instead of the public.
Stay tuned today, tomorrow and Friday to the FCIC hearings on C-SPAN2.
Oh goody! Just what we need: a profit incentive for Wall Street to tank the global economy:
Credit specialists at Citi are considering launching the first derivatives intended to pay out in the event of a financial crisis.
As Heather Booth of Americans for Financial Reform notes, this is no joke:
The Onion probably wishes it had written this story. Unfortunately it’s no joke. Even Citi is convinced too little has been done to avoid the next financial crisis – in fact, so strongly do they feel a repeat is possible, they are offering financial products to gain from the next collapse! With this scheme, they can bet there either will be or will not be a collapse – to which they contribute. The notion that Citi would look to make money off another collapse is inexcusable, irrational and blatantly irresponsible.
Wall Street knows how to profit from crisis. Now, more than ever, Main Street needs safeguards in place to guard against another crisis.