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Wow!

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Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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0 posted 10-13-2011 02:57 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     It's stories like this one that seem to me to make the anger of the Wall Street demonstrators understandable, though unfocused.  Reactions, anybody?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/suit-alleges-banks-and-mortgage-companies-cheated-veterans-and-us-taxpayers/2011/10/04/gIQATp4RLL_story_1.html
Balladeer
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1 posted 10-13-2011 08:54 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I'm not sure this rates a WOW on the stink-O-meter since things like this are not that rare, unfortunately. Does that excuse it? Absolutely not and I hope it costs the banks plenty and exposes their dirty practices for what they are.

As far as the protestors are concerned, Bob, they have a right to  be angry about a lot of things. I am, too, along with the vast majority of Americans, I would think. When I see articles like this one, my blood boils right along with them.

My issue with them is their lack of focus, goals or purpose. Many of them are just either brain-washed or along for the ride. Those are the ones holing up signs demanding jobs, free college education, abolition of all personal debt and other ridiculous claims. The others, the sincere ones, can't seem to even describe what they are trying to accomplish. LR made the comment that the hippies ended the Viet Nam war, which is one heck of a stretch, but their continual protests did actually do some good. They had a purpose....to end the war. The tea partiers listed the things they were against, listed what they wanted accomplished, and presented it. The "occupiers" can't even say why they are there, past "Well, we're mad" or "Down with corporations" or "I demand my rights" or some such other bromide.

If they were to take a cause, like this article you posted, and protest it, I would be with them. Picket the banks involved, hold up signs denouncing the practices, boycott the banks, sign petitions against the banks, demand that congress enact better oversight to prevent the banks from getting away with such practices, implore people to switch to credit unions or banks that do not engage in such practices (if there are any), Organize and make a difference that will hit the banks in their bottom line, to the point they will not try to get away with such bull.

Instead, we have large groups of mainly white, mainly students, trespassing, getting arrested, leaving huge piles of trash, defecating in public, holding up signs that basically say "Up yours, capitalism!" with no concrete agenda, demanding to be taken seriously and angry because they are not.

Good luck....
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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2 posted 10-13-2011 06:01 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




quote:

I'm not sure this rates a WOW on the stink-O-meter since things like this are not that rare, unfortunately. Does that excuse it? Absolutely not and I hope it costs the banks plenty and exposes their dirty practices for what they are.



     We may have some basic agreement here, Mike.   I donít want to over-emphasize it, but it seems to be there.  Iím particularly in agreement about the part where you say, ď...things like this are not that rare, unfortunately.Ē   I donít believe the whole financial industry  is predatory.  I actually know now and have known in the past some people in it who are very straight shooters indeed.  

     But we have a situation where things have gotten very messed up, and I think that a lot of it has to do with the effects of deregulation on the financial industry.  Honest to Pete, I havenít any idea whether of not the industry was over-regulated when Reagan came to office, though Iím fairly sure it wasnít.  The Savings and Loan crisis might have been avoided if the activities of the Savings and Loans had remained more limited, and they hadnít been encouraged to over-reach themselves.  The government picked up at least some of the pieces, which limited the damage to the taxpayers and depositors somewhat.

     If the regulations had stayed in place, there wouldnít have been any damages to pick up.

     Fortunately there was a decent investigative staff at the time and charges could be brought,  A fair number of cases were brought to court and a lot of those resulted in prison sentences.

     The pressure to deregulate continued, and some of the basic protections put in place after the depression were junked.  Then the investigative staffs for checking out complaints and potential violations were cut way back.  We donít have even a fraction of the investigators now we had in the Savings and Loan crisis days, and the 2008 fiscal mismanagement  and the collapse of the real estate bubble was many times larger.  

     I think the real estate bubble accounted for the rising indicators in the first few years of this century, as millions of home-owners were borrowing against the value of their homes to fend off  the falling availability of middle class jobs.  I understand you think differently.

     But the funding for investigators and the protection of regulation on the financial industry (and other industries as well) fell steeply during this period.  Remember that the malfeasance covered by this particular case was buried in 2006, which meant that the case material was gathered earlier by those authorities who survived to do their jobs at that time, and that the offenses themselves happened earlier still.

     We are looking at material that probably started happening in perhaps 2002 and is only beginning to emerge almost ten years later.  We have a pretty good idea that the banking situation and the mortgage situation didnít get healthier in that time frame.  It is indeed possible that what we are looking at is the beginning of emerging information about that period of time.  It is possible, to my thinking, that lack of regulation and lack of enforcement made it difficult or close to impossible for some of these cases to even be brought, let alone investigated, let alone litigated through the most basic stages of any suite.

     It is not just the banks, though I think the banks and a lot of the financial industry has a lot to do with this current situation.  I think it is the willingness of both political parties to be co-opted by donations that amount to outright bribes to keep this industry and other industries unregulated or unregulated.  Thatís got to change.

     There are lots of stories about the nuttiness of regulators.  You hear them from the right wing without even asking to hear them.  Some of them are false, some are blown out of proportion, a number of them are accurate.  Itís not like the whole subject is a fabrication of fevered right wing imaginations; and any attempt to suggest that it is by somebody on the left merely makes the left-wing point of view look stupidly naive to somebody on the right whoís had experience with the procrustean world of regulation and regulators.

     So what we need here is a little decent translation, so that industries can make fair profits and the public isnít endangered in the process:  Easy to state, almost impossible to do; but maybe worth talking about.

    
 
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