Foreclosure

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They Go or Obama Goes

Robert Scheer,

Truthdig, August 25, 2010

Barack Obama and the Democrats he led to a stunning victory two years ago are going down hard in the face of an economic crisis that he did nothing to create but which he has failed to solve. That is somewhat unfair because the basic blame belongs to his predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who let the bulls of Wall Street run wild in the streets where ordinary folks lived. And there was universal Republican support in Congress for the radical deregulation of the financial industry that produced this debacle.

The core issue for the economy is the continued cost of a housing bubble made possible only after what Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers back then trumpeted as necessary “legal certainty” was provided to derivative packages made up of suspect Alt-A and subprime mortgages. It was the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which Senate Republican Phil Gramm drafted and which Clinton signed into law, that made legal the trafficking in packages of dubious home mortgages. In any decent society the creation of such untenable mortgages and the securitization of risk irrationally associated with it would have been judged a criminal scam. But no such judgment was possible because thanks to Wall Street’s sway under Clinton and Bush the bankers got to rewrite the laws to sanction their treachery.

It is Obama’s continued deference to the sensibilities of the financiers and his relative indifference to the suffering of ordinary people that threaten his legacy, not to mention the nation’s economic well-being. There have been more than 300,000 foreclosure filings every single month that Obama has been president, and as The New York Times editorialized, “Unfortunately, there is no evidence that the Obama administration’s efforts to address the foreclosure problem will make an appreciable dent.”

[snip]

The ugly reality that only 398,198 mortgages have been modified to make the payments more reasonable can be traced to the program being based on the hope that the banks would do the right thing. While Obama continued the Bush practice of showering the banks with bailout money, he did not demand a moratorium on foreclosures or call for increasing the power of bankruptcy courts to force the banks, which created the problem, to now help distressed homeowners.

[snip]

…foreclosures are behind Tuesday’s news that U.S. home sales reached their lowest point in 15 years and that there is unlikely to be an economic recovery without a dramatic turnabout in the housing market. The stock market tanked Tuesday on reports that U.S. home sales had dropped 25.5 percent below the year-ago level.

[snip]

There is no way that Obama can begin to seriously reverse this course without shedding the economic team led by the Clinton-era “experts” like Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner who got us into this mess in the first place. They are spooked by one overwhelmingly crippling idea-don’t rattle the financial titans whom we must rely on for investment. But when it comes to keeping people in their homes, it is precisely the big banks that must be rattled into doing the right thing.

Obama gained credibility through sacking Gen. Stanley McChrystal for making untoward remarks. Why not sack Summers and Geithner for untoward policies that have inflicted such misery on the general public?

Read it all at Truthdig…

Also see:

The State of the Government’s Loan Modification Program, at ProPublica

13 comments

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    • Edger on August 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm
      Author

    or there’ll be a change you can believe in, B…

  1. been singing this song in my head, no idea why…lol.

    So, take this love…take it down.

    Oh, if you climb a mountain and you turn around

    and you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills…

    well, the landslide will bring you down;

    The landslide will bring you down…

  2. in the first place?

    Or, perhaps, to, you know, try and punish severely a fair number of people who cheated people out of their homes, so that others with the same idea might not act so despicably in the future?

    Or, perhaps, to demand total government control in exchange for bailouts, and fire those responsible for the mess they created, and break up the criminal enterprise before returning it to private control?

    Then, perhaps, to both prosecute and seize every asset, down to the underwear, of the criminal scamsters and kick them out, so clad, on Wall Street in the middle of the day in front of TV cameras, as an example so that others think twice before defrauding the American people again, instead of whining that their golden parachutes were unfair treatment?

    Perhaps, to not have high government officials running all this who have been in bed with said scamsters for decades?

    Nah .. all that would be socialism.  Can’t have that.

    • Edger on August 26, 2010 at 11:21 pm
      Author



    “Shakedown Street”

  3. see only self interest. Obama and Hillary were really only fighting about who was going to get the coolest job in the world. Just look at them: Bill and Barack, the hip guys whose presence is all that people need to make them happy, versus Bush and McCain the bumbling simpletons whose personas are identified with by millions. I mean can you really take Emanual and Geithner seriously? Are their real agendas to serve the needs of the people. Give me a friggin break!  

  4. was it repossessed?

    or just a 666closure?

    • melvin on August 27, 2010 at 3:39 am

    that Obama understands the significance of climate change or the calamitous collapse of biodiversity.

    There is in fact no evidence that Obama understands anything at all beyond the Rahm school of winning at the polls.

    Obama is worthless. He is worse than nothing.

    We really need to ask ourselves how we got stuck with this worthless piece of shit administration, and where we go now. More of the same, as mamz & co wouldhave it? Or perhaps something else. The right is not afraid to go all the way. It is past time to abandon the party of maybe halfway unless Joe Scarborough, Liberman, or Susan Collins objects. Fuck it. It is time for a left party.

  5. Posing whether Obama will quit his lowdown ways delays dealing with the question of what to do if he doesn’t.

    What’s the time limit on this, before it is decided that he is not going to do so?  I, of course, think there is no snowball’s chance in hell that be will do so, but then I’m known to be kind of cranky.

    Should it come to pass that Obama deserves the landslide (or the changes that can be believed in), what is one’s stance towards that landslide?  I mean, does one then point out that the landslide is well-deserved, or does one actively join in the landslide, or does one go so far as to try to bring about the landslide?  On Obama.  I mean, we’re already in the path of being crushed in the financial landslide, but that’s another topic.

    It may be premature to begin figuring out whom we are going to support against Obama in the 2012 presidential primary, but it is none too soon to begin talking it up.

  6. and the MIC with all the time they’d ever dream of in Afghanistan. And it looks like he’s added two solid unknowns to the  Supreme Court. The financial reform package has all the small print that money can buy, and with the remaining issues he can bullshit all the way to the bank. I think he’d probably like to be re-elected, but he’s exposed himself for what he is, and there is certainly no passion whatsoever to lead  any kind of movement for social equality. He shot that wad in the last election. He’s irrelevant and he knows it, and I don’t think he’d sweat it if he left the scene and called in his IOU’s.

  7. …while thinking globally.

    The Left (in all it’s rag tag glory) needs to come together in what this time will be a real grass roots movement sans leaders, messiahs, Obamas.  

    Get involved in local politics, with neighborhood groups like Acorn, and build build build from the small up.

    Rise up and take action, or die on our suffering knees.

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