Facing a lawsuit over deceptive mortgage practices, Bank of America has agreed to modify tens of thousands of loans to keep people in Illinois, Washington and nine other states from losing their homes, the Illinois attorney general's office said Sunday.
The current economic crisis demands that we understand John McCain's attitudes about economic oversight and corporate influence in federal regulation. Nothing illustrates the danger of his approach more clearly than his central role in the savings and loan scandal of the late '80s and early '90s.
John McCain was accused of improperly aiding his political patron, Charles Keating, chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. The bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee launched investigations and formally reprimanded Senator McCain for his role in the scandal -- the first such Senator to receive a major party nomination for president.
That includes, as the New York Post pointed out, millions in tax breaks and related pork for kids' wooden arrows, Puerto Rican rum producers, auto race tracks, and corporations operating in American Samoa. (The likely explanation for the latter: StarKist has a large tuna-canning operation in American Samoa. And StarKist's parent company happens to be located in the district of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.)
Slight shifts in the property value of a home can cause a complete failure of the promise to pay the debt on a mortgage, simply because the benefits of paying are no longer the same. If you owe more on the mortgage than your property is worth, an oft-chosen solution is to just walk away from it, especially if it was easy to get into, with no down, with little credit, and nothing but a bad credit report to lose.
You know where that very important $700-billion figure came from?
Here's a quote from that Forbes story:
"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."
They made it up to be sufficiently ginormous to frighten everyone into rapid action.
And it worked.
Wall Street's five biggest firms paid more than $3 billion in the last five years to their top executives, while they presided over the packaging and sale of loans that helped bring down the investment-banking system.
Merrill Lynch & Co. paid its chief executives the most, with Stanley O'Neal taking in $172 million from 2003 to 2007 and John Thain getting $86 million, including a signing bonus, after beginning work in December. The company agreed to be acquired by Bank of America Corp. for about $50 billion on Sept. 15. Bear Stearns Cos.'s James ``Jimmy'' Cayne made $161 million before the company collapsed and was sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co. in June.
Congressman McFadden on the Federal Reserve Corporation Remarks in Congress, 1934 AN ASTOUNDING EXPOSURE
Quotations from several speeches made on the Floor of the House of Representatives by the Honorable Louis T. McFadden of Pennsylvania. Mr. McFadden, due to his having served as Chairman of the Banking and Currency Committee for more than 10 years, was the best posted man on these matters in America and was in a position to speak with authority of the vast ramifications of this gigantic private credit monopoly. As Representative of a State which was among the first to declare its freedom from foreign money tyrants it is fitting that Pennsylvania, the cradle of liberty, be again given the credit for producing a son that was not afraid to hurl defiance in the face of the money-bund. Whereas Mr. McFadden was elected to the high office on both the Democratic and Republican tickets, there can be no accusation of partisanship lodged against him. Because these speeches are set out in full in the Congressional Record, they carry weight that no amount of condemnation on the part of private individuals could hope to carry.
The Federal Reserve-A Corrupt Institution
"Mr. Chairman, we have in this Country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks, hereinafter called the Fed. The Fed has cheated the Government of these United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the Nation's debt. The depredations and iniquities of the Fed has cost enough money to pay the National debt several times over.
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