Giant bank holding companies now own airports, toll roads, and ports; control power plants; and store and hoard vast quantities of commodities of all sorts. They are systematically buying up or gaining control of the essential lifelines of the economy. How have they pulled this off, and where have they gotten the money?
To stem the foreclosure crisis - costing $242 million in 2012 alone - and help some of the 46% of city homeowners currently underwater, Richmond, CA is taking historic action by offering to buy distressed loans from the Wall Street bankers who own them. Support this bold action of Local Principal Reduction as a first step for stopping the crisis around the country.
One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month — over the objections of the Treasury Department — was essentially Citigroup’s, according to e-mails reviewed by The New York Times. The bill would exempt broad swathes of trades from new regulation.
In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)
The lobbying campaign shows how, three years after Congress passed the most comprehensive overhaul of regulation since the Depression, Wall Street is finding Washington a friendlier place.
The cordial relations now include a growing number of Democrats in both the House and the Senate, whose support the banks need if they want to roll back parts of the 2010 financial overhaul, known as Dodd-Frank.
This legislative push is a second front, with Wall Street’s other battle being waged against regulators who are drafting detailed rules allowing them to enforce the law.
And as its lobbying campaign steps up, the financial industry has doubled its already considerable giving to political causes. The lawmakers who this month supported the bills championed by Wall Street received twice as much in contributions from financial institutions compared with those who opposed them, according to an analysis of campaign finance records performed by MapLight, a nonprofit group.
Five years after the greed and recklessness of Wall Street criminals crashed our economy, Eric Holder’s Department of Justice is finally making some arrests. But it’s not Wall Street bankers sitting in jail. Nope, it’s struggling homeowners and foreclosure victims who went to DC to demand the end of Too Big to Jail.
Yesterday, 500 people surrounded the Department of Justice headquarters. 27 got arrested - 17 last night and 10 more this morning at 6 AM - and are refusing to leave until the Obama Administration agrees to get the DOJ to start launching criminal investigations into the actions that led to the Great Recession. We need your support to make this happen!
Please call the White House and tell them you support the homeowners and foreclosure fighters they’ve arrested at the Department of Justice and also want to see Wall Street criminals held accountable.
Here’s the contact info and a short script.
The White House Comment Line: (202) 456-1111
Hi, my name is _______________ and I’m calling in support of the 27 people you had arrested at the DOJ yesterday and this morning. You’ve arrested the wrong people. You should be arresting the Wall Street bankers who caused the Great Recession, not jailing struggling homeowners and foreclosure fighters just trying keep their homes from being stolen. Please end your policy of Too Big to Jail and start making Wall Street pay us back.