Sunday, July 17, 2011

One Law for the Bankers, Another for Everybody Else

Here is the start of a NY Times op-ed by Paul Krugman that spells out the "special treatment" the big banks are getting from the Obama administration (and the Bush):
Ever since the current economic crisis began, it has seemed that five words sum up the central principle of United States financial policy: go easy on the bankers.

This principle was on display during the final months of the Bush administration, when a huge lifeline for the banks was made available with few strings attached. It was equally on display in the early months of the Obama administration, when President Obama reneged on his campaign pledge to “change our bankruptcy laws to make it easier for families to stay in their homes.” And the principle is still operating right now, as federal officials press state attorneys general to accept a very modest settlement from banks that engaged in abusive mortgage practices.

Why the kid-gloves treatment? Money and influence no doubt play their part; Wall Street is a huge source of campaign donations, and agencies that are supposed to regulate banks often end up serving them instead. But officials have also argued at each point of the process that letting banks off the hook serves the interests of the economy as a whole.

It doesn’t. The failure to seek real mortgage relief early in the Obama administration is one reason we still have 9 percent unemployment. And right now, the arguments that officials are reportedly making for a quick, bank-friendly settlement of the mortgage-abuse scandal don’t make sense.
The article goes on to discuss the details, especially details about letting banks off lightly from their robo-signing scandal. It is well worth reading. Go read the full article.

The electorate in 2008 had no clue that Obama was going to side with the banks and screw the American public. His campaign promises were the exact opposite. But this is what he has delivered. He has delivered a "soft justice" for the big banks while letting the cruel "free market" grind down the unemployed, those with foreclosed homes, and especially those cheated out of their homes by the robo-signing scandal. It is very simple: Obama has sided with the criminals and told the American public to "take a hike". He knows which side his bread is buttered.

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