Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bank of America Screwing Americans to Improve Profits

I have been waiting for a middle of the road president since Bill Clinton ended his second term.  No matter how much the Republicans hated him, in the second half of his term Clinton was a moderate who reached the independents among the electorate.  I believe George Herbert Walker Bush was also a moderate president.
Barack Obama has become a very pragmatic President. He seems to be no longer beholden to the left wing of his party.  His pro business attitude has endeared him to voters that had stopped approving of him.  Some thought he wasn’t doing enough to solve our unemployment problem. They also didn’t like the left wing of his party running the show.
That is all very well and good, because moderates should be running our country and I approve of his decision to be the President of all of us.  However, we still have to be careful that big business doesn’t continue to control the country.  I believe Obama will watch that inequity in power on behalf all of us. The left wing will, of course, dislike him for not being Big Bill Haywood.  It will be like watching Tony Blair and old labor at the beginning of his years as prime minister.
Joe Nocera in the New York Times today wrote an article about what had happened at Bank of America when the Times published the story about a retiree who was being foreclosed on by the bank. Bank of America had foolishly taken over Countrywide with its millions of bad sub-prime loans. It made mistakes it wants to rectify by getting every pound of flesh from the American people.  A strong judge, Duane Hart, immediately looked at the case and earned the bank’s ire. Bank of America is losing a lot of money because their former chairman bought more than one subprime lender after the financial crisis was apparent.  They want to get their positive quarterly financial reports in the black by sticking it to this woman, who is retired, and a good citizen  They want to steamroll over others in her category.
The judge didn’t let that happen and now the woman will be able to pay her mortgage out of her retirement checks just the way BofA promised her before they sought foreclosure.  The judge made sure that a cynical financial operation, which made many stupid decisions, was not going to reverse its terrible quarterly reports on the backs of retirees.
There are flippers and outright crooks that need to have their mortgages foreclosed on, but Bank of America doesn’t seem to know the difference between decent, honorable people who were taken advantage by sleazy subprime lenders and those who tried to game the system. I believe they don’t want to try.
 (A lot of Americans made bad decisions by themselves and they will have to live with the consequences).
It probably was only a symbolic victory for anyone except the retired woman. Bank of America will probably forget this experience and keep covering its mistakes on the backs of good, but poor, Americans.
At one point in history, Frank Capra would have made a movie about this, but Americans have short memories, and, except for the 9.4 percent that are unemployed, will forget their country was brought down by Wall Street and the banks. The CEO’s are beginning to give themselves large bonuses again, because they think we’ve forgotten what they did to our country. Have we?
By the way, shouldn’t a company called Bank of America be trying to help Americans, as well as try to make a lot of money off them?

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