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Tell Obama: Don’t Let Banks Off The Hook For Mortgage Fraud

Tell Obama: Don’t Let Banks Off The Hook For Mortgage Fraud

The past four years have been some of the most economically troubled times many adult Americans have ever seen. Millions of families are still struggling to survive, to rebuild their lives and savings accounts after the recent mortgage crisis. A crisis that could have been avoided if banks and other financial institutions were required to be honest and transparent.

Despite the incredible burden placed upon American taxpayers by the fraudulent behavior of Big Banks and credit card companies, the nation’s top six banks have been living large, completely oblivious to the suffering they caused.

Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs — paid out $144 billion in bonuses and compensation for 2011, second only to the record $147 billion they paid out in 2007 at the height of the economic boom, according to a report released today by The New Bottom Line. Four banks – Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Morgan Stanley – were awarded these bonuses despite their bleak stock performance during the year.

These near-record bonuses come amidst the news that a settlement between Wall Street banks and a group of states Attorneys General could happen as early as today. While the big banks continue to profit off the losses of the 99%, this potential sweetheart deal could let the banks off the hook for their crimes and only pay a small drop in the bucket.

This is wrong.

Name one other instance in which a criminal, found guilty of brazen theft and deceit, would be allowed to craft their own deal with the courts? A deal that would require them to bear almost no responsibility for what they’ve done to millions of Americans, no less. The courts would never allow it. Yet because of the immense financial and political clout held by the Big Banks, they’re poised to do exactly that.

“Big banks can crash the economy, take billions of dollars in tax-payer funded bailouts, award themselves more than $140 billion in bonuses and compensation, but can’t afford the necessary principal reduction that would help millions of homeowner?” said Tracy Van Slyke, co-director of The New Bottom Line.  “The settlement in its current form is a settlement for the one percent. President Obama must stand with the 99 percent and take the bold and necessary action to hold Wall Street and the big banks accountable. “

Take a few minutes to browse the report titled, “Pulling Back The Curtain.” It details how, instead of going to bonuses and compensation, Big Bank bonus money could be used to rebuild the economy decimated by the Wall Street banks during the mortgage crisis.

Specifically:

  • Just half of the banks’ bonus and compensation pools would be enough to write down the principals on all underwater mortgages in the country.
  • If the six banks took half of their bonus and compensation pool and put it directly into a public service jobs fund, they could create 1.8 million jobs, and still have enough money left over to pay the average employee $60,605.
  • Just 72% of the $144 billion in bonuses and compensation at the top six banks would have been enough money to plug the $102.9 billion in budget holes for all 50 states for the current fiscal year.

The time of backroom deals lubricated by millions of dollars in campaign donations and propaganda needs to end. It’s time to stand up and demand that Big Banks be held to the same standards of honesty as the rest of us. And if they’ve committed a crime, they need to pay the price.

Time is of  the essence, as this deal could be sealed at any moment. Tell President Obama he must launch a full-scale investigation into Wall Street crime that led to the financial collapse and the housing crisis. Take action by calling the White House at (202) 456-1111 right now.

Here’s what you can say when you call:

“Hi, my name is [NAME], and I am calling from [STATE].

I’m calling to ask President Obama to stand up for homeowners and hold Wall Street accountable. We need a full-scale investigation into the big banks and Wall Street, and criminal prosecution for bank executives. Furthermore, any settlement with big banks must include at least $300 billion worth of principal reduction for underwater homeowners.”

Related Reading:

The American Dream Has Migrated To Europe

Virginia A.G. Cuccinelli: Modifying Mortgages is “Welfare”

Gingrich Made $1.6 Million “Advising” Freddie Mac

Image Credit: National People’s Action

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70 comments

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9:29AM PST on Feb 15, 2012

Its all well and good for Obama to say he will do something about Mortgage Fraud in America and Banker Fraud in general, but up till now, 3 years after the Banking crisis broke out, Obama has done nothing and he continues to surround himself with the Banker Criminals responsible for the Criminal acts, to help him form legislation against the very same. My belief, HE WILL DO NOTHING, after all the Banker Criminals are funding his re-election campaign.

7:59AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Not only should these bankers be held to account criminally, but in addition a class action against them and the Federal Reserve, for lack of supervision, for crimes against humanity would be more appropriate. They have been the number one culprits, with their irresponsible global marketing of dodgy financial products, in causing the international financial meltdown. Britain and Europe's ineffective bankers, like the fools they are, played follow my leader, without any critical assessment of the possible consequences of their actions. Four years ago, I queried RBS on the banks exposure to derivatives and was given the vanilla reply that management were comfortable with the exposure, which in any event they said, was available in their financial statements. Maybe so, but so well hidden that it was invisible. Their erstwhile boss has just been stripped of his Knighthood which Tony Blair, the genius, bestowed upon him for outstanding services to banking. Some service!

3:24AM PST on Jan 26, 2012

I wish Obama's right-wing critics were right and he was trying to hold the banks to account...

6:00AM PST on Jan 25, 2012

These men ignored sound banking practices to chase greed. That resulted in the false loan market that was like an extension of junk bonds, only it was junk mortgages.They led people into home dreams earlier than they could afford, or maybe never afford, and created a major crisis when the economy started to tank. Renegoitiate the mortgages, not then, and only begrudgedly now. Taking tax payer bailout money, then paying bonuses with it - under the guise of contracts - and not reloaning it to save homeowners or small businesses. this goes beyond criminal, its immoral and arbitrary. They need punishment to prevent others from future misdeeds like this. Or else, the government remains in bailout deficits forever or
the world economy collapses.

3:19AM PST on Jan 25, 2012

Thanks

2:15AM PST on Jan 25, 2012

I'd like to see news clips of crooked bank execs being taken away in handcuffs by the FBI. And see them go to prison, and do HARD TIME.

2:10AM PST on Jan 25, 2012

Fire all of them and charge them with fraud,signed the petition.

11:29PM PST on Jan 24, 2012

Their CEOs and others responsible should face justice as all criminals should. If they are not punished, there is no deterrent and the behavior will continue.

9:41PM PST on Jan 24, 2012

I thought they were already off the hook. I doubt anything will happen to them. They should face justice, of course, but I doubt it will happen.

8:43PM PST on Jan 24, 2012

Sleazy polititians will let these bankers off with a slap on the wrist but they need to go to jail over what they did and so do the polititians who believe there untouchable

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