Before I get into the update on the financial industry's massive swindling of the world, I'd like to encourage you all to give money to Alan Grayson, one of the few Congressmen who has been making a stink about the enormous fraud that the financial industry has been unleashing on the American people. I shudder to think what will happen to this Congress if we lose one of its few courageous voices and get more shills for the financial services industry. So give to Grayson. Give, give, give.
So now, back to Wall Street's continuing quest to loot America. BoA has become the latest pack of scumbags to realize that they didn't do a good enough job of forging documents to evict people from their homes and that they'll have to backtrack a bit:
Bank of America said Friday it is halting all foreclosure sales and foreclosure proceedings nationwide while it reviews the documents being used to justify homeowner evictions.
It is the first bank to put a moratorium on foreclosures in all 50 states. Previously, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and others were only pausing foreclosures in states where a court has to participate in foreclosure proceedings.
To review how we got to this point, click here. It basically boils down this: After the securitization process the banks had no idea what mortgages were and were not on their books. So they started making stuff up to compensate. This is theft, pure and simple.
Megan McArdle predictably comes leaping to the poor banks' defense, saying they may have made a few oopsies but are overall swell people:
The story on the foreclosure mess has become a bit overblown in some tellings. It's clear that banks have been taking some shortcuts in preparing their foreclosure documents. The banks are obviously overwhelmed with the volume of foreclosures, and the (apparently) many instances in which sloppy securitization has resulted in lost paper trails, obscuring who, exactly has a right to foreclose. Rather than seeking legislative or judicial clarification, they've resorted to dubious practices that seem (to my non-legally-trained eye) illegal.
That is bad. But as Arnold Kling points out, there's little evidence that this has resulted in improper foreclosures: evicting people who've paid, or who never had a mortgage with your company. Anectdotally, these things do seem to have happened, but there's no evidence that they're frequent, or that they are connected to the procedural irregularities that we're now discovering with foreclosure documents.
Arnold says that the real scandal is our antiquated title system.
I love how this is framed. The poor banks are simply being overwhelmed by the foreclosure process! They're working so hard! And what happens when you work hard? That's right, you get sloppy. You might even take a few shortcuts to ease the dreadful burden that has been thrust upon you by those irresponsible homeowners! But certainly these little oopsies are forgivable, right? I mean, who hasn't hired thugs to break into peoples' houses and change their locks, even when their house hasn't been foreclosed? It could happen to any major financial institution!
But this isn't the only heist the banks are pulling right now. From across the pond, we have this charming story from the Guardian about the banks "threatening" to leave Europe if limits are placed on their precious, precious bonus checks:
New proposals to cap bankers' bonuses and restrict cash payments will force banks to relocate outside the City and Europe, it was warned today.
As lobbying began ahead of a one-month consultation on the proposals published by the Committee of European Banking Supervisors, experts warned that European banks would be expected to comply with the guidelines wherever they employed their staff - be they in Europe, Asia or the US.
Under the proposals, bankers would only receive 20% of their bonuses in cash with the remainder paid in shares or some other financial instrument and deferred for between three and five years. [...]
Jon Terry of PwC said that this could result in a major change in where banks do business.
"Of particular concern will be the requirements that will apply to European banks operating, for example, in Asia, compared with local firms. Unfortunately this deviation from global trends in banking remuneration could make it more likely that banks move operations, or at least expand, outside of the European Union," Terry said.
"Many banking organisations could question why a globally mobile bank employee would continue to work for a European institution that will subject their pay to these provisions as opposed to a non-EU competitor bank," Terry added.
In other words, "If you don't let us keep our bonuses we might lose the incentive to steal peoples' houses."
Wanna know my solution to this problem? Let them go.
I mean it. What do these guys provide our economy besides housing bubbles and fraudulent foreclosure documents? I say let them go over to China and wreck their economy. In fact, now that I think about it, why do we keep employing Goldman Sachs CEOs in the Treasury Department when we should be hiring them in the Pentagon. Think about how quickly Goldman and pals could sink countries like Iran and North Korea if they moved their operations over there and began looting them just as much as they've been looting us!