In the past, federal regulators have been known to include provisions that waived the ability of a company to write off the costs of a settlement. But since our banks are always considered Too Big To Fail, they are of course offered every consideration, and We the Continue reading →
“If you want to understand why the Occupy movement has found such traction, it helps to listen to a former banker like James Theckston. He fully acknowledges that he and other bankers are mostly responsible for the country’s housing mess. As a regional vice president for Chase Home Finance in southern Florida, Theckston shoveled money at home borrowers. In 2007, his team wrote $2 billion in mortgages, he says. Sometimes those were “no documentation” mortgages.
Last Wednesday, nearly lost in the furor over Rupert-gate and the debt ceiling crisis, came the surprising news that the Federal Reserve has issued a cease-and-desist order against a Too-Big-to-Fail bank. The bank was Wells Fargo, which was also fined $85 million and ordered to compensate customers it had unfairly — indeed, illegally — taken advantage of during the subprime bubble.
What made the news surprising, of course, was that the Federal Reserve has rarely, if ever, taken action against a bank for making predatory loans. Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chairman, didn’t believe in regulation and turned a blind eye to subprime abuses. Continue reading →
HOW should banks atone for those foreclosure abuses — all the robo-signing and shoddy recordkeeping that jettisoned so many people from their homes?
It has been four months since a deal to remedy this mess was floated. Not much has happened since — at least not publicly.
Last week, banking executives and state attorneys general met in Washington to try to settle their differences. At issue was how much banks should pay, and how and to whom, to make this all go away. The initial terms, which emerged in March, were said to carry a $20 billion price tag.
But here is a crucial question: to what extent would such a settlement protect banks from future liability? Will the attorneys general strike a deal that effectively prevents them from Continue reading →