Thursday, April 30, 2009

Banks’ strategy: Screw other people who need federal help

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Ken Lewis may be half-down for the count — most CEOs whose board chairmanships are taken from them rarely last long afterward — but that doesn’t mean the banking industry isn’t working just as hard as ever to screw regular Americans. Here’s the latest: a bankruptcy reform bill that zoomed through the House weeks ago will probably be gutted today by the Senate because of intense pressure from investment banking lobbyists, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. One of the main purposes of the bill is to give bankruptcy judges the power to reduce, or “cramdown,” a homeowner's mortgage payment as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who has led the fight for bankruptcy reform in the Senate, assessed Wall Street and the banking industry’s opposition to the bill by saying, “The very same banks that are saying these people have to pay a price for bad decisions ... were in line to receive billions of federal dollars ... when they made a business mistake.” Durbin pretty much summed up the situation on a Chicago radio show this week by admitting that when it comes to the banking industry and Congress, “They frankly own the place."

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