Thursday, March 08, 2018

How Many Democratic Senators Joined Wall Street And The GOP To Screw Bank Customers?


Just before Tuesday's vote to further gut Dodd-Frank and open the U.S. up to another bankster greed-driven economic catastrophe, Orange County law professor and congressional candidate Katie Porter wrote to her supporters that "As a consumer protection attorney, I've spent nearly 20 years fighting powerful special interests like Wall Street lobbyists. I've collaborated extensively with Elizabeth Warren on ways to protect the middle class from being scammed by powerful institutions and corporations. Unfortunately, I have to alert you to a new attack on consumers coming later this week. The Senate is days away from voting on a bill called the 'Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act,' though the actual bill will do none of those things. This bill would roll back or eliminate key protections that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act put in place after Wall Street's recklessness caused a global recession. I'm urging the Senate to Vote NO on this legislation."

Porter is running in CA-45 for a seat held by Wall Street shill Mimi Walters. But before she can take on Mimi, she has to get through another Wall Street shill, New Dem, Dave Min, who ran Chuck Schumer's Wall Street operation when Schumer was working hand-in-glove with the banksters to set them loose on consumers. Schumer has taken more in bribes than any other politician in American history who was not a presidential candidate-- and more than some presidential candidates. As of now Schumer the Finance Sector has given Schumer $26,754,908, compared to $12,338,704 to McConnell and $12,165,694 to Paul Ryan... so more than both of them together! Min has been part of Schumer's "success" in that scheme.

Which candidates are being backed by Wall Street this cycle? It's worth noting which non-incumbents they're making their biggest contributions to so far. Of course their biggest bribes in the House went to half a dozen crooked incumbents who are already serving their every interest:
Speaker Ryan (R-WI)- $2,649,603
Majority Leader McCarthy (R-CA)- $1,500,400
Josh Gottheimer (Blue Dog-NJ)- $871,524
Patrick McHenry (R-NC)- $867,506
Kevin Brady (R-TX)- $867,225
Kyrsten Sinema- $792,137
Goal ThermometerOf course, these 5 men and one woman should all be in prison but these are the crooked politicians who aspire to be just like them and are already taking large bribes as banksters bet on their chances to be able to kick their own constituents to the curb while carrying Wall Street's water. Austin Frerick, the progressive candidate running for the Iowa congressional seat occupied by GOP money grubber David Young, cut right to the chase: "I cannot believe that Democrats can support this bank deregulation bill after what we went through as a country a decade ago. But this is what happens when Democrats take money from corporations and lobbyists. This is also why I refuse that money."

David Gill's primary is coming up in less than two weeks. He's been fighting for the kind of economic fairness Elizabeth Warren is talking about for decades, not just for his campaign. “As is almost always the case on such issues, I stand with Senator Warren here. It amazes me that our elected representatives have so quickly forgotten the financial crisis which brought so much pain to so many ordinary Americans only 10 years ago. I suspect that those representatives never actually felt the pain, given their place in life. The ordinary men and women that make up the majority of IL-13 certainly did feel the pain of that recession, and they are the ones who will be hit hardest by a recurrence of our economic woes. The regulations within Dodd-Frank should be strengthened, not weakened. I look forward to getting to Washington early next year and working to protect Americans from bankers whose greed knows no bounds.”

The half-dozen worst non-incumbent candidates(so far):

Josh Harder (D-CA-10)- $229,094
Perry Gershon (D-NY-01)- $222,866
Dan Koh (D-MA-03)- $199,818
Mikie Sherrill (New Dem- NJ-11)- $178,578
Pat Ryan (D-NY-19)- $171,879
Matt Haggman (D-FL-27)- $158,790

It's essential to stick with progressives like Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) on this issue and to support candidates like them-- like Katie Porter, Austin Frerick and David Gill. Mimi Walters (R-CA) has already gobbled up $400,108 from the Finance Sector this year. David Young (R-IA) has taken $124,350 and Rod Davis (R-IL) took $174,652-- just this cycle!

The only other California candidate besides Josh Harder to have taken over a hundred grand from the finance sector is the sleaze bag in CA-49, Mike Levin, who has managed to vacuum up $124,232. Wall Street knows who they can count on. And it isn't Elizabeth Warren. In fact, when Mark Takano was strong-arming California convention delegates to vote for Dave Min, one of his arguments was that no one endorsed by Elizabeth Warren could win in Orange County. Strange thing for a progressive to say. Here's Elizabeth Warren talking about the bill Katie Porter was campaigning against this week:
[H]ere we are-- on the verge of making the same mistake Congress has made so many times before.

The banks don't want you to know what's in this bill-- because if you did, they know you'd fight back. It was written by Senators in back rooms and jammed through the Banking Committee, where its authors voted down every single amendment, every single idea, to make the bill even one smidge better or protect consumers just one tiny bit more. They voted against every amendment, even if they agreed with it, because Republicans and Democrats had locked arms to do the bidding of the big banks.

There's a lot of dangerous stuff in this bill. Today I want to focus on the harm it will do to America's consumers.

But I'll start with what's not in the bill because what's not in this bill should make Congress ashamed. Strong consumer protections. Banks get their wish list, but consumers get next to nothing. This bill is called the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, but in all 148 pages, there's only a few watered down provisions that help consumers.

Equifax loses data for nearly half of all adults in America, lies about it, and this Congress-these Senators-still can't manage to pass a bill with some teeth to hold the company accountable. That says it all-this is a bill written by big banks to help big banks, not a bill to help American families who are still getting cheated by the companies that make huge profits off them.

So what's actually in this bill? Start with the first part of the bill-- Section 101, "Improving Consumer Access to Mortgage Credit."

When you get a mortgage, your lender usually spends some time combing through your financial records to make sure you can repay the loan. That's good-- American families don't want to take out loans they can't afford and banks don't want to make loans that won't get repaid.

Bailout Caucus
Before the financial crisis, that whole process went haywire. Lenders were making crazy loans with ballooning payments and exotic features that consumers didn't understand. Lenders didn't care if customers could repay-they got their fees up front, then sold the loans to distant investors and the original lender was long gone before the homeowners got in trouble. But the families were stuck. Eventually, the payments skyrocketed, and homeowners who couldn't keep up defaulted, losing those homes.  After the crisis, Congress changed the rules. They told lenders that they had to start underwriting their loans again to protect consumers and the economy. But since this takes time and money, Congress told the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to write a rule that says that there's no need for the lender to investigate if this is a super-safe, boring, plain-vanilla loan.

That's reasonable.

But Section 101 of this bill is not reasonable. It takes the CFPB rule and stretches it in all directions, tearing open big, dangerous loopholes. This bill says banks, have some fun. Bring back the greatest hits of financial crisis housing scams. Scoop up the profits on the front end, and leave families holding the bag on the back end.

I understand breaks for banks that make straightforward loans, but these loans are too risky. And they come at a bad time. Rising interest rates mean that exotic products like adjustable rate mortgages are making a comeback. Bank lobbyists are dragging us back to the bad old days when banks had free reign to scam consumers.

Here's another section: Section 104 makes it harder to enforce anti-discrimination laws by telling loads of institutions that they don't have to comply with a law called the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, or "HMDA." HMDA requires most financial institutions to tell the public and the CFPB who they're lending to and at what rates and terms. Regulators and law enforcement use the data to make sure that American families don't have a harder time getting a loan because of who they are or where they come from.

This bill takes a sledgehammer to HMDA by exempting 85 percent of institutions from reporting HMDA data. If this bill passes, there will be entire communities where there will be no data whatsoever-- which means there will be no ability to monitor whether people are getting cheated because of their race or their gender.

Again, this couldn't come at worse time. Lending discrimination is real. A new comprehensive report that looked at housing markets all over the country just came out from the Center for Investigative Reporting and Reveal, and its findings should make us all sick to our stomachs.

In 2015 and 2016, nearly two-thirds of mortgage lenders denied loans to people of color at higher rates than for white people. According to Reveal, in the Washington metro area. "In 2016, Native American applicants were 2.3 times as likely to be denied a conventional home mortgage as white applicants. For black applicants, it was 2.2 times as likely. For Latino applicants, it was 1.9 times as likely. For Asian applicants, it was 1.6 times as likely." The Reveal report showed that this problem happens in giant banks, but also in small banks.

Here's the thing. None of that analysis would have been possible without HMDA data from big institutions and small ones. Without the data, we'd all be sitting here in the dark, maybe wondering if some mortgage lenders discriminated against African Americans or women or Native Americans, but we wouldn't have any way to know-and no way to change it if they were. Gutting HMDA allows us-- actually forces us-- to look the other way when discrimination happens. And that's disgraceful.

...Only a bunch of bank lobbyists-- and their friends in Washington-- would call this a consumer protection bill.

American families weren't in the back room when this bill was written. They don't have millions of dollars in campaign cash to get senators' attention. They don't keep an army of lobbyists on their payroll. No, American families are busy going to work, helping the kids with homework and trying to catch up on a thousands things. They are trying to pay off student loans or maybe to save a little for their kids to go to college. Some are trying to put aside a few bucks for a mortgage.

They trust us to stand up for them and make sure they have a fair shot at homeownership-- at the American dream. And they trust us to make sure that we're not turning over the keys to our economy to the same people who crashed it ten years ago and ran over a bunch of American families on the way.

I know we're outnumbered, but this fight isn't over. Make no mistake, I'm going to do whatever I can to convince enough other senators that this is a bad deal for American families, and a dangerous one. I'll push and tug and talk to anyone who will listen about how this bill will hurt the people we were sent here to represent. And maybe, just maybe, maybe for once the Senate will start listening to voters instead of donors.

Labels: , , , ,


At 3:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're the Crapo Democrats!

At 5:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does nobody remember 2009? Does nobody know that both dodd and frank took millions from wall street? Does nobody remember how much support wall street gave to obamanation? the Clintons? scummer?

Truthfully, if the bill needed more democraps, it would have gotten them. Probably 3 in 4 of those NOT voting for it would have if needed. Once the bill already had enough to pass, the democraps COULD vote no, if only to impress their stupid, gullible electorates.

Wall street doesn't write 9-figure checks for nothing you know.


Post a Comment

<< Home