News Articles By Mary Bottari

Tough Talk Is Not Enough on Loan Modifications

Today, the Obama administration announced that it is stepping up efforts to pressure mortgage companies and banks to reduce payments for homeowners facing foreclosure.

As double digit unemployment becomes the major driver of foreclosures and as the vast majority of adjustable rate mortgages have yet to trigger, the White House is finally getting the message that news footage of families being tossed to the curb during the holiday season will not help Democrats going into the 2010 election cycle.

Bernanke Blames the Banks, Trumka Calls His Bluff

America’s financial sector has blown a hole in the economy so large that it will take many years to repair. The formal unemployment rate is above 10 percent and underemployment is an astonishing 17.5 percent. Yet last week, Bloomberg News calculated that the top three bailed-out Wall Street firms are on track to pay $30 billion in bonuses to their top officers this year and the Wall Street Journal estimated that the bonus pool for the financial sector as a whole is $140 billion.
 
Taxpayers have done their share. They have put trillions of dollars at risk in an effort to stabilize the financial system and have gotten little in return. Too many banks are not lending to small businesses, they are not helping American families facing foreclosure, but they are raising credit card and other bank fees at a rapid clip.

While many have been starkly critical of bank performance, yesterday criticism came from a new source, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Anniversary Sparks Renewed Efforts to Break Up the Banks

Thursday, November 12th marks the ten year anniversary of the repeal of the depression-era Glass-Steagall Act that protected consumers from casino-style gambling on Wall Street and prevented significant financial crises for almost 60 years. As Congress took up a series of bills this fall to restore confidence in the financial sector, notably lacking were any bills to break up the big banks and restore Glass-Steagall protections.

LIVE! From the Big Showdown in Chicago

With the newspapers full of talk about "zombie" banks and parasitic "vampire squid" financial institutions, it was particularly fitting that the "Showdown in Chicago" started with a ghoulish group of zombies rocking out to Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Chicago's own South Shore Drill Team opened the three days of banks protests with a bang and had the crowd of thousands of activists dancing in no time.

The Showdown promises to be the first major American protest against the banks since the financial meltdown in September 2008. Thousands are expected to join three days of educational activities and the large march on Tuesday to the American Bankers Association (ABA) convention at the downtown Sheraton hotel.

Put out the FIRE on Capitol Hill with a Consumer Financial Protection Agency

October 14th, the Obama administration's principal piece of financial service reform legislation, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, will be up for committee consideration in the House Financial Services Committee. The most important thing to know about the bill? It creates a new federal agency in Washington whose sole purpose is to protect consumers from the deceptive tricks and traps of the financial services industry. The most important thing to know about the committee reviewing the bill? It's on FIRE.

CMD's First Golden Throne Award Presented to EDWARD YINGLING, Bank Lobbyist Extraordinaire

Today, the Real Economy Project of CMD is introducing a new award we are fondly calling our "Golden Throne Award." The Throne salutes the behind-the-scenes lobbyists and spinmeisters who have managed to maintain the status quo and hold off any meaningful reform of the financial services sector since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch

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