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View Diary: Prosecuting Wall Street Gets Real (193 comments)

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  •  I've been hoping that the law would be enforced (37+ / 0-)

    since way back into the GWB administration; over and over again I've hoped as clearly criminal activities came to light. I don't have the energy left to get excited about this until we actually see some trials underway.

    •  watch the Schniederman clip on Maddow.... (17+ / 0-)

      posted above to see that MORE will be done now since State AG resources are merging with the Federal government.

      Thank you Pres. Obama!

      Republicans have the 1% vote locked up.

      by MartyM on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 08:41:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, and since they're just getting around (17+ / 0-)

      to start looking into this now (didn't they realize it was a problem back on, oh lets' say January 22, 2009?) I wouldn't hold my breath!

    •  My sympathies, Bob, (17+ / 0-)

      but it was the Bush administration that let this get started:

      In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government's actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

      Washington Post 2008

      h/t Kossack xyz

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 09:41:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm hoping the laws will be enforced too (6+ / 0-)

      but I am dubious.

      The prosecutor, even at the AG level, have budgets they must live with. Their adversaries such as Bank of America have essentially no budgetary limit. The prosecutors can hire lawyers but not the best ones. The prosecutors can hire expert witnesses but not the best ones, and so on.

      The banks, on the other hand, can and will hire the best. With their backs up against the wall, financial institutions will fight more fiercely than the prosecutors ever could.

      I'm skeptical but hopeful.

      •  Details of task force (14+ / 0-)
        So that’s a total of 55 people, 10 of whom are FBI agents. Let’s do a few comparisons. During the Savings and Loan crisis, Bill Black reminds us that there were about a thousand FBI agents working on the various cases. That’s one hundred times the number of people working on a scandal that is about forty times larger and far more complex.

        Matt Stoller

        •  This is only one task force (19+ / 0-)

          not the only group working on this.  My son is on a completely different group of lawyers and investigators working on mortgage fraud in the JD.  There are actually hundreds of lawyers and investigators working in the SEC, JD, FBI and just about all of the state AGs.  Overturning what cotterperson said above (Bush era Federal actions to override state's rights is one way of putting it, in many areas other than banking, incl marijuana laws at state level) takes a great deal of time and regulatory reorganization and restaffing.  Republicans have been fighting Obama's appointees because their Bush appointed staff have been kept on, and they have kept on gumming up these investigations at every turn.  Obama has not been drawing attention to this because he has been trying to root out the rules-twisting and Republican robots via internal, departmental and union driven procedures that will in turn, emplace hiring procedures hard to overturn when Republicans next get the executive branch.  The Republicans were far more successful at wrecking the entire regulatory and enforcement mechanism of government with their appointment and hiring of incompetents and anti-regulatory "regulators" than most folks realize, and in far more areas than realized (oil drilling oversight, environmental protection across the board, product safety, food safety, FEMA, JD, FBI are just a few places).  This task force is just the tip of a much larger investigatory and regulatory iceberg.  Why do you think the Republicans have been screaming so much about regulation stifling business?  It's because the rules are finally able to get enforced by personnel changes that were fought tooth and nail all down into the government, and deliberate rule breaking is finally getting nailed down by enforcers who take their jobs seriously and professionally.  The few guys at the top appointed by the President in the government departments have had terrific problems getting staff hired who could, would, and wanted to do their jobs of investigation and regulation.  Unfortunately, even now many are temporary hires justified by expanding investigations that the few and very heavily overworked appointed staff took awhile to get going.

          America needs a UNION NEWS channel. We (unions) have the money, we have the talent. Don't buy 30 second time slots on corporate media, union leaders; fund your own cable news channel and tell the real story 24/7/365

          by monkeybrainpolitics on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 01:20:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  NY AG > Stoller (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tobendaro, Dr Squid

          Hell, Stoller couldn't even run OpenLeft successfully, and he deigns to tell the  NY AG (one of those that should be being applauded for prevailing against the settlement deal (something that I've seen very little of around here, after all the handringing over that proposed settlement*)) how to do his job or claims that we should take Stoller's assessment over the NY AGs and the other prosecutors.

          * The handwringing, condemnations, character assassinations, etc wrt the proposed settlement, followed by crickets after the settlement was killed, is just the latest in a long line of "true progressives" whining about something (justly or unjustly), then something good happenning wrt the issue in question, then those same "true progressives" saying zip regarding that good thing that happened, so they can continue demonizing everyone.  It gets old.

      •  With so many gov't organizations (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burnt out, deepeco

        involved, I expect they'll be able to afford it. Indeed, unless Holder is straight-out lying in public, a good portion of the investigative work is all ready done. That includes some done by state AGs, five of whom are co-chairs of the task force.

        The task force is composed of senior-level officials from the following federal departments, agencies and offices:

            Department of Justice
                U.S. Attorneys' Offices
            Department of the Treasury
            Department of Commerce
            Department of Labor
            Department of Housing and Urban Development
            Department of Education
            Department of Homeland Security
            Securities and Exchange Commission
            Commodity Futures Trading Commission
            Federal Trade Commission
            Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
            Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
            Federal Housing Finance Agency
            Office of Thrift Supervision
            Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
            Small Business Administration
            Federal Bureau of Investigation
            Social Security Administration
            Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations
            Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
            United States Marshals Service
            United States Postal Inspection Service
            United States Secret Service
            United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
            Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board
            National Credit Union Administration
            North American Securities Administrators Association
            National Association of Attorneys General
            National District Attorneys Association
            Offices of Inspectors General and related Federal entities, including:
                Department of Justice
                Department of the Treasury
                Department of Housing and Urban Development
                Department of Homeland Security
                U.S. Postal Service
                General Services Administration
                Small Business Administration
                National Science Foundation
                Federal Housing Finance Agency
                Troubled Asset Relief Program
            such other executive branch departments, agencies, or offices as the President may, from time to time, designate or that the Attorney General may invite.

        "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

        by cotterperson on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 03:36:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Same here. (8+ / 0-)

      I was one of the grassroots organizers working to expose this back in the early 00s. We were obviously outmatched. For all the efforts we made, more and more people were finding their way to these loans.

      We faced a wall of opposition that would have discouraged most people. Not only was there opposition but most of our local elected leaders flat out ignored our letters, protests, etc. The media didn't care.

      We branched out in every direction trying to alarm someone about this egregious fraud and robbery. The only thing that would bring it down to the level of being a household conversation was when predatory lending spread so far and wide that there was no choice but for the media to talk about it.

      If it hadn't crashed the economy, it might still be going on as ever. That's how hard it was to organize against this issue.

      Every step towards the president getting involved has seemed like a major victory from my POV because I remember the wall of silence and opposition a decade ago.

      "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

      by GenXangster on Sat Jan 28, 2012 at 01:25:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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