Who knew Populism, could be so "Popular"?
TAIBBI: "The administration is clearly listening to the Occupy movement."
Taibblog, democraticunderground.com -- Jan 27, 2012
One thing we do know: Obama’s decision to tap Schneiderman publicly, and dump Geithner, and whisper about a millionaire’s tax, signals a shift in its public attitude toward the Wall Street corruption issue. The administration is clearly listening to the Occupy movement.
Huh!? Timmy G. is taking his leave? Surely you jest ...
Well let's let Tim speak for himself:
Geithner Says Obama Won’t Ask Him to Remain Past First Term
by Ian Katz and Trish Regan, January 27, 2012
Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, the last member of the Obama administration’s original economic team, said he doesn’t expect to remain in office if the president is re-elected.
“He’s not going to ask me to stay on, I’m pretty confident,” Geithner said in an interview with Bloomberg Television yesterday in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I’m confident he’ll be president. But I’m also confident he’s going to have the privilege of having another secretary of the Treasury.”
Well it's about damn time.
What's this, Eric Holder is actually staffing up the Task Force to go after "fraud in residential mortgage-backed securities"?
Holder Announces Working Unit on Mortgage-Backed Bonds Fraud
Bloomberg -- Jan. 27, 2012
In providing details about the new group, Holder said that the Justice Department in the past few days has subpoenaed 11 financial institutions in related investigations.
The mortgage fraud unit will “streamline” and “strengthen” current efforts to investigate fraud in residential mortgage-backed securities, he said today at a news conference in Washington.
The unit will include officials from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as U.S. attorneys and state attorneys general.
About 55 Justice Department attorneys, analysts and investigators and 10 Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and analysts will be assigned to the unit. An additional 30 investigators and other staff will join the staff in the coming weeks, according to the Justice Department.
But there must be some catch?
According to AG Schneiderman, he will still be able to go after the Big Fish, even if bankers sign the pending settlement agreement ...
Hope Is Rising for Mortgage Accord
by Alan Zibel, wsj.com -- January 28, 2012
Mr. Schneiderman, in an interview, also said the settlement is being structured so as to not interfere with a separate probe into the packaging of shaky loans into mortgage-backed securities, a practice that preceded the financial crisis. Mr. Schneiderman's remarks came as officials formally announced the launch of a special unit led by state and federal prosecutors. [...]
Apparently, according to Matt Taibbi again, banks may skate on the robo-signing "cover-up" charges. BUT the loan origination of the mortgage-backed securities pyramid schemes will still remain fair game, for prosecutors.
Is Obama's 'Economic Populism' for Real?
by Matt Taibbi, rollingstone.com -- January 26, 2012
Some people have been confused about Schneiderman’s new role. The new Unit on Mortgage Origination and Securitization Abuses will not be investigating the same abuses covered in the foreclosure settlement. When the public thinks about corruption in the housing markets on the part of the big banks, what it mostly thinks of is robosigning and the other mass-perjury issues, which is the stuff targeted in the foreclosure settlement.
But in fact those problems were a tawdry little sideshow to the more serious crimes of the housing crisis. Schneiderman himself outlined the different after the announcement of the new unit’s creation:Schneiderman said Wednesday his dual roles -- raising concerns about a multi-state settlement with the major banks and investigating the mortgage problem -- wouldn’t be at odds.
“These are abuses in the foreclosure process. Our working group is focusing on the conduct related to the pooling and the creation of mortgage-backed securities and issues relating to the conduct that created the crash, not the abuses that happened after the crash.”
My first thought, when I heard about this deal, was that Schneiderman was deciding to compromise on robosigning and other post-securitization abuses, in exchange for a mandate to go after the much bigger crimes, which took place in the origination/securitization stages.
I just saw Matt Taibbi on Countdown tonite talking about this. Mr. Taibbi said he was very surprised by the strong stand the administration was now taking on this Wall Street Mortgage scandal. And that he would not be surprised to see Wall Street insiders, facing actually jail time -- assuming Enron-style trials are actually conducted, as these MBS investigations unfold.
I'll post in that clip when it becomes available. ... Here it is, finally:
(Drats, the clip won't embed ...) Link to Taibbi on Countdown Video
PS. Schneiderman was just on Maddow's show too. Cool, very cool.
Link to Video
Who knew Populism, could become so "Popular"?
As always, many thanks for reading.