On Saturday I wrote a post about the efforts of former Wall Street investment banker Ellen Tauscher to gut legislation that would allow bankruptcy judges to write down mortgages, something that would stop 20% of foreclosures at no cost to the taxpayers. But banks and banking lobbyists are holding out hope that they can unload their bad loans on taxpayers, and are working through people like Tauscher to oppose the legislation so they never have to take responsibility for their mistakes.
We're asking you to do two things:
Write a letter to the editor of your local papers (just enter your zip code) saying you expect your Member of Congress to represent you, not the banks, and you'll be watching to see if they oppose Tauscher and her bank lobbyist cronies.
Sign a petition to Nancy Pelosi telling her not to "buckle" to pressure from bank lobbyists working through greedy corporatist Members of Congress, and to act swiftly to give judges the authority they need to write down mortgages. The banks must take responsibility for their own bad judgment; taxpayers shouldn't be expected to pick up the tab.
These same people killed efforts in 2007 to allow bankruptcy judges to write down mortgages at that time, which could have helped us from ever getting to this place. It's time they stop pretending that they care about their constituents when they're only being tools of the banking lobby.
Come on, this is ridiculous. Look at the papers. Look at the DOW fergawdsake --- it is still crashing like a fucking avalanche. It was down 300 points. We don't have time for this nonsense.
There is no protecting banks at this point. The broader economy is under severe stress and they have to do everything they can to relieve this problem for average Americans, many of whom are now caught in this vortex after having behaved prudently.
As Atrios noted today:
Over the weekend Rep. Brad Miller discussed the cramdown legislation over at Blue NC. A key point is that people with vacation homes and investment properties, including flippers, can already go to bankruptcy court and have their loan terms modified. It's just people with primary residences who can't.
The sickening feeling of drift — the sense that policymakers are refusing to face hard facts, and are dithering while the world economy burns — just keeps getting stronger.
Update: Check out Roubini. Oy.
Update II: Oh, and as a reminder, Atrios has been pointing out for what seems like years that Big Shitpile isn't just subprime mortgages: