Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Banker’s Mess

It’s hard to know what to make of this mess we call mortgage banking. I was already of the opinion that bankers were generally a beer or two short of a six pack—kind of like Bush-Lite. Perhaps they too spent their college years snorting illegal substances to the point that their brains resemble turkey jerky.  But this latest thing, where nobody even read the foreclosure paperwork before they started to evict people really goes beyond mere intellectual shortfall.  I guess they were so busy trying to calculate their next bonuses, that they neglected to instruct their subordinates that the “paperwork” part of mortgage banking IS mortgage banking, and that it is to be taken seriously.
So, really, folks, NOBODY read the paperwork? People signed off on foreclosures—you know the formal, legal notices that result in people being kicked out of their domiciles—without understanding or even reading what it was they were signing? Surely that falls into the category of criminal negligence, no??? Surely, even beyond the fines, the involved bankers need to be spending time in a Federal prison.
But if we fine them to the max, then the entire banking system collapses?
Well, ok, then it’s time to reinvent the banking system--you know, make it less like a college frat party, and more like, oh I don't know . . . a business.
It’s clear to everyone by now that our current crowd of bankers should not be given any public money to play with—none . . . nada . . . zilch.
Perhaps, an appropriate penalty should be that the people should be allowed back into their homes under, say, IMF approved loan terms, or maybe the World Bank should be placed in charge of our home mortgage business. And the Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and all the other mortgage banking institutions ought to be placed on permanent leave from anything to do with mortgages—that’s
anything—no direct mortgages, no mortgage derivatives, no mortgage hedge funds. Perhaps banks should be moved way back in time to where they accept people’s money in savings accounts and checking accounts—full stop. Because maybe that’s as far as we can trust American bankers.
And on yet another planet, the conservative (Republican) NYTimes columnist David Brooks thinks that the financial problems occurring within most states now are the result of greedy unions and those nasty public pensions--nothing to do with rich, greedy bankers and that financial collapse thing. Way to go David.
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