Charley James: First they came for the working poor. Then they came for the lower middle class. Now, they are after the middle and upper middle classes. Next, they’ll come for the … 98-percenters.
Kwazi Nkrumah: Foreclosure Crisis Continues – There are over 3.5 million American households that are over 4 months in arrears in their mortgage payments.
Kwazi Nkrumah: For years the banks, real estate agents and investors in real estate securities on Wall Street were making money hand-over-fist. They did all this while pretending to break from their previous established history of gross discrimination and red-lining against the disproportionately non-white borrowers whose limited financial resources forced them into “sub-prime” status in the first place.
Paul Kiel and Olga Pierce: The Obama administration has relied on a voluntary program with few sticks, that simply offers banks incentives to modify mortgages.
Marian Wang: Though foreclosures continue to speed through courts in some states, in recent months some judges have increasingly questioned banks bringing foreclosure cases in court, forcing them to prove their legal standing to foreclose.
Marian Wang: The issue at the center of the foreclosure scandal isn’t the use of robo-signers and shortcuts in paperwork: It’s whether the banks’ mistakes and lack of due diligence caused people to face wrongful foreclosures.
So far, here in the U.S., over 4 million homes have been foreclosed on since mid-2006. Because consumer spending drops drastically whenever housing values decline, the entire U.S. economy has been in a tail-spin throughout this period. Over 10 million jobs have been totally eliminated due to a dramatic drop in consumer sales and the resultant decline in production.
Robert Reich: Rather than defending the outsized paychecks of Dimon, Blankfein, and the rest of Wall Street as part of the free market system, the President needs to demand that Wall Street help homeowners on Main Street. The Obama White House should have made this a condition of getting the giant bailouts in the first place. The least it can do now is to is to make the free market system work for everyone.
By Denis Campbell — New York City suburb, Greenwich, Connecticut, has 55 houses for sale asking $9 million dollars or more. Staff at East Hampton Airport on Long Island, a scene of private Gulfstream jet gridlock, says traffic is down 35%. Bettridge Jewelers on Wall Street sees traffic mostly selling off jewels to make mortgage […]
by Robert Reich — Friday’s employment report, showing that employers cut 533,000 jobs in November, 320,000 in October, and 403,000 in September — for a total of over 1.2 million over the last three months — begs the question of whether the meltdown we’re experiencing should be called a Depression.