Is Anyone Really Capable Of Fixing Our Many Deeper Crises?

Senate to Vote on Financial Reform: Is it too Little, too Late to Keep the Economic System from Crashing Again?

Published on Global, by Danny Schechter, July 15, 2010.

… Financial reformers like Mary Bottari of Banksters USA is happy with the provision for a new consumer protection agency, explaining, “The Bureau has independent regulatory and enforcement authority over a wide array of consumer financial products such as credit cards, mortgages, and even payday loans. Unfortunately, auto dealers escaped its jurisdiction and the institution will be housed at the Federal Reserve.” 

You have to be worried about that connect ion to the Fed not only because it failed to protect consumers when they needed that protection the most, Fed head Bernanke has been reduced to begging banks to start lending again to small business. The fact that they aren’t suggests that all the noise about easing the credit crunch has been bogus. The banksters continue to do what’s in their interest, the public interest be dammed. In Europe, new rules limit banker bonuses; here, they are free to continue to be obscenely rewarded.

At the same time, international summits have failed miserably to come with an agreement on any plan, just as there is still no plan to rebuild Haiti. As Larry Chin writes,

—“Having seen the results that the G20 achieved prior to the Toronto Summit, in the height of the global crisis (from late 2008 to mid 2009), do we need to be alarmed that in Toronto, the basic outcome was that the G20 members ‘agreed to disagree’ on bank taxes and on exit strategies from their domestic fiscal stimulus packages?”

Now the IMF is pressuring the US not about financial reform but cutting social security. Notes economist Dean Baker:

—“The IMF both bears much of the blame for the imbalances in the world economy and then for failing to clearly sound the alarms about the dangers of the bubble. While the IMF has no problem warning about retired workers getting too much in Social Security benefits, it apparently could not find its voice when the issue was the junk securities from Goldman Sachs or Citigroup that helped to fuel the housing bubble.”

It’s hard to believe that after all the speechifying and anguish, proposed “reforms” will not change much. The only hope is on two other fronts: the courts and the streets.

On the legal front, class action lawsuits are being filed by investors and homeowners. (We need suits like that by citizens.) Some federal agencies are sending out subpoenas to issuers of mortgage-backed securities and other entities in an effort to probe whether the firms misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the biggest investors in privately issued bonds.

Others like ripped off customers at the Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) have set up websites to organize and press for compensation. Groups like The Center for Responsible Lending are going after money-grubbing payday lenders while The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) is returning to Washington to serve homeowners threatened with foreclosure.

On the activist front, a new effort called ONE NATION hopes to organize a coalition to fight for jobs. The UAW is joining up with Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push to stage a march for jobs and economic reconstruction in Detroit on August 28, the anniversary of the big l963 March on Washington … (full text).

(Global Research Articles by Danny Schechter).

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