Bankers Win

Legislation that would have allowed bankruptcy judges to renegotiate mortgages for homeowners was successfully filibustered yesterday.

So not only will mortgage bankers and neighborhoods (and the broader economy) have to deal with a new glut of foreclosed homes, but families will also be booted into the street while others will have to go through bankruptcy too, but still lose their homes.

Those Republicans (and 15 centrist Democrats) are all about family values, eh? Rat bastards.

Adding... Make no mistake. This was entirely about the influence of the mortgage banking lobby. And I can't help but to think that if the tea party gang were really about The People and not just about making random loud noises, they would've stood up for working families over lobbyists and bankers who were partly responsible for this entire economic mess.

No one is suggesting that the 1.7 million or so homeowners would get free ride, either -- but instead, they'd have a judge on their side to reconfigure some of these upside-down loans. This would've saved not just the homes themselves, but entire neighborhoods and the property values of the homes surrounding the potentially foreclosed ones. Senator Durbin's reaction after the jump...

Senator Durbin:

One other argument that I think takes the cake: "Senator, you understand the moral hazard here. People have to be held responsible for their wrongdoing. If you make a mistake, darn it, you've gotta pay the price. That's what America is all about." Really, Mr. Banker on Wall Street? That's what America is all about? What price did Wall Street pay for their miserable decisions creating rotten portfolios, destroying the credit of America and its businesses? Oh, they paid a pretty heavy price. Hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer's money sent to them to bail them out, to put them back in business, even to fund executive bonuses for those guilty of mismanaging. Moral hazard, huh? How can they argue that with a straight face? [...]At the end of the day, this is a real test of where we're going in this country. Next up, after mortgages, credit cards. Next week, the same bankers get to come in and see how much might and power they have in the Senate when it comes to credit card reform. And the question we're going to face, is whether or not this Senate is going to listen to the families facing foreclosure, the families facing job loss and bills they can't pay, or whether they're going to listen to the American Bankers Association, which has folded its arms and walked out of the room. Well, I hope that we have the courage to stand up to them. I hope this is the beginning of a new day in the Senate, a new dialogue in the Senate, that says to the bankers across America that your business as usual has put us in a terrible mess, and we're not going to allow that to continue. We want America to be strong, but if it's going to be strong, you should be respectful, Mr. Banker, of the people who live in the communities where your banks are located. You should be respectful of those families who are doing their best to make ends meet in the toughest recession that they've ever seen. You should be respectful of the people that you want to sign up for checking accounts and savings accounts, and make sure that they have decent neighborhoods to live in. Show a little loyalty to this great nation instead of just your bottom line when it comes to profitability. Take a little consideration of what it takes to make America strong...I'll offer this Durbin amendment as I did last year. When I offered it last year, they said, "Not a big problem, only two million foreclosures coming up." They were wrong. It turned out to be eight million. And if the bankers prevail today, and we can't get something through conference committee to deal with this issue, I'll be back. I'm not going to quit on this [...] At some point, the Senators in this chamber will decide, the bankers shouldn't write the agenda in the United States Senate.