From the Highland Community News on bank crimes and punishments: “Union Pensions Win, Homeowners Lose in ‘Victory’ Against Banks .”
Perhaps the biggest winners in the largely tax-deductible $16.5 billion U.S. Department of Justice’s recent settlement against Bank of American was B of A itself, public employee pension funds, state bureaucrats and political hacks. Attorney General Kamala Harris declared the settlement “brings help to hard-pressed homeowners and communities in California.” Analysis suggests that the biggest losers are the upside down homeowners still at the mercy of B of A.
“Californians losing their homes and life savings receive a pittance of their losses and Harris declares a victory against corporate greed. Bailed-out and too-big-to-fail banks are now receiving tax deductions for doing little for homeowners. $4 billion to B of A. It is corporate welfare at its worst.” says Ron Gold, former Deputy Attorney General facing Harris in November.
Meanwhile Harris’s friends, public employee union members, get their pensions “made whole.” The State’s CalPERS and CalSTRS public pension funds get a $300 million bailout, making these pension funds whole–despite the pension funds’ own irresponsible investments. Previously Citibank and JP Morgan Chase gave $299 million and $300 million to CalPERS and CalSTRS. “We have a $1 billion and counting bailout of public pension funds bankrupting California cities, counties and school districts.
Some unknown portion of $500 million from of B of A will go for direct “consumer relief” such as loan modifications, the rest to low income housing programs run by state bureaucrats and community organizers, “political hacks,” says Gold. Little will reach actual consumers.
Let’s rehearse the math, one more time:
The too-big-to-survive banks make trillions through fraud and injustice.
The government “prosecutes” and trumpets a “record” fine.
A few crumbs fall off the table in the direction of those who were defrauded.
The biggest part of the “fine” goes to politically-connected players.
The big banks get a tax write-off, and hand out obscene bonuses.
Rinse, wash, repeat.