$700 Billion Wall Street Handout Hasn’t Helped the Housing Crisis
As most of us predicted, that $700 billion gift basket to Wall Street executives — with no strings attached — hasn’t done much to counteract the tsunami of home foreclosures. Nearly two and a half million foreclosures are expected during this coming year.
Fortunately, there are only a few hundred people in America who actually thought this $700 billion handout would make any difference. Unfortunately — they’re all members of Congress.
But we shouldn’t be too harsh with our congressional prostitutes. Nobody thinks very clearly when they’re assuming the Congressman’s Pose™ — 1. Bend over; 2. Clasp hands firmly around the ankles; 3. Hold that position while being ravaged by one lobbyist after another.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is calling for more government action to help stem the foreclosures, which are causing a chain reaction throughout the economy. Obama wants to use a “significant portion” of the $700 billion bailout money to help homeowners. He said: “The deteriorating assets in the financial markets are rooted in the deterioration of people being able to pay their mortgages and stay in their homes.”
Unfortunately, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson still thinks saving Wall Street CEOs’ yachts and vacation homes is a higher priority than helping the lowly riffraff to keep their homes.
Another way to keep people in their homes — and thus help the economy — is to allow bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of people's mortgages. Three times in the past year, legislation has been introduced that would make this allowance. And all three times this legislation has been defeated (see above-mentioned prostitutes).
Next month, if fewer legislators are locked into the Congressman’s Pose™, maybe this change can happen.
While our “leaders” continue to dither, there are steps YOU can take to keep the foreclosure crisis from wrecking Your Neighborhood.
When a property is foreclosed, neighbors can find out which bank owns that property and then put pressure on the bank. “Persuade” them to hire a property management company to fix up and maintain the property so it won’t blight the rest of the neighborhood. This might require repeated calls to the bank’s foreclosure department. This is even more effective if one or more of these neighbors has an account with that bank; they can threaten to take their business elsewhere.
If your local bank isn’t interested in what some lowly “neighborhood” group thinks, sic the local Building Department on them. The bank won’t want to tangle with the code enforcement division.
cross-posted at Bring It On!