New York's Attorney General is under pressure from banks and, sadly, the federal government, to agree to a sweetheart settlement that will let the financial industry off the hook for its mishandling of mortgages and foreclosures, today's New York Times reports.
As my colleague Marty Berg has reported, the settlement, negotiated by other state Attorney Generals, is a disaster for consumers who got screwed by the financial industry that taxpayers had to spend hundreds of billions to bail out three years ago. Most of the banks are doing great now, while many Americans are barely hanging on by their fingernails.
The Obama Administration - from the Justice Department to the Department of Housing and Urban Development – is pushing NY AG Eric Schneiderman to agree to an $20 billion settlement that would actually prevent people from further litigation against Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. It's been widely criticized as a sell-out. Schneiderman's also pissed off Wall Street for trying to scuttle another settlement that would have shortchanged investors.
A member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York told the Times "Wall Street is our Main Street... we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to support them," that is, of course, "unless they are doing something indefensible." Yeah, right.
There haven't been many heroes over the last few years willing to take on Wall Street on behalf of the silent majority of Americans who can't make campaign contributions. The New York AG is one, and he deserves to know we appreciate his efforts. If you agree, email his people: NYAG.Pressoffice@oag.state.ny.us – or tweet him @AGSchneiderman.