Axing the Bankers’ Money Tree: Homeowners’ Rebellion against Wall Street
Recent Rulings Could Shield 62 Million Homes from Foreclosure
by Ellen Brown
August 19, 2010
Over 62 million mortgages are now held in the name of MERS, an electronic recording system devised by and for the convenience of the mortgage industry. A California bankruptcy court, following landmark cases in other jurisdictions, recently held that this electronic shortcut breaks the chain of title, voiding foreclosure. The logical result could be 62 million homes that are foreclosure-proof.
In a Newsweek article a year ago called “Too Big to Jail: Why Prosecutors Won’t Hit Wall Street Hard in the Subprime Scandal,” Michael Hirsch wrote that we were unlikely to see trials and convictions like those in the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s, because fraud and blame have been so widespread that there is no one to single out and jail. Said Hirsch:
“The sad irony is that in pleading collective guilt, most of Wall Street will escape whipping for a scheme that makes Bernie Madoff’s shenanigans look like pickpocketing. At the crest of the real-estate bubble, fraud was systemic and Wall Street had essentially gone into the loan-sharking business.”
“Unfortunately,” he added, “prosecution of fraud is the only way you’re going to get reform on Wall Street.”
Sure enough, a year later we got a banking reform bill that was so watered down that Wall Street got nearly everything it wanted. The too-big-to-fails, rather than being whittled down to size, have grown even bigger, circumventing antitrust laws; and they are being allowed to carry on pretty much as before. The Federal Reserve, rather than being called on the carpet, has been given even more power; and the Consumer Protection Agency — the main part of the bill with teeth – has been put under the Fed’s watchful eye. Congress and the Justice Department seem to have bowed out, leaving no one to hold the finance industry to account.