Given the multiple examples of outright government cover up of the crimes committed by Wall Street, when I heard the president announce the much touted Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities working group tasked with investigating and prosecuting fraud, led by New York's AG Eric Schneiderman, during the State of The Union address a year ago, I found the timing suspect, given the then ongoing settlement talks over foreclosure talks with banks.
That episode kind of reminded me of how Banana Republics operate, when leaders make transparently self-serving and opportunistic pronouncements which are so ludicrous but frequent, that the population just gets used to them without raising a collective eyebrow.
In an article titled, "Wall Street wins again," Salon reports "The secret Truth: There never was a “task force” dedicated to ferreting out mortgage fraud."
Schneiderman’s “task force” (a generous appellation) was merely a politically motivated shell organization grafted onto that public relations strategy. This was evident almost from the moment of the announcement, but the coalition of self-proclaimed bank accountability advocates, who had backed the administration into a corner over the lack of prosecutions, decided to align with Schneiderman and his kabuki task force, losing whatever leverage they may have had. If those same groups who feel “betrayed” and “lied to” had stayed on the outside and shamed those in power into action, we would probably have more accountability today.This is a perfect case study as to why progressive, social justice, and anti-corruption organizations need to be totally independent from political parties, if they truly believe in their mission.
The progressive groups who paid lip service to seeking bank accountability didn’t get what they claimed to want. But they should have thought of that before jumping in with Schneiderman and offering unreserved praise for the un-task force before it even began to reveal itself as a fake. The day of the announcement, the Campaign for America’s Future, MoveOn.org, the New Bottom Line, the AFL-CIO, the Campaign for a Fair Settlement and more all sent out glowing press releases touting the president’s leadership and the tremendous opportunity presented by the task force. MoveOn called it “the biggest victory yet for the 99%.” This was farcical...I suggest progressive organizations hold their glowing press releases until scores of criminal Wall Street banksters are at least criminally indicted.