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That man is Eric Schnederman. Last night he talked those of us gathered us here for Nertroots Nation and I urge you to watch the video of his speech. He spoke about the Robo-Signing Scandal the distinction between Transactional Change and Transformative Change and the future of the Progressive Movement.

This come from the cover story in the American Prospect about Eric Schnederman's role in the Robo-Signing Scandal. If you can please take the time to read the whole article.

The Man the Banks Fear Most

By Harold Meyerson

The Justice Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the state attorneys general had initiated talks with Bank of America, as well as JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial to arrive at a settlement for these abuses. As the only state law-enforcement official with direct jurisdiction over Wall Street, Schneiderman had been named to the committee the attorneys general had established to negotiate with the banks. He asked his aide how the talks were going.

“I was told it was being handled,” he says. The administration, his aide informed him, had proposed that the banks come up with $20 billion for aggrieved homeowners and former homeowners. Schneiderman wasn’t satisfied. What documents, he asked, had been subpoenaed? None, he was told. Who’d been called in to testify? Nobody, he was told. Most important, what did the banks want in return for paying the penalty? The aide responded that the issue had never been raised. Schneiderman was shocked.

“This didn’t make any sense,” he says. “You can’t negotiate anything like this without knowing what you’re giving up. We get $20 for what? A tie clip? A car?”

Schnederman went to a Conference of all 50 State's AG where the proposed settlement of the Robo-Signing Scandal was the main topic of discussion
The more Schneiderman pressed his new colleagues on the direction of the talks, however, the more displeased he became.

The primary concern of the attorneys general was how much and how quickly the banks would pay and whether they’d be compelled to write down the amount homeowners owed them. Important questions, but what about what the banks wanted in return? That would only come up, Schneiderman was told, at the conclusion of the talks. His Republican colleagues were focusing on giving the banks a less costly alternative to writing down mortgages. His Democratic colleagues were pushing for a prompt payout to beleaguered homeowners. How broad a release the banks would demand had become a side issue.

His message is clear. His success depends mostly on us because its up to us to keep making the transformational change began last year by OWS.  Last year was a solid start, but we must keep building on it to sustain the process of Transformative Change. Its a lot of work but we all need to become a part of it for it to work.

Consider the alternative.

I have to say something about the American Prospect. This magazine is the best publication in the Progressive American Universe. I've been a subscriber for a number of years and the writing is top notch. Like much of the magazine industry the American Prospect is having a hard go with it the changes in the media. The American Prospect is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. They need our help to continue. But this is more than a magazine it is a sounding board and an important component of the Progressive Movement's intellectual infrastructure, and as such it would be a shame to see this outstanding publication go away.  Its up to us to help our friends in need, and this good friend shouldn't be ignored.

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Seattle.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Too late by 30 no 40 years; people voted 4 evil (0+ / 0-)

      Now we have to pay for it.

      The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

      by a2nite on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 10:39:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hmm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    host, TJ, glorificus

    Both parties are beholden to their corporate sponsors. The Democratic Party deigns to throw us a few bones from the table on which to gnaw and squabble over, but it's just kabuki.

    by ozsea1 on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:44:39 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this diary, LC. (15+ / 0-)

    I'd seen Schneiderman's talk mentioned, and I was eager to hear it. (I wasn't able to find video so far.)

    I'm you linked to the banks' fear article, and it'll probably be tomorrow before I read it (nodding off ;)

    Just wanted to add some confirming information that they're afraid, especially of Dodd-Frank and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A Reuters article of some length and detail describes measures corporations are taking to try to protect themselves .

    NEW YORK, May 29 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - U.S. corporate officers and directors are increasingly concerned over the business and legal challenges their entities face from potential securities enforcement and criminal probes, lawyers and corporate officers are saying.

    A program last week analyzed how directors, executives and corporate counsel can appropriately manage the business and legal risks of an enforcement proceeding arising from earnings misstatements or employee misconduct at both low and high levels. The Directors Roundtable, an educational group, brought together Marc Berger, chief of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s securities fraud unit; Stasia Kelly, a law partner at DLA Piper; Victoria Harker, chief financial officer of AES Energy; Damon Vocke, global general counsel of General Reinsurance; and Anthony Lendez, a BDO Consulting partner.

    Thanks for the diary. Glad you got to go to NN -- and to hear Schneiderman!

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 09:56:00 PM PDT

    •  Look again (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, glorificus

      Final edit didn't stick, fixed now.

      "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

      by Lefty Coaster on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:31:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Many, many thanks. (5+ / 0-)

        I've been reading at least Reuters and Bloomberg daily since the enforcement task force was announced in January, and I studied "transformation" theory seriously in the context of adult education in the '90s. Paulo Freire used it in Brazil, and the process was later studied by Jack Mezirow.

        Transformation does begin with a crisis, then learning by trying new ways, and finally setting out on a new course. Critical thinking is essential to the process (particularly difficult with the corporate media supporting bankers efforts at bamboozlement). But it led to the idea of combining federal and state laws to combine and maximize prosecution.

        It's especially effective in this case because New York and Delaware hold the trusts that back the mortgage derivatives, and New York has a strong anti-fraud law encoded in its Martin Act from the '30s. Prosecutors have been working their way up the chain of fraud, and 485 small fish were arrested in June 2010.  It takes a lot of time in our justice system, particularly with the perpetrators lawyered-up to the max obstructing every step. The long view Schneiderman presents here is especially telling.

        Having devoted significant time separately to transformation theory and financial fraud, it is a delight to see them come together in this speech, in this situation.  

        All the best to you and others at NN.

        "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

        by cotterperson on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 07:14:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, Schneiderman's on their side. (11+ / 0-)

    All his tough talk was bluster. He rolled over and signed off on the 50-state bailout and get-out-of-jail free card for the mortgage industry.

    Same with our atty. gen. in Calif., Kamala Harris.

    We done got sold down the river. Again.

    Oh and that mortgage fraud panel Obama talked about in the SOTU? ha ha  ha ha ha ha

    They haven't even staffed it. Went nowhere. Going No where.

    What did Schneiderman say again, that it's up to us. Oh man. Hey Schneiderman, resign and let one of us have your job, so we can do it.

    •  actually (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, markthshark, glorificus

      a reuters article said scheiderman was getting office space to prosecute wall street.  

      the process was happening.

      I think he is being sincere.

    •  WRONG! You should read the article. (8+ / 0-)
      he White House had recognized that it needed to assure Schneiderman of its seriousness in going forward with the investigation. “Eric didn’t want to do an agreement and wake up the next day to find it didn’t amount to anything,” says an administration official. Just a letter of intent wouldn’t do it, so the White House decided to make a public commitment that put the president’s own imprimatur on the investigation. Once the deal was reached, the official says, “we told Schneiderman we’d announce it in the State of the Union and put him in the first lady’s box.”

      In February, a few days before the robo-signing settlement was finally announced, Schneiderman made clear that it wouldn’t deter him from further legal action. He filed suit against Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), which the banks had established in the 1990s to expedite mortgage securitization. MERS is charged with registering changes to legal title through the sale and resale of mortgage-backed securities. A preliminary investigation undertaken by Biden had shown that MERS often failed at its most basic task: tracking the identity of the owners.


      Eric took the risk of working with the administration,” says an attorney close to him, “because this was the only path that led to the public getting relief from the crisis. This is what you want from a political leader. A ‘pure’ political leader who stands outside the process isn’t very helpful. A political leader who just goes along isn’t helpful either. But to do what Eric did means you have to take an enormous risk. If he fails, if the investigation doesn’t become real, he will have to choose between denouncing the president in an election year or becoming party to something he spent a year denouncing.”

      Schneiderman says that the investigation will be successful if it accomplishes three objectives. “We have to get accountability,” he says. “We have to get substantial relief for homeowners and investors, in the form of principal write-downs and reductions. And we have to get the story told clearly so the right doesn’t rewrite history. If we don’t lay out what actually happened, it will all happen again.”

      For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size." -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

      by hungrycoyote on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 11:21:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And just to make it a complete ream job (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashoil, agincour, aliasalias

      the settlement money gets diverted away from the homeowners.

      •  Yes. Scott Walker took $26 million (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        of the settlement money and used it to balance the budget.  This should be treated as a criminal act----but it won't be and he'll get away with it while those the money was intended for will continue to get nothing.

        We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis D. Brandeis

        by 3goldens on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 09:58:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Were the title true (6+ / 0-)

    Schneiderman would not have agreed to the settlement.

    The person the banksters feared would have been any prosecutor who filed charges on a robosigning case (millions to choose from!) and was willing to follow it as far as it went.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 10:23:09 PM PDT

  •  wishful thinking. (8+ / 0-)

    I thought he was up to the task until he folded like a lawn chair and took Beau Biden with him. That was four months ago. You need to catch up.

    •  the settlement (6+ / 0-)

      still allowed for criminal prosecutions. the highest crimes are of course criminal.

      civil penalites were exempt.

      But NOT criminal

      a reuters article said office space was being approved for Scheiderman.

      I think scheiderman is being sincere.

      •  How long does it take to get office (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias, 2laneIA

        space approved?  How long will you believe that politicians today don't lie?  

        We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis D. Brandeis

        by 3goldens on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 10:00:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The settlement ensured that the evidence (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a a

        would be buried while the statutes of limitations run out.  Evidence in criminal prosecutions (which I am not holding my breath to see) is tightly held because prosecutors get in trouble if they try cases in the press.  Civil cases, with lower standards of proof and far more transparency, were what the banks really feared.  State AGs conducting depositions and issuing subpoenas would have turned up evidence that less well-financed private litigants could use.  That is the way it always works.

        I don't care if Schneiderman is operating out of the Taj Mahal.  He has 55 prosecutors total, which includes lawyers in state and federal offices who were already working on the task force and have done nothing for three years, because that is the objective.

        The Obama and Bush administrations have consistently failed to “pursu[e] any and all leads.” Let us count the ways DOJ has typically failed to pursue leads against the elite officers whose frauds drove this crisis: they have not used grand juries, they have not issued civil subpoenas, they have not used electronic surveillance, they have not used undercover investigators, they have not “wired” cooperating witnesses who they have “flipped”, they have not appealed for whistleblowers to come forward, they have not called elite witnesses before grand juries, they have not convened grand juries, they have not sent FBI agents to their homes or offices to conduct formal interviews, they have not retained expert witnesses or consultants with expertise in accounting control fraud, they have not demanded that the banking regulatory agencies produce high quality criminal referrals, they have not asked those agencies to “detail” examiners and other skilled staff to the FBI to serve as internal experts, they have not trained AUSAs, special agents, and banking regulators in how to detect, investigate and prosecute accounting control frauds, they have not prosecuted where other federal agencies, after investigation, have charged that financial elites committed fraud, and they have not flipped intermediate officers and gone up the chain of command, they have not assigned remotely adequate staff to investigate and prosecute frauds, they have not assigned any meaningful number of their staff to investigate the elite frauds, and they have not made strong, consistent demands that Congress fund adequate staff to end the ability of financial elites to commit fraud with impunity. Conversely, DOJ has assigned its inadequate staff almost exclusively to non-elite mortgage fraud, has formed a “partnership” with the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) – the trade association of the “perps”, and has adopted the MBA’s absurd “definition” of mortgage fraud that implicitly defines accounting control fraud out of existence. How does Holder expect to get “leads” against elite frauds when he gets no criminal referrals from the banking regulatory agencies, “defines” the leading fraud perpetrators of mortgage fraud as the “victim” of mortgage fraud, conducts no credible investigation of elite frauds, takes no proactive steps to investigate (e.g., using undercover FBI investigations), makes no plea for whistleblowers to come forward with evidence on the elite frauds, and provides training for regulators, FBI agents, and AUSAs that implicitly denies the existence of accounting control fraud? I understand that he inherited a disaster and a disgrace from his predecessor, but he has made it worse.

        Collectively, the Bush and Obama administration have provided de facto impunity from the criminal laws for our largest financial firms and their elite officers who drove our crisis.

        The article that came from is quite long but very informative on this subject.  I have returned to it many times in trying to educate myself.
  •  Before anybody else makes another negative (10+ / 0-)

    comment and claims that Schneiderman folded, at least do what the diarist asks, and actually read the entire article. Believe me, you will come away with a different opinion.

    You sound like people with Fox Geezer Syndrome, ready to be angry at the man for a sound bite you've heard about he did instead of getting ALL of the facts first. It's a long article, but well worth reading.

    We need more people like Eric Schneiderman on our side.

    For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size." -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

    by hungrycoyote on Fri Jun 08, 2012 at 11:27:20 PM PDT

  •  Schneiderman Is a Sell Out & a Smokescreen Wake Up (9+ / 0-)

    Since January, Schneiderman has hired almost no one to actually do anything compared to the 1989 S&L Investigations and Prosecutions, and he won't. He has no support from Obama or Democratic party corporatists. Too many will settle for whatever indefensible excuse Obama tells you to rationalize and then , defend.:

    Contrast the June 4th nooze, linked above, explaining that Schneiderman hired one prosecutor, and compare that to:
    Obama/Schneiderman Mortgage Fraud Task Force has “no office, no phones, no staff and no executive director”

    Posted by 4closureFraud on April 18, 2012

    Obama’s mortgage unit is AWOL

    Schneiderman should quit this fraud

    On March 9 — 45 days after the speech and 30 days after the announcement — we met with Schneiderman in New York City and asked him for an update. He had just returned from Washington, where he had been personally looking for office space. As of that date, he had no office, no phones, no staff and no executive director. None of the 55 staff members promised by Holder had materialized. On April 2, we bumped into Schneiderman on a train leaving Washington for New York and learned that the situation was the same.....

    ...The promises of the President have led to little or no concrete action.

    In fact, the new Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group was the sixth such entity formed since the start of the financial crisis in 2009. The grand total of staff working for all of the previous five groups was one, according to a surprised Schneiderman. In Washington, where staffs grow like cherry blossoms, this is a remarkable occurrence.

    We are led to conclude that Donovan was right. The settlement and working group — taken together — were a coup: a public relations coup for the White House and the banks. The media hailed the resolution for a few days and then turned their attention to other topics and controversies.
    Tue May 15, 2012 at 06:07 AM PDT
    Eric Griego's New TV ad - Holding Wall Street Accountable+

    May 15, 2012 – Right now, this task force only has 55 investigators and prosecutors. The Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s was staffed with over 1000 ... That effort yielded more than 600 convictions and $130000000 for taxpayers. One of...

    •  I guess I'm willing to give the guy the (7+ / 0-)

      benefit of the doubt. Reading the article at the American Prospect, this is somebody who gets things done.  Whether or not it's on the time table of people here, is another story. Look at what he's accomplished in his career outlined in the article.  The guy turned the entrenched NY Senate from Republican to Democrat.

      He has a momentous task ahead of him, needs resources and funding, but impresses me as the type of person who does not blow smoke and string people along. If he wasn't sincere, why didn't he just join on the bandwagon and accept the $20 Billion settlement and grant the banks blanket immunity and be done with the whole thing? No, he fought for more, and he got it. More money and immunity limited to the robo-signing.

      - Sigh - This fast-food I-Want-It-Now McDonald's mentality we live in: "Look what they did 20 years ago." Yeah, and how did they get the resources 20 years ago? Did the Republicans in the House block the funding?

      Here's another article on the subject that goes through all the back and forth arguments about what's being done and what's not being done:

      Many of the federal civil and criminal laws at the center of the housing investigation are only open for three to five years, pushing out of range potentially illegal actions that took place before 2007. But federal officials are also considering an obscure civil law passed after the S&L scandals in the 1980s that allows for a 10-year statute of limitations.

      Schneiderman secured several “tolling” agreements with potential defendants, an arrangement that freezes the legal clock.


      Schneiderman shrugs off the calls for him to consider leaving the mortgage fraud task force. He said in an interview that he signed up in part to get access to a larger staff and even wider circles of jurisdiction that include the DOJ, the SEC, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the inspector general for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

      “I’m by nature an impatient guy. I always want things to move fast,” Schneiderman said. But he added, “This is the only way we’re going to get this done.”

      Obama’s mortgage fraud task force under fire

      For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size." -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

      by hungrycoyote on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 03:33:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Timelines (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson, native, hungrycoyote

        People don't seem to realize how long these things take. Invetigations from the bottom up, building a rock solid case, etc. I don't know how many times I've read a news story about some financial miscreant finally getting some of what he deserves, and can barely remember the details of the offense years ago.

        We recently had the death of one Danny Faulkner, a key player in local property flipping that led to S&L failures in the 80's. It took years before he was convicted.

        Flamboyant Dallas developer D.L. "Danny" Faulkner and three co-defendants were convicted Wednesday [November 1991]of looting $165 million from five thrifts through fraudulent land deals along Interstate 30 east of Dallas in the early 1980s.
        The so-called I-30 condo scandal was one of the early harbingers of the coming thrift crisis and was blamed for the $284 million failure of Empire Savings and Loan in Mesquite in 1984, at the time the largest thrift bailout ever.

        And it should be noted the shenanigans that led to the outcome took place years before the S&L failed. here's the timeline from a recent obit:


        1981 — Mr. Faulkner starts buying land in the I-30 corridor for as little as 33 cents per square foot. Property is eventually sold for as much as $15 per foot, with loans covering the cost.

        1983 — The FBI starts investigating.

        1989 — Mr. Faulkner’s first trial, in Lubbock, ends in a mistrial.

        1991 — He is convicted by a Midland jury.

        1995 — Mr. Faulkner starts a 20-year sentence.

        1998 — He is released after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. He is expected to live less than six months.

        May 30, 2012 — Mr. Faulkner dies from complications of pneumonia.

        from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

        by Catte Nappe on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 08:13:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Schneiderman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, splashoil, agincour

    is a sell-out.  Likely he's been promised a very high position in the next cabinet reshuffling.

    I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain

    by route66 on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 03:38:10 AM PDT

  •  I was in the room when he delivered this speach. (7+ / 0-)

    You can't really fake sincerity and his delivery was just that -- sincere.  His talk about transformational politics made me start thinking that he might be asked to run in 2016, but I think he really sees that his mission is to find how to get the best deal possible out of the banks, for the betterment of all.

    I am more than willing to give Mr. Schnederman the benefit of the doubt, in his work to finally get to the bottom of this banking debacle, in that he is charged with doing a very politically-charged task in a hyper-partisan era.

    The housing meltdown did not happen overnight, so it is quite unfair to require that the investigation into is cause be expected to happen quickly.  Especially when this investigation will need to extract information potentially useable in criminal proceedings, we have to wait for the job to be finished in the time it takes to get it done right, not done right now.

    -8.88, -7.77 Social Security as is will be solvent until 2037, and the measures required to extend solvency beyond that are minor. -- Joe Conanson

    by wordene on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 04:45:32 AM PDT

  •  Typical (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashoil, 3goldens

    The man sold out and then blames us.  No criminal prosecutions, not even dedicated manpower.  And he's still flacking.

    •  Yeah! we haven't seen in it the news, so (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster, cotterperson

      he must not have done anything.

      Perhaps they should put all the thousands of documents they've subpoenaed on line, and we can all help read them to speed up the process. Oh wait! All those documents contain the financial and personal information of U.S. Citizens. It's for the greater good so nobody should have a problem with that.

      It amazes me how clueless people are about what's involved in the legal process and building a case. Believe it or not, convictions aren't based on what we think happened. And in white collar crime, the gathering of evidence and the building of a case is a long and tedious process. In fact, too much media attention and public opinion can derail a case.

      What impresses me is how little information is out there about what Schneiderman et al have been doing. Not because they haven't been doing anything but because of the discipline they've invoked keeping every step they've made out of the media.

      For me, Mitt reminds me of Jeff Bridges in Starman. He's like an alien that hasn't read the entire manual. You know, he's going, "Nice to be in a place where the trees are the right size." -- Robin Williams on Letterman 26 Apr 2012

      by hungrycoyote on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 11:14:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Banks feared Elliot Spitzer too (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, 3goldens, glorificus

    before they put an end to his career

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 06:39:42 AM PDT

  •  two words (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, 3goldens

    credit unions

    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 08:01:21 AM PDT

  •  If you think MY AG is a sell out elect a better (4+ / 0-)

    one in YOUR state (shrug)   SHEEEESH....  

    those of you attacking Eric sound like that parent who angrily demands to know why you didnt get 100 on your test after you proudly show off your 99.

    Spitzer was the 100... and he got taken down by the very people he was about to TAKE DOWN....   we progressives in NYC tried out best to elect a replacement for AG Spitzer and I think we did a good job of it with Eric...   so quit complainin cause we NYers didnt get a 100 on the test...  and tell us what YOUR AG's have done that is even near what the NY AG did.

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 08:06:24 AM PDT

    •  Thank you, thank you, New York! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KnotIookin, glorificus, Lefty Coaster

      I'm just getting around to reading the Prospect article, and it is an inspiration. That Schneiderman's hero laid the groundwork for the civil rights movement is a testament to who he is.

      Those who are complaining may not have time to read the hard news about this. The corporate media certainly aren't going to report it!!

      I ♥ NY and it's AG ;)

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 08:16:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As another NYer (4+ / 0-)

      I also think Schneiderman is sincere and am proud to have him as our AG.  Give the guy a chance it's not like anyone else is running to help him.

      Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote.

      by Renie57 on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 08:19:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yet another New Yorker, but begs to differ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Sincerity is in the eye of the beholder. What matters is doing the job. We have an epidemic in this country of not enforcing the law, especially white-collar type laws. The attorney general is the top law enforcement officer.

        I was quite disappointed when Schneiderman signed on the the banker amnesty agreement simply because it was "a deal". We still don't know the extent of law breaking, and yet we're "turning the page". His most significant act as attorney general is an agreement not to enforce certain securities laws in this mortgage debacle. That was not a proud moment for anyone who respects the rule of law.

        As attorney general it's simply not his job to decide when and when not to enforce the law, especially when these alleged crimes were instrumental in bringing down the economy in 2008.

        The American Prospect article was, with all due respect, a puff piece, with a cursory nod towards the end to a body of progressive opinion out there that Schneiderman either sold out or was had.

        While it may be appropriate to give Schneiderman the benefit of the doubt, it is not appropriate to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. He totally squandered his mandate to fix the mortgage mess it's been almost four years of dithering - he cannot even talk in the right terms about this mess because his paymasters come from that business. Ugly.

  •  Very good speech (3+ / 0-)

    Thanks for posting it, I really appreciate it.

    The transformational approach to get rid of radical conservatism is something we can't avoid and have to tackle.  

    "We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty." Edward R. Murrow

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Jun 09, 2012 at 08:18:18 AM PDT

  •  Schneiderman is Fluff. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    2laneIA, aliasalias, 3goldens

    Very well presented, but still fluff with nothing accomplished.  I hope Lefty Coaster attended This Panel too.  There was a chair for Schneiderman, a no show...

  •  I am really amazed at this diary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashoil, aliasalias, 3goldens

    You read one positive article, heard Schneiderman speak, and you are ready to declare him righteous?

    Here is another point of view:

    As regular readers no doubt recall, Eric Schneiderman abandoned the dissident state attorney general effort to get a better mortgage settlement, assuring the Administration a win on this sellout to the banks. The bright shiny prize Schneiderman got in return for his betrayal was serving as one of five co-chairmen on a Federal mortgage task force, which appears to have gotten close to nada in resources beyond the staff in various Federal agencies who were already working on mortgage investigations. And given that were are now close to a full five years past the origination of toxic subprime deals, those existing investigations don’t exactly look to have been pursued with much in the way of vigor.

    We’ve criticized the Schneiderman sell out, yet the PR push to position him as the True Hero of What Passes for the left continues apace, including some ham-handed efforts like the American Prospect’s “The Man the Banks Fear Most“.

    Schneiderman today proved the skeptics to be correct (hat tip reader Peter). From a writeup in the New York Law Journal of a presentation Schneiderman made on white collar crime. It seems Schneiderman is in favor of it:

    Noting his role as co-chair of President Barack Obama’s mortgage-fraud task force, he said that he was “very pro-Wall Street” and had represented some financial services firms in private practice.

        He said that the majority of people working in the financial industry are honest, but added that the “ability to tell people that and not have people scoff has been damaged” by ongoing scandals.

  •  From an interview on Moyers' site (4+ / 0-)

    with Bill Black.

    Riley: Speaking of Schneiderman, what’s your view of President Obama’s SOTU announcement of a new Financial Crimes Unit (the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Working Group) co-chaired by him?

    Black:  If Schneiderman had been named Attorney General of the United States, we would know that the administration really intended to hold accountable the frauds that drove the crisis. Instead, the top two Justice Department officials that are supposed to be prosecuting the elite frauds have consistently failed to even investigate the frauds, have denied the existence of material fraud, and came from the same law firm that represented many of the big, fraudulent banks and was critical to the creation of the notorious Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) that contributed to the foreclosure fraud.

    AG Schneiderman was appointed to the working group because he has broad credibility as a real prosecutor. His refusal to support the earlier drafts of the robo-signing deal (which was so bad that I described it as the formal surrender of the U.S. to crony capitalism) led the State AGs to kick him out of the settlement discussions.

    Schneiderman is only one of the co-chairs of the new working group. The others are federal prosecutors or officials who were the strongest proponents of the cynical deal that would have de facto immunized the elite criminals from civil and even criminal sanctions. The working group is set up so that Schneiderman can give the group credibility while being marginalized. He can be outvoted in any matter in which he proposes vigorous prosecutions.

    Riley: It sounds like you don’t think this new working group is going to get the job done. Last week, Schneiderman said that he thinks he has the resources (particularly the IRS and the Consumer Protection Unit) and the political will to pursue the investigation in a meaningful way. Why do you disagree?

    Black: First, the “investigation” will not investigate what was by far the largest and most destructive fraud — control frauds — the origination of millions of fraudulent loans. Second, the working group’s resources to investigate secondary market fraud are ludicrously inadequate.

    Who is Bill Black?
    William K. Black, author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, teaches economics and law at the University of Missouri — Kansas City (UMKC). He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007. He has taught previously at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and at Santa Clara University, where he was also the distinguished scholar in residence for insurance law and a visiting scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

    Black was litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the FSLIC, SVP and general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and senior deputy chief counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision. He was deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement.

    Black developed the concept of “control fraud” — frauds in which the CEO or head of state uses the entity as a “weapon.” Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. He recently helped the World Bank develop anti-corruption initiatives and served as an expert for OFHEO in its enforcement action against Fannie Mae’s former senior management.

    He knows a lot more about this topic than you learned from the American Prospect and he has been calling BS for months.  His column on career-limiting gestures, i.e. opposing the powers that be with the truth is well worth a read.  It was his detailed notes of a meeting that brought down the Keating Five.  

    Consider the pressure being applied to him to go along and not rock the boat, and think about Schneiderman and his ambitions.  One week Schneiderman and  Beau Biden were making brave pronouncements about how terrible the settlement was and how they were going forward with litigation, and then poof! They both joined the settlement.  Biden has had squat to say about it. What was it, the horse head?  Or a promise that he would never raise money from big Democratic donors ever again?  Did Joe have anything to do with it?

    The statutes of limitations have been steadily running out on the bank crimes that caused the crash.  If the task force that Schneiderman is involved with had jumped on it in 2009, they would have been able to put people in jail.  They had no interest in doing that.  One of the co-chairs should probably be a target instead. Holder's law firm wrote the opinion that enabled MERS to be created while he was there.  He had bank clients. The fix is in, and it has been in from the beginning of this administration. They have been slow-walking the "investigation" while their water boy, Iowa AG Tom Miller, negotiated a settlement of liability for the banks.  The AG "investigation" did not issue a single subpoena. It is an outrage, and you should be outraged, not getting out the pompoms for the New York AG because he gave a swoony speech.

    •  Bravo (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashoil, 2laneIA

      Black is a mensch with a lot to teach people like Schneiderman. If Schneiderman were really interested in enforcing the law, he would have insisted on a tolling agreement (freezing the statute of limitations) in return to signing on. One thing is for sure - Schneiderman evidently knows about "career limiting gestures" and won't be making any...

      Nobody seems to worry about conflict of interest anymore. Too little is written about the involvement of the law firm Covington & Burling. Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer came from there and will likely go back there. Who knows? Maybe Schneiderman will end up there too.

  •  Fraud Panel Invitation Update (0+ / 0-)

    What happened to Lefty Coaster?

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