Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Last week Willard "Mittens" Romney told underwater homeowners in Florida, "Well, the banks aren't bad people. They're just overwhelmed right now." "The banks are scared to death, of course," he said. "They're feeling the same thing that you're feeling..." Daily Kos: Mitt Romney wants you to know that banks are 'feeling the same thing that you're feeling'.
This comment is not only wrong – it’s wildly out of touch with the millions of hardworking Americans who are struggling to hold onto their homes. If you’re a homeowner in this country trying to make ends meet, "Mittens" Romney has four simple words for you: "you’re on your own" (George W. Bush's "ownership society").
The "Survivor - GOP Presidential Primary" now turns to the GOP caucus in Nevada, the state with the nation's highest foreclosure rate. So I will repost what "Mittens" Romney told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last October in an interview regarding his solution to the Foreclosuregate scandal.
“Have you put any real pressure on these people of yours to pay those mortgages?”
“Times are bad, Mr. Potter. A lot of these people are out of work.”
“I can’t do that. These families have children.”
“They’re not my children.”
September 2011: Willard "Mittens" Romney channels the spirit of Mr. Potter. Romney told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the problem in housing is that banks haven't been allowed to foreclose on enough people, making it more difficult for investors, i.e., creditors - the rentier class in classic usage (see Robert Kuttner, Debtors' Prison) - to buy up underpriced properties and rent them back to the former owners. Daily Kos: Romney’s housing plan: 'Allow investors to buy up homes' by accelerating foreclosure process:
As to what to do for the housing industry specifically, and are there things that you could do to encourage housing?
One is, don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy up homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up, and let it turn around and come back up.
The Obama administration has slow-walked the foreclosure processes that have long existed and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.
As Jed Lewison notes, "Nevada has the nation's highest foreclosure rate. So Mitt Romney is waltzing into the nation's foreclosure capital and telling them they don't have enough foreclosures. Talk about tone deaf."
Romney's Mr. Potter plan to get rich on foreclosures is exactly what one would expect from an arbitrage specialist at Bain Capital who bought up distressed businesses, fired its employees and sold off the company's assets to turn a profit. That's what a Vulture Capitalist does. Willard "Mittens" Romney is Henry F. Potter.
Now when people watch "It's a Wonderful Life" this holiday season, when they see Mr. Potter they will think of Willard "Mittens" Romney. Christmas came early this year!
There is a solution to the mortgage crisis, one that this country has used in the past with great success, but it was opposed by the banksters of Wall Street and their Republican servants in Congress when it was proposed. Alan Blinder, professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, wrote an opinion about it in February 2008. From the New Deal, a Way Out of a Mess - New York Times:
[W]e’ve seen this film before. During the Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress dealt with huge impending foreclosures by creating the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation. Now, a small but growing group of academics and public figures, including Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, is calling for the federal government to bring back something like the HOLC. Count me in.
The HOLC was established in June 1933 to help distressed families avert foreclosures by replacing mortgages that were in or near default with new ones that homeowners could afford. It did so by buying old mortgages from banks — most of which were delighted to trade them in for safe government bonds — and then issuing new loans to homeowners. The HOLC financed itself by borrowing from capital markets and the Treasury.
The scale of the operation was impressive. Within two years, the HOLC received about 1.9 million applications from distressed homeowners and granted just over a million new mortgages. (Adjusting only for population growth, the corresponding mortgage figure today would be almost 2.5 million.) Nearly one of every five mortgages in America became owned by the HOLC. Its total lending over its lifetime amounted to $3.5 billion — a colossal sum equal to 5 percent of a year’s gross domestic product at the time. (The corresponding figure today would be about $750 billion.)
As a public corporation chartered for a public purpose, the HOLC was a patient and even lenient lender. It tried to keep delinquent borrowers on track with debt counseling, budgeting help and even family meetings. But times were tough in the 1930s, and nearly 20 percent of the HOLC’s borrowers defaulted anyway. So the corporation eventually acquired ownership of about 200,000 houses, nearly all of which were sold by 1944. The HOLC closed its books in 1951, or 15 years after its last 1936 mortgage was paid off, with a small profit. It was a heavy lift, but the incredible HOLC lifted it.
As Blinder concluded, "It is said that history never repeats itself. But sometimes there are sequels. Now is the time to re-establish the Incredible HOLC." Unfortunately, our Congress lacks the foresight and the will to do what is needed.