The banks, led by Rich Whitey himself, Ken Lewis at Bank of America, are appealing to Congress for the biggest financial bailout in the history of the civilized world, which will run in the hundreds of billions if not trillions.
So after they made hundreds of billions in profits and fees and commissions and bonuses these past few years getting us into this mess, they now want the taxpayers to bail them out, while they keep their ill-gotten gains.
Here's HP's simple message to the bankers.
BANKERS OF THE WORLD WHO WERE INVOLVED IN THE SUBPRIME/ALT-A/OPTION-ARM/CDO/SIV/ETC MESS, HOUSINGPANIC HAS A MESSAGE FOR YOU. GO F*CK YOURSELVES.
WE ARE ROOTING FOR YOU TO FAIL. WE ARE ROOTING FOR HOME VALUES TO GO DOWN TO REASONABLE LEVELS. WE ARE ROOTING FOR HOMEDEBTORS TO WALK WAY. AND YOU WILL NOT GET OUR MONEY, NOT WITHOUT AN EPIC BATTLE.
A ‘Moral Hazard’ for a Housing Bailout
A confidential proposal that Bank of America circulated to members of Congress this month provides a stunning glimpse of how quickly the industry has reversed its laissez-faire disdain for second-guessing by the government — now that it is in trouble.
The proposal warns that up to $739 billion in mortgages are at “moderate to high risk” of defaulting over the next five years and that millions of families could lose their homes.
To prevent that, Bank of America suggested creating a Federal Homeowner Preservation Corporation that would buy up billions of dollars in troubled mortgages at a deep discount, forgive debt above the current market value of the homes and use federal loan guarantees to refinance the borrowers at lower rates.
“We believe that any intervention by the federal government will be acceptable only if it is not perceived as a bailout of the bond market,” the financial institution noted.
In practice, taxpayers would almost certainly view such a move as a bailout. If lawmakers and the Bush administration agreed to this step, it could be on a scale similar to the government’s $200 billion bailout of the savings and loan industry in the 1990s.
The arguments against a bailout are powerful. It would mostly benefit banks and Wall Street firms that earned huge fees by packaging trillions of dollars in risky mortgages, often without documenting the incomes of borrowers and often turning a blind eye to clear fraud by borrowers or mortgage brokers.
A rescue would also create a “moral hazard,” many experts contend, by encouraging banks and home buyers to take outsize risks in the future, in the expectation of another government bailout if things go wrong again.