A Banker Speaks, With Regret – NYTimes.com

Posted by Trish Riley, December 5, 2011

It turns out that the Fed provided an astonishing sum to keep banks afloat — $7.8 trillion, equivalent to more than $25,000 per American.The Fed did everything imaginable to avert a financial catastrophe — and succeeded. The money was repaid.Yet what is scandalous is the basic unfairness of what has transpired. The federal government rescued highly paid bankers from their reckless decisions. It protected bank shareholders and creditors. But it mostly turned a cold shoulder to some of the most vulnerable and least sophisticated people in America. Last year alone, banks seized more than one million homes.Sure, some programs exist to help borrowers in trouble, but not nearly enough. We still haven’t taken such basic steps as allowing bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of a mortgage on a primary home. Legislation to address that has gotten nowhere.My daughter and I are reading Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” aloud to each other, and those Depression-era injustices seem so familiar today. That’s why the Occupy movement resonates so deeply: When the federal government goes all-out to rescue errant bankers, and stiffs homeowners, that’s not just bad economics. It’s also wrong.

via A Banker Speaks, With Regret – NYTimes.com.