Maybe We Should Rename Pennsylvania Avenue ‘Shakedown Street’


What do you think? Pennsylvania Avenue is so old and tired. How about we rename it? Maybe “Shakedown Street” would be more like it.

Another search party has returned from the foreclosure litigation swamp. And once again, our brave regulatory first responders found few actual victims. But there is a virtue in Monday’s $8.5 billion settlement between federal regulators and 10 giant banks over foreclosure practices. At least the regulators admit that most of the people due to receive compensation were never victimized.

To be exact, the staff of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) told reporters on a Monday conference call that, according to the agency’s review of a random sample of the affected borrowers, a mere 6.5% suffered financial harm at the hands of banks. Yet 100% will receive compensation, though many of them never lost their houses.

We’ve certainly seen cases where undeserving parties abuse a system set up to compensate legitimate victims. But we can’t recall a compensation scheme designedto send most of the checks to people who don’t deserve them. Not that this bothers much of the press corps. On Monday’s call, several of our media brethren followed up with questions on why banks weren’t required to pay even more. After all, many of the non-victims will only receive a few hundred dollars.

Read the whole thing, it gets worse. And it could explain why BofA is freezing the assets of gun companies. They’re trying to remain in the good graces of the Obama administration, lest they be screwed again. Oh, for the days when banks weren’t forced to make bad loans and the market was free. Maybe then they wouldn’t have needed taxpayer bailouts.

This is what the culture has brought us – corrupt politicians shaking down banks, who in turn scratch the politicians backs. But hey, why not just get high and pretend all is good, while we’re all getting screwed? Weeee!

Update: Linked by Moonbattery – thanks!