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BACKFIRE: Booker’s Power Play Invalidated By Judge

1:03 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

Just as Cory Booker’s publicity stunt was ending this week a judge decided Cory Booker’s power play was illegal:

Judge Dennis Carey III probably knows all about how Newarkers live and breathe their politics. But if he didn’t, he got a learning moment today.

After an hour of reading over musty statutes and debating which clauses superseded which subsections, Carey issued the words that mattered most to the packed chamber inside Newark’s opulent historic courthouse: “I am going to rule in favor of the Baraka plaintiffs.”…

Carey reversed Booker’s vote today, saying the mayor did not have the authority to vote on the issue.

Snakes rolling snake eyes. While the gamble may not have paid off, Booker did win an “I owe you one” from one of New Jersey’s most powerful bosses. A nice chip to have in your pocket.

But a reversal in court could never stop Booker from being self-righteous as he dialed the egomania knob to 10 at, of all things, a political fundraiser – leading some to wonder if Booker was auditioning for an even higher office:

“I know we’re here for a political occasion,” Booker said, “but, dear God, we have a spiritual purpose.”

“This is not a local speech,” a Democrat said later, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He’s running for something, I just don’t know what.”

“Pope?” someone suggested.

Pope might take some more backroom dealing though Cory surely knows all about kissing the rings of the powerful.

New York Times: The Banks Win, Again

3:44 pm in Uncategorized by DSWright

(image: dd392, photobucket)

(image: dd392, photobucket)

Despite some initial boasting and misdirection the Mortgage Fraud settlement by the Too Big To Jail Banks is actually… total bullshit. From the New York Times:

 

Under the terms of the settlement, the banks will provide $26 billion worth of relief to borrowers and aid to states for antiforeclosure efforts. In exchange, they will get immunity from government civil lawsuits for a litany of alleged abuses, including wrongful denial of loan modifications and wrongful foreclosures. That $26 billion is paltry compared with the scale of wrongdoing and ensuing damage, including 4 million homeowners who have lost their homes, 3.3 million others who are in or near foreclosure, and more than 11 million borrowers who are underwater by $700 billion.

The settlement could also end up doing more to clean up the banks’ books than to help homeowners…

This is actually another bailout under the guise of law enforcement.

When it comes to helping homeowners, banks are treated as if they still need to be protected from drains on their capital. But when it comes to rewarding executives and other bank shareholders, paying out capital is the name of the game. And at a time of economic weakness, using bank capital for investor payouts leaves the banks more exposed to shocks. So homeowners are still bearing the brunt of the mortgage debacle. Taxpayers are still supporting too-big-to-fail banks. And banks are still not being held accountable.

But it gets even better according to two policy experts in this Bloomberg Law discussion. Read the rest of this entry →