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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Political "Cooperation" and Robo-Signing

President Obama is on his way back from Hawaii. On Air Force One he sad, when asked about working with the new Republican majority in Congress, "I'm pretty confident that they're going to recognize that our job is to govern and make sure that we are delivering jobs for the American people and that we're creating a competitive economy for the 21st century, not just for this generation but for the next one." The Republican response was to pledge to repeal last year's health care reforms and to choke the financial reforms that were passed last year[1].
Of course, any cooperation is unlikely to be enhanced by the fact that Gene Sperling[2] and William Daley[3] making the short list for Director of the National Economic Council and White House Chief of Staff, respectively. There's nothing like bringing back officials from a previous Democratic administration to get Republicans riled up[4].
Getting away from the politics, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co, and Ally Financial, Inc may be getting ready to settle with 50 state attorneys general. All of the banks have been under a joint probe by all 50 state AGs into the use of "robo-signers"[5] in foreclosure proceedings other abuses of the foreclosure process. There is no word yet as to what that settlement entails, nor have the banks in question been willing to comment.
[1] This is not intended as commentary on the merits and/or flaws of either piece of legislation; rather, it is commentary on the apparent odds of actual cooperation between the two parties.
[2] The "architect of the Clinton economic plans while serving on the Clinton-Gore 1992 presidential campaign", according to Wikipedia.
[3] Secretary of Commerce during William Clinton's second term. Also, Midwest Chairman of J.P.Morgan Chase, one of the companies implicated by Major General Smedley Butler in the 1933 Business Plot. But try not to read too much into that.
[4] Or, to be fair, bringing back officials from a previous Republican administration to get Democrats riled up. Fair is fair, after all.
[5] "Robo-signing"? In a nutshell, the practice of signing off on a document that needs to be certified as true, without actually certifying the document is true. The link goes into more details.

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