Washington's Week

Monday, November 30, 2009

Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for USA Today previews the president's speech on Afghanistan and talks about the status of health care reform.

How would you shame a bank? Today the President will try to convince banks and lenders into restructuring mortgages... So, what's the best way to shame a bank? Comment below!


Susan Page

Comments [30]

Ron Raphael from 16th Street-NYC

As far as paying for the war in Afghanistan is concerned, I feel that since we will have enough difficulty paying for a decent health plan we should get out of Afghanistan. We don't belong there and it is time that we stopped trying to be the saviors of the world, where our efforts are resented a la Vietnam.

Nov. 30 2009 10:54 PM
Ron Raphael from 16th Street-NYC

To shame a bank, I would withhold any money that had been promised them until they demonstrated that they would "behave".

Nov. 30 2009 10:45 PM
Eugenia Renskoff from Williamsburgh, Brooklyn

I wish I could shame the real estate woman and the loan officer she recommended into giving me my money back—the $170,000 that I bought the condo in Atlanta for—as well as my lost excellent credit and all the other money I lost. I also wish I could shame them into giving me the condo in Buckhead back.I could give an interview and mention their names. That's one idea. Other than that, I don't know.They ought to be ashamed of themselves. Eugenia Renskoff

Nov. 30 2009 01:17 PM
Voter from Brooklyn

As far as just about all Republicans and some Democrats are concerned, I’m too homosexual to enlist, but thanks for asking. Even if I were not, that’s not to say I would have enlisted, but as a white-collar American (nowhere near the top 1%), it is my civic duty to contribute financially to the safety and security of this nation. Even in cases where I do not support a conflict, it is still my civic duty to support the men and women of the Armed Forces.
Reread what I said and you’ll see I was careful to refer to Afghanistan only as a base from which... I never said the nation of Afghanistan attacked us.
In the comments I’ve made on Afghanistan on this site I also have said it should not be without end and I support the President’s long look at the situation before putting even more soldiers in harm’s way.
I’m far from being a hawk and I don’t even think I own anything with an American Flag on it, so I know you’re looking for the archetypical tea-party, NRA, Republican to let off some steam on, but you’ve got the wrong guy. I’m just a dude who loves other dudes and his country and thinks we should have focused on Afghanistan post 9/11 (current reports say we were painfully close to getting Bin Laden while not having our priorities straight) instead of the wholly political distraction we got into in Iraq.

Nov. 30 2009 12:33 PM
mozo from nyc

Sociopaths don't feel shame.

Nov. 30 2009 12:19 PM

Oh lordy, 23.

Afghanistan did not attack the U.S., and Afghanistan isn't and wasn't a state in the traditional sense. Most of the people there had never even heard of 9/11.

The war in Afghanistan has nothing to do with defending the U.S. It's a political accommodation, which not coincidentally benefits some very powerful U.S. interests. There is no military solution to a fractured and highly corrupt society, which "we" had a hand in creating.

Glad to hear you have "no doubt" there's some "waste". What you need to do, however, is forget your war bonds and your flag wavings, and enlist. If you're too old to enlist, perhaps you shouldn't we so eager to send others on this fools' mission.

Nov. 30 2009 11:50 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

If the Average American were even a quarter as concerned in the details of their mortgage as they seem to be in the minutiae of Afghanistan, the we would have avoided a lot of the speculative buying, foreclosures, and the housing bubble.
I support the war in that we were attacked by people who found a safe haven in Afghanistan (which is now becoming Afghanistan and Pakistan.) I don’t doubt that there is some waste in Afghanistan and that some funds should be shifted; however, I also don’t pretend to be an armchair general telling the president or career servicemen and women how to conduct a war against a country from which this country was actually attacked. You seem to expect a level of financial perfection in warfare that has never existed. By your standards, the American Revolution, Civil War, and World War II would have never happened. You also seem to think the defense of this country should only be financially supported by the top 1% and probably only fought by the lower-class leaving the middle-class to shop shop shop without sacrifice!
The problem with your thinking on war bonds is that only the top 1% benefits… Maybe you should stop thinking like a profiteer and start thinking like a patriot. If the only reason you can think to buy a war bond or two is if it will set you up in your next McMansion, then that’s pretty sad.

Nov. 30 2009 11:17 AM

22 writes:

"I fully support the grossly neglected war in Afghanistan; however, I do not support war without end. Either taxes (we do have progressive taxation in this country) or war bonds would be fine by me. "

Glad to taxes are "fine" and that you "fully support" a war you and Americans in general know nothing about, and a region the U.S. will never pay to construct or develop in a sustainable civil society.

But the war bonds idea is interesting.

Instead of paying for wars, you want the government to borrow from the top 1% and pay them interest. And this is supposed to pas as a sacrifice. Sounds great. If you're in the top 1%.

Nov. 30 2009 10:53 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

#20, only the top 1% want the war? Really? Are they also the ones who orchestrated 9/11 so we could get into war and help their profiteering?
I fully support the grossly neglected war in Afghanistan; however, I do not support war without end. Either taxes (we do have progressive taxation in this country) or war bonds would be fine by me. But unlike Iraq, we had a real reason for going into this war.
President Bush only called for sacrifice from members of the armed forces and their families and the “average American” was told to go out and shop—I’m sure you can do with one less Snuggie and Sham-Wow to help support the men and women of the armed forces and prevent a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan. Or is your Snuggie more important to you than the safety of the United States?

Nov. 30 2009 10:48 AM
hjs from 11211

nononsense 20
what's unthinkable is that we would even ask them to pay

Nov. 30 2009 10:38 AM
hjs from 11211

joe 19
good one!

Nov. 30 2009 10:36 AM
Serena from UWS

To suggest people who are under-/un-employed and losing their homes pay an extra tax to support the industry of war is cruel and insane. Why don't the banks payback the bailout money and with that we can have setup healthcare. Healthcare and jobs not war.

Nov. 30 2009 10:36 AM

Where does Brian find these so-called "journalists"?

Susan Page finds it unthinkable that the top 1% -- the only group in America that has seen real income increases in the last 40 years -- might be asked to pay not only for health care, but a war which only the top 1% want.

With journalists like these -- who are doubtless in the top 1% -- who needs pundits?

Nov. 30 2009 10:34 AM
Joe from Queens

Have the banks finance the surge in Afghanistan with the TARP money they don't use to refinance the mortgages.

Nov. 30 2009 10:31 AM
Diane Schenker from Inwood

We need new legislation but it will take time. In the short term, I think public airing of the financials of the banks in question, and the bankers-- profits, salaries, bonuses, etc. -- might have some effect.

Then work on crafting a 21st century Glass-Steagall Act.

Nov. 30 2009 10:29 AM
RJ from prospect hts

The notion that the American people have not "sacrificed" is bunk. The failure to spend on both essential services--health care, infrastructure, etc.--plus our failure to fulfill commitments on international health care and other foreign supports has been *plenty* of sacrifice.

The only tax that should be imposed should be on those who have *benefited* during this time that the U.S. public has been hurt: the private equity funds, the financial services companies, the war profiteers (military contractors, etc.).

Nov. 30 2009 10:29 AM
hjs from 11211

the lesson of afghanistan:
we walk away in the 1990s we had to return in 2002

and we have to pay for it! if red states pay for their wars; blue states will pay for national healthcare.

Nov. 30 2009 10:27 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Definitely yes on the war tax with sunsets for Afghanistan only. (War bonds “ok” too)

Shame the bank executives, but shame the public as well. Decouple retirement from Wall Street. Dispel the myth of universal home ownership. Kill consumerism. Balance the trade deficit. Make people realize they piggybacked on the greed of Wall Street and are as much to blame by suckling on the teat of greedy bankers as the bankers themselves for their current situation.

Nov. 30 2009 10:26 AM
Diane Schenker from Inwood

Regulation should happen but it takes time--for short term shame, make nice, digestible quickie portraits of the banks' financials, including salaries, bonuses, etc. And then work on a 21st century version of Glass-Steagall.

Nov. 30 2009 10:25 AM
a woman from inwood

give it up, there's no way you can shame a bank. they have no shame!

Nov. 30 2009 10:25 AM
J Reilly from Bellmore, LI

Of course you can and should shame the banks; they constantly promote themselves as "friendly" and "helpful" and try to acquire new clients with this kind of advertising. Since they have proven to be economically toxic to so many Americans, there should be equal television and radio time, paid by the banks, which discloses all foreclosures and other defaults and penalties on a monthly basis. Sort of like what was done to the tobacco industry.

Nov. 30 2009 10:20 AM

Shaming the banks got them to forgo bonuses last year. It's not nothing, even if it's not enough.

Nov. 30 2009 10:19 AM
cwebba from Astoria

Yes! A tax on the war would be a great idea as a method to end it.

I suggest that we impose an import tax on our NATO allies.

Nov. 30 2009 10:19 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

How about a website devoted to various bank's foreclosure rates and general lack of mortgage loan help to borrowers as they accepted help from the govt.

By using crowd sourcing, similar to the B. Lehrer Show, stats can be given, stories told through different media, gotcha moments of bank execs., etc. or whatever talented and creative people can come up with.

Nov. 30 2009 10:19 AM
Serena from UWS

I like the transparency post #3 describes as a starting point.

Nov. 30 2009 10:18 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

It’s pathetic that the best the Obama administration can do is to “SHAME THE BANKS.” It show that this government like all American national governments is, irrespective of party, nothing more then a front for powerful interest groups.

Nov. 30 2009 10:17 AM

Iggy Pop has an approprate analogy about shaming banks/ers, "like hypnotizing chickens".
C'mon, Geithner is a tax scofflaw from the start and another insider, do you really believe?? The SEC needs to be restructured, maybe outsource them with Dubai Foolsworld.

Nov. 30 2009 10:15 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Each bank holding mortgage loans must have a banner outside each branch and on their web sites listing how many foreclosures they have committed out of how many mortgages they hold, and how many they have renegotiated and the success/failure (i.e., subsequent foreclosures) they have had.

In addition, it should list the amount of bailout money their parent company received and the highest salaries and bonuses of their top 5 CEOs from the last 5 years.

Nov. 30 2009 10:12 AM
Robert from NYC

You can't shame these people. You know that as well as any of us. There should be laws passed that they took out money specifically for this and now they HAVE TO do it...NO QUESTIONS ASKED, NO EXCUSES ACCEPTED!!!

Nov. 30 2009 10:11 AM

Well, you can call the overextended borrower fund the "platinum" or "black" card, then offer the banks an Exclusive Membership Offer for a limited time only...

Nov. 30 2009 10:10 AM

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