Monday, December 31, 2012

The Perps Get Away With It Again

JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Ally Financial and Bank of America have, per the Times, agreed to a $10 billion settlement with respect to, er, 'irregularities':

Banking regulators are close to a $10 billion settlement with 14 banks that would end the government’s efforts to hold lenders responsible for foreclosure abuses like faulty paperwork and excessive fees that may have led to evictions, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

Under the settlement, a significant amount of the money, $3.75 billion, would go to people who have already lost their homes, making it potentially more generous to former homeowners than a broad-reaching pact in February between state attorneys general and five large banks. That set aside $1.5 billion in cash relief for Americans.

 Ten billion dollars is chump change to these people and their corporations, an entirely acceptable cost of doing business.  They're laughing at our naivete, and toasting each other's robust financial good health, as we speak. And nobody's doing jail time, nobody's admitting to criminal activity. Nothing, but nothing, will change in any substantive, institutional sense. They've largely gotten away with it. Again.  When new calculations arise, they'll go for the new scam, make trillions, concede a billion or two and move on, leaving the rest of us under water. Nothing is more predictable.

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