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Stand up to Wall Street

This petition had 3,349 supporters

It sounds really simple: The largest banks that caused the housing crisis that led to our economic meltdown should be investigated fully, punished to the full extent of the law, and forced to compensate their victims for the harm they caused.

But the Obama administration is pressuring state attorneys general to quickly cut a deal with the banks that lets them off the hook for massive amounts of mortgage and foreclosure fraud.

Representative Tammy Baldwin is pushing back. She has introduced a resolution that supports taking a tough line with the banks.

We need to send President Obama the message that he cannot give Wall Street a "get out of jail free" card for mortgage and foreclosure fraud.

Tell Congress: Stand with Tammy Baldwin and stand up to Wall Street banks.

Not one of the Wall Street crooks who drove our economy off a cliff has gone to jail. And without aggressive investigation and prosecution of misconduct, none of them will.

Yet the Obama administration is pushing for a deal between state attorneys general and the large mortgage firms that essentially revolves around how lightly the banks would get off.

There has been no real investigation, and no real push for meaningful penalties or accountability. In many ways, the settlement terms under consideration would amount to another backdoor bailout for the banks.

This is unacceptable.

Even Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman seems to get this. On his website, he writes, "This is a basic question of rule of law; in this country no one is above the law," and that any settlement "must include full redress of all legal violations."

Tell Congress: Stand with Tammy Baldwin and stand up to Wall Street banks.

Rep. Baldwin's resolution has three tenets:

(1) The mortgage servicers who engaged in fraudulent behavior should not be granted criminal or civil immunity for potential wrongdoing related to illegal mortgage and foreclosure practices.

(2) The Federal Government and State attorneys general should proceed with full investigations into claims of fraudulent behavior by mortgage servicers.

(3) Any financial settlement reached with mortgage servicers should appropriately compensate for, and accurately reflect, the extent of harm to all victims, including homeowners and State pension beneficiaries, caused by the mortgage servicers' fraudulent behavior.
What's on the table now--and what the Obama administration is pressuring the states to accept--falls far short of these standards.

While the Baldwin resolution itself is non-binding, a large number of co-sponsors will do two things. First it will make it harder to spin a terrible settlement deal as a victory, which itself makes a deal less likely. Second, by establishing criteria for what an acceptable settlement might look like, it helps demonstrate the inadequacy of what's on the table.

We need to put the brakes on the headlong rush by state attorneys general and the Obama administration to settle with the banks.

It's incompatible with the health of our democracy to allow wealthy and powerful people off the hook after they have caused massive and widespread suffering.

Tell Congress: Stand with Tammy Baldwin and stand up to Wall Street banks.

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