Hi – just joined this group. I’m with the Public Banking Institute and would like to suggest that OWS makes a call for Counties to seize the foreclosed homes that have been fraudulently obtained by banks. Once this is done by only ONE county, the Wall Street banks will begin to settle with homeowners, since they know they cannot take on a large county government. The following is the rational for this case:
This past week, the American people learned the extent to which the Federal Reserve favors private banking interests over the public interest. Bloomberg News reported that $7.7 trillion was created by the Federal Reserve and loaned at below market rates to Wall Street banks, which then used the money to do whatever they wished with it, including buying U.S. Treasury bills, receiving interest payments from U.S. taxpayers. They then liquidated their investments, paid back the Fed, and reaped $13 billion in profits.
It would be generous to call the banks’ actions parasitical. They used the extraordinary power of the Federal Reserve — which they own – to vacuum up money, paying themselves bonuses in return. Whether you call this crony capitalism or a corporate coup, these banks act like a crime syndicate – they’ve hijacked the Federal Reserve from serving the potentially laudable function of creating a money supply for the American public and, instead, use the money supply for their own purposes. How can they be stopped?
The Federal government is paralyzed with election year maneuvering and unholy deals negotiated by the Department of Justice. State governments lack vision or worse, aping Michigan’s Governor Snyder, who declares financial martial law city by city and then sells off public assets to the 1%.
It is left to local government to become the rearguard protecting the American public. County governments can stem the onslaught of this institutionalized thievery by:
1.) Use the Power of Eminent Domain. County District Attorneys (DAs) can demand that, for every foreclosed house within their counties and “owned” by Wall Street banks, the banks must show evidence that they hold title to the property. Few banks will be able to do this, since courts have held that title is broken by MERS, an electronic database to which title was transferred in the majority of cases in order to securitize the property and sell it off piecemeal to investors. If the banks do not prove title within the time allowed, the county government is empowered to and should seize the property. County recorder’s offices, having been shortchanged by MERS, will be eager to supply the intelligence for this rearguard action by the county DA’s.
2.) Place Seized Properties in a County Trust. County Supervisors and Treasurers can readily create a trust or, better yet, a depository bank where they can place their residential tax revenues. These can then be used to generate credit, using the seized properties as capital.
3.) Create Credit Pools to Make Loans. Just as the Fed makes loans to its owners, a county-owned bank can create pools of credit that can be loaned to county residents and Main Street businesses. Government officials need not and should not be involved in loan origination. These credit pools can be packaged as loan programs in which local community banks participate and assume the principal risk. This way money is targeted to the local economy and produces jobs while managing risk.
In the words of William Jennings Bryan in 1896, “the issue of money is a function of the government and . . . the banks should go out of the governing business.” It’s time we followed through by occupying the homes fraudulently claimed by Wall Street banks, whose false allegiance to the American public has been exposed. We need to restore democracy to our economy by making the issuance of money and credit a function, not of banks, but of governments, including our local county governments serving the public interest.
Marc Armstrong is the Executive Director for the Public Banking Institute in Sonoma. More information at www.publicbankinginstitute.org.