King o' The Cats
a cat in gloves catches no mice

Speak Up Against Insidious Goldman Sachs Pay Schemes

From ThePetitionSite:

"When a bank or financial institution makes a risky decision that tanks in the end, it’s not the powerful few that pay for it—it’s all the rest of us. And we’re tired of being saddled with high unemployment and one of the worst housing market in decades.

Goldman Sachs is an outstanding example of bank executives making a irresponsible decisions that contributed to the downfall of the economy. We need to make sure that these executives and employees learn from these mistakes instead of earning compensation and sometimes even rewards for irresponsible risk-taking.»

We need to be assured that the institutions we trust with our savings will have our best interests in mind, but this trust is something they are quickly losing.

As shareholders and consumers, or as people in solidarity against Wall St. greed, we do have a say in how our money is spent, as we are the ones who are greatly impacted by these actions.

Sign this petition to tell Goldman Sachs to link long term business growth, sustainable value creation and compensation to help discourage excessive risk taking.»


Thanks for taking action!

Rachel M.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team”

Success from Change.org

  • After hearing from more than 82,000 people, Chase Bank called off foreclosing on 78-year-old grandmother and civil rights activist Helen Bailey. “I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” says Ms. Bailey. “I am so thankful for the support of my neighbors and the nation.”
  • McDonald’s finally responded to the 100,000 people (and groups like the Humane Society of the United States) who told the fast food giant to stop sourcing pork from factory farms using inhumane “gestation crates,” (cages so small that pigs can’t move or turn around). McDonald’s told all of its suppliers yesterday to start phasing out the cages — an earthquake for the food industry.
  • And some big news from last week! More than 141,000 banded together to save the life of Jesus Navarro, a father who was reportedly denied a life-saving kidney transplant, despite having insurance to pay for surgery, a volunteer donor, and a benefactor to help pay for his follow-up care. But an ABC News headline gives the good news: “Dying Dad, Jesus Navarro, to Get Kidney Transplant.”

Change.org Petitions

Chase

From Change.org:

"A new Chase website honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and declares: "the values he espoused are the values that JPMorgan Chase also tries to stand for around the world."

But as the bank wraps itself in the King brand, Chase planned to kick Helen Bailey (a 78-year-old grandmother who marched for civil rights and spent her life working with disabled children) out of her house on February 15th — right in the middle of Black History Month.

Occupy Nashville is fighting back. And they know that enough publicity on Chase’s hypocrisy will embarrass the bank into letting Ms. Bailey keep her home. Nearly 50,000 Change.org members have already spoken out, and Chase moved back Ms. Bailey’s foreclosure back one month in response — more people can speak out now and stop it completely. 

Click here to sign the petition demanding that Chase stop foreclosing on civil rights activist Helen Bailey

Helen and her attorney have struggled to find any solution that would stop Chase’s drive to foreclose. When Helen asked to modify her high-interest loan, Chase refused. When Helen found another lender who’d buy the home for just $9,000 less than what Chase said the home was worth, letting her live there for free, Chase refused. When Helen found someone else who’d buy her home and let Helen rent it, Chase refused again.

This isn’t an isolated incident. A former Chase banker — James Theckston — told Nick Kristof of the New York Times that his bank repeatedly pushed dangerous subprime mortgage loans on minority borrowers, then tried to cover up the racial disparity. Now, 25% of all minority borrowers are in foreclosure or deeply behind on payments. It’s a crisis. 

But it’s one of our best opportunities to fight back. You can help Occupy Nashville keep Ms. Bailey in her home, and highlight the growing movement of communities standing up to foreclosures. 

Click here to sign the petition

Thanks for being a change-maker, 

Jess and the Change.org team”

Accountability for Wall Street

From MoveOn:

"State attorneys general just announced a major settlement on foreclosure fraud, or "robosigning."1 For over a year, banks have been fighting tooth and nail for a deal that would have given them a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for their actions that caused the economic crisis.2 Today they didn’t get it, thanks to the efforts of MoveOn members and other progressives, who helped a brave group of state attorneys general stand up to the banks.

The final settlement still has major flaws, but it’s very limited in scope—it won’t let banks off the hook for the majority of their role in taking down the economy. It also provides a small first step towards compensating homeowners who were directly affected, though it’s not nearly enough.

In short, we stopped the banks from getting all of what they wanted. But we haven’t nearly started to hold them fully accountable to the American people. 

For every family helped by this deal, there are many, many more who still face foreclosure or who owe the bank far more than their home is worth. We all have to keep fighting hard to make sure they get the help they need and that we hold banks fully accountable. 

President Obama’s federal investigation task force, co-chaired by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, is just getting started, and is going to face major obstacles from banks fighting hard to conceal their actions—-and from their allies in the administration.4 That’s why we need to tell the White House we’ll be watching the investigation to make sure it truly holds banks accountable, and that we’re committed to fighting to make sure banks deal fairly with homeowners who are trying to reset their mortgages to fair market value. Your commitment got us this far—now let’s keep it going.

Sign here to tell the White House we’ll be watching the federal investigation to make sure it truly holds big banks accountable, and we’ll keep fighting for homeowners.

Thanks for all you do.

–Elena, Mark, Amy, Eli, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “States Negotiate $26 Billion Agreement for Homeowners,” The New York Times, February 8, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/09/business/states-negotiate-25-billion-deal-for-homeowners.html?_r=1

2. “A Deal That Wouldn’t Sting,” The New York Times, October 29, 2011 
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/business/a-foreclosure-settlement-that-wouldnt-sting.html

3. “States Negotiate $26 Billion Agreement for Homeowners,” The New York Times, February 8, 2012 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/09/business/states-negotiate-25-billion-deal-for-homeowners.html

4. “Eric Schneiderman promises aggressive financial fraud probe,” Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2012 
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mortgage-probe-20120125,0,12638.story

Update on our campaign to send Wall Street bankers to jail.

From CREDO Action:

"After months of activism from people like you, President Obama announced in his State of the Union speech the creation of a new task force to investigate and hold banks accountable for causing the foreclosure crisis and financial meltdown.

The task force will have five co-chairs, one of whom is New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a progressive hero who has worked tirelessly to hold the Wall Street banks accountable for their crimes.

CREDO joined other groups in calling on President Obama to announce an investigation into the mortgage fraud that led to the economic collapse.

And we are heartened that the President of the United States responded to this grassroots pressure with such a high-profile mention in his State of the Union address.

This is especially remarkable when some were speculating that the president might use the address to announce a deal with the mortgage servicers that would grant the Wall Street banks immunity from prosecution of crimes that have not yet been investigated.

Given the White House’s abysmal record on holding Wall Street accountable, President Obama’s State of the Union announcement was so extraordinary that many of our allies in the progressive movement have declared victory.

We certainly hope they’re right, but from our perspective it is still too soon to know whether this will lead to the kind of meaningful justice the American people both need and deserve.

One of the greatest sources of potential good in the creation of this task force comes from the inclusion of New York Attorney General Schneiderman, who has been at the forefront of bank accountability fights, as one of its five co-chairs.

Yet aside from Attorney General Schneiderman, none of the other co-chairs has done literally anything that achieves our goal of holding banks accountable or prosecuting bankers for criminal activity.

What’s more, the task force won’t be independent but will be housed in the Justice Department’s Financial Fraud Task Force which President Obama established in 2009 “to hold accountable those who helped bring about the last financial crisis.” That earlier task force has failed to prosecute a single banker in conjunction with the mortgage crisis or hold Wall Street accountable in any kind of meaningful way.

It’s also concerning that three of Schneiderman’s four co-chairs are already members of the current, failed task force at the Department of Justice.1 This means they will have to start behaving very differently if this new task force will follow through on the president’s promise of a real investigation.

Time will tell whether Attorney General Schneiderman will be empowered to aggressively leverage the authority and investigatory resources of the federal government to hold banks accountable, or if his inclusion will serve as a little more than a symbolic ploy in an attempt to quiet the restive base that has reacted with outrage at the lack of accountability for Wall Street’s crimes.

We expect Attorney General Schneiderman will push very, very hard to make the work of the task force a meaningful step toward the prosecutions that have shamefully been missing from any federal action on Wall Street accountability in the last three years.

If Attorney General Schneiderman is able get his fellow co-chairs on board and launch investigations with teeth from his perch within the Department of Justice, this will be a good development indeed.

And we have no doubt that if Attorney General Schneiderman is muzzled in Washington, DC he will simply return to New York, where he can use subpoenas and his powers under the Martin Act to investigate and then prosecute. This is exactly what he did to help scuttle the terrible 50-state deal with the banks pushed by the Obama administration, as did several other Attorneys General, including California’s Kamala Harris and Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto.

All that said, we still need to make sure that the Obama administration doesn’t close the door on accountability for foreclosure fraud even while it opens the door to investigate other kinds of misdeeds by Wall Street.

This is particularly important given the news over the weekend that a terrible settlement deal with mortgage servicers is closer than ever.

The robo-signing scandal is just the tip of the iceberg. It simply makes no sense for anyone to settle with the largest banks over foreclosure fraud when there has yet to be a full investigation despite what Reuters called “copious evidence” of “widespread forgery, perjury, obstruction of justice, and illegal foreclosures….” 2

Six months ago many people thought that this kind of mortgage servicer settlement was a done deal, and that in addition to letting the banks off the hook for fraud and misdeeds when servicing mortgages, the banks would also be given immunity for precisely the behavior President Obama has tasked this new task force with investigating.

Not a single Wall Street banker has gone to jail for crimes related to the mortgage servicing scandal or the financial meltdown. But thanks to your activism, we have thus far stopped the federal government and state attorneys general from giving a sweetheart deal to banks that lets them off the hook for massive amounts of mortgage and foreclosure fraud.

We will continue to fight together to bring Wall Street criminals to justice.

In the wake of the State of the Union we celebrate your activism and its continuing impact on the White House. When there are indictments we will celebrate victory.

Until then here are five things you can do to bring justice to Wall Street.

  1. Tell New York Attorney Eric Schneiderman: Indict Wall Street criminals immediately and we will have your back.
  2. Thank California Attorney General Kamala Harris for continuing to help block a bad 50-state settlement.
  3. Tell your State Attorney General not to accept any settlement with the Wall Street banks that grants them immunity for crimes not yet investigated.
  4. Tell House Democrats: Co-Sponsor the Baldwin resolution and go on the record opposing any deal that would grant mortgage servicers criminal or civil immunity for potential wrongdoing related to illegal mortgage and foreclosure practices.
  5. Tell President Obama: Stop pressuring the state attorneys general to cut a sweetheart deal with the banks.

Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. “There’s Already a Financial Fraud Task Force,” David Dayen, FDL News Desk, 01-25-12.
2. “U.S. AG Eric Holder, DoJ Head Lanny Breuer Linked To Banks Accused Of Foreclosure Fraud,” Scot J. Paltrow, Reuters, 01-19-12.”

Obama wants your input

From MoveOn:

"Today, President Obama gives his State of the Union address, and we have a question for him: When will he open a federal investigation into Wall Street bank fraud that caused the housing crisis?

The White House has set up several ways for people to ask President Obama questions for the State of the Union. They’ll have staff watching these feeds all day, and it’s critical he hears from as many of us as possible. That’s why we’re asking you to take just a few moments to ask the president on Facebook and Twitter whether he’ll step up to the plate and investigate big bank fraud.

Ask on Facebook
You can post your question directly on the White House Facebook wall, or comment on one of their State of the Union posts.

Ask on Twitter

The State of the Union is watched by millions, and it’s an opportunity for the president to announce bold progressive policies that help the 99%. President Obama should use his speech tonight to announce a federal investigation and finally hold the big banks accountable.

Without federal action, there’s a strong risk that banks could get away with just a slap on the wrist. Yesterday, a meeting between HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, state attorneys general, and the five biggest mortgage servicers was held in Chicago. The banks were trying to negotiate a settlement that would give them broad immunity and let them off the hook for the fraud that caused the housing market collapse.1

Thanks to the pressure from hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members who signed the petition asking the president to investigate, held events across the country, and made phone calls to the White House, those talks have stalled once again.2 But that’s not enough.

We need to keep the pressure on President Obama to take a strong stance and open a federal investigation into the banks’ wrongdoing. And we need to make sure he knows that we have his back if he stands up for the 99% against Wall Street fraud.

Can you ask the president when he’ll open a federal investigation into the wrongdoing of Wall Street banks?

Ask on Facebook

Ask on Twitter

Thanks for all you do.

–Elena, Stefanie, Laura, Steven, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “Protests intensify as mortgage settlement nears,” Reuters, January 23, 2012 
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/23/us-usa-housing-settlement-idUSTRE80M1XO20120123

2. “Iowa AG Miller Claims No Foreclosure Fraud Settlement This Week,” Firedoglake, January 23, 2012 
http://news.firedoglake.com/2012/01/23/iowa-ag-miller-claims-no-foreclosure-fraud-settlement-this-week/

"MoveOn, Color Of Change Demand Obama To Investigate Wall Street Banks, Housing Crisis," Huffington Post, January 19, 2012 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/moveon-obama-wall-street_n_1216752.html

Banks plundered America. Will Tuesday bring justice?

From the Courage Campaign:

During Tuesday’s State of the Union address, we will likely learn whether big banks like Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase will pay for the plunder of America’s homeowners. After a year of secret negotiations among the 50 state attorneys general, including a walk out by California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, it all comes down to this.

Demand the President and AG Harris make good on their promise of “Change” by making the Big Banks pay for their crimes. Final negotiations are happening at this very moment.

In the fall — thanks to the support of more than 25,000 Courage members — AG Harris rejected another bank bailout, a grotesque deal that would have denied justice to millions of Americans and provided almost no compensation to defrauded California homeowners. On Monday, she’ll be in Chicago to meet again with the other 49 state attorneys general, and they will decide whether to accept a deal that insiders claim has improved since September.

Show President Obama and AG Harris that you know what is at stake. Sign our petition demanding that any settlement reflect these five principles:

1. widespread and fairly applied principal reduction,
2. narrow release of liability,
3. overhaul and reform of industry servicing practices,
4. strict, independent, and robust enforcement mechanisms,
5. and assurance that homeowners who were kicked out of their homes without due process will receive fair, ample restitution.

Over the next few months, more than 100,000 Californians may lose their homes, people like Donna Vieira of San Leandro who has clear evidence that Wells Fargo defrauded her the moment she signed her mortgage papers. This is just the beginning. Courage Campaign will continue working with its many partners to protect homeowners, including the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), but if our President fights for the values that he proclaimed when running for office, the America’s middle-class will be much closer to the justice it deserves.

Sign on and share will your friends. Every moment counts.

Yours in the fight for economic justice,

Rick Jacobs
Chair and Founder, Courage Campaign”

48 hours before a sweetheart deal?

From MoveOn.org:

"We’re getting down to the wire. Reports are out that in the next 48 hours, President Obama could make the call on whether to hold Wall Street accountable by opening an investigation into the banks’ role in the housing crisis, or agree to a sweetheart deal that lets them off the hook.1

You’re one of 360,000 progressives who’s called on the president to investigate the banks, rather than giving them the broad immunity they seek. But we need to ramp up the pressure this weekend before the decision is made. 

This could be the make or break moment. Can you share the petition right now on Facebook, Twitter, and email to make sure the president hears loud and clear that we’re counting on him to stand up to Wall Street?

Click here to share the petition right away.

On Thursday, at events across the country, MoveOn members delivered our signatures to the president asking him to investigate.2 Now, we need to keep building grassroots pressure with more people signing on. We’ll send new petition signatures to the White House throughout the weekend.  

This weekend could turn out to be the most crucial moment in this campaign. By sharing the petition on Facebook and Twitter, and making sure as many of your friends and family as possible sign, you can turn our voice into something President Obama can’t ignore.

Click here to share our petition and hold big banks accountable.

Thanks for all you do.

–Elena, Michael, Marika, Wes, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. “Shaking Their Windows and Rattling Their Walls,” Huffington Post, January 20, 2012 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-lux/shaking-their-windows-and_b_1219948.html

2. “MoveOn, Color Of Change Demand Obama To Investigate Wall Street Banks, Housing Crisis,” Huffington Post, January 19, 2012 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/moveon-obama-wall-street_n_1216752.html

Tell President Obama: Investigate the banks!

From CREDO Action:

Wall Street greed fueled the housing bubble, and it’s not hard to find evidence of what appears to be widespread and pervasive fraud by the biggest players in the mortgage industry.

Yet, despite the work of a handful of brave state attorneys general, there has been an astonishing lack of investigation into the misdeeds and outright crimes that caused the financial crisis.

The investigations that do exist have barely begun to scratch the surface.

And without meaningful investigations, there won’t be any accountability for the Wall Street crooks who drove our economy off a cliff.

Tell President Obama: Announce a full investigation into the cause of the housing bubble and foreclosure crisis. Click here to sign the petition.

The collapse of the housing bubble caused trillions of dollars in homeowner equity to evaporate, which directly led to our economy grinding to a halt.

And the ensuing wave of foreclosures — caused in no small part both by predatory loans designed to fail and out-and-out foreclosure fraud — has destroyed communities across the country and shrank the tax base of local governments right when there was the most need for the services they provide.

Yet with all the resources at its disposal, the Department of Justice and other federal entities have yet to announce a full investigation of the cause of this man-made economic catastrophe.

Quite the opposite. Thus far the president’s advisors have been pushing for a bad settlement with the banks that lets them off the hook . But a bad settlement has been stopped so far by courageous progressive attorneys general supported by an army of grassroots activists like you.

We now have an opportunity to change the White House’s strategy as the reelection campaign heats up, and get the president to come out on the right side of this issue.

Tell President Obama: Announce a full investigation into the cause of the housing bubble and foreclosure crisis. Click here to sign the petition.

The timing of this fight is critical.

The election calendar is working with us by pushing President Obama to be more aggressive than he’s been. We saw this, for example, with his recent recess appointment of Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

And we know that President Obama’s political team wants him to run against Wall Street.

CREDO is not alone in asking the Obama administration to launch a full investigation. We’re joining with MoveOn and other progressive groups in this campaign.

If we make enough noise, it will be hard for the Obama administration to avoid calling for full investigations into the fraud that led to the housing crisis.

It’s a completely reasonable ask, it’s within his powers to call for a full investigation, and it’s the right thing to do.

Tell President Obama: Announce a full investigation into the cause of the housing bubble and foreclosure crisis. Click here to sign the petition.

Thank you for speaking out. Your activism matters.

Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets”