The Federal government and the Attorneys General from 49 states have signed a deal with five major banks over charges of fraud, including reported acts of widespread perjury and forgery, in the so-called “robo-signing” scandal.
A few days ago we suggested that any deal be scored against five basic principles: openness, justice, restitution, deterrence, and reconciliation. It's clear that this deal falls short in every category. The best thing that can be said about it is that, thanks to a few tough holdouts led by New York AG Eric Schneiderman, it now allows additional civil and criminal investigations to proceed.
That's far from nothing, and it could be a big deal. But it will only be a big deal if the Administration stops coddling banks and devotes a lot more resources to helping homeowners and upholding justice.
Up to now, the fight has been to prevent the Administration from doing another cushy bank deal. Now that the door's been left open to further action, there's a new fight: to demand that they devote the Federal government's resources to investigating Wall Street crime.
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