Perhaps the mere threat that local and state governments might get serious about using eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages might be enough to get banks to do something they have been loathe to do from the beginning: write down principal and right-size mortgages to align them with current property values.
All of us have spent a great deal of time complaining about Wall Street and how hard it is to take them on given all their money and political power. But here we have several cities with more in the wings actually doing something about it. Wouldn't it be something if progressives all over the country spread this campaign to their own town councils?
Formerly known as a Chevron company town, Richmond is home to one of the largest oil refineries in the Bay Area. But Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, who identifies with the Green Party, has been in office since 2010 and is already giving big banks and oil companies all they can handle in the way of opposition.