Stashed away in a draw somewhere on Capitol Hill is a simple piece of legislation that would have done much to stop the mortgage mess, robo-signing, unfair foreclosures, and the growing claims against lenders.
The Reagan years inundated American homeowners with advertising campaigns encouraging them to borrow against their homes to take dream vacations. This was the first time, in history, when people imagined the way to get rich was to run in to debt.
Most of us want to be physically fit, but very few of us are. The same holds true with financial security. As my father (and many others) used to say, "A lot of people want to go to heaven but no one wants to die to get there."
JPMorgan Chase loves using its research department to push its agenda that puts them in the optimist camp. But take a look at their methodology. The scope of losses gets drastically larger if you change a few arbitrary assumptions.
Washington failed to act the first time around -- when lenders were engaged in a frenzy of predatory lending. The foreclosure scandal is a second chance for lawmakers to prove they can ferret out the truth.
When bankers think they can get away with rampant fraud and get paid very well to do it, they'll do it. Robert Rubin's best defense is that he really isn't all that bright -- he's either an idiot or a criminal.