Late Night: A Tale of Two Cities

By: Sunday September 15, 2013 8:00 pm

Just as Walmart and other big-box retailers did the screech-and-scare routine with DC, the big banks and their allies did similar scare stunts with Richmond. Big-bank lending boycotts as well as legal actions have been threatened, action that, as FDL’s Peterr pointed out last month, Richmond likely welcomes as the discovery process would force banks to air their dirty laundry. Meanwhile, local and honest lenders such as credit unions would flourish if the big banks went ahead with their boycott threat, much as local businesses thrive in places where Walmarts aren’t allowed to suck the lifeblood from their downtowns.


The Banksters Push Back Against Richmond

By: Saturday August 31, 2013 10:30 am

The banks are pushing back hard against the city of Richmond, California, as Richmond tries to help its homeowners get out from under mortgages that are seriously out of whack compared with actual property values. First the banks filed suit to stop Richmond, and now they’re telling their investment clients to steer clear of Richmond’s municipal bond offerings.

Shorter bankster: “Nice city you’ve got here, Richmond. It’d be a shame if anything were to happen to it.”

But Richmond still has one powerful weapon in their pocket, that scares the banks to death . . .

Eminent Domain Threat May Force Banking Practices Into Full View

By: Saturday August 10, 2013 9:06 am

The city of Richmond, California, is faced with a mountain of homes where the owners are seriously underwater in their mortgages. The banks and investors who hold the mortgages have refused to adjust the terms of the loans in any meaningful way, and Richmond is worried that a wave of either foreclosures or walkaways will result in Richmond becoming Detroit West. Their solution: they want to buy the loans and then rework the terms for the owners to something more realistic. The banks, as you might guess, don’t want to sell.

Richmond is threatening to invoke eminent domain, to force the sale, and the banks are filing suits to block this. But the banks ought to be careful about what they are wishing for. Why? I’ll give you the answer in a single word . . .

Standing Tall for Landowner Rights

By: Monday May 20, 2013 11:30 am

Julia Trigg Crawford of Direct, Texas, is the manager of a 650-acre farm that her grandfather first bought in 1948. The farm produces mostly corn, wheat, and soy. On its north border is the Red River; to the west is the Bois d’Arc Creek.

TransCanada is an Alberta-based corporation that is building the controversial Keystone Pipeline that will carry bitumen—thicker, more corrosive and toxic, than crude oil—through 36-inch diameter pipes from the Alberta tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast, mostly to be exported. The $2.3 billion southern segment, about 485 miles from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf Coast is nearly complete. With the exception of a 300-mile extension between Cushing and Steele City, Neb., the rest of the $7 billion 1,959 mile pipeline is being held up until President Obama either succumbs to corporate and business pressures or blocks the construction because of environmental and health concerns.

Two Charged With Felonies for Disrupting Keystone XL Pipeline Construction from Trees

By: Thursday November 1, 2012 5:45 pm

Two young women from New England who attempted to start a second tree blockade to stop TransCanada’s construction of the Keystone XL pipeline have been charged with felonies. They were arrested in the last twenty-four hours.

As this blog reported yesterday, in Sacul, Texas, Pika of Vermont and Lauren of New Hampshire climbed up onto platforms in trees to halt construction near a highway crossing. Tar Sands Blockade media spokesperson Ron Seifert told Firedoglake heavy machinery was in the area to the destroy the forest and cut a path for the pipeline. The Blockade tied ropes to the heavy machinery. The ropes went up into the trees and over big tree branches. Hanging from the ropes were platforms for Pika and Lauren. That was how they would disrupt construction.

TransCanada’s Paid Goons Arrest Ten Tar Sands Blockaders

By: Monday October 15, 2012 6:30 pm

More than fifty people reportedly risked arrest in Winnsboro, Texas, today, as they walked on to the area where TransCanada is constructing its Keystone XL pipeline and engaged in civil disobedience. Multiple individuals chose to defend and show solidarity with people who have been in the trees for the past three weeks taking direct action against TransCanada. There were solidarity actions in Washington, DC, Boston, Austin and New York City. At least ten people were arrested in Winnsboro.

Daryl Hannah & Eleanor Fairchild Arrested Defending Fairchild’s Own Farm From Tar Sands Pipeline (VIDEO)

By: Friday October 5, 2012 5:00 pm

On the eleventh day of action against TransCanada’s demolition of forest, land and family farm property in East Texas, actress Daryl Hannah joined Eleanor Fairchild to defend her farm from the heavy machinery TransCanada is using to prepare the environment for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The two ran out and put their hands up in front of the machinery.

Fairchild, who the Tar Sands Blockade describes as a “feisty 78-year-old great-grandmother,” put her hands up in the air, along with Hannah, to say, “Stop!”

FHFA Threatens Localities on Eminent Domain Solution for Foreclosures

By: Wednesday August 8, 2012 12:03 pm

Ed DeMarco is really feeling his oats, no doubt thanks to projections of profits at Fannie and Freddie paradoxically spurred by a housing shortage. (Those profits are at least partially derived from Fannie and Freddie evading local government transfer taxes, by the way, not DeMarco’s “responsible stewardship.”) He rejected principal reductions as a means to solve the foreclosure crisis. And now, he’s going after another potential solution floated by some local governments: eminent domain.

Fraud Pays: Regulators Slow to Prosecute, Focused on Civil Rather Than Criminal Penalties

By: Wednesday August 8, 2012 10:00 am

The question that many of us asked in the wake of the revelations about money laundering at Standard Chartered Bank is why the federal regulators did apparently nothing, and that this had to get revealed by New York’s Department of Financial Services.

Financial Services Industry Threatens Retaliation at Municipalities Who Use Eminent Domain to Fix the Housing Crisis

By: Friday July 20, 2012 9:41 am

The financial industry is taking another run at a plan to help homeowners, this time the proposed program in San Bernardino County that would use eminent domain laws to acquire underwater mortgages and then refinance them for borrowers at market rates. The financial services lobbying group SIFMA said they would exclude mortgages in San Bernardino and other localities that engaged in this tactic

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