Wednesday, April 29, 2009

all banks are not created equal

Imagine a time and place in which laws of the federal government contributed to racial discrimination, and imagine, just imagine that these laws were being supported and protected by the federal government. Well this is not past history and not occurring under the jurisdiction of a James K. Polk or a Grover Cleveland, but rather under our nation’s first African American President – Barrack Obama.
Yesterday, lawyers representing the state of New York asked the Supreme Court to let states enforce their anti-discrimination laws against national banks. Four years ago, then the New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer, asked several national banks to explain why they were disproportionately and significantly charging blacks and Hispanics high interest rates than whites. As a result, as big banks do to keep folk from seeing they dirt they practice, they filed a lawsuit. Not just the banks, but also the Treasury Department agency that regulates them.
And what happened was something out of the days of the civil rights movement or Jim Crow - a federal judge said that states could not enforce state fair-lending and antidiscrimination laws against national banks by enforcing fair lending laws against them. If that aint some of the dumbest stuff I have ever heard. So it is ok for states to make laws that could be used to investigate illegal actions at banks that function inside their state, but only the federal government can enforce such when it comes to national banks.

Yep, the federal government says they are the only folk that can regulate national financial institutions. But the strange thing is that the Federal Government (which can’t get the SEC to work) doesn't have the manpower or the knowledge of the various state laws, I mean there are 50 states, not to mention that according to recent data, they - Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, only have 10 folk working on enforcement. The case (Cuomo v. The Clearing House Association, 08-453) has the Federal government arguing that by allowing each state to enforce their own fair lending and ant discrimination laws, would get in the way of federal government's supervisory powers.

So in other words, we not only bail out these national banks with no oversight, but also put their interest and protection over the American citizen since states are not able to implement any form of consumer protection and regulatory oversight regarding mortgage lending practices. The use the out dated National Bank Act of 1863 to support their position.

Maybe I am just nit picking, but I think there is something inherently backwards about not being able to enforce nationally established laws (fair lending and ant-discrimination) when America’s history is replete with such and when not doing such makes the constitution worthless. I guess all men are created equal but not all banks. I hope our president can engage his administration to put this on the radar. All he will need is one Executive Order or Presidential Decision Directive, but then again who asked me?


Carla said...

Hi Torrence,

May I ask, where are you getting this information from? None of your links support your assertions, so I would just like to know what sources you are getting this info from. Thanx.

all mi T said...

the assertion that what? the supreme court heard this tuesday, or about the rullings, or about the office of the comtroller? be specific [serach for national banks, supreme court, new york] heard it yest

nicki nicki tembo said...

you know noslappz and I were in your comments this past fall going back and forth about this as it related to the predatory lending practices and subsequent housing bubble. I brought up the fact that New York and several other states recoginized what the banking industry was doing and attempted to go after them and the justice dept and courts stopped them cold.

It was even speculated that it was an act of retaliation that Spitzer's private life shinangans were publicized and which led to his eventual political demise. Lesson: don't fuck with the banks!

This shit is old news, where you been Carla?

Carla said...

I was referring to your assertions of discrimination by the federal govt with regard to its contributions to racial discrimination in lending practices, as expressed in the first paragraph of your post. I'm not attempting to be anything but inquisitive. You purported a lot of things. I clicked on the links and they didn't necessarily back up what you said. They were just vague links to the topic. I suppose I can google all that stuff you mentioned and that's fine. I just figured since you are posting the facts here, you might have references off hand. My mistake.

@nicki nicki tembo
I don't own a TV and as such I don't really watch the news, local or cable. If I pick up something on the internet, it is casually. Sorry I'm not up to date, but that's why I asked for a SOURCE.

CareyCarey said...

I do not wish to get in the middle of a family dispute but I am sort of like Carla. I try to looks for facts within the opinions.

My question or understanding of this issue is the right for a state to seek legal action against an entity that falls under the wings of the government. are we also talking about discrimination laws enforced by the government? Is this not a two way street? remember, if it were left up to many states to enforce illegal acts agaisnt it's residents, we would still be living in the past and all that implies.

What's the real issue/question or is there one?

nicki nicki tembo said...

Carla dear, there's no need to apologize for not being up to date but I think that it is behooving for one to be such.

Perhaps, this can be of help.

Carla said...

@nicki nicki tembo
What you behoove is only your opinion, and those are like assholes, right? For one cannot know everything. This is why we ask questions. Anyhoo, thanks for the link.

Now, getting back to the topic...

I can see a paradox here. On the one hand, if something exists on a federal level, it MUST be enforced by the federal (and not state) government. The state has no jurisdiction over the federal government in this capacity...not without amending law. (Perhaps filing suit was a first step, though.)

And on the other hand, when the federal government doesn't act on behalf of its citizens, it is a state's right to step in and speak up. But again, the laws that are unconstitutional must be overturned.

I don't think it's fair to put the burden of this scandalous issue on Obama's shoulders. I don't see an executive order as the solution. That's not due process. That's what the courts and congress are for.

It doesn't seem that the fed. govt is not within its right to file a suit against any state as a means to stop them from filing suit either. It's merely a tactic, but it doesn't seem to be illegal. Not if the Nat'l Bank Act of 1863 is still on the books and provides a valid argument. Might not be just, but that doesn't make it unfair either.

I understand that the real issue is that the fed govt is in bed with the banks. That part I get. And also that the federal govt should be taken to task for that too. But if the states begin challenging the fed govt on federal issues, where will it stop? And what of a backlash? (For example, where will FEMA be when the next hurricane hits?)

Are all banks created equal? Probably not...but where has equality ever been seen in this country??? Besides, the government does not protect its protects itself!

Curious said...

I don't know much about federal laws and regulations vs states rights, but I have to think that the federal government will always win in the courts when it comes to an area that is seen as under federal jurisdiction. That's the way it's always been, otherwise we would still have slavery or voter registration eligibility tests south of the Mason-Dixon. Or even drugs that are considered illicit by the FDA would be legal in some states but not others.

I'm sure the case was more about who is in control rather than who was right and in that instance the Court came to the right conclusion.

msladydeborah said...

In Columbus a major suit was filed against a bank for discriminatory practices and the plantiff won. So I am not surprised that it is a national problem. It has never been a secret here that rates for people of color are often higher than our white counterparts.

CareyCarey said...

Thank you @ nicki-nicki tempo & Carla, You said it much better than I was trying to.

Hey nicki, I saw you peek your head into Truths house. They was getting it on on there. I noticed that you didn't jump in?

nicki nicki tembo said...

yeah Carey, that peice was awesome but you know I'm a little like almond joy in that sometimes I feel like a nut sometims not so much.

Angel said...

They asked several national banks to explain why they were disproportionately and significantly charging blacks and Hispanics high interest rates than whites.

Well over here sadly brotha's and sistas are bad with credit and if you are bad with credit they look at your history and give you a higher that the reason??

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