Rep. Maxine Waters held a mega-hearing today, of 16 witnesses, on three panels before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, but missed the mark entirely, by focusing on how to make improvements in mortgage modifications, instead of acting on the reality that it's 'Glass Steagall, do or die.' This is illustrated in her concluding remarks at the hearing, which was titled, "Robo-Signing, Chain of Title, Loss Mitigation and Other Issues in Mortgage Servicing." Chairman Waters steered clear of the obvious question of criminality, and need to halt foreclosures, saying only that mortgage "servicers, MERS (Mortgage Electronic Records Service) [and other] ancillary businesses have popped up, with no regulation," so that her Committee will seek to work with the expert witnesses in the future, "as we try to make it right for our homeowners."
But there will be no homeowners, nor future, unless there is Glass-Steagall financial reorganization.
Even a governor of the board of the Federal Reserve, on the first panel of five Federal agencies, gave horror-show testimony. Elizabeth A. Duke projected that there will be 4.25 million home mortgage foreclosures over 2011 through 2012, and this year alone will have 2.25 million. This put before the Committee the spectre of a terminal collapse underway, with criminal bums behind it, talking double-speak about "macro effects." Duke said,
"The number of foreclosures initiated on residential properties has soared from about 1 million in 2006, the year that house prices peaked, to 2.8 million last year. Over the first half of this year, we have seen a further 1.2 million foreclosure filings, and an additional 2.4 million homes were somewhere in the foreclosure pipeline at the end of June. All told, we expect about 2.25 million foreclosure filings this year and again next year, and about 2 million more in 2012. While our outlook is for filings to decline in coming years, they will remain extremely high by historical standards. Currently, almost 5 million mortgage loans are 90 days or more past due or in foreclosure."
A report issued for today's hearing, by the Congressional Research Service, likewise presented a horror-scenario of the prospect of the major banks having to make good on some $425 billion worth of bad mortgages they sold, by buying them back from "investor"/speculators, and then, because of these bank losses, expecting to receive another bailout. This, itself, is only a linear projection, and fairytale thinking, but the scenario again makes clear that Glass-Steagall intervention is the only thing that will work. Nothing else.