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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 4, 2009 at 9:01 PM

Banks and the economy

Capitalizing their profits, socializing their losses

This is a really basic issue. If I make a bad business decision, I must personally bear the consequence. Why are we allowing the banking industry to capitalize their profits and socialize their losses?

If we are willing to save the banks from their incredibly poor management, should we not demand that this generosity trickle down to the individual homeowners, even if they are also guilty of bad decision making? Just as it is in the public’s interest to keep banks from collapsing on a large scale, it is in the public’s interest to prevent mass foreclosures from destroying individual lives and, by extension, their communities.

One of the most important purposes of a democratic government is to balance the inherent inequity between the power of wealthy individuals and corporations, as well as the rights and freedoms of individual citizens and small businesses.

— Lauryn Christean, Kingston

Corporatists in bankers’ hip pockets

Allowing mortgage write-down legislation will stop 20 percent of foreclosures, according to a Credit Suisse study.

Allowing bankruptcy judges to adjust mortgages does not cost taxpayers one cent. Each foreclosure of a conventional mortgage within an eighth of a mile (essentially a city block) of your home results in a decline in property value between 0.9 and 1.136 percent.

It is incredible to me that Congress is allowing banks to write current bankruptcy legislation. Members of the New Democrat Coalition, who are fighting this legislation, call themselves “moderates.” They are not.

They are corporatists in the hip pocket of bankers and lobbyists. New Democrat Coalition Executive Director Adam Pase is a former bank lobbyist who worked on behalf of predatory lenders to kill regulation of subprime loans.

Banks think if they just hold out, taxpayers will pay them in full for their bad loans.

Helping banks avoid responsibility for the bad loans they have made is not “fiscally responsible;” it’s taxpayer theft.

I expect my member of Congress to oppose these efforts by banks to write our laws, and the members of Congress who help them do it.

— Tolli Lowell-Forker, Bothell

Contextualizing Obama’s criticism

The president never criticized banks when he personally was getting special-interest rates saving him over $100,000 on one bank loan when he was a senator.

So, why is he criticizing them now?

— Mark Balen, Lackawanna, N.Y.

Comments | More in banks, Federal bailouts

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