Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wall Street Investigation Must Reach Congress

President Barack Obama announced a federal investigation into Wall Street. "I am asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans." Many Americans expect the investigation to reach members of Congress, too.

  Progressive champion New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is co-chairing the investigation and will make sure it stays on track. 
   Just weeks ago, this investigation wasn't even on the table, and the big banks were pushing for a broad settlement that would have made it impossible. Your work changed all that.
   This is truly a huge victory for the 99% movement. Hundreds of thousands of us signed petitions, made calls, and held signs outside in the cold to make this issue something that President Obama couldn't ignore. Here's some of what MoveOn members and our allies did to bring about this victory: 
   Over 360,000 of us signed a petition calling on President Obama to fully investigate the banks. 
We delivered that petition at over 150 events last Thursday around the country at Obama for America campaign offices.  
Our pressure on state attorneys general stopped the rush to a sweetheart deal that would have precluded this investigation. 
And we've called, Facebooked, and tweeted at the White House repeatedly to ask the president to launch this investigation. 
   Without an investigation, real accountability for the banks wouldn't be possible. But while this is a big win, it isn't enough all by itself. We still need to keep a close eye on the investigation, make sure top bankers don't escape prosecution, and keep fighting for real solutions for the 11 million underwater homeowners who are still struggling to keep their homes. 
   And, we need to keep pushing for more wins for the 99%, including our campaigns to get big money out of politics and tax the rich fairly.  
   Progressive victories don't come that often, and there's so much more to do. But this is a very big one. Thank you for all you did to make it happen! 

– Elena, Emily, Lenore, Robin, and the rest of the MoveOn team.

 An investigative report published by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows McIntosh Commercial Bank, owned by republican U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, Jr. and two brothers, was the most poorly managed bank in Georgia before the law compelled bank examiners to intervene and save the deposits of innocent Georgia families. Depositors across the country must pay $123 million to cover the risky bets made by the bank.
  Rep. Broun Jr. has insisted that the bank’s closing is the government’s fault. He told a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “The federal government is closing these banks down when there is absolutely no reason to do so. It’s just totally wrong.”
 Russell Edwards, the Democratic challenger to Broun Jr. in 2010 stated “the Broun Bailout proves once again that Paul Broun, Jr. hurts our community with his irresponsible actions. In this case, he nearly destroyed the life savings of countless Georgia families. It is infuriating that Broun Jr. shirks reponsibility, instead casting blame on bank examiners who were compelled by law to save the deposits of innocent Georgia families."

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