Restoring trust and confidence in any system is a slow methodical process. Restoring confidence in the United States financial system is even more difficult, but not impossible.
With Bush’s shortfalls and Obama’s promises we still have no guarantee of focus and honesty. Yes, we hear the words from the new administration, but many people expect more of what we saw from the last administration.
Reforming regulatory oversight is admirable. Has anyone been accountable, or has anyone been removed from office over past failures to regulate? Not really.
Bankruptcy reform and credit card reform are admirable. Has anyone explained why consumers were abused by both? Bankruptcy laws were both reformed in 2005 were they not? Consumers felt abandoned, and set up for failure. Why should we trust reforms now?
Bailout money was not earmarked, nor were results mandated, and expectations were not clear. Banks simply bought other banks. Some were bold enough to say they qualified for bailout money for both institutions.
There are no clear-cut rules for violators of the Fair Debt Collection Act, Soldiers and Sailors Act, or guidelines for Indian collection agents calling Americans on Sunday morning.
The federal government has not backed down from rules that ignore state anti-predatory lending laws, placing the OCC and national banks above all others. These are the same banks that got themselves in trouble.
Federal regulators faced tougher tasks, and found the easy way out. Warning signs and consumer complaints were ignored. Economists who warned of doom were correct, but were ignored.
Until the federal government addresses ruthless collection agencies, abusive mortgage servicers, and antiquated outlooks to real world problems, nothing will be resolved. There is a wide gap between a homeowner in foreclosure and Bernard Madoff, but regulators couldn’t catch Madoff. They certainly don’t even see the real situation in real neighborhoods.
People need to go to jail, and others need to apologize. Some should resign, while others should never be promoted again. Throwing money at the problem does not solve anything unless there is a goal, performance monitoring, and a penalty for failure.
Lending cannot be restarted, and borrowers cannot be trusted unless they trust the lenders. Neither borrowers nor lenders can be trusted unless they can trust the government. With the government’s track record over the last seven to ten years, the government itself cannot be trusted.
If we cannot trust ourselves why should foreign countries trust us? Didn’t Bush stall and dodge IMF inspections of America? He certainly did, but if America had been inspected we might have failed the test.
Americans think there is nothing they can do about it, and expect the worst. It is a lack of trust and confidence. Americans think $5 per gallon gasoline will once again line the pockets of politicians and oil company executives while ruining our economy this coming summer. Americans think the government will just let it happen, and more people will lose their jobs.
Bankrupt, broke, unemployed, foreclosed, without credit cards, and facing an uncertain summer, Americans have had enough. Never before in history have people felt so abandoned and ignored.
The Obama Plan to help homeowners is voluntary. HOPE Now is a failure. Adding missed payments to the back end of a loan is no help at all. Third-part scammers are making money without helping anyone. Credit card holders are already being abused ahead of a proposed ‘Credit Card Bill of Rights.”
Once again somebody needs to take charge, regulate, and do something real that will restore confidence. It has not happened. In fact, many of the “better ideas” have hurt even more.
We are trying to recover from a nation-wide Ponzi scheme that ran for at least eight years, while some say it ran for twelve to twenty years.
To fix the problem Americans need a guarantee that those who still have money will not become the wealthiest people in America while buying their own property for a penny on the dollar when a failed bank comes under the control of the FDIC.