Let us praise Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General for her pressure on the big five banks who exploited the mortgage crisis for profit. The banks, state governors and Obama administration folks have been negotiating a pay-out deal for the states. Of course the deal would protect these mortgage lenders from future lawsuits.
But the key player in the battle to make the banks pay is Harris. California’s catastrophic recession is due above all to the unpayable debts with which the banks saddled entire regions of the state. Harris recognized this in September, when she announced that, like Schneiderman and Biden, she was pulling out of the negotiations because the banks remained uninvestigated and the waiver they were being offered for their possible misconduct was way too broad. In her letter to Associate U.S. Atty. Gen. Thomas Perrelli and Miller announcing her decision, Harris said the agreement “would allow too few California homeowners to stay in their homes…. After much consideration, I have concluded that this is not the deal California homeowners have been looking for.”
Without California’s participation, of course, the banks would never assent to a deal.