Shame? If we've learned anything over the last year, it's that Wall Street has none. Ten months ago Wall Street lobbyists beat back a proposal to give bankruptcy judges the right to amend mortgages in order to pressure lenders to reduce principle owed, just like Wall Street lobbyists are now beating back tough regulations to prevent the Street from causing another meltdown.
Shame? For Wall Street, it all comes down to PR, at minimal cost. Goldman Sachs, attempting to preempt a firestorm of public outrage when it dispenses its $17 billion of bonuses, is setting up a crudely conceived $500 million PR program to help Main Street.
Shame won't work. Only political muscle and courage will. Congress and the Obama administration should give homeowners the right to go to a bankruptcy judge and have their mortgages modified.
And while they're at it, resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act that used to separate investment from commercial banking, so Wall Street can't continue to use other people's money to gamble.
Finally, before Goldman hands out $17 billion in bonuses, claw back the $13 billion Goldman took from AIG and the rest of us and add it to the pool of money going for mortgage relief.
Have They No Shame? Nope.
From Robert Reich: