Michael Olenick: The Coming of the Light

We closed down crooked foreclosure processing companies, exposed crooked bankers, and now even identified a crooked (or at least grossly incompetent) senior US government official or two. We’ve watched them twist the law, the financial markets, and their own humanity into some unrecognizable nightmare form, and now and again helped shut one down. But it’s like a game of Angry Birds; after cracking how to destroy one set of bad guys you advance to a new screen that’s even tougher.

Bankers and their lawyers didn’t hesitate to label our rag-tag group as, well … crazy. But Lynn Szymoniak, Lisa Epstein, and Michael Redman, and Nye Lavelle, the earliest, aren’t only colleagues, but dear friends.

Then there are the lawyers who go to the mat for their clients and our cause, especially foreclosure defense lawyer Matt Weidner, and civil rights advocates Larry Schwartzol and Rachel Goodman of the national ACLU. Then lawyers who both fight but, almost more importantly, teach other lawyers how to: especially Max Gardner and April Charney.

Things began to really change when the journalists and publishers started catching on. Gretchen Morgenson has been at the forefront. Matt Taibbi called out the scam early, often, and using deliciously inappropriate language to describe atrociously inappropriate behavior. Abigail Field joined us later but jumped on board with a vengeance. On TV Scott Pelley and his producer, Dan Reutinck, brought the story to countless living rooms with moving pictures and stories. Then there’s my personal favorite, Yves Smith, my publisher who gave me a voice.

There are about five million American families living in their own homes — their children sleeping in their own beds — who wouldn’t otherwise be there but for this group. Their parents are terrified that any minute the Sherriff, or some thug hired by “The Bank,” will come to the door and they’ll be living in their cars. They should be scared; that threat is very real.

Check out the post in its entirety here…