Revisiting Statements Around the Mortgage Settlement

A little over six months ago, negotiations over the mortgage settlement concluded with a 49 state agreement to address robosigning and other predatory mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices. This was a pivotal moment, because it was possibly the last leverage point to look into problems with the securitization process that led to the financial crisis. One theory around the settlement negotiations is that it was a PR move designed to make politicians look good in an election year, without costing the banks anything. To this end, one of the core objectives was to have organized groups issue statements of praise, or at least not condemnation, upon signing of the settlement agreement.

This put pressure on the organized liberal establishment, which had found it difficult to reconcile their desire for a solvent middle class and their support for bailout-friendly politicians like Barack Obama. And so, a good amount of organizing energy was spent maneuvering between two different objectives, the desire to have some sort of remediation for the foreclosure crisis, and a desire to have President Obama reelected. As a result, most of the organized infrastructure decided to praise the settlement, sometimes with aggressive words like “monumental” and sometimes with faintness, with the use of terms like “first step” and “down payment”. There were some, however, who made arguments that the settlement was a bad deal, that it shouldn’t have been signed.

I’ve compiled a series of statements issued upon the signing of the settlement, so you can see the extent of the media framing fight that took place upon its signing. It’s also useful to show who was right and who was wrong. By and large, there have been no acknowledgments of error from anyone.

Statements of Support here…