[D]ebt relief for homeowners — which could have done a lot to promote overall economic recovery — has simply dropped off the agenda. The existing program for mortgage relief has been a bust, spending only a tiny fraction of the funds allocated, but there seems to be no interest in revamping and restarting the effort.

NYTimes article yesterday:

As the nation’s housing market continues to teeter, the Treasury Department on Thursday penalized three of the nation’s largest banks for subpar performance in administrating a government-sponsored program to modify mortgage loans for distressed homeowners. [. . .] Neil M. Barofsky, who resigned in March as special inspector general for the bank bailout, described the assessments and penalties as a “lost opportunity” to hold lenders more accountable. “It further reaffirms Treasury’s long-running toothless response to the servicers’ disregard of their contract with Treasury, and by extension, the American taxpayer,” Mr. Barofsky said in an e-mail.

[. . .] The administration predicted that three million to four million Americans would benefit, but so far, only 699,053 permanent modifications have been started. To date, Treasury has spent about $1.34 billion on HAMP.

(Emphasis supplied.) The good news is $48.7 billion is still available for an actual plan for the homeowner crisis. Now all we need is Obama to fire Geithner . . .

Speaking for me only

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  • Display: Sort:
    Geithner sent me a photo of his penis (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by david mizner on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:40:58 AM EST
    Really, he did. I swear. He should resign.

    I got that one, too (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Towanda on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 11:03:53 AM EST
    but I noticed that something was missing: He has no balls.

    Claro (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by sj on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 10:03:36 AM EST
    Surely that's what he'll do.  Based on his past behavior, it's exactly what will happen.

    I think you should (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by sj on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 10:40:50 AM EST
    bookmark this comment and do a monthly "temperature check".  Heck, maybe I will, too.  

    Tell you what... (none / 0) (#14)
    by sj on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 10:58:33 AM EST
    If I remember, I'll give you a link to your own comment and you can do your own analysis.  That way I won't have to keep saying "nope, didn't happen" or "nope, you were wrong" or "how's that working out for you?" in public  :)

    Or, I could do both...

    Of course,the thing is I would have to remember to actually check in on a regular basis...


    I fully expect (none / 0) (#19)
    by Warren Terrer on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 11:27:26 AM EST
    that 10 years from now I'll see Obama interviewed on the TV, recounting to the interviewer how he did what he had to do when he slashed the budget, that ultimately it saved the economy and saved more jobs than it destroyed, and that he regrets nothing.

    Of course (none / 0) (#21)
    by Dadler on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 11:32:32 AM EST
    I think if O faced that "What have you done wrong?" question that Dubya responded to so famously, he'd do no better.  He might SOUND a bit better, but I doubt he'd have more substance.

    I really don't want to know (none / 0) (#25)
    by nycstray on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 02:18:30 PM EST
    what grade O would give himself today . . . much less listen to his BS 10yrs down the road.

    So I guess (none / 0) (#26)
    by Nemi on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:05:20 PM EST
    I really shouldn't remind you of his answer to that question in late 2009. (Apologies in advance.)

    Good solid B-plus. I ... I mean, I think that we have inherited the biggest set of challenges of any President since, uh, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Uh, we stabilized the economy, prevented the possibilities of a great depression or a significant financial meltdown. Uh, the economy is growing again. We are on our way out of Iraq. Uh, I think we've got the best possible plan for Afghanistan. Uh, we have reset our image, uh, around the world. We have achieved an international consensus around the need for Iran and North Korea to disable their nuclear weapons. And I think that we're gonna pass the most significant piece of social legislation ... since Social Security - and that's Health - uh, Health Insurance for every American - in a very long time.

    B-plus because of the things that are undone. Health care is not yet signed. If I get Health Care passed, I'll - we tip into A-minus.

    It appears that the Obama (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 10:51:08 AM EST
    Administration has made a conscious decision that the joblessness situation is not a matter of great concern, either for  economic or re-election prospects.  Maybe a trend in the "right direction" (that would be downward) is all that is seen as necessary--say from 9.l to 8.7 percent.  Campaign rhetoric and the Republican candidate line-up  will serve as substitutes.

    As Krugman essentially says, follow the money, and you see that debt relief for homeowners and budget cutting benefit accrue, in greatest measure, to bankers and the wealthy with a lot of bonds in their portfolios.  Inflation and interest rates need to stay low and joblessness high to make it all work for them. These are the ones likely to contribute to campaigns and provide post-government service employment opportunities.

    Hmmm (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 10:59:41 AM EST
    As of Tuesday of this week, Obama doesn't sound like he is moving in that direction.

    The Obama administration on Tuesday night might have thrown a wrench into Senate Democratic plans to pass what they see as a jobs bill -- by implying the bill spends too much money.

    In a Statement of Administration Policy, the White House said it supports the broad goals of the bill.

    "However, the bill would authorize spending levels higher than those requested by the president's Budget, and the administration believes that the need for smart investments that help America win the future must be balanced with the need to control spending and reduce the deficit," the administration said. link

    Sounds like his agenda is still focused on reducing the deficit.

    Of course he will (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Warren Terrer on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 11:07:16 AM EST
    He's got his Treasury secretary on the job right now, reigning in those banks and saving all those homeowners.

    Why do you think firing ... (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 12:11:26 PM EST
    Geithner would have any effect?  

    He'd just be replaced by someone else with identical policies. Because Obama, and the masters he serves, support these policies.  

    In fact, Geithner is just a stooge anyway.  And there are plenty of other stooges wriggling in the stooge bucket ... ready and waiting.

    We've been subsidizing (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by jtaylorr on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 01:02:26 PM EST
    single-family home ownership for 80 years.
    How is there a crisis? The U.S. has one of the highest rates of home ownership in the entire world (exactly because of gov't subsidies and policies favoring low-density development and home ownership).
    What has the result been? Housing bubbles, sprawl, congestion, declining cities, lack of affordable housing and environmentally degradation.

    Too Late to help Obama's re-election IMO. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Buckeye on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:26:48 AM EST
    It would be the right thing to do, but it is too late to help him in 2012.  He would have to push out Geitner, bring in someone else through a wall of republican oppostion, re-staff the T-department, and then start pushing through better policies.  Economic policies do not turn the economy around on a dime.  It takes some time.  While he should do it because it will help us long term, I do not think there is enough time on the clock to help his re-election in 2012.

    It seems to me as well (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:58:50 AM EST
    that he would have zero chance of getting anything through Congress.

    In the absence of fast action he lost the House and that was poison, killing any chance of making a dramatic turn.  Those first 21 months were critical and he blew it.

    In the end his choice of Geitner and some White House staff appointments doomed him and us, mostly us.  

    This is what happens when a flash in the pan gets to the top.  Obama had a couple of terms as a state Senator and two brief working years in the US Senate.  He never had enough of anything to warrant nomination by a major party.  Allowing Rubin's kid to pick staff was the mistake of a rookie without a rolodex.  The nation needed someone experienced and battle hardened with no delusions about the opposition.

    His nomination, IMO, was a costly error with potential long term damage to the nation.


    Yep, excellent post! (none / 0) (#6)
    by Buckeye on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:10:40 AM EST
    Wonder if that $48.7 billion is part (none / 0) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:06:54 AM EST
    of Biden's well over $1 trillion in deficit cuts identified to raise the debt ceiling.

    Vice President Biden and congressional leaders left a meeting on the debt limit saying they were on track to find $1 trillion in deficit cuts.

    "We are confident that if we keep on this pace we can get to a relatively large number," Biden told reporters as he exited the meeting in the Capitol that lasted more than two-and-a-half hours. "I think we're in a position where we'll be able to get to well above $1 trillion pretty quick, what would be a down payment on the process."
    Biden did not specify how that $1 trillion in deficit cuts would be reached. He said that the group has yet to discuss tax increases. He said he told fellow negotiators Tuesday that revenues have to be on the table, something Republicans have ruled out. link

    If Obama loses 2012 it will be Geithner (none / 0) (#7)
    by Coral on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:25:50 AM EST
    he'll have to thank for it...and, of course, his own bad judgment on which of his economic advisers to listen to.

    I think the guy is economically tone deaf. Obama, that is. Geithner is one of the financier class.

    Dan Rather is airing an interview (none / 0) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:35:19 AM EST
    with Neil Barofsky tomorrow for anyone who gets him on HDNet.

    I think if Obama fired Geithner... (none / 0) (#20)
    by masslib on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 11:27:36 AM EST
    he'd replace him with someone worse.

    Who would be worse? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 11:51:08 AM EST
    Paul Ryan, maybe (none / 0) (#28)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jun 11, 2011 at 07:08:36 AM EST
    Larry ... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Yman on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 09:09:33 PM EST
    ... Kudlow?