Change That Banks Can Believe In

The Obama Administration could fight for a bill to help people in danger of getting kicked out of their houses, but the banks don’t like it. Guess who Obama is listening to?

The administration is now claiming that the New York Times got it wrong the other day when it reported that the President opposes new “cramdown” legislation, which would authorize bankruptcy judges to force banks to reduce principal on mortgages in some circumstances.

The administration is not opposed to new legislation, it says; it’s just not supporting it, either.  You see?  All the difference in the world: it’s not like you need any strong Presidential leadership to get something through the Senate.

As a high-ranking Treasury Department official said a couple of weeks ago, “If it’s okay with B of A and Chase, then it’s okay with us.”    It is not known at this point whether the Department has become an official subsidiary.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

One thought on “Change That Banks Can Believe In”

  1. You DON'T need strong Presidential leadership to get legislation through the Senate. What you need is to have legislation sufficiently bad that Lieberman, Nelson, Landrieu, Lincoln, and Bayh will vote for cloture on it.

Comments are closed.