I said yesterday that, after Dear Leader's minions, including and starting with Little Timmy Geithner, along New York Fed members and others, have spent months attacking N.Y. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, color me skeptical at least, and cynical at most, that any talk of a federal lawsuit against banksters for their alphabet soup diarrhea of CDOs, CDSs, etc., is anything more than a hill of diarrhea-inducing beans.
The suit's been filed. So, let's update this from yesterday Adding to my skepticism? It names no dollar amount for damages sought. (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reportedly lost $196 billoin on the alphabet soup crap.) So, let's look more at the reality of why this is probably a dog-and-pony show.
Here's how this will likely play out.
1. Team Obama goes through motions of filing suit.
2. Goddam Sachs, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley et al plead remorse. (Like AT&T pleading to "tweak" the T-Mobile takeover.)
3. Said banksters eventually agree to a settlement. (This is part of "doing God's work," of course. Loyd Blankfein will combine this with the "remorse" part for Goddam Sachs.)
4. Money for said settlement will pennies on the dollar, payable over a decade or more. Updated with the new link, 10 percent of this is about $20 billion. And, not coincidentally, that's what Team Obama suggested in initial settlement talks. Even prorated by company size among the 17 defendants, that's, say, $3 billion for Bank of America. BofA had that much profit in one quarter in 2010. Even if I temper my cynicism somewhat, and call it 20 percent on the settlement, payable over three years, that's $6 bil for BofA over three years, or $500M a year. It will be able to digest that, write it down on earnings statements, and possible even find a way to a tax deduction or two.
5. Said money is then used by Team Obama to create a successor to HARP and HAMP called HEMP: "Home Equity Maintenance Program." God, I love being snarky.
6. Said program is started, oh, say, July 2012? Just in time for the Democratic National Convention and some appropriate re-election PR?
6A. Said program, said start of payments, said percentage markdown of payments, etc., all get connected in some way to Democratic campaign contributions.
7. Team Obama tells Schneiderman: "We really, really tried. This is the best we can do. Now, for the last time, stop bothering the banksters."