Treasurer Opposes Rating Banks, Chase & Goldman Slammed
March 7 -- Even after the financial industry meltdown
based on predatory lending, the Bloomberg administration in New York
City on March 7 publicly opposed a proposal local law that would rate
banks on community service before the City does business with them.
Treasurer protested that “banks are heavily regulated,” despite
the finding that lack of regulation allowed banks, many based in New
York, to engage in Ponzi scheme like trading of predatory mortgages.
Treasurer said that it would be hard to replace a bank if it were
disqualified. First, given Community Reinvestment Act grade inflation
at the federal and state level, disqualification of any large bank
would seem sadly unlikely.
that the City has qualified 35 banks, ranging from small banks like
Ridgewood Saving Bank up to Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Citibank, JPMorgan
Chase and “Goldman Sachs Bank,” of which Council member Leroy G.
Comrie asked, “I wonder why we are still doing business with them?
I don't understand, I would use stronger language but it's Monday
it has been
noted by Inner City Press, sold a stake to Liby's
Bank is among the larger foreclosers, with little accountability.
Citigroup's predatory lending arm CitiFinancial is so disgraced it
has been renamed One Main and still can't be sold off.
devolved into claiming that only two or three banks can do the City's
business, although she didn't name them.
In hearing room, Al Vann et al listen to Bloomberg's
Treasurer (c) MRLee
There was talk of
the Department of Finance, and of DoF's Commissioner being required
to answer more questions on Thursday in “Emigrant Savings Bank, the
Council's temporary chambers.”
The bill was
not slated for a vote
at the hearing; there will be more on this, especially the national
implications, represented on Monday by NCRC.
Gale Brewer asked if the DoF's lobbyist would engage with national
groups around the federal Community Reinvestment Act. “I don't know
when CRA is up for renewal,” he replied.
stretched on, more and more Council members came in, perhaps sensing
Bloomberg's weakness, ranging from Joel Rivera and Helen Foster of
The Bronx through Brad Lander to Lewis A. Fidler.
Cabrera said that last night he went to a “nice Mexican
restaurant,” and found the Bloomberg administration's health
ratings useful. “But it would confuse consumers” when applied to
banks, Bloomberg's Treasurer said.
Domenic Recchia introduced the law, and Ricchia specifically
denounced JPMorgan Chase as not being willing to modify loans in New
York City. As Inner City Press came in to the drab hearing room, in
250 Broadway's 16th floor, another
attendee asked, “Is this the hearing about Chase Bank?”
* * *
Off UN Missions, US Says Bailed Out Banks
updated -- When JPMorgan Chase wrote to countries'
Missions to the UN and told them accounts would be closed in March
2011, several countries complained, to the UN and to the “host
country,” the United States.
of State Patrick Kennedy came to the UN in New York to
speak to countries' Ambassadors about Chase's move. Afterwards, Inner
City Press asked Kennedy if he -- or Hillary Clinton or Treasury
Secretary Timothy Geithner, both of whom Kennedy said were involved
-- had spoke with JPMorgan Chase.
have had discussions with the major banks," Kennedy answered, later
confirming that yes, this
included Chase. But what was the response of Chase, whose CEO Jaime
Dimon is often rumored to be a line for an appointment by the Obama
that “we cannot tell a bank what to do.” Inner City Press
immediately asked, What about the banks which took bailouts and still
owe TARP money to the US and its taxpayers? "Could the government use
he was not
“technically competent to get into that level of detail," and told
City Press to ask the Treasury Department official who had also come
to the UN. Video on Inner City Press YouTube channel here.
later said this Treasury Deparment official was Mark Poncy of
the Office of Strategic Policy, Poncy never came to speak to the
Kennedy if he thought the UN should go forward and re-rent
space inside the UN under its Capital Master Plan to JPMorgan Chase,
when this bank was turning its back on Missions of the countries
which make up the UN.
“Ask the UN,”
said Kennedy, who has responsibility at the State Department for
Management, including at the UN. At the US Mission to the UN in New
York, the Management position has remained with only an interim
person, the genial but part time Professor Joseph Melrose.
the UN's noon
briefing, Inner City Press did ask Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin
Nesirky if the UN would give space to JPMorgan Chase in the
Secretariat building when it re-opens.
Nesirky said. But Chase is already in talks with the UN as to which
space to get in the repaired building -- not, apparently, the fourth
floor space it previously had, but some other location.
he would not comment on negotiations. But is Chase's closing of
UN Mission's accounts, Inner City Press asked, even part of the
negotiations? Nesirky seemed to say he would look into this.
only interested in re-entering the Secretariat building when it
re-opens: Chase also has a branch on the first floor of the DC-1
building which houses the UN Development Program. Many countries'
Missions to the UN opened accounts at Chase because they were thus
inside the UN. Will the UN allow this to continue?
At UN, Patrick Kennedy, spokesman Mark
Kornblau & Joseph Melrose: where's Chase?
Kennedy, Inner City Press asked Iran's Permanent Representative
as he came out if he thought Chase should continue to remain in UN
buildings. No, the Ambassador said, UN space should go to banks
which will deal with UN Missions.
He spoke of
the UN Federal Credit
Union -- currently embroiled in a dispute about the account of the UN
Staff Union -- and was asked if the UN should withdraw its own funds
from a bank which in effect redlines Missions, like Chase.
the Press about “transfer fees” while
Turkey's Deputy Permanent Representative shrugged that “there are
Turkish banks in New York.”
Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin, asked in front of the Security
Council about JPMorgan Chase's move, laughed and said "the ruble is a
very strong currency," when you have the ruble you don't need anything
else. But the others? Watch this site.
14, 2011: the following arrived:
- Do Not Reply [at] un.org
Date: Fri, Jan 14, 2011
at 8:05 AM
Subject: Your questions on Chase Bank
To: Inner City
the following in reply to your questions at the noon
from the US briefing about their accounts being
shuttered think the UN should withdraw all its accounts with Chase.
Has this been broached with the administration? Being weighed at all?
this was raised by one Member State delegate in the
briefing with Ambassador Kennedy. The UN Secretariat has not been
approached in this matter.
an office in the UN building after the CMP?
the new UN building design includes space provision for
banks. No agreements have been entered into with any banks for this