(Under Dodd-Frank) the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (were authorized) to create a national database of foreclosures. The bill, however, did not provide the necessary funding mechanism for HUD to do so, nor did it include a deadline. The next Congress, not surprisingly, has also failed to appropriate the funds. According to Brian Sullivan at HUD, the agency also lacks “statutory authority to compel the reporting to HUD of information necessary to compile localized loan performance data.”Blatant political malpractice of this kind is becoming more and more prevalent. Pass some reforms and kinda sorta forget to fund them and staff them. If we dream it, it will come. This is passive-aggression, pure and simple, on the part of our public "servants."
Forbes Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg is inviting the unindicted criminals at Goldman Sachs to hedge their bets in a brand new casino game: wagering on recidivism at the world's largest penal colony, Rikers Island. The financiers are investing the relatively paltry (for them) sum of $1.9 million in an inmate rehabilitation program. If the mostly minority participants end up back in the slammer, the bank loses the bet. If they stay clean, Goldman somehow makes a profit -- apparently because we the taxpayers will reward them with interest for caring so much. This "scheme" as the Brits so aptly call things like this, has its critics:
Mark Rosenman, director of the Washington-based Caring to Change organisation, said he was sceptical about the idea of a market-based solution to difficult and complex social issues. "My general concern is that when you open a portion of the non-profit sector to the profit motive, we find that it displaces concern about solving public problems with a concern for private profit. You see that with the healthcare sector and higher education."
He added that a particular problem was how success and effectiveness was accurately measured in any social impact bond scheme.
"How do you develop a metric to measure success that fully reflects the public purpose of the project?" he asked.Indeed. And we also cannot put it past those clever banksters to devise a metric so that they can actually bet against troubled youths at the same time they invest in them. Maybe they can bundle minor drug offenders and hardcore gang bangers into Triple A-rated bonds and foist them on the public, knowing full well some of the chronics will re-offend and obligingly enrich the banksters.
Shades of the infamous Groveland Boys murder-by-police case from the 1950s: a young black man, arrested in Jonesboro, Arkansas on a minor drug charge, is frisked, handcuffed and placed in the back of a squad car. Somehow he manages to commit suicide by gunshot wound to the right temple. In cuffs. While left-handed. The local cops are bemused and baffled and bored by the whole thing. Charles Blow of the New York Times has more.
Did you get your invite from Michelle for Barack's birthday bash-for-profit in their Chicago back yard? Well, if you didn't RSVP and enter for a chance to win, don't despair. She's not bothering to show up either. Ouch.