The troubled bank merger of CIT Group has set a new record for opposition to a bank merger- with 21,000 individuals signing Daily Kos and NPA petitions against it, and over 100 organizations in California and across the US opposing the merger. In response to this opposition, the Federal Reserve and OCC held a hearing in February 2015, and have subsequently asked the banks for information about the many issues raised at this public hearing. The attorneys for the bank continue to stonewall the Fed and California communities in their responses- either not responding to questions altogether, cherry picking the data (like only reporting on foreclosure complaints after they sold most of their mortgage servicing), or using semantics to hide OneWest’s record of closing branches in low income areas.
We’re now asking for individuals and consumers to weigh in with their reasons why this merger SHOULD happen.
Yes, you read that correctly. This is a tongue in cheek contest, and we’ll publish your ideas as they come in. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your best one! Be sure to let us know if you’re submitting your reasons anonymously, or if we should credit you. If you need some material to get started, visit our resource page or check out the other pages on this website.
We have a few to start you off!
1) Because foreclosing on widows is good public policy and should be rewarded by the Federal Reserve and OCC.
2) Because it’s good to experiment when it comes to regulating banks! This would be the first time the Federal Reserve allows the creation of a Systemically Important Financial Institution. What could possibly go wrong?
3) Because Janet Yellen probably didn’t mean it when she said this: “The past few decades of widening inequality can be summed up as significant income and wealth gains for those at the very top and stagnant living standards for the majority…”
Therefore, it’s good to approve of a merger that will further enrich billionaires like George Soros, Steve Mnuchin, Chris Flowers, Michael Dell, and John Paulson, especially if taxpayers and the FDIC are funding that further enrichment.
4) Because breaking laws when you foreclose on people doesn’t necessarily mean your mega-merger shouldn’t be approved!
5) Because all banks should have two versions of their Community Reinvestment Act plan. One that they can try to keep secret from the community (and that’s a more robust commitment to the community), and a second version that contains mostly vague promises and few benchmarks.
6) Because Americans want more Too Big To Jail….errr…we mean Too Big To Fail banks.
7) Because it’s fine that CIT Group never paid back taxpayers for their $2.3 billion TARP loan, but has spent over $6,000 a day lobbying Congress during the past two years.
8. Because every time a widow gets to stay in her home, a job is killed. -SR from California.
9. Because paying back one’s debts is for chumps like us, not banks and investors like them. -SR from California.
10. Because CIT Group sounds like a company that’s about to “sit” on some toxic loans. -WMP.
11. Because no risk for OneWest and CIT should not mean no foreclosure for you. -SR from California.
12. Because why should advocates press for more lending in communities of color and low income communities when payday lenders are already doing such a good job at it? -SR from California.
13. Because CIT Group and Corinthian College (which OneWest Bank helped finance) both have bankruptcy in common, which could be helpful if the new bank doesn’t work out.