There is some good news in the fight for homeowners and against the big banks. Homeowners who are facing foreclosures because of unfair and often illegal practices by the major financial Goliaths are learning how to organize, how to shame bank executives and how to get local media attention.
But a panel of activists at Netroots Nation also expressed disappointment that there has not yet been any prosecutions of banking industry executives for any of the wrongdoing that led to the financial crisis and the millions of home foreclosures that followed.
That disappointment will greet Eric Schneiderman, the New York state attorney general who is also the head of an investigative task force on the financial crisis commissioned by President Obama, when he speaks tonight at a Netroots Nation plenary session.
Tracy Van Slyke, the director of New Bottom Line, one of the progressive grassroots organization leading the effort to break up the big banks and hold them accountable for causing the financial crisis, reflected the mood of the panel when she said that she was viewing the work of Schneiderman and the task force "with growing disappointment and growing anger" because of its slow progress.
Matt Browner-Hamlin, senior economic strategist at the Citizen Engagement Lab, said that top banking executives have already testified to actions before Congress that should lead to indictments, but so far they have not. There is a need for some real heroes in the fight against the big banks, Browner-Hamlin said, and "I had hoped that Schneiderman would be one of those heroes. Unfortunately, that's not going to be the case."
The heroes instead have been ordinary homeowners facing the threat of losing their homes who have found that by banding together with community activists and other homeowners they can often curb the big banks' worst behavior and begin to move public opinion on such issues as whether the big ...