Today President Obama received a letter from ColorOfChange and our partners urging the administration to hold Wall Street accountable. The letter states that an investigation is essential to hold the big banks accountable for their role in the housing crisis and to prevent future reckless behavior from the banking and mortgage industries. This latest action follows on the heels of the combined 360,000 petitions delivered to the White House last week and calls on the administration to ensure that these minimum conditions are met:
1) The banks should pay a minimum of $300 billion in principal reduction for homeowners with underwater mortgages and restitution for foreclosed families. The $17 billion rumored to be set aside in the current settlement proposal for principal reduction is simply not enough for the estimated 7 million American families displaced by the housing crisis.
2) The Department of Justice must launch a full investigation into Wall Street financial fraud. The administration should create a task force with the staffing, resources and authority it needs to investigate the banks. The banks should pay for this investigation. US banks made $35 billion in profits last year. They can afford it.
The millions of people hurt during this crisis need real relief, and we cannot settle for a bad deal that lets the banks off the hook. That's why there's growing opposition from members of Congress and a growing coalition of civil rights and social justice organizations.
ColorOfChange has launched an online tool to support ongoing local organizing around the country. And we'll be listening for any remarks regarding Wall Street accountability and other ColorOfChange campaigns tonight as President Obama gives the State of the Union address. Follow us on twitter @ColorofChange and please share your reactions using #BSOTU as we work to address critical issues that impact all of us.