By Vincent L. Hall
Back in 2009, Steve Mnuchin and a lot of capitalist vultures bought California’s IndyMac bank. IndyMac fell from its perch in 2008 when the foreclosure crisis popped up, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) went down. These modern-day robber barons picked up a bargain for $13.9 billion with a 10% cash down payment. “Mini-Me” Mnuchin tooled a foreclosure machine and looted the taxpayers for no less than $200 million, according to a Huffington Post 2017 article.
“No such luck, of course, for the bank’s ordinary borrowers. During Mnuchin’ s reign, IndyMac carried out more than 36,000 foreclosures, tossing former homeowners (including active-duty military service members) onto the street without hesitation or pity, by any means necessary. Mnuchin and his billionaire posse “rushed delinquent homeowners out of their homes by violating notice and waiting period statutes, illegally backdated key documents, and effectively gamed foreclosure auctions.” No wonder Trump tapped his “Mini-Me” for his cabinet. Looters of a feather flock together!
During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton debated whether the “billionaire braggart” filed for bankruptcy four or six times. She was correct; he looted the taxpayers six times. The Washington Post Fact Checker bore out her claim. “Trump’s companies have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which means a company can remain in business while wiping away many of its debts. The bankruptcy court ultimately approves a corporate budget and a plan to repay remaining debts; often, shareholders lose much of their equity.
Trump’s Taj Mahal opened in April 1990 in Atlantic City, but six months later, “defaulted on interest payments to bondholders as his finances went into a tailspin,” the Washington Post’s Robert O’Harrow found. In July 1991, Trump’s Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy. He could not keep up with debts on two other Atlantic City casinos, and those two properties declared bankruptcy in 1992. A fourth property, the Plaza Hotel in New York, declared bankruptcy in 1992 after amassing debt. PolitiFact uncovered two more bankruptcies filed after 1992, totaling six. Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts filed for bankruptcy again in 2004, after accruing about $1.8 billion in debt.
Trump Entertainment Resorts also declared bankruptcy in 2009, after being hit hard during the 2008 recession. Why the discrepancy? Perhaps this will give us an idea: Trump told Washington Post reporters that he “counted the first three bankruptcies as just one.” Amazon’s CEO and the man soon slated to become the world’s first trillionaire loots the U.S. Post Office when he’s not cannibalizing diverse markets. Trump tweeted that the “U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon.” His math was fuzzy, but experts project that Bezos pockets at least a few billion extra dollars per annum.
Jeff Bezos conceded to CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell that Trump and others are not entirely off-base. “I didn’t have to build a transportation network to deliver the packages. It existed: It was called the post office,” Over the past weekend, there was a significant and pronounced problem with low-level looters. We clutched our collective pearls as we watched two-bit opportunists take things they neither needed nor wanted. It happened during the protest, but looting never shows up on anyone’s pre-protest planning sessions.
So why do you bitch and moan about crumbs when the professional looters are stealing your loaves? The Native Americans watched as their land was looted. The Africans had their dignity and the duty of their handiwork looted. Asian immigrants built the rail system while being held in camps. The Mexican immigrant was lured to “Great America” to undercut the wages of all of the above and poor whites.
Americans are looted continuously by a consortium that includes corporate giants, lobbyists, the U.S. Congress, and the greedy rich. Savvy and sadistic politicians like Nixon and Trump convinced you that looters are coming for you. All the while, they rob you blind. We can agree that the idiot who broke the plate-glass window at Target to get a handful of nothing is deplorable. What, then, do you call looters who reverse-mortgaged your grandfather, a disabled veteran, out of his home? Looters? Man, miss me with that bullshit! You better discern who’s looting you!