Archive for November 8th, 2014

From the Huffington Post

“The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday praised a move, already panned by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), to increase the amount of money the federal government pays its student loan contractors.

In a speech here to consumer rights advocates, Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin said her colleagues at the Education Department had recently boosted the amounts paid to companies that handle borrowers’ monthly payments in hopes that better financial incentives will drive them to improve their customer service and work harder to help borrowers avoid costly loan defaults. These companies include Nelnet Inc. and Navient Corp., the former loan servicing arm of student loan giant Sallie Mae.

What Raskin neglected to mention Thursday is that taxpayers will fund a bump in pay for the student loan servicers even if their performance does not improve.

In September, under withering questioning from Warren, a top Education Department official conceded that the companies will get more money regardless of any changes they make to their operations. At the time, the senator was incredulous.

“Let me get this straight: You break the law. You don’t follow the rules. You treat the borrowers badly,” Warren said of the loan servicers. “And you all just renegotiated the contracts to make sure that across the portfolio, [loan servicers] are going to make a little more money if nothing changes?”

“The idea of the renegotiation was to help the borrowers, not to make the servicers richer,” Warren told William Leith, chief business officer for the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, which handles student loans.

With unpaid student debt approaching $1.3 trillion during an era of stagnant wages and low employment, federal agencies including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department have taken an increased interest in the potential fallout from educational loans. Private-sector advisers ranging from chief executives of banks to Wall Street’s top traders warn that rising loan balances could inhibit U.S. economic growth.”

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Al Franken ran a populist campaign for re-election. His ads were direct, and their messages were impressively disciplined. See the ad above. During his six years in the US senate, Franken has fought for the middle class, unlike say, Wall Street Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and Wall Street President Barack Obama, both of whom work for Wall Street in its war against the middle class. That’s why Franken won, and the rest of the Democrats lost. When Democrats like Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren run a populist campaign, they win big because most voters have an idea these people are working for them, and not for Big Money. Franken has a record to show exactly whose side he’s on. So does Merkley and Warren.

Wall Street Democrats, such as Wyden, seem to forget what the Democratic Party should stand for, and that’s what President Harry Truman said below. So Wyden has to lie to get reelected, and the corporate news media does its share of the lying on his behalf.

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