Sunday, May 6, 2012

JNS BLOG EDITORIAL: Dear U.S. Bank CEO Richard Davis, Consider Yourself And Your Company To Be OFFICIALLY VILIFIED For Your Banking Practices In North Minneapolis...

Cell phone camera image and blog post by John Hoff, thanks to NoMi Passenger for technical assistance with this image

In a recent STrib article, click here for a link which will eventually transform into a request for you to purchase the article, fat chance, US Bank's CEO Richard Davis defended his company's banking practices in North Minneapolis and was quoted as follows:

"I refuse to have this company vilified as someone (sic) who's (sic) not involved in north Minneapolis, not deeply engaged in the welfare of everyone who lives up there with the branches that we have and the production and performance we have, and have anyone try to cast a claim on this company for one loan when the facts have not been registered accurately yet so far anywhere."

Oh, my word, where to begin? Let's start with the minor and work our way to a couple mega-misrepresentations of the reality we experience daily "up here" in North Minneapolis...

First, DICK (you mind if I call you "DICK?") I guess it's my job to inform you corporations aren't really people, and shouldn't be referred to in the same way as human beings, i.e., "someone" and "who's."

Your company is an object, not a person. But it doesn't really surprise me to observe the CEO of a bank to be confused on the concept of personhood for corporations. Corporations being granted nearly eternal life and gaining vampire-like powers to commit evil against human beings is one of the biggest reasons this country is fighting its way out of an economic mess while our jobs are being exported overseas to the Third World. Maybe you're not confused at all, DICK. Maybe you're just revealing your core loyalties and beliefs.

If I had my way, whether to revoke the corporate charter of certain evil corporations would be put up for votes and referendums at a statewide level. Big banks who take metric shit tons of government money and then won't dish out breaks to lenders would be pushed out of states after having their corporate charters revoked, leaving the playing field to be occupied by non-profit credit unions.

However, Richard (I've decided to call you Richard, after all) in some ways it's unfortunate how fate has decided a highly symbolic battle will be fought over the mortgage on Monique White's home in North Minneapolis. It's unfortunate because US Bank is not the worst banking villian in our neighborhood. It's a shame you and your bank have been cast as the bad guys in this drama, because there are worse bad guys.

But here you go and put on a white hat and try to say your company is, oh my word, deeply engaged in the welfare of everybody who lives in my neighborhood?

Richard, you are so full of it.

US Bank (or, to be more specific in a corporate way, US Bank TRUST) was the servicer on a number of bad loans it (admittedly) did not originate in this neighborhood. Now those properties have fallen into your hands. So what do they look like, those properties?

I mean, RICHARD, can I drive around my neighborhood and look at the many vacant, foreclosed houses and say, "Oh, look at that one. Grass is nicely cut, snow is promptly shoveled, leaves are raked, house looks secure and LOOK HOW QUICKLY they've put it on the market. And if they put renters inside before the house is sold, those renters sure are decent folks! In fact, when the cleaning crew trashed the sad personal possessions left inside, they hauled all that stuff to Goodwill instead of throwing it in a big dumpster."

No, Richard. Your empty homes are just as bad as the empty homes of the other banks, who are less or more guilty than your bank, but guilty none the less. Your company seems to think that because North Minneapolis is a minority dominated neighborhood, you don't have to take a lot of care and concern with the foreclosures that fall into your hands. We'd never see houses left this way in EDINA.

And ECONOMIC REALITY somehow doesn't sink in to your practices, because you will sell those foreclosed homes for so little that it would be better for everybody to just sell the house to the underwater owner for what the house could get on the market, for example, a $180,000 house slashed to $50,000.

Nobody loses their home, and the bank gets what it would have gotten ANYWAY. And it's fair, because the government bailed YOU out, so now you can bail OTHERS out, just like those nice Occupy people have been saying all along. Oh, I may not agree with everything they stand for, but they make some very good points at a time when those points need to be heard and some of their proposed solutions implemented.

Give the underwater owners in North Minneapolis a break.

It's called "paying it forward," Richard. Like when somebody helps you with a broken down auto on the road, so you help the NEXT guy on the road.

But I suppose a fat cat banker like you has had nice cars and road assistance coverage on their insurance all their life, so the very CONCEPT of "pay it forward" is alien to you. (But corporate personhood, oh, you grasp THAT just fine)

Here's a concept we both understand: a semi-official spokesperson, who can speak with authority.

You speak for US Bank, though not every shareholder agrees with everything you say or do, still you speak with some form of authority for US Bank.

I speak for North Minneapolis from the podium of this blog, though not every reader or resident agrees with each thing I say, still, I speak with some form of authority for North Minneapolis.

With your authority, Richard, you say US Bank will not be vilified over your practices in North Minneapolis.

With my authority, I say:


Hang your head in SHAME, SHAME, SHAME.


Anonymous said...

Ms. White didn't pay her mortgage... for MONTHS... how is this the bank's fault?

I fell behind. I communicated with my bank. I worked extra shifts, and made up the amount within a few months.

Ms. White has at least one child who is old enough to work and help out on the bills. If her son can't do that then too bad if he had to change schools - there are WORSE THINGS to happen to a child.

This is a prime example of what is wrong with NoMi - too many people slacking in their responsibilities and expecting OTHERS to bail their butts when they get in the foreseeable hot water.

And let's not even go into whether a corporation is an object...

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid all these comments may be falling on deaf ears. Mr. Davis can not possible understand what it means to lose a 40-50K home or the impact that his banks practices have on existing homesteaders in this area. You see, Mr. Davis's 5-Year Compensation earns him $25.18 million and he has worked at US Bank for 17 years. How could he possible understand?

Johnny Northside! said...


Unmowed lawns EVERYWHERE on these vacant homes.

You can't go up to the US Bank houses and say, "Look, this one has the yard mowed EVERY SATURDAY, like clockwork!"

No, the US Bank houses look exactly like all the other neglected and vacant foreclosure properties. And here he's all, like, claiming to be involved in our neighborhood and our welfare.


The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Richard Davis quite literally worked his way up through the ranks of the company, starting as a teller. He understands more than what a quick link to his current pay would indicate. US Bank needs to to better, no doubt, and as CEO the buck stops with Davis. But he's not a "villain."

Johnny Northside! said...

So maybe he actually knows how to get lawns mowed on numerous vacant foreclosed houses?

I could start a textile industry with all the dandelion fluff that's out there right now.

Anonymous said...

"I speak for North Minneapolis from the podium of this blog, though not every reader or resident agrees with each thing I say, still, I speak with some form of authority for North Minneapolis".

Correction: You speak for no one but yourself. You have NO authority to speak for anyone but yourself.
No one in Minneapolis has given you the authority to speak for them, on their behalf, or to represent them.
What you write in this blog are YOUR thoughts, opinions, and rants.

So don't you dare say you speak for me or anyone else. You are just another one of those self appointed activists like Ron Edwards, Spike Moss, or Al Flowers that thinks because they gots a mouth that opens, that you can speak for the people.
I got news for you. We can speak for ourselves, we don't need you.

Johnny Northside! said...

Well, I don't actually have any proof that you, Anonymous, live in North Minneapolis.

So I will continue to speak for North Minneapolis to the extent that I do so.

And, by the way, how many of those people you named actually LIVE here? I know Al Flowers doesn't.

But I do.


I'm not sure, and I kind of doubt it.

boathead said...

I did not think that i would ever read a response that criticize's you, Ron,Al,and the legendary Spike in the same post. This proves that we can all work together. I will also add that it is being accomplished in a most peculiar way. Anonameass 10:05 might be subconsciously on to something...or on something. Still, i believe, if you want to speak for yourself on the topic of representation you should at least make an attempt to step forward and walk the walk. All noted activists are, at the very minimum, representing those who care about what is important to them and need spokespeople to get their thoughts and feelings aired. Good Day.

Anonymous said...

Hawthorne Hawkman-

If someone offered you %25 million dollars (over 5 years) would you set aside your convictions and allow "robo-signed" signatures to speed foreclosures and make the bank more profitable even when you knew it was wrong and hurt families who were victims of the economy?

Yes, he is the villain. That's what he was paid for!

Ann said...

You say, "I speak with some form of authority for North Minneapolis".
"Authority" would mean that you have some type of power or right delegated or bestowed upon you by some organization or power.
Don Samuels has the authority to speak for the people because he holds an elected office.
By what right do you claim to have authority to speak for the residents of north Minneapolis, or any part of Minneapolis?
And what difference does it make what part of Minneapolis people live?
North Minneapolis isn't some isolated island. IT IS part of the city as a whole. And people that live in 55408 have as much right to comment and be involved in what happens in 55412 as they want because property and tax dollars are spent in the entire city.
So if I live by Lake Nokomis, I have every right to be involved in what goes on in your neck of the woods because my tax dollars are paying for the cops that arrest the shooters in your neighborhood.
My tax dollars are paying to clean up west Broadway, and plant trees, and mow the lawns in the parks.
So tell me again, WHO gave you the authority to speak for the people?
Who elected you to represent them and be their voice?
I'm waiting for a responsible mature answer.

Johnny Northside! said...

Here's the mature response:

Northside residency. And blogging ability acknowledged by three high profile awards. Endorsement via readership of the relevancy of material published here.

And here's the IMMATURE response.

Cartman on Southpark saying, "I do what I want."

boathead said...

Ann, if you do perhaps live in the Nokomis area, do us a favor and take a rapist or chomo as a next door neighbor so you can do your part to relieve our load of perverts that get jammed in NoMi all of the fucking time. With the power it takes to run your fucking yap, i'll bet you could redirect that energy into being one hell of an activist. Once again we have someone telling us that John should mind his own business, and usually when somebody gets called out to mind their own business it is because they are putting a cramp into a wrongdoer's shenanigans. Keep up the good work John because when you stop calling these obnoxious, degenerative, idiot's on their bullshit is the moment they will be given free reign act like fools and cry like bitches. I am giving up on where to put apostrophies all of the damn time too,,,,,,good day.

Folwell Fox said...


Yes, because you pay city property taxes (and North does take up a disproportionate amount of emergency service resources compared to the rest of the city due to the problems here, besides downtown) you do have a right to speak about issues concerning North. However, your opinions don't matter to many residents of North because you do not have to deal with the issues that affect us on a daily basis yourself. It’s a bit of a slap in the face as well, and it also highlights your ignorance of our issues by making a statement like that. If you really care to find solutions, which are valid and workable, get involved with your representatives and tell them that you’re concerned and care about the issue we deal with. Although, it’s pretty funny that even Joe Mullery can’t find much support from his colleagues in the House when he tries to ask his Mpls. colleagues, who represent you, to share certain burdens, namely housing L3SOs, when he tries to advocate on North’s behalf.

Furthermore, if you’re concerned about what type of authority JNS has by speaking for North you only have to look as far as the free market. JNS has been doing this for a while and has only appeared to become stronger despite many attempts to bring him down. Blogs like this help the neighborhood rather than harm, depending on who’s side you’re on, thus ultimately lowering your own tax burden. Wouldn’t it be great if North Mpls. residents someday paid the same in Mpls. property taxes as you do? Currently, I don’t feel guilty about paying less than other areas of Mpls. for the simple fact that we need to have some benefit for living in North other than living so close to downtown. I also think that we do Mpls. a favor by housing the many undesirable elements of society. What this blog is trying to do is change that by advocating a leveling of the playing field, which many of us support, in not only Mpls. but in the greater metro as well. That day will soon come, and it will be a huge benefit for the city as a whole. North is in an excellent location for folks who work downtown and for those interested in living in the city rather than the burbs. North also provides a lot of financial freedoms for its higher wage earners by being extremely affordable, thereby, allowing its residents to have an almost “European style time-off” lifestyle. Commute time is also a benefit. Our residents have already napped, showered, started dinner, had a few beers, and even mowed the lawn by the time others in the greater metro have even gotten out of their cars after their commute.

JNS and many others are fighting the good fight, and quite frankly you need people like us in this area if you ever want to see improvement. Again, if this area does improve it would benefit you and the rest of the city greatly because of the greater and added tax base. I really don’t see what the problem is if you’re so concerned about tax issues, as your post implies, and what JNS and many others are trying to do.

Anonymous said...

You can't expect banks to just slash 60% off people's mortgages if they threaten not to pay. That sort of system would cause everyone to do that, which would be even more of a catastrophe for the nation.
Reducing fines/fees, allowing missed payments, reducing interest, those are great ways to help the homeowner - I support these measures, whether bank-run or government-mandated.
If they can't pay, they must leave. Someone will get a great deal on the house, but it's not fair to let the old owner stay. With the large quantity of foreclosures on the market, they're certainly free to try to get a great deal of their own.
When house values go up, should the bank say "hey, your house value doubled, so we're going to double your mortgage, ok?" Ummm, no, it doesn't work like that.

BTW, the whole "occupy" thing is insane, history will laugh at us about the entire thing.

Anonymous said...

Good post Johnny. And thank you for your service overseas.

Johnny Northside! said...

To the poster at 1:28 PM, how is it "the system will collapse" if people will get a break on their mortgages, but the system won't collapse if we just GIVE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to banks making bad loans who pay their CEOs millions of dollars?

In an economy where the government DID NOT give all that money to the banks, I could say, sure, that's the hard luck of the person who took out more mortgage than they could pay. But the government DID give away all that money to the banks, so now I do expect the banks to "pay it forward" to the little people who, after all, paid those monies in tax dollars in the first place.

But even if the banks DO NOT do that, whether compelled by the Occupy movement or whatever, I expect banks to take care of the foreclosed properties in my neighborhood but the banks just don't do that. Their attitude appears to be "screw North Minneapolis."


Folwell Fox said...

@Anony. 1:28 p.m.

I could expect banks to slash roughly 60% off peoples’ mortgages, why not? This was an artificial bubble created by them while using convoluted practices which enabled the subprime market and subprime lending to flourish. Now that those practices and subprime lending are extinct, it will take decades, if at all, to see the highs in home values we saw right before the crash when many people bought out of fear of being shut-out of the market entirely if they waited any longer. The housing bubble was not created by a purely holistic supply and demand market, it was heavily manipulated through various, and obviously questionable, financial instruments and practices.

In my opinion, the Occupy movement may perhaps be the last peaceful movement if this global financial decline is not reversed. Financial decline could get much worse and the populace could get more violent if a myriad of issues are not addressed and mitigated. The Plutonomy and the Precariat concept is in full effect with no signs of ending anytime soon. So be careful about which side you choose to be on because I’m guessing you’re still among the 99% and subject to society’s rules and laws unlike those who are currently destroying our economy and country.

Folwell Neighbor said...

(From Anonymous 1:28pm)

I did not say "the system will collapse", I believe you are referring to the section where I said it would be "even more of a catastrophe for the nation". The difference is that in my opinion, the system HAS collapsed, partially. Giving millions of homeowners more reason to stop paying their mortgage would be worse. Right now there are lots of people that are not paying their mortgage simply because they can benefit financially from it (dump an upside down mortgage, get a new house at a bargain). The consequences? Their credit is destroyed, they must move, and they risk the attempt not working - it's possible that the banks will go after them, though I've not heard many stories of this happening. If you eliminate the consequences, well, why wouldn't everyone do it?
I agree that's it's crazy that the banks got bailed out - totally not fair. I believe they should "pay it forward", but in the forms that I mentioned before (reduced interest, fees, ability to miss payments). There should also be a plan to recover this money - eventually the market will recover and the banks will be highly profitable again. As that happens, we need to tax them higher, charge special assessments, whatever is reasonable to recover some of the money. (Here's a question - since we bailed out banks, did we get partial ownership? Would that mean we'd see benefits as recovery happens?)

I too expect banks to take care of foreclosed properties, that is not radical thinking! They should assume all risk and reward for the property, just as any other owner. I've heard that the city can come by and mow your lawn for you if you refuse, then charge you on your taxes. Is that true? If so, do you feel that a dedicated 311-calling campaign would help? I have to assume the city charges typical government rate (read: extremely high charges), therefore the banks would eventually see that they could save money by actually taking care of the properties.
I will note, the foreclosed property next to my house was pretty well taken care of during snowfalls this past winter (all both of them, lol), but I don't know what bank is was.

rocky mountain said...

In my opinion, the Occupy movement may perhaps be the last peaceful movement if this global financial decline is not reversed. Financial decline could get much worse and the populace could get more violent if a myriad of issues are not addressed and mitigated. The Plutonomy and the Precariat concept is in full effect with no signs of ending anytime soon. So be careful about which side you choose to be on because I’m guessing you’re still among the 99% and subject to society’s rules and laws unlike those who are currently destroying our economy and country.
Rocky Mountain Wealth Concepts

Johnny Northside! said...

Uh huh.

Congrats on getting your spammy comment through my extraordinarily tough anti-spam criteria.

Unknown said...

While I'm flattered that you copied and pasted my comment rocky mountain, it is plagiarism nonetheless.

Johnny Northside! said...

Unknown, I missed that. If I had realized that, I wouldn't have approved the comment. Now if I remove the comment, the rest of the discussion won't make sense.

I assume the spammer on the other end doesn't speak ENGLISH and is adopting this tactic to get their comments through. I will be more vigilant with any spam that includes a link.

Folwell Fox said...

Sorry, used the wrong email for the Google account. I haven't used them since the desert. No worries John. It's ironic that someone from an alleged "financial" LLC would have used that quote anyways. Don't trust that idiot with your money!

Anonymous said...

Hey Johnny just ghoogle that shyte if you have any doubts! You just need to pick the right sentence or phrases.

Pick a sentence like "The Plutonomy and the Precariat concept is in full effect with no signs of ending anytime soon." and you will probably find the original source.

Folwell Fox said...

Noam Chomsky would be a good place to start.

Folwell Fox said...

In fact! It took me a while to remember the essay... 'duh, but here it is.