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:
YOU AND YOUR COMPANY ARE HEREBY AND OFFICIALLY VILIFIED.
Hang your head in SHAME, SHAME, SHAME.