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Dean Baker on Bogus Mortgage Settlement

Feb. 9, 2012 - Full of sound and fury, signifying another back door bailout. Dean Baker sets the story straight on BBC World News.

Financial industry petitions FCC to make robocall lawsuits harder to win

If a financial industry petition to the Federal Communications Commission on the use of autodialers is successful, it could make Telephone Consumer Protection Act cases more difficult to prove for consumer attorneys. But a favorable ruling likely won't halt the proliferation of these suits.

There are 17 signatories to the petition, including the American Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, Mortgage Bankers Association and other banking, credit union and mortgage industry groups. They are seeking a declaratory ruling that follows up an appellate court win that vacated much of a 2015 FCC ruling on the use of autodialers to call cell phones. That ruling said any device capable of making an automated call was subject to the TCPA, whether or not that capability was being used.

In March, the D.C. Circuit struck down that interpretation. But, "the court didn't say this is what the standard ought to be," said Michael Goodman, an attorney with Hudson Cook, who specializes in regulations about customer communications with various types of businesses, including mortgage lenders. "The court said what the FCC came up with isn't good enough, isn't sensible enough," and left it to the agency to come up with a new standard.

Market in downtown Grand Rapids brings surrounding area back to life

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market, one of the last economic development projects undertaken by the Grand Action Foundation, has lived up to the name "grand."

Grand Action was a nonprofit coalition of community leaders founded in 1993 to spur economic development in downtown Grand Rapids. Over the years, it was also responsible for the construction of the Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place convention center, renovation and expansion of the Civic Theatre and the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine-Secchia Center.

Founded by John Canepa, Dick DeVos and David Frey, Grand Action raised $420 million in direct funding for $3.5 billion worth of projects. The organization declared mission accomplished last September and shut its doors in March.

The three-story, 138,000-square-foot market is owned by Downtown Market Holdings LLC, a nonprofit corporation formed by Grand Action. It was built in 2012 on the site of five old abandoned warehouses and factories south of Wealthy Street, which runs east-west through Grand Rapids and has become the epicenter for the city's gentrification.

Is the banking/mortgage meltdown the goverment's fault to begin with?

Does this crisis show the failure of capitalism? Or does it show the failure and arrogance of government meddling? Is it possible that ONE MAN is responsible?


This is really oversimplified. The US doesn't have a purely capitalist economy. It has a mixed economy that combines elements of a free market economy and a socialized economy.