FROM Bruce Marks
Mortgage Settlement: Homeowner Relief or Break for the Banks? Forty-nine of 50 state attorneys general signed on to a $26 billion deal with five big banks accused of deceptive lending and abusive foreclosures. The banks will have three years to make good on their promise. Even President Obama says, "It's just a start." Others call it "a drop in the ocean," "a paltry down-payment" and "public relations." Will the settlement for abuse and deception come in time to help the economy? We hear from experts and homeowners on the front lines of America's mortgage crisis and find out how it applies here in Southern California.
Mortgage Settlement: Homeowner Relief or a Break for Banks? Five major banks have agreed to a deal that was good enough for 49 of the 50 state attorney's general, but millions of homeowners aren't so sure. Even President Obama says, "It's just a start." Others call it "a drop in the ocean," "a paltry down-payment" and "public relations." It covers only about two million of the 11 million who are under water. Cash settlements for improper foreclosures will be less than $2,000. Banks can still be sued for abuse and deception, and they've agreed to pay $26 billion up front. But negative equity totals $700 billion. Many questions remain about administration and enforcement. We get a range of answers from advocates, bankers and homeowners in distress. (This story was informed in part from sources in the Public Insight Network .)
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.