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Obama sides with Bush, banksters against consumers, states on regulating discrimination in lending

If Andrew Cuomo wants to be tougher on the banksters than the Fed, he should be allowed to. Ditto state health care policies, where we could still get single payer if the Democrats, for some reason, don't manage to do the right thing. That's why this case is important, and discouraging. Bloomberg:

The administration late yesterday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to bar New York and other states from enforcing their fair-lending and other consumer-protection laws against federally chartered banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co.

Can't have that!

The legal brief, which adopts the Bush administration’s position [just as the this administration rationalized and consolidated the previous administration's position on executive powers], is a setback for consumer and civil-rights groups that had urged President Barack Obama’s team to switch positions. The filing puts the administration at odds with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo over the respective roles of state and federal regulators. The high court will hear arguments April 28. ...

The court filing coincides with this week’s proposal by the administration to put large hedge funds, private-equity firms and derivatives under federal supervision for the first time.

The banksters want it all, don't they?

Cuomo is seeking to revive an investigation, begun by predecessor Eliot Spitzer, into the real-estate lending practices of units of JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and HSBC Holdings Plc. ...

The case will determine whether federal regulators have exclusive governmental authority to press fair-lending and other types of complaints against national banks. More broadly, the case will shape how much ability agencies have to shield companies from state-level scrutiny [Same deal on warrantless surveillance, where the state of Maine is suing Verizon, and Bush/Obama blocked them].

Kagan filed the brief on behalf of the OCC, an independent Treasury Department bureau still being run by Republican appointee John Dugan, whose term expires in 2010. Obama has decided to retain Dugan, two people familiar with the decision said last month.

Yay! Bipartisanship!

The Obama administration contends that federal regulators can adequately ensure that national banks comply with both state and federal laws. The administration said last night that the OCC “vigorously enforces fair-lending laws against national banks.”

Uh huh. "Vigorously enforced..."

Civil rights groups dispute that. In a letter this month to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Attorney General Eric Holder, groups led by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights said the OCC had filed no enforcement actions based on state antidiscrimination laws since the OCC adopted the disputed regulation in 2004.

What's a "progressive" doing siding with the Bush administration and the banksters against consumers? And making it easier for banksters to red-line real estate lending? How "historic" is that?

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