Unions pressuring banks to "go easy" on foreclosures 

Public-sector union pensions aren't known to be doing all that well. No matter -- they're going to pull out of investments based on politics anyway! From the New York Times:

John Samuelsen, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents the city’s transit workers, and Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said they would urge their pension funds’ trustees to sell holdings in Chase if the bank did not allow more people to adjust their mortgages.

About $40 million of the Teachers’ Retirement System’s $40 billion pension fund is invested in JPMorgan Chase. The transit workers are covered by the New York City Employees’ Retirement System pension fund, which has $271 million in Chase stock and bonds, out of $39 billion in assets.

That's right: Public-sector unions are leveraging their taxpayer-funded defined-benefit pension plans against banks that are essentially doing what they need to do to survive, and to ensure that homeowners aren't left in the cold:

In a statement, a Chase spokesman, Thomas Kelly, said the bank, which inherited thousands of troubled mortgages when it bought Washington Mutual, had avoided foreclosures twice as often as it has foreclosed on homes, and had opened five centers in the New York area for mortgage counseling.

“Chase is doing everything possible to help homeowners stay in their homes,” Mr. Kelly wrote. “If we find we have made mistakes, we try to fix them.”

If the banks don't foreclose, they might fail. Is that what the unions want? It looks possible.

About The Author

J.P. Freire

J.P. Freire is the associate editor of commentary. Previously he was the managing editor of the American Spectator. Freire was named journalist of the year for 2009 by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). You can follow him on Twitter here. Besides the Spectator, Freire's work has appeared in... more
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