It is time to occupy the banks. From this morning’s Financial Times (“US taxpayers set to subsidise banks’ mortgage abuse payments,” February 17, 2012) comes the following news:

US taxpayers are expected to subsidise the $40bn settlement owed by five leading banks over allegations that they systematically abused borrowers in pursuit of improper home seizures…a clause in the provisional agreement – which has not been made public – allows the banks to count future loan modifications made under a 2009 foreclosure-prevention initiative towards their restructuring obligations for the new settlement…

In other words, the banks will be able to use an existing initiative, the $30bn Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) under which taxpayer funds are provided to banks as an incentive to modify loan agreements, towards the $40bn settlement.

This settlement is an atrocity, and those who are a party to it should be charged with defrauding US taxpayers.