This week, The National Association of Attorneys General have their annual conference (called the Presidential Initiative Summit).

The topic: America’s Financial Recovery: Protecting Consumers as We Rebuild (April 11-12, 2011).

If you were able to stand up in front of all 50 State AGs, plus the US Attorney General (and assorted territories and districts) what exactly would you say to them . . . ?

Please be constructive in your suggestions.

Category: Legal

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

59 Responses to “What Would You Say to the State Attorneys General?”

  1. Francois says:

    Two rules I’d like you to follow Ladies & Gentlemen:

    1) Obey the rule of law
    2) Don’t forget rule #1

  2. lambert says:

    The only thing that will restore confidence is seeing banksters in orange jumpsuits doing the perp walk.

    Since the Fed have sold us out, it’s down to the AGs. Whichever AG does it will be the next President.

  3. Winston says:

    I would ask them how far along in the process are they in pursuing criminal fraud indictments against banks and their attorneys.

  4. MayorQuimby says:

    “Is it the job of this audience to not only decide how and when to enforce “law” but also to decide when there are more favorable alternatives to enforcing laws? And if so – does that not open up a Pandora’s box of infinite possibilities? For there essentially IS NO LAW when the decision to follow it is entirely vested in the arbitrary support of the ends at the expense of so many millions of citizens who are in such short supply of the means.”

  5. Bill Wilson says:

    Your job is to enforce the letter and the spirit of the law. If the congress and the president think it’s OK for banks to commit fraud, they need to pass laws that say it’s OK for banks to commit fraud. They almost did last fall.

  6. philipat says:

    1. Whilst recognising and enforcing the contractual obligations of individual mortgage holders, please do not allow a lowball “Generic” settlement with Wall Street on “Fraudclosure”. The rule of law needs a line in the sand.
    2. Please continue to challenge the constitutionality of “Obamacare”. Healthcare costs are bankrupting The US and the situation will continue until the real causes of such high healthcare costs (Compared to the rest of the developed world) are addressed. If the Federal Government will not do so, the States, who will ultimately be burdened with the cost, should.

  7. MayorQuimby says:

    Bastiat quote here:

    “It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.”

  8. Winston:
    Second that!

  9. MayorQuimby says:

    “A nation without the foundations of laws to support it; without the walls of enforcement to protect it; and without a roof to protect her from the elements of corruption which constantly buffer all human constructs cannot expect to survive long no matter how beautifully manicured the front lawn may be.”

    “Every decision man makes sets man on a path. Ask yourselves – where does THIS path lead?”

  10. MayorQuimby says:

    Road to hell is paved with…

    If absolute power corrupts absolutely, should not those WITH power be ever watchful for signs of corruption?

  11. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Being that this is the most exclusive group of incompetents ever assembled — the US Senate having over 100 members — I’m surprised y’all would choose someone like me, someone who holds you, individually and as a group, in such low regard, to address this conference. I couldn’t possibly be who you thought I was, but since I’m here I guess I’m going to go ahead and let you have it.

    (aside to Cuccinelli): Nice tie, Cooch. Dude, do bare breasts on artwork really give you wood? Ashcroft had the same thing. Better put a blanket on those ta-tas, and whatever you do, don’t get up from the table — you might spill your virgin Mary.

    Badda bing. Bada boom.

    Anyway, I guess I don’t have to tell y’all that huge crimes have been committed in the financial sector. These crimes happened in every state, and frequently across state lines. Everybody knows it. The evidence is a blatant as a dead hooker in the middle of the street at high noon. It looks like you are all either complete morons, or that you’re choosing to look the other way for political purposes.

    Hey, Holder, why are YOU here? WTF DO you do all day? Worthless as tits on a bull.

    If I had a horse, I’d horse whip each and every one of you.

    That said, here’s what y’all can do to protect consumers:

    Investigate, collect evidence, and prosecute these crimes before any statute of limitations runs out.

    Since you are all a bunch of Inspector Clouseau-lookin’ motherfuckers, following are some names, crimes, and acronyms to look out for: MERS, MBSs, NINJAS, Mortgage Servicers, Mortgage Originators, Mortgage Lenders, Ratings Agencies, Real Estate appraisers, Bank of America Corporation (BoA), J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Company, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Morgan Stanley (New York, NY), Countywide, Mozillo, Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson, fraud, perjury, wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy, theft by deceit, and mendacious fuckery.

    We’re watching, ya’ freekin’ clowns.

  12. MayorQuimby says:

    Ben Franklin:

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

  13. rjtcm1 says:

    Lawyers, Politicians, Liars and Thieves … they are all the same.

    Too Much Corruption is built into our system now that the corrupt lawyers have become Judges and Politicians … or in control of our Main Stream Media Propaganda Machines …

    No, we don’t want to believe the Banksters OWN the President … but his article confirmed it for me …

    or was it this ?

    or was it this ?

    Oh shoot, it seems I have 1000′s of these, but not of them say it better than this …

    Personally, I would like to know …

    Maybe she saw this …

    Ah well, I could go on and on … but since they control the MEDIA and won’t ever give us a good choice, combined with that fact that we have more morons voted their special interest … things will not get better IMHO …

  14. louis says:

    If you were able to stand up in front of all 50 State AGs, plus the US Attorney General (and assorted territories and districts) what exactly would you say to them . . . ?

    How much did the banks give you for your silence? Or did they just give you a mod on your house loan? Are any of you afraid to do your job for fear of ruining your political chances in the future?

  15. MayorQuimby says:

    Last quote – couldn’t find who wrote this one:

    “When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air, you suddenly know what you are hoping for”

  16. kurtwestphal says:

    All the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent and virtuous Judiciary.
    Andrew Jackson

  17. Raleighwood says:

    What is your job description and how does it relate to the thieving, criminal banksters?

  18. TerryC says:

    Round up every deadbeat parent in America and throw them in jail. Probably 85% of all back child support would miraculously appear in a few days. The countless tens of billions of dollars unleashed on the economy would single handedly end the recession.

  19. wunsacon says:

    +1 to Lambert’s appeal to their personal interest. (“You could be the next president.”) Further, ask them:
    - If they want to make history, to be respected like Eliot Ness, Bill Black, or Paul Volcker or else to be forgotten as ordinary politicians.
    - If they want to bring literally tens of billions of dollars in damages to home to each of their states, which are each in dire need of revenue.

    +1 to Winston’s asking them about criminal investigations. It reminds them that they should be pursuing lifelong jail sentences (sequential terms for each of many, many infractions) if for no other reason than to take every cent back from these FIRE thieves.

    Ask them WHAT HAVE THEY READ OR WATCHED about the meltdown. “Inside Job”, at least (which won’t cost them a lot of time)? What else? If one of them has read “Bailout Nation”, “Econned”, “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One”, or ___ and mentions it, maybe some of the other AG’s will say to themselves “heck, I should read that, too”. (I know you’d expect AG’s to already know more than what’s in any of those documentaries. But, what if they don’t? Or, what if they only know the whitewashed explanations for the meltdown (e.g., “the biggest mistake was to let LEH fail”)?

  20. Robespierre says:

    Tell them:
    Don’t let the Armani suits full you. These bankers are as vicious and worth of criminal prosecution as any many of the gangsters you remove from the streets. Lets take out the trash

  21. wunsacon says:

    MayorQuimby, I like your quotes. But, I’m not sure they won’t interpret it as browbeating…and tune out.

    Now, as for Petey Wheatstraw’s remarks, well…lol…they’ll *storm* out of the room.

  22. MayorQuimby says:

    Hey – I wrote some of that crap too ya know! :>

    Yeah – ‘guilting’ them won’t necessarily work but words, wielded properly, can have a profound effect on people – even corrupted ones.

    At some point – adults need to stand up and be heard. Clearly – those in charge have not yet come of age.

  23. Andy T says:


    Here’s what I would ask:

    “Why do most of you waste the time and resources of your offices on the process of promoting yourselves to higher office by embarking on usually ‘Quixotic’ prosecutions where the sole purpose is to increase your ‘standing’ in the State?”

    Perhaps the contrarian question in this crowd.

  24. Andy T says:

    @Mayor Quimby

    with this: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    Amen to that one brother!

  25. markd says:

    This is why I never get invited to these things. Why are some of you attempting to derail the attempts of others to make some progress on our health care mess, while the people who almost brought the nation down are just continueing with the same old same old?

    @phillipat so we should just let status quo continue?

  26. rjtcm1 says:

    Oh, and yah just didn’t think it was possible …

    So how does it work ? The just create their own CyberAttack … just like they create wars for OIL …

    Now would he do that ? Oh well, just can’t let too much of the truth out … well, not all at once ….

    So Suck It UP … You Voted For It … Hope and Change = Fraud and More of the SAME

    Personally I think the Chinese are RIGHT …

    If you disagree, then explain … and how it can continue ?

    History Will Repeat Itself … in time, we will have another arrogant of BS artist challenging us to PROVE HE WAS WRONG …!881A4154-8710-4BCB-952B-219E94F704FB

    Well Jim Rogers says it very clearly here, HOW The Majority of Us Are Getting Screwed …,FAZ,GS,JPM,BAC,C,AIG

    So How Long Has it been since Helicopter BEN and Turbo Tax TIMMY have been in charge … ?
    And why are we celebrating anything ? When the Truth is in our face ?

    OH, and they won’t DEVALUE THE US DOLLAR …yet this last friday the US Dollar Index dipped below 75 !

    So who care about our liars in charge … Food and Circus … as long as it doesn’t affect me … After ALL, we can always blame someone else … well, we do always blame someone else …

    Personally, I think the Chinese are right, and should continue to give our corrupt leaders the finger …

  27. MayorQuimby says:

    BR- How ’bout something along the lines of…

    Even the sleepiest of giants do eventually awaken.


    Let us not be so concerned with saving the house that we forget why we built the house in the first place.

  28. MayorQuimby says:


    Make it – “Even the sleepiest of giants do eventually awaken and go in search of justi- I mean food.”

  29. rzombeck says:

    Do what you were educated to do and remember that the law matters.

  30. Todd in SM says:

    Please prosecute powerful individuals and corporations with the same earnest which you apply to individuals of dubious notoriety and minimal influence. thank you.

  31. JimmyDean says:

    I’d tell ‘em the truth. That there’s no one left but them to stand up for the American Citizen. Are they going to grab their balls? or should we all move to Canada?

  32. Transor Z says:

    I probably wouldn’t go the “Help us, Obi Wan. You’re our only hope” route.

    I might politely suggest that one spirit with which to meet the challenges of being an Attorney General in 2011 is to adopt as a personal motto or mantra the Lakota saying attributed to Crazy Horse, “Today is a good day to die.” Today would be a excellent day to mark the death of your political futures if it means you will have sacrificed personal gain for the public good.

  33. teraflop says:

    “A spitzer in every pot.”

    Stop the lobbyist-rule-making feedback loop.

    Stop the rotating doors nurturing government functionaries (toadies) derived from TBTF (should be renamed to TBTFU).

  34. Dow says:

    Forty-three states elect an attorney general.

    1. If you were elected to your office, who were your three largest sources of funding during the last campaign cycle?
    2. How has that affected your job as an Attorney General?
    3. So whose interests do you actually work for?

  35. Joe says:

    You know what you want to say. Actually you have much more to say than you have time for. I guess for me the issue is what they would listen to best. Do you stress the inadequacies of the prosecutions to date? Will that motivate them or piss them off at being called out? Do you try to educate them as to why the rule of law in finance and business is as important to society as the rule of law on the street ? Can you show them unequivocal criminality crying out for prosecution? Will they see it? Or does it not lend itself to a nifty campaign slogan and resonate with voters? Can you show them the necessity to deal with the issues here and now rather than the sure to come and much worse next time? Or do they see it as an uphill battle against an overwhelmingly moneyed opponent about issues that they don’t really understand and aren’t responsible for anyway? Can you sell it to them as their battle or do they think that the whole thing is something the SEC is taking care of? Can you convince them that they have the knowledge, resources, and necessity to take up and win the battle?

    Can you put together a presentation that speaks so clearly to the most receptive in the audience that it sends at least a few of them out of the room at the end of the presentation determined to do what needs to be done?

    I figure that you probably can. More that that I figure no one can. Good luck.

  36. philipat says:


    Absolutely not. And I’m surprised you could read that from what I wrote. I assume you refer to the healthcare comment. Obamacare is well-intended I’m sure. But it is not the solution because it doesn’t address the real reasons why US healthcare costs double of that in the rest of the developed world as a % of GDP. And it will bankrupt the US with or without Obamacare unless the root causes are addressed and tackled. That was my point.

  37. ptm says:

    Maybe you guys should be consulting with Elizabeth Warren to get a reasonable take on how to proceed outside the politics. You don’t have to put too many people in jail to get the response you want from the rest of these fraudsters. But you have to put someone in jail. And don’t forget, it’s all about the money.

  38. Moss says:

    First question would be why the electorate is referred to as ‘consumers’ when they are first and foremost citizens. Second question would be who exactly do they feel the citizens need protecting from.

  39. Chad says:


  40. budhak0n says:

    “Get a Job”

  41. budhak0n says:

    Come to think of it, I’m thinking about running my household the next decade exactly like the great example that we’ve been given. I’m going to buy an 85 foot boat, and then refuse to pay the guy for the slip where it’s kept claiming that “Well who told you to let me put my boat in that water? You owe me”.

    Then I’m going to build 35 sheds around my house, each with even less purpose than the preceding one. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to market each successive shed to a third party claiming that “In the YEAR 2021″ this shed will be very valuable to some future tinkerer class. Then with the proceeds, I’m going to head to Atlantic City and proceed to play it all away in Baccarat. At which point, I’ll call my Uncle whose name quite coincidentally happens to be Samuel and ask him for a short term loan just to get me over the hump.

    Then what I’m going to do is extort the money from my protectorate in medieval feudal fashion reckoning back to the days of Richard in the old country and upon receiving the proceeds, I’m going to call a press conference telling everyone once again…. ” Who told you to actually “give” me any money? You owe me.”

    Then once I give Sam back his money and he transfers it all to some account in the Caymans, I’m going to write a book and set out on the Baby Boomers love me circuit… touring such grand locales as Rocky Top, NC, Burlington VT and Des Moines IA declaring to everyone else how fiscally insane they all actually are.

    After all, what in the world do hog farmers know about global finance?

  42. Tom says:

    I would ask which laws are enforced today? It appears that if I commit a crime with a gun then I will still be prosecuted, but if I commit a crime with a pen then I should have no fear of being prosecuted.

  43. lalaland says:

    1: Please remember that MERS was attempt to avoid paying municipal fees; municipalities that you represent, who pay your salaries.

    2: Please remember MERS was instituted without permission from regulatory bodies; it is a subversion of the law.

    3: You do not have an obligation to protect the profitability of illegal actions

    4: Banks played you by calling in federal regulators whenever you started to raise a fuss (see Ohio, Cleveland). The federal regulators failed to protect your citizens. Assert your authority or get played again (next time with even less credibility, due to your inability to take action this time!).

    5: See comment #1.

  44. SCTTD says:

    BR, as wonderful as the opportunity you apparently have here sounds, not sure I’d want it.

    As Dow noted, 43 are elected in popular election. As such, most were almost definitely supported by at least some banks and all by attorneys.

    So how about, “While you may be concerned to bite the hand that feeds your campaign, your real strength comes from voters and they are slowly figuring out what happened. Don’t underestimate the hell of voters scorned.”

  45. teraflop says:

    I need to add something regarding settlements AGs occasionally have with respect to financial institutions considered found wanting when it comes to regulatory findings: don’t settle. Yes, you put your own state bonds and thus fiscal order at risk. But the longer-term risk is you find yourselves in the legal risk domain that these institutions hedge (with reserve capital, lobbyists, or outright insurance). Don’t play their game and don’t settle unless there’s a mandate of some sort.

  46. DrSandman says:

    I think a theme is/could be, “Who is protecting the rights of the citizens who elected you? Who is on the side of the people and your state?” And most importantly, “A Republic like ours can only exist because of the tension between the interested parties. In the case of the Fed vs. State governments, the pendulum of power has swung way to the side of the Feds and the elitist, monied class. It’s time to start clawing back rights, responsibilities, power, and FREEDOM back from the Federal government.”

    Implore them to do something now — while the federal government is weak and being led by rent-seeking incompetents — before their chance disappears. A tidal wave is coming in the next election (who don’t know for whom, yet); it’s best to not be in the flotsam.

    Talking points: Investment Bankers (a la JPM/GS/BOA/C/MS/etc…) are trying to spread the risk & misery while accumulating profits for themselves, which no one likes but the 5000 or so people in the country who are on the inside. Government run health/death panels are trying to substitute BigBrother’s faceless bureaucracy for individual free choice. FDA is disallowing life-saving cancer medicines on the grounds that it is too expensive for Medicare. The EcoWeenies are constantly chipping away at individual rights with this man-made global warming nonsense — how much water your toilet can use, mercury-filled lightbulbs that don’t light up, carbon-credit markets. Unions have sided with corrupt lawmakers to steal perpetual money from generations not yet born. Rent-seeking corruption with conflicts of interest must stop if the Republic is to survive.

  47. Lugnut says:

    What, exactly, are they getting in exchange for turning a blind eye to the fraud and malfeance that have been pandemic these last few years within the banking and mortgage sectors? If they are indeed not turning a blind eye, why have they been almost completely silent on the matter to date?

  48. I’d ask, but only if forced at gunpoint to address them, “Why in God’s name did you want to be an attorney general? Is not your soul worth more than a puny political office?”

  49. Arequipa01 says:

    Over time Law has accumulated a fetishistic overlay in this country which is entirely undeserved given the reality.
    These AGs haven’t any interest in ‘though the heavens may fall, let justice be done.’ Just like the Charlatans selling Jeebus on the TeeVee, they know it is a farce. What is the point of saying anything to them? They rolled over back in 2003, why would anyone believe they would do anything different today?

  50. davefromcarolina says:

    I’ve been looking at State Attorney General Mission Statements, and I’m surprised at how sparse some of them are, and the extent to which they’ve been invaded by right-wing political values. For example, Pennsylvania’s AG mission statement refers specifically to “Medicaid Fraud,” which I’m sure is a huge priority for ol’ Tom Corbett. Let’s say I’m willing to cut you all some slack, because you operate in the same political cesspool as everyone else. On the other hand, you are the law enforcement folks, and nearly all of you have as part of your mission upholding the law. So even though you’d rather not, there is an obligation here to go after people and corporations that have committed mortgage fraud on a vast scale, not just in your state, but everywhere. I’ll bet many of you have played golf with some of the people you need to put behind bars. I feel your social discomfort. But weigh that discomfort against the wholesale flauting of the law. Are these people really your friends? If you turn away, you’ll forever be known as the AGs who took the easy way out, who never cared about the law, only about the money and privilege the job brought you. Is that what you want as your legacy?

  51. hkcon says:

    Since we all know in our heart of hearts that none of these “public servants” is actually going to do their jobs, asking them any question, and expecting an honest answer in response, is a monumental waste of time. Unless and until we make all pols answer questions when they are hooked up to lie detectors, then asking questions is like asking to be lied to. Rather, I would say to these people, “YOU ARE BEING WATCHED NOW, YOU CANNOT GET AWAY WITH ANY CRAP ANYMORE. IF YOU TRY, YOU WILL BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE AND CHARGED WITH CRIMES YOURSELVES. CHOOSE A SIDE!!!!

  52. beaufou says:

    You are the law, your duty is to represent every citizen of this country, rich or poor.
    You have failed to do so, you have failed and you are failing because justice is blind and you gentlemen are not, you are consumed by greed and connections, by political partisanship, you are fueled by the same vices that brought the World economy to its knees.
    In order to have a healthy society where no man is above the law, we need men of courage and integrity, you gentlemen are sold-out cowards.

  53. curious rees says:

    I am with lalaland, particularly comment #4. Some of those guys smelled the leading edge of the shit storm through the lack of standards in the sub-prime lending area. The OCC, OTS and others stopped every attempt by the AG’s to do their job.

  54. willid3 says:

    i am thinking that since we are a country of laws (or so we think) that they are suppose to enforce the laws no matter who has broken them (not just the poor or those who disagree with them) this means that nobody gets a free ride. rich or poor, powerful, or weak, but all of us are treated the same. and while some tried to do that and got overridden by the powerful, they should never give up trying. even though that will cost them politically almost every time, as the powerful have the money. and i suppose others might have a better id that ARA had. but so far they haven’t got much of any thing that will actually save money and do the job. so far most seem to want to just cut the spending but not do the job at all. which is really a bigger waste of money that what we have now. the private sector has no silver bullets for this. because that has become a battle of monopolies who have no interest in cutting health care costs. just cutting their expenditures. and cutting care too

  55. mock turtle says:

    you should all arrest yourselves for aiding and abetting fraud

  56. DSS10 says:

    Your post is based on the assumption that they would listen……… They will all be too busy congratulating them selves and networking for their private sector jobs. Would you expect a bunch of legal lightweights to care what anyone thought when they are either a year, six months, two weeks away from their 250K a year dream job?

  57. dasht says:

    I am shocked that I am apparently adding the 57th or so comment and yet no previous comment appears to have offered practical ideas regarding foreclosure fraud. Good on me, ha!

    I would ask them to be brave enough to cooperate as follows:

    1) Agree, at least some of you, that either we DO NOT live under a rule of law, OR there are a great many of properties – some long occupied, some vacant, some sold more recently – all of whose legal titles are legally doubtful. We have a lot of real property whose ownership can no longer be clearly established. We have problematic transfers of property both backwards and going forwards.

    2) Develop a theory based in common law, perhaps mediated through jurisdiction-specific squatting laws, as to the proper ways of assigning clear title to this property. This is a politically difficult part. The legal territory is flexible enough here that, roughly speaking, you can treat people living in homes fairly — or you can take them and auction them off to alleged creditor owners. This conference is about consumer protection – so look deep in your heart.

    3) Do look into the legal status of the “shadow market” of homes being held off the market. How many of those tragedies and insults to the public order are themselves the result of earlier unlawful but undetected-as-unlawful foreclosures? For how many of those houses would the title survive close scrutiny? In other words, explore (empirically) the hypothesis that there is a great deal of housing stock currently vacant (and tending towards blight) whose ownership has, upon scrutiny, reverted to the state and/or the people who were evicted from that property.

    4) Develop a unified voice to address the courts with the theories you come up with here. If you respect consumers it won’t be surprising if there is wailing, and moaning, and gnashing of teeth over how you will force alleged creditors to write of too many properties, triggering a collapse of a hopeless tangle of loans, derivatives, “second derivatives”, and so on. Keep in mind the age old question of whether it is better to rip off a band-aid all at once, or very slowly. And keep in mind which path screws consumers the least.

    Or something like that.

  58. Jack says:

    You people are in the wrong business. Follow your dreams of Giulianism and Christieana: find a bunch of people who stole a couple of bucks from the poor box, make it look like the world is coming to an end, put the innocent in jail, look away when they’re released, claim victory and run for (fill in the blank)________ with the money the guilty have given you.

    In other words, follow your dreams.

  59. [...] few weeks ago, I asked readers for suggestions as to what they would bring to the state Attorneys General offices. This led to a [...]