Marcus Butler, a 62 year-old Army veteran from Los Angeles, has seen his childhood home change hands five times during the past five years. After Butler’s mother’s death in 2012, the family homestead slipped from their hands because of foreclosure by a bank owned by Steve Mnuchin. (Yes, it’s the same Steve Mnuchin who is our current Secretary of the Treasury.)
Joseph Otting, whom Trump nominated to be our chief bank regulator, was a partner with Mnuchin in this bank. Mnuchin had the Butler’s home auctioned off by a company owned by Tom Barrack, a real estate mogul and one of Trump’s oldest friends.
The Butler’s home was then bundled, along with more than 3,000 other single-family homes, into a $514 million mortgage-backed security that holds the deed to the house. JPMorgan Chase & Co. created that security and is led by Jamie Dimon, vice chairman of Trump’s economic advisory panel until it disbanded last month in the wake of the tangerine tyrant’s white supremacist comments blaming “both sides” for the death of a peaceful protestor in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The intrigue turns even more sinister. A firm founded by the chairman of Trump’s economic panel, Stephen Schwarzman, announced his firm was merging with the company Tom Barrack founded, thus creating the largest single-family-home rental company in America. The result is that Marcus Butler’s family home of fifty years, like tens of thousands of others confiscated by these Trump cronies, is now no longer available for sale to working-class or first-time home-buyers. It is now the property of slumlords who are free to rent these homes for astronomical sums back to their former occupants.
In Trump’s America, the greedy get richer at the expense of the working poor, further widening the income gap between 99% and the 1% and denying the dream of home ownership for many.
As an interesting side note, Steve Mnuchin was discovered to have illegally foreclosed upon thousands of homes in California a few years ago. His criminal activities drew the attention of the Attorney General’s office and its underlings who were eager to prosecute him. However, at the last moment, Mr. Mnuchin was saved from facing a judge and jail by then California A.G. Kamala Harris (now Senator Harris). All charges were dropped. Not surprisingly, Mnuchin generously donated money toward Harris’s senate run—the only Democrat he supported in the 2016 election.
It seems corporate Democrats like Senator Harris can’t wait to join Robbin’ Trump’s Band of Greedy Men and rake in the ill-gotten gains. Meanwhile, folks like Marcus Butler and his family find themselves locked out of the system, unable to purchase back their former homes and quality of life.
Isn’t it time we put this den of thieves behind bars?