O'Brien Factor: Jackson's lawsuit against banks is a barker

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We read Kevin O'Brien so you don't have to ... Column: Cleveland will have a hard time making its case against the big banks January 16, 2008 Topic: Mayor Frank Jackson’s suit against Wall Street banks for being the money behind predatory lending. Kevin's Sanity Level Today: 97 percent What Your Head Would Feel Like if You Read it Yourself: Kevin’s new medicine is working. This is kind of like watching Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, but at least the sound’s off… Charting Kevin's Logic: 1. Kevin understands why Cleveland is suing 21 investment banks to recover losses related to predatory lending. 2. Though he doesn’t quite come out and say it, Kevin also knows that in a fight between the city and a legion of Wall Street lawyers, the city’s about to get its ass kicked… when the case finally goes to trial in 2015. 3. Kevin even takes the bankers to task, citing their commission of fraud and general sucking at the art of business. This marks a huge evolution for our hero, since investment bankers are usually considered oppressed under O’Brien Theology. 4. But Kevin also delicately notes that Cleveland doesn’t make the most empathetic victim. City Hall has for years done its best to butcher its finances and neighborhoods. Suddenly blaming it all on bankers may seem a bit disingenuous in court. 5. If Kevin talked to housing advocates, he’d also know that successive mayors and Prosecutor Bill Mason’s office ignored the problem for years, largely dismissing it as a pile of deadbeats who refused to pay their bills. East Side Organizing Project, the city’s best non-profit, stopped working with the city years ago because it couldn’t get any cooperation. 6. Final conclusion: The city shouldn’t place all its hope on the lawsuit, because realistically speaking, we’re pretty much fucked.

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