Category Archives: Financial Crisis

Bank Fraud Continued Cover Up From The White House

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Some call it a settlement, the effort by The White House and its’ resident Obama, to a wide-ranging state settlement with banks over dubious foreclosure practices.

Attorney General of N.Y. Is Said to Face Pressure on Bank Foreclosure Deal
By
Published: August 21, 2011

Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, has come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration to drop his opposition to a wide-ranging state settlement with banks over dubious foreclosure practices, according to people briefed on discussions about the deal.

In recent weeks, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and high-level Justice Department officials have been waging an intensifying campaign to try to persuade the attorney general to support the settlement, said the people briefed on the talks.

Mr. Schneiderman and top prosecutors in some other states have objected to the proposed settlement with major banks, saying it would restrict their ability to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing in a variety of areas, including the bundling of loans in mortgage securities.

Basically, the banks want a “get out of jail free” card.  They do not want any investigations into any of their wrong doings causing our economic collapse while they profited personally and corporate wise.  They want immunity from prosecution.

Fortunately, there are some defenders of the public interest like Schneiderman of New York that will not go along with this.

Mr. Schneiderman began objecting a few months ago to the proposed releases barring future litigation, declining to participate as long as they were included.

“The attorney general remains concerned by any attempt at a global settlement that would shut down ongoing investigations of wrongdoing related to the mortgage crisis,” said Danny Kanner, the spokesman for Mr. Schneiderman. His office has opened several inquiries into mortgage practices during the credit boom.

Read all of Gretchen’s article in The New York Times…click here

In a related editorial in The New York Times,

It’s a Flawed Settlement – Published: August 22, 2011

The Obama administration has turned up the heat on Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, to go along with a proposed settlement with the nation’s largest banks over dubious foreclosure practices. Mr. Schneiderman should stand his ground in not supporting the deal. The administration says that a settlement would quickly deliver much needed relief to hard-pressed borrowers, but it’s doubtful it would provide redress on a par with the banks’ wrongdoing or borrowers’ needs.

The deal has been in the works for nearly a year, after the state attorneys general announced an investigation into a robo-signing scandal in which banks were found to have filed false foreclosure papers in state courts. It was widely believed that the scandal would lead to a broad inquiry into how banks inflated the housing bubble, profiting as it expanded.
Here again, with definite evidence of “wrong doing” or more correctly – illegal activity – nothing is being done.  In fact, our government is attempting to sweep it all under the rug – a cover up – leading us to believe it is in our best interest to do s0.
What is in our best interest is to prosecute those responsible for committing crimes.  The evidence is there, has been there and has been made public.  The banking industry is an organized criminal activity looking to use their economic hold over us to avoid prosecution and be allowed to continue their criminal activities for their own personal gain.

Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, however, says that a settlement on the narrow issue of robo-signing would not preclude other investigations by individual attorneys general. But, clearly, once the robo-signing issue is off the table, investigators would lose leverage to pursue remedies for other possible illegalities in the packaging, marketing and transferring of mortgage securities.

But some AG’s like New York’s Schneiderman are not going along with it even though there may be some very real personal consequences for them.

Read the entire Editorial in the The New York Times…click here

It is important for all of us to wake up and realize that we are being duped at every junction in the road.  We are being lied to, deceived and set up for even greater misfortune while protecting and enriching those who have brought this misery upon us.

We must not only fight foreclosure but we must stand up for what is right and just.  We need justice.  We need to see this new breed of criminal do the time for their crimes.

While those in the White House may be following their predecessors in covering up and looking the other way, there are those in Congress not willing to let go and continue to push on to expose these criminals.

It is up to us to support those in Congress who – like us – would see justice done.  After all, the will of the people is greater then the greed of a few, be they Presidents of countries, bureaucrats, politicians or greedy, immoral corporate executives.

The fight for justice goes beyond the foreclosure court.  We must see those guilty punished.

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Homeowners Are Drowning…And So Is The Nation

To all of you who are facing or in foreclosure you are not alone.  In fact, you may be in the majority.  No this is not meant to make you feel better.  On the contrary, it is meant to possibly anger you so that you fight and speak out more.  What we need a vocal population verbalizing what is right and what is wrong.  A population that does not just sit by and let “them” take advantage.  Let’s get mad as hell and not take it anymore.

For those of you who are sitting back thinking that help is on the way and that as many are saying things are bottoming out and will begin to get better soon, read on.

With nearly half the mortgages in the U.S. expected to be under water when the recession ends, things look pretty bleak for mortgage servicers and investors, let alone consumers.

So begins the story by Glenn McCullom in National Mortgage News – a publication you may want to subscribe to.

Mr. McCullom refers to a report by Karen Weaver Ying Shen, an analysit in New York at Deutsche Bank.  McCullom says that in her report she says that “The percentage of “underwater” loans may rise to 48%, or 25 million homes, as prices drop through the first quarter of 2011…”

This is an interesting analysis and one which I believe.  There are those that aree saying that we have “bottomed out” to which I reply, I don’t think so.  If Ms. Ying Shen is correct then the worst has yet to come.  There can be no recovery without real estate recoverning and certainly not without unemployement decreasing.  Neither of these important factors are occurring or look like they will in the near future.

More of the negative impact to our economy – and us – is further told by Ms. Ying Shen’s report.  McCulom further says that according to Deutsche Bank the share of homes mortgaged for more then their value was 36% at the end of March.  he continues by

Further deterioration will depress consumer spending and boost defaults by borrowers who face unemployment, divorce, disability or other financial challenges, the securitization analysts said.

Even more frightening is his comment on seven real estate markets in the U.S. which had the “fastest appreciation during the five year housing boom”.  Those markets he says are, Fort Lauderdale , Miami, Merced and Modesto, CA and Las Vegas.  (I would have to assume that these markets cover the majority of the counties they are situated in).  He says that these markets my have as many as 90% of borrowers underwater according to the Deutsche Bank report.

It is important to note that the latter comment deals with borrowers who are underwater not the number of homes but it is safe to assume that the vast majority of homes purchased during the boom years were financed.

Already, servicers are grappling with a delinquency tsunami. According to figures compiled by National Mortgage News and the Quarterly Data Report, 34% of all subprime loans — or $320 billion worth of loans — are in some stage of delinquency.

It appears as if we are drowning economically and no rescue appears to be on the horizon.  I don’t even see a flotation device anywher in sight either.  We seem to be having an endless cycle of downturns which in turn feed more downturns which feed even more downturns.

As said earlier, without a recovery in real estate and employment – both of which feed on each other and continue the cycle – there can be little in the way of economic recovery on a national scale.

Help, as promised by the current and past administrations, have not come to the people.  The help that was made available – trillions of dollars – has certainly had a positive and lucrative affect on our “too big to fail” financial institutions.  They seem to be reporting profits and higher returns and increasing stock values.  All this while the general population is drowning.  Could it be that these “too big to fail” institutions that “you” have sent financial aid to own all the life vests and flotation devices and holding them instead of using them?  I think so.  These guys are living the good life, getting a better life – if that is possible with the money they already have – and don’t give a dam about the rest of us.

We are busy being distracted by conversation of health care reform – and it is only conversation at this point as there is no definitive proposals on the table yet.  This distraction, while a valid topic is purposeful to detract our attention from drowning.  Are the members of our Administration and Congress that stupid to believe that we think it is ok to drown knowing that maybe somewhere down the road a national health care program will bring us back to life?  We need a healthcare program but we need to eat to.  With no food, no health care program will benefit us.

I say to our Congressmen, you are all members of the human race and Americans.  You enjoy stable and high incomes, benefits and perks and THE BEST HEALTH CARE PROGRAM IN THE NATION.  In your comfort and as OUR representatives you should be working first and foremost on rescuing us from certain drowning.

To read the full article in National Mortage News…click here

FIGHT AND DEFEND!

Loan Modifications…Fact or Fiction

To Modify or To Defend? That is the question. « The Foreclosure Detonator

The link above is a post I just made in TheForeclosureDetonatorFORUM the sister blog to this publication.  In this story I talk about the lies and deceptions used by our financial institutions.

Loan Modifications are one of the major deceptions and lies being used against an already depressed people and society.  One must ask why our so called noble institutions are doing this to us in our nation?

The answer could be as simple as greed and profit.  But it is not that simple.  While greed and profit certainly create the desire to strip this nation’s people of their assets and wealth an underlying destruction of corporate morality is certainly the root of this evil.

Corporate morality.  What is it?  What should it be? 

Our system of capitalism certainly provides the basis and opportunity to thrive and succeed economically.  Throughout our history small companies have become large international giants providing jobs and benefits to a vast majority of people.  Some even provided and created their own cities to accommodate their employees like Hershey, PA, home to Hershey chocolates. 

But not all corporations were so civic minded and had actual corporate feelings for their employees or the customers to whom they provided a product at a fair price earning a fair profit.

Historically, companies such as the early railroads took advantage of and destroyed lives and took property to further their own interests creating and building personal and corporate empires of extremely wealthy people. 

Capitalism in its raw state created a class system and a form of nobility with no official titles or designations other then the balance in their bank accounts.  (Each year Forbes Magazine publishes their list of the wealthiest people in this country).  We have no Lords or Baron’s, no Sheiks, Prince’s or Princesses.  We have simply the super wealthy.   A new class of monied people who earned their fortunes not by inventing or creating anything of value to the world but by running corporations.  They gain and profit even if the company they are in charge of does not.    Yes, wealth created by failure, deception, illusion and criminal activity. 

A class of people for whom all are losers except for themselves and all are fair game in their game of enrichment.  Big oil for instance.  Their executives are well paid for creating record quarterly profits even though consumption is reduced.  Even when the price for a barrel of oil went back down to the mid thirties the price per gallon of oil did not come down to the level it was the last time the cost of a barrel of oil was that same price.  How?  By raising prices to the consumer hence expanding the economic hardships of the already victimized populous even more.  Where is the corporate morality in this example?  When is greed and profit taking enough?  Where is their responsibility to the customers that depend on them to feed themselves and their families?  Corporate morality…NONE!

Where is the corporate morality in the Consumer credit industry run by our dear friends the bankers?  They were giving out their creidt cards to anyone – even high school students – then charged interest rates above 30%, a rate at which most will never pay off their principal balances.  But as a result, paper profits and even stock vallues are up as those executives get paid more and more while their customers make and have less and less. 

What ever happened to the usury laws, the law that said no one could ever be charged more then 18% per annum for any type of credit?  Is that law still on the books just not enforced?  Legislated somewhat out of morality, I believe, as anything above that was considered harmful and even illegal (remember, anything above 18% was considered loan sharking) to the population at large.  A morality and sound behavior now gone.

How about the case of a corporate CEO that almost destroyed the company he worked for, was fired then was hired as the CEO for a major auto manufacturer – that has failed and we wonder why.  This caused many harm but only some sort of morality considers harm in the decision making process.

No, there is no corporate morality anymore.  In fact, morality gets no rewards.  It seems that some have found a way to enrich themselves personally as heads of companies while knowingly stripping the population of their meager wealth.  The poor are poorer, the lower middle class gone, the middle class all but gone – both can be classified as the Poor. and the upper middle class being attacked as the war continues to be waged against anyone with no seat at the table who has any measure of wealth. 

Yes, there is a domestic war going on.  We feel the affects of it as it has touched just about everyone in this nation and other nations as well.  A war against capitalist, democratic rights and privileges.  A war being fought by corporate America – specifically our financial industry which includes The Federal Reserve and The U.S. Treasury – while our elected officials and appointed regulators turn the other way. 

Democrat or Republican it matters not.  These two major parties – which at times in the process seem to be the only two authorized parties – are all part of this war against the people.  They talk, they meet in committees as mentioned in TheForeclosoureDetonatorFORUM‘s post, they talk and begin to legislate legislation but to no avail.  Nothing is really happening – not for the masses onlly for the classes.

Even now, there is talk about a national health care program.  The big news tonight is that the debates so far have reduced the spending for a badly needed program to $900 billion.  The debate in both houses will continue and no vote will be taken prior to the Congressional recess.  Imagine all this debate and talk and disagreement over funding a national health care program to help the people.  Yet, when it came time to help our Barons of Corporations, they – the government –  quickly and with no discussion, debate or oversight – created and gave them $700 billion (amply called TARP funds as a TARP is a temporary cover one puts over something to keep the water out).  When a Baron of Insurance needed some fast cash – on top of the billions it already had – we, sorry, they quickly gave them over $148 billion. 

And let’s not forget that auto giant GM, the largest bankruptcy in our nations history who emerged from their reorganization BK in 40, yes, 40 days with a little help of the $60 billion our government so readily is giving them.  No debate, no discussion.  Where is the morality in this when the people are so needy.  Would not all these billions so quickly given out be put to better moral uses then this?

All these billions – no debate and no discussion – helping who but do the same for let’s say national health care – no way.  Why where would the benefit be for the Barons of Deceit?

Millions unemployed, millions hungry, millions homeless and millions about to be homeless.  Hungry, disparate with no shelter – the emerging third world nation.

Some will put morality in a religious context.  I do not.  To me morality is simply the act of recognizing the needs and pains of a fellow human being.  There seems to be more moral injustice talked about and advertised on television concerning animals then towards human beings – the citizens and the people that make everything possible.

Of course all this is just my opinion, what’s yours?

Executive Compensation…The Greed Is Still There…The "Elite" Ride On

Here is the latest email notice I received from the HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES Chaired by Rep. Barney Frank.

For Immediate Release:
July 16, 2009

Frank Statement on Executive Compensation

Washington, DC – Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) issued the following statement today on executive compensation:

The recent news of compensation on Wall Street shows that some financial leaders yearn for the stirring return of yesteryear and demonstrates the need to adopt legislation on executive pay. It’s a question of empowering the shareholders to decide the appropriate level because it’s their money and giving regulators the ability to prevent compensation incentives that encourage taking inappropriate and excessive risk. We do not know the specifics, but recently reported bonus pools do suggest that there may be a return to the old ways which caused such damage to our economy. It reinforces our determination to adopt a reasonable set of legislative goals.

“The Financial Services Committee will be marking up legislation next week to give shareholders a say on pay for top executives, which is similar to legislation the House passed in 2007. In addition, we will consider legislation to empower federal regulators to proscribe inappropriate or imprudent compensation practices as part of solvency regulation of all financial firms. The committee is acting because of a broad consensus of leading national and international finance experts including Paul Volcker and the Group of 30 and Lord Turner of the United Kingdom who believe that compensation structures were a factor in the financial crisis. Both the United Kingdom and the European Union are contemplating similar rules.”

What a sad commentary on our society as a whole where once our corporate citizens were patriotic and sympathetic to the country and the people.

How much money is enough? Many of these high flying corporate “bankster” exec’s have more money then they, their children and grandchildren can spend in their collective lifetimes. If they earned nothing from this point on they could maintain thier lifestyles of the “Rich and Famous” for decades.

They all must know – in their heart of hearts – what they have done to not only this, their country but to the world.

They are all conspirators and co conspirators in the largest and greatest fraud of all time. Bernie Madoff is a small fry in their company yet he has been singled out to take the heat for all of them while they continue to rob, lie and de fraud everyone.

We have a new gangster here that even Elliot Ness of the Untouchables would have a difficult time bringing down. The Mafia and other forms of organized crime we have seen in the past don’t come close to this new breed of well dressed, well educated and well compensated group of thugs.

As I see it, we have a say in the way things operate especially since it is our money they are operating with and taking as their compensation. We made it possible for them to exist and continue.

We – which includes our kids, their kids and unborn kids will be paying for this for quite some time to come therefore, it is up to us to STAND UP and BE HEARD.

I have always said, “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and “The law is the law for everyone”.

It is up to us to come out, be not afraid and be vocal on this and many other issues that are affecting our daily lives and will affect the daily lives of generations to come.

I AM OUTRAGED. Are you?

Where’s The Help? Government Bailout Programs Are For Who?

From where I sit, the economy is bleak and getting bleaker everyday. There is still a lot of talk about a recovery coming soon – but mostly by those who are paid by an industry to make those evaluations. Even President Obama continues to say it will take some time to get out of this mess.

Yet those optimistic reports continue to flow as if it will wash away the actual situation. Come on, the public is not that stupid. How can you convince those struggling to survive, to eat, to pay rent that things are not so bad?

The ranks of the unemployed are growing. The homeless population is growing with many more families homeless then was ever visible before. Yes visible. I don’t have statistics on homeless but just look around your city, you will see them – a new breed of homeless who know that things are not better.

How about all of those people whose retirement plans were wiped out? Those that should have retired or would be retiring now looking for work just to survive. They don’t see the pending recovery all of those “paid” optimists are reporting.

Each day I encounter more and more people that are affected by what we are still calling a Recession. To so many this economic crisis feels like and lives like a full blown Depression.

Let’s look at some real numbers and statistics.

U.S. Food-Stamp Recipients Reached Record 33.8 Million in April as reported in Bloomber.com



Fed: Unemployment rate will top 10% in 2009 as reported in the Denver Business Journal

…”In April, the Federal Reserve predicted that unemployment would top out between 9.2 to 9.6 percent this year, but the rate already reached 9.5 percent in June – a 26-year high.

Can we believe the Fed? They seem to be wrong so perhaps they are wrong again and those figures will be higher then 10%. I certainly hope not but only time will tell.

Reports and Articles From

Unemployment rate unchanged at 12.2 percent

Oregon’s unemployment rate remains a record-high 12.2 percent, state officials said Monday.



Unemployment rising, but companies still hiring

The national unemployment rate is on the brink of double digits, job fairs are mobbed and layoffs continue.



Georgia unemployment claims jump 95% in June

The Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday evening that 88,756 laid-off workers filed first-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits in June — up 94.8 percent from
June 2008.



Minority unemployment almost double white joblessness

The National Council of La Raza on Tuesday reported June unemployment figures, noting minority workers have been disproportionately affected by the recession.

Report: Charlotte-area unemployment to average 12.6%

The area’s jobless rate will average 12.6 percent this year, up from 6.6 percent in 2008, say the report by N.C. State economics professor Michael Walden

Unemployment continues to rise, Arizonalags national average

Nearly one third of the 372 metropolitan areas surveyed have a jobless rate of more than 10 percent, up from just six regions in May 2008, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Fifteen cities have rates over 15 percent. May was the fifth month in a row that every major metro area saw its unemployment rate rise year-over-year.

Once again, Portland unemployment spike leads nation

For the second consecutive month, the Portland metro area recorded the highest annual jump in unemployment in the nation, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The area’s 6.7 percent increase in unemployment in May was slightly higher than Detroit (6.6 percent).

Depressing as this may be – IT IS REALITY – and we must deal with the reality in order to survive. We cannot afford any false sense of hope or illusions as these would lead us all to total destruction.

Our leaders don’t seem to be doing the job – at least not for the majority. The banks seem to be flourishing as are their top executives. I am sure they do not feel this Recession Depression one bit.

Oh, I know, some of them are flying commercial instead of in their private corporate jets – but President Obama repeatedly says we all have to make sacrifices.



All of these so called bailout programs with all their acronyms (ie. TARP, which to me means a cover up such as when you put a TARP on the roof of your house after a storm) seem to be covering up the reality of what is really happening. It seems to me that there is a definite emergence of an “elite” class who are getting richer with these government bailout programs while the rest of us are getting hungrier.

Goldman Sachs reported a profit last quarter with a little help from the Government indirectly by way of AIG. JP Morgan Chase reported a profit last quarter thanks to TARP. Bank of America reported a profit last quarter again thanks to TARP even after the acquisition of TWO FAILED companies.

General Motors is emerging from Bankruptcy after only 40 days – with a little help from our government to the tune of $60 billion.

Again, I must ask, “What have you (The Government – whoever you may be) done for us down here on Main Street now called Foreclosure Alley?

A note to our “leaders”. This country is made up of us, the people and children, not “we” the corporations.

The most shocking statistic was recently published in MSM Money .

The headline read,

With 15 Million Kids Expected to Go Hungry This Summer, Boys & Girls Clubs of America Partners With Morgan Stanley to Launch ‘Million Meal Summer’ Program

June 12, 2009 9:30 AM ET

ATLANTA, June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In an effort to feed the millions of young people expected to miss meals or go hungry this summer, Morgan Stanley MS announced today a partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to provide more than a million meals to children this summer

So, Mr. Obama, while you are flying your children around the world in your private jet provided and paid for by the people – other people’s children are going hungry – right here in your own country. Let me ask, how many children could we feed with the $60 billion you are giving General Motors? How many children could be feed with the money used to launch the shuttle yesterday? And how many children could be feed if every member of Congress and your Administration took a 10% pay cut?

So – Where’s the Help? When can we, the American people, expect to be bailed out directly before we bail out the ones that got us here to begin with. Mr. Obama, is teaching your children that you get rewarded for failing the lesson in life you want them to learn?

_______________________________________

If you become “too big to fail”?

Another wrong message being sent.

________________________________________

Financial Services Committee to Examine “Too Big to Fail” Institutions

Washington, DC – Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, today announced the committee will hold a hearing titled “Systemic Risk: Are Some Institutions Too Big to Fail and If So, What Should We Do About It?” on Monday, July 13.

Let me see if I can help Rep. Barney Frank answer the question, “What Should We Do About It?” My answer and perhaps those of the majority of Americans today would be “LET THEM FAIL” give us the money so we can feed our children and ourselves.

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