The eighth anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis is almost upon us, making this as good a moment as any to take stock of how little we know still about the bad behavior and deception that occurred inside the big Wall Street banks that helped to cause it — and how little we may ever know.
A wave of settlements between Wall Street and the Justice Department and regulators resulted in fines in excess of $200 billion flowing from the shareholders of these firms into the coffers of the various federal and state government entities. These payments still feel to me more like extortion than justice. After all, if the prosecutorial arm of the federal government that regulates you demands a 10- or 11-figure payment, it seems pointless to argue. Continue reading →
Whether you know it or not the derivative damage that caused the 2008 financial massacre and millions upon millions of foreclosures continues to plague America in ways that are unfathomable.
You can blame deregulation of the financial industry, too much dirty money in state and federal politics, outright bribery, a lack of moral and ethical behavior and a significant blur between the three branches of government that were originally designed to be oversight protection.
You may not know that the $700 TRILLION+ debt created on Wall Street took out (destroyed, eliminated, stole) billion$ of pension and retirement funds from nearly every aspect of government, trade unions and corporate 401ks to the point that severe cutbacks had to be made from furloughs to total haircuts… And now these lousy, corrupt and bribe-r-us bankster created investment vehicles have wiped out the futures of millions of American families – and many don’t even know it yet… but your politicians do.
See: The Sucker Punch – The Elite’s Attack on Pension and Retirement FundsContinue reading →
Big banks hold great sway in Washington these days, far more than troubled homeowners do. But outside the Beltway, many people remain caught in the maw of the financial giants, which is why it is heartening when some judges step into the fray.
Consider two opinions involving Wells Fargo, a bank that enjoys a somewhat better reputation than many of its peers. On Monday, a judge in a state court in Missouri ordered Wells to pay over $3 million in punitive damages and other costs for abusing a borrower. Then, on Thursday, a judge in Federal Bankruptcy Court in suburban New York ruled on behalf of another borrower, concluding that there was substantial evidence Wells Fargo forged documents when it foreclosed on a property. Continue reading →
You can’t fight city hall, the saying goes. But Gayle McLaughlin, the mayor of Richmond, Calif., a city of 100,000 souls, would tell you that fighting Wall Street is harder. Even for city hall. Continue reading →
WASHINGTON — It used to be common for the federal government to prosecute prominent people responsible for debacles that rattled the financial system. Michael R. Milken, the junk bond artist, went to prison in 1991; Charles H. Keating Jr., the face of the savings-and-loan crisis, pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud in 1999; and it looks like Jeffrey K. Skilling, the former chief executive of Enron, will be in prison until 2017. Continue reading →
JPMorgan Chase and federal authorities are nearing settlements over the bank’s ties to Bernard L. Madoff, striking tentative deals that would involve roughly $2 billion in penalties and a rare criminal action. The government will use a sizable portion of the money to compensate Mr. Madoff’s victims.
The settlements, which are coming together on the anniversary of Mr. Madoff’s arrest at his Manhattan penthouse five years ago on Wednesday, would fault the bank for turning a blind eye to his huge Ponzi scheme, according to people briefed on the case who were not authorized to speak publicly. Continue reading →
The failure of the U.S. government to prosecute those who were the masterminds behind the NTMs (nontraditional mortgages) and subprime loan debacle, that more likely appear to have been an intentional Ponzi-like scam, makes Eminent Domain a plausible solution for relief. If handled properly Eminent Domain may actually save homes and families – not to mention saving lives and local governments that foolishly invested in unregulated and rigged derivatives and securities.
Do the math. Hypothetical figure (conservative): $900 month payments X 67 million MERS mortgages X 12 months (1 yr.) = $723,600,000,000 new revenue stream annually – and this figure is conservative… it’s likely 2-3 times higher and this is JUST MERS. Continue reading →
While you were tacking on the last sequins of the Halloween costume and watching the World Series – the banks were handing out cash for votes to scale back the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. You probably didn’t hear about it because after that the TSA shooter dominated the news. Another special from “Whaddah I miss?”
The U.S. House of Representatives voted last Wednesday to scale back a much-debated provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, handing bank lobbyists a token victory in their fight against the tougher rules. The much-debated provision centered around derivatives. Those fighting the foreclosure wars need not be told the “devil is in the derivatives.” Continue reading →
[Editors’ note: Please do not read this if you are a junior banker at Goldman Sachs.]
Sit back and enjoy eating your children’s Halloween candy. Looking ahead to next week, we face possible settlements for JPMorgan Chase and Steven Cohen’s hedge fund as well as Twitter’s initial public offering. Continue reading →