Hormonal Imbalance Suffocates Homeowners


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Editor’s Comment: 

Matt Stoller nails it in his article below.  In order to arrive at Buffet’s conclusion, you must start with the premise that the banks did nothing wrong.  50 AGs filing actions against the banks and Buffet arrives at the conclusion that the solution will be hormones?!  Time and time again we see these subtle statements implying that the fault is the homeowners.  That they are the deadbeats.  But if you took that premise out and judged fairly, all these guys would be in jail.  Buffet has a financial stake in seeing the banks as prosperous and doing no wrong.

Matt Stoller:  Warren Buffet says, “Hormones” Will Fix the Housing Crisis

By Matt Stoller, the former Senior Policy Advisor to Rep. Alan Grayson and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. 

Last week, Warren Buffett made some news with his folksy, charming as always shareholder letter.  Most people focused on his admission that he was wrong about the housing crisis.   Buffett pointed to his year ago statement that “a housing recovery will probably begin within a year or so.”  And he said, graciously, that this prediction “was dead wrong.”  This is rhetorically notable, because it’s so rare that our masters of the universe ever admit error.  But it is just more PR dressing up bad policies.

Buffett is a very important man, not just because of his immense wealth, but because he has the ear of policy-makers and the President.  I once went through a pile of phone records of Treasury Secretaries Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner, and Buffett seemed to be on speed dial (he was contacted more than George Bush, for instance).  Buffett’s advice to the President over the past few years has been that America built too many homes, and that the country is working through this excess supply naturally.  Eventually, that will lead the economy to turn around (a thesis Joe Weisenthal has tracked for months now in the data).  It’s actually not so different from Alan Greenspan’s somewhat-kidding-but-not-really advice to burn excess housing stock.  So when Buffett talks, it makes sense to listen.

Here’s what he has to say about the housing sector today.

This hugely important sector of the economy, which includes not only construction but everything that feeds off of it, remains in a depression of its own. I believe this is the major reason a recovery in employment has so severely lagged the steady and substantial comeback we have seen in almost all other sectors of our economy.

Buffett himself italicized depression.  He wanted this picked up by all of us.  But what I found most interesting is his cure for the housing market.

That devastating supply/demand equation is now reversed: Every day we are creating more households than housing units. People may postpone hitching up during uncertain times, but eventually hormones take over. And while “doubling-up” may be the initial reaction of some during a recession, living with in-laws can quickly lose its allure.

Essentially, he argues that household formation is artificially low, and that this will naturally be cured by hormones, as it has in the past.  Only, the lack of family household formation is actually a new phenomenon.

Family households have been forming at an average rate of 651,000 per year since at least 1947 (when the first annual household data became available). During that whole period the only years showing “negative formation” are 2008, 2010, and 2011.

And what is behind this lack of household formation?  There are possibly many reasons, but one sure driver is student debt.  The average college graduate now carries $25k in student debt after graduation.  It’s no surprise that young people aren’t buying homes, but are increasingly renting and doubling up with others.

According to a recent Federal Reserve study, only 9 percent of 29- to 34-year-olds got a first-time mortgage from 2009 to 2011, compared with 17 percent 10 years earlier.

Student debt is just one facet of the punitive infrastructure we have set up towards debtors.  Another facet of this infrastructure is that housing market itself is broken because creditor middlemen known as mortgage servicers are skimming from both homeowners and investors.  These problems have created an atmosphere of deep uncertainty, and there is simply no private investment in the sector (the existing market of private MBS is likely overvalued, as deeply in the red as it is today).  The housing market is at this point nearly entirely backed by government guarantees through the FHA and the GSEs, aside from the hundred plus billion in direct government infusions.  One shock (like a war with Iran or something else on the radar) could tip it over once again.

You can be sure that Warren Buffett’s explanation, that all will be well soon, is the official line in Washington, DC.  Republicans don’t want to talk about housing, period.  And the administration has successfully purged all official dissent out of the Democratic Party infrastructure with its settlement.  This won’t hold, because reality, like a fart in church, will eventually and successfully intrude on the party in DC.

How long they can keep this afloat isn’t clear.  But there is a reason that hope, or in this case hormones, is the plan for housing.  Here’s more of Buffett’s letter, justifying some of his large investments.

The banking industry is back on its feet, and Wells Fargo is prospering. Its earnings are strong, its assets solid and its capital at record levels. At Bank of America, some huge mistakes were made by prior management. Brian Moynihan has made excellent progress in cleaning these up, though the completion of that process will take a number of years. Concurrently, he is nurturing a huge and attractive underlying business that will endure long after today’s problems are forgotten. Our warrants to buy 700 million Bank of America shares will likely be of great value before they expire.

Buffett helped cause the housing crisis through his massive ownership stake in Moody’s (he is the single largest shareholder), and he profited immensely from the government bailouts.  His assertions that the financial crisis was an “economic Pearl Harbor” was a similarly self-serving explanation that diverted attention from a crisis resulting from events he helped shape  to some sort of external causation.  He is now profiting from legal and regulatory forbearance against entities he owns.  If Wells or BofA were held accountable for their systemic abuse of the property rights system through foreclosure fraud, or if they were forced to reserve against second liens more accurately, it’s unlikely they would be good investments.  On the other hand, if that were to happen, we could begin to fix our housing market.

There is no honesty among our political elites, and by that statement, I don’t mean that they are liars.  There are liars everywhere, and truthtellers as well.  Most of us are concurrently both.  What I mean is that the culture of the political elite is one in which a genuine conversation about the actual problems we are facing as a society simply cannot be held with any integrity.  Instead, we have to chalk up problems in a very busted housing market, and a generation saddled with indentured servitude disguised as a debt, as one of “hormones”.

It sounds cute that way, I guess.  Eventually, we will see integrity in our discourse.  It’s unavoidable.  You can’t operate a society solely on intellectual dishonesty because eventually all your bridges fall down, even the ones the rich use.  For a moment, from 2008-2009, there was real discourse about what to do.  We’ll see a moment like that again.  Only, the environment won’t be nearly as conducive to having a prosperous democratic society as it was in 2008.  There will be a lot more poverty, starvation, violence, and authoritarianism when the next chance comes around.  Catastrophic climate change, devastating supply chain disruptions, political upheaval, geopolitical tensions and/or war – one more more of these will be the handmaidens of honest dialogue.

The tragedy is not that our circumstances will worsen dramatically, but that it just didn’t have to be this way.

59 Responses



    Another Ex-Goldman Banker Confesses: The Firm Became ‘Toxic’
    By DailyFinance Staff

    Posted 3:14PM 03/15/12 People, Goldman Sachs , Market News, Banking

    The fallout continued on Thursday from a Goldman Sachs (GS) employee’s scathing public resignation in the pages of the country’s most famous newspaper. On Wednesday, The New York Times published an op-ed by Greg Smith, previously “a largely anonymous 33-year-old midlevel executive at Goldman Sachs in London,” in the words of a Times follow-up piece. Titled “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs,” Smith’s diatribe declared Goldman’s environment to be “as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it,” and denounced management for allowing “the interests of the client… to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money.”

    The Times — touting its own impact, to be sure — quoted an unnamed Goldman executive as saying the op-ed landed “like a bomb” inside the bank.

    Goldman, which by now has lots of experience in responding to bad publicity, quickly released a memo from CEO Lloyd Blankfein and President Gary D. Cohn to the firm’s employees, characterizing Mr. Smith as “disgruntled” and merely one “of nearly 12,000 vice presidents” (in other words, not such a big fish among the 30,000 swimmers in Goldman’s pond).

    But, tellingly, the firm did not dismiss the allegations outright. The Wall Street Journal reports that Goldman “said it will examine” Mr. Smith’s “claims… that executives ‘callously’ talk about ‘ripping their clients off’ in order to make more money.” The company also attempted to contact Mr. Smith “for more information about his accusations, including that he saw five managing directors call their clients ‘muppets’ in the past year.”


  2. @anh,
    One other point.You will end up having to get a Securitizion report and
    commentary as ammo for court anyway.
    As a shameless plug for Neal here at Livinglies, you cannot get
    that report anywhere else but here for a price that’s less than 50% of the other places.
    Was very,very happy with mine.

  3. @Chris,

    Of course.That”s why I ignored the civil route.
    If you’ve go to pay a lawyer anyway go for the jugular.

  4. @anh,
    Yes you can but its case by case.
    I am not bothering to file QT,if my bank is stupid enough
    to try to foreclose again I am going to counterclaim for
    QT.IE make them pay for it.
    Watch out there are a lot of scams out there.
    Caveat Emptor

  5. BY design, john

  6. Can someone check this out . Is it possible to file Quiet Title ?

    Quiet Title Attorney Virginia

    This is a quick post to update our daily readers from Virginia. Legal Forensic Auditors in Warrenton Virginia have now added Karen Kennedy, esq. to our list of attorneys who are filing quiet title actions in Northern Virginia. Karen Kennedy is a seasoned foreclosure defense attorney who has attended the Max Gardener foreclosure defense seminars and successfully negotiates mortgage modifications through the federal administrative processes. She also provides bankruptcy services and will challenge the servicers motion to lift the stay of foreclosure when prudent. After Greg Bryl’s win (another great foreclosure defense attorney in our network) in Fairfax Virginia of a quiet title on a $1.6 million Onewest (as successor to Indymac) note for a securitized mortgage, Virginia is now a state where there is a precedent case nullifying a deed of trust because of MERS leaving parties of non interest in the land record. Any Northern Virginia attorney who wishes to start filing quiet title actions should contact us we have many Virginia plaintiffs. Our network has successfully prosecuted quiet title actions in Northern Virginia, Texas and Southern California. There are many forms of foreclosure defense, if your trustee on your deed of trust is now out of business, or the lender of record on your deed of trust filed in the land record IS NO LONGER your lender because they have securitized the loan through wall street you may very well be able to file a quiet title action and completely nullify your deed of trust. This type of foreclosure defense gets rid of the security interest the lender has in your real property and prevents them from being able to foreclose on your property and converts the mortgage to unsecured debt. Call Chloe or Cindy to find out more about this or to make an appointment to meet with the quiet title attorneys in Charlottesville Virginia. The number is 540-341-1481 x 3 We have attorneys in California, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Gerogia and Colorado.

  7. Which ones.
    State AG which one.Or Mr.Fixit Holder ?
    Same problem,have to be represented over $15000.in civil as
    Nice little cartel,how the hell did we get here ?.

  8. @ john

    Not looking to prosecute…looking for injury, pain and suffering, lack of authority to make a settlement for me, as a homeowner, etc…

    Plaintiff complaint against the AG…doable? I’ll sign on for it, keep anyone else anonymous!

  9. Okay…I’ll work that and try. Anyone else?

  10. The beauty is that it is all already out there..
    You cannot prosecute in court in Federal or State Courts,
    unless your an admitted lawyer.
    We need a lawyer with requisite criminal court experience.
    He would never have to work again after getting cut in on the
    fines that were levied.Performance pay.
    He would have to have that,because he would probably never get work again
    I am thinking along the lines of Federal,S.District of New York.
    The judges certainly seem to be on the ball and relatively honest
    from the reports.

  11. @ john

    I agree…I am willing to put some research and work into a complaint against any of the AG’s, will anyone help? Doing nothing is not an option…Just saying.

    Even late a complaint in the right court should get media attention…that is what we need, in my opinion!

  12. @Chris,
    That would happen anyway.
    Once we started up the food chain and got to the bankers,who
    do you think they would roll on.Watergate would seem like a parking
    The problem is that this should have started back in 2008.
    The situation could have been recoverable if it had happened then.
    Its too late.
    Don’t take my word for it go here;
    Read that carefully and then tell me I am wrong.
    I am sorry.,but there it is.

  13. @ All

    How do most of you feel about filing suit against some of the powers that be? Send them a message, we are not going to stand by and allow “immunity” for felons any longer.

  14. There only three choices left.
    !)Private criminal prosecutions .
    2)A revolution redux of 1776.
    3)Sit it out to the system collapse which will be in 2014,or any day in between from some other ‘black swan’ event
    I can see no others I am sorry to .say.
    The current system cannot survive.
    In reality It was pronounced dead in 2008.
    We are are just awaiting the violent bowel evacuation of the corpse.
    1 and 3 are kicking the can,and we have already run out of road.
    Its not going to be pretty.But the sooner we start the sooner we can
    give our children a future.,not serfdom.

  15. @ john

    The lawyers have flown under the radar here. They populated and created the contacts, did the closings, acquired the title insurance, and then signed on to the foreclosures, like red ants!

    Without the lawyers this mess would not be possible.

    Now, what do you think should be done here? Suggestions? At this point I want to seek resolution…there has to be a way to stop these folks, in their tracks. In my humble opinion, we need each other and in numbers we can make a big difference. Solutions are needed, ideas would be greatly appreciated. I’m on for a game changer…this is a team effort…Ideas?

  16. @Chris,

    Shakespeare had it right by the way.
    First we kill all the lawyers.
    Sorry Neal,you and a few other excluded.

  17. @Chris,
    as I am sure you know,precedent is everything in law, unless
    legislation has changed it.
    There has been no law passed that abolishes the Magna Carta or the Constitution and its amendments ,YET.
    They are however nibbling away at it,witness the NDAA basically
    abolishing Habeus Corpus and due process.Its not legal but if it
    goes unchallenged we have already succumbed to tyranny.Its
    just a matter of time.The longer it remains on the books unchallenged the more basis it has to be accepted as legal law..
    Very,very dangerous times.
    Democracy cannot long co-exist with fiat money.
    One or the other is destroyed,usually democracy.
    Hitler and Mussolini being the most recent examples.

  18. @ john

    That’s exactly what I am suggesting. Go back to the roots of our Constitution, Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, etc…like our cases, go back to the beginning. I have a Federal Case and quoted from a case back in 1793…it made sense. We have allowed the attorneys to skew, twist and amend our legal documents to “align” with corporations, not people. This has to stop, it is already out-of-control, like a speeding train with no brakes. People don’t realize, it does affect them…our government is censoring the media and controlling everything that happens around us. I see what you see, enough do not…if they can use the laws and tweak and twist them, so can we!

  19. @ Chris,
    They can make any deal they want.
    They cannot abrogate our rights which are separate from the rights of the state.
    That was the whole point of Magna Carta.
    The provision made that I have spoken about, was the very foundation of freedom in the modern world.
    It tamed a wilfull and capricious state(king) and delivered power to the people,Its probably the most important right bestowed by that document.

  20. @ john

    For me, just my thoughts, the AG’s have no RIGHT to make settlements with criminals. I mean let’s face it, every day criminal cases are mitigated, however, not to immunity! Every piece of paper I touch, read or otherwise put my hands on actually shows the crimes…our system is going to be compromised, for the benefit of one group, and allow Felonies, for cash? And to whom? The price of any house is now $2000.00 to clean up the bad title, so they can sell it and generate cash, from an investment they have no loss in, except the fabricated fees, interest and attorneys pay?

    This stuff is crazy and Illegal !

  21. @ Chris,
    There is also another group keeping a very low profile.
    They call themselves the 3%. You and I both know what that refers to.
    There is a groundswell out there of people that understand that the
    constitution has been shredded and subverted by the very interests
    we were warned to watch closely by the Founders:.The bankers !

  22. @ john

    There is a movement about called “sovereign citizens” (I think)…it is getting a bad rap, because like all fringe groups there are people killing cops, threatening judges, etc…now having said that, I read some about these folks and they may have something, if they stop the violence.

    They have been filing suits against the system, judges, municipalities, states, etc…with success…getting liens on the folks passing down favorable court settlements, like with the banks. The idea is they are claiming to not be U.S.citizens and are making complaints via the court system against wrongs being perpetrated on our citizens.

    Now having stated this: I do not in any way condone the violence; however, I do think they may have something…using that format, we may be able to get our day in court. There is a risk though!

  23. Fraudyin slip is showing.
    Meant entre not entree.

  24. @ Chris,
    I will try both of them.
    However without a personal entree I doubt from long personal
    experience whether I can this in front of them.
    Come on, one of you out there has a relationship with Matt Weidner
    or Mark Stoppa.I will e-mail Neal direct he usually replies,eventually..
    Step forward someone so we can get this idea out in the open,
    This should be the easiest criminal case ever.The evidence is everywhere.
    Start with fraud at the Linda Green level and roll them to the top
    where we can go for RICO at the bank,.ratings agencies,etc.,CEO level.

  25. Hormones? It sounds a lot more like ” Iron poor blood” that a good shot of Geritol once a day for 4 years with Ron Paul in the white house would fix.
    If it is hormones deficiency, then it could be menopause, and not a damn thing will help. I have been married 30 years and I know what I am talking about.
    I am 4 years into my foreclosure suit pro se thanks to Neil.
    Keep up the good work.

  26. Abigail field started dissecting the settlement. This is a must read, with the Chase exhibit open to follow her expose. Actually, my blood was boiling so hot that… I had to post something.

    I promise: yours will to. Looking forward to civil war even more tonight than ever before.


  27. This is insane…. it’s from the consent judgement….

    D. Reporting
    Quarterly Reports
    1. Following the end of each Quarter, Servicer will report the results of its Compliance Reviews for that Quarter (the “Quarterly Report”). The
    Quarterly Report shall include: the Metrics for that Quarter;
    Servicer’s progress toward meeting its payment obligations under this
    Consent Judgment; general statistical data on Servicer’s overall
    servicing performance described in Schedule Y.

    Since the banks have proven themselves so incredibly trustworthy, the regulators have set up an honor code system. “Tell us that you’ve fixed the fraud, then report the same quarterly, and everything will be alright.” Richard for brains!

    I’ve been trying for hours to find where it says the banksters are going to have their asses handed to them if they don’t shape up….I can’t find it. Is there anything at all in this deal to make them correct their ways? It’s like bad summer stock theater….

  28. @John,

    There is one tremendous advocate you need to run your idea by: Matt Weidner. Check him out on Matt weidner blog.

    He may have different political orientations than you but it doesn’t matter: the problem this country is facing largely transcends any politics.

    Contact Matt Weidner. He is in Florida. Contact also Marc Stopa. Both are incredibly disenchanted by the system and willing to look at everything. Run by them what you wrote here. You may be onto smething huge and you wont know until enough brains ponder over it.

    At this stage of the game, we owe it to ourselves and our kids to explore every avenue.

  29. warren Buffet is a dinosaur on the verge of being extinct. I just hope he and his bankster friends dont take the whole country with them.


  30. @Chris,
    there is one alternative short of bloodshed that I have.
    I just get blank looks when I mention it to lawyers,but I think they are
    just playing dumb because it’s expensive and hard work.
    Magna Carta which is also enshrined in US law gives all
    nobles and commoners the right to conduct criminal prosecutions
    when the state is unable(lazy)or unwilling(bribed) to prosecute.
    It’s done exactly like any criminal case using the laws of the land,
    Judge,Jury ,suponae powers ,and exactly the same penalties.
    Prison fines and all.
    However the prosecuting lawyer is. paid by the complainants,
    It seems to have fallen out of fashion in the US around the 1900″s.
    Its still used in the UK and former empire countries.Canada,Australia,NZ etc.
    I can find nothing here in Florida that proscribes it .
    It would be expensive,but it might get justice.If you get convictions
    the state must pay your costs of prosecution and pay for imprisonment etc.
    The state AGs are bought off,so is the DoJ,does not matter from
    which political party.There will be no justice there..
    Comments anyone ?

  31. @ john

    Just so you know, I have watched Dancing with the Stars…I like dancing, SO?

    I get the problems with education, finance, government, corporate greed, etc…I do the best I can, like the rest of us. The difference is, maybe…I do try and give back in many ways. It’s all I can do. If something seems inappropriate, I speak, with risk. I get involved. There could be more of that and enlightenment for many would certainly change the outcome. It’s coming slowly. Hang in there!

  32. If they can get past their MSM imposed guilt,and
    replace it with a cold justifiable rage.
    However I think most just want to forget.
    When the next TBTF bailout comes (watch Mar 23rd)maybe. ?
    But the bank owned Fed will cover it up again,and
    it will be long done before anyone discovers it.
    Greece is a much bigger problem than anyone is letting on.

  33. @John,

    Historically, that has always been the case. Gandhi didn’t have the 99% behind him. Fidel Castro and Che Guevara didn’t have the 99% behind them. The French revolution did didn’t mobilize 99% of the population. Mao didn’t have 99% of his people behind him. Never happens.

    Which is great news, since we’re already more 5% having suffered banks’ inequities. Way ahead of the game!!!!

  34. The power will have to be wrested from their dead hands.
    The Govt.state and Federal,Are OWNED by Goldman Sachs
    and their ilk.
    Your average American would rather watch ‘Dance with
    stars”than be forced to think.If they haven’t been so dumbed
    down by the Govt. controlled eduction system that they are
    incapable of thinking(no coincidence there).
    I really doubt at this point if there is a collective conscience
    capable of enlightenment.
    The hard will have to be done by 2 or 3% .As it was in 1776.

  35. @ john

    Talk may be cheap, but necessary. I don’t always agree with the ideas and concepts herein, but everything has its value, depending on what you see! Without a format to discuss this situation, it would never see the light of day. John this is where it begins…frankly. If we were not here, we would think we were isolated and alone and we in fact, were the bad guys. The media spends zero time, on the most important financial meltdown, in history.

    This behavior is treason and terroristic, far worse than murder. There has a been a conspiracy to defraud billions of people. The collusion, intentional fraud and gluttony of some, to the detriment of others is unconscionable and disgusting. Even our own government officials have sold us out, by giving the keys to the hen house to the fox…In my humble opinion, this is the largest transfer of wealth and theft in the countries History and the only place people are actively talking about it, is on the blogs!

    My $.02

  36. @John,

    Everywhere is the proper forum for this discussion… because as long as we don’t have it, foreclosure will continue. Fraud will continue. Our government will keep gicing out money that isn’t theirs while depriving us from badly needed social programs, schools, infrastructures, public transportatipon, research in alternative energy sources, etc.

    Our government doesn’t want to have that discussion. It’s coming regardless. It has to do with collective conscience coming back to bite us…

  37. Talk is cheap.
    If ‘we the people’ want our country back,its going to
    require action not words.
    It really is time for short ropes and tall trees
    This is not the forum for that discussion.

  38. A little more of that Goldman Sachs thing. Quite frankly, as a former employee, I would have as much to say about… AIG! In all the years I spent there, i saw morals go down so much, I ended up leaving it for good despite all the benefits, the salary, the accrued vacation time, the 401K and bonuses and all that crap.



    Goldman Sachs Exec Resigns in Scathing NYTimes Op-Ed
    Posted on March 14, 2012 at 11:52am by Becket Adams Print »Email »
    Comments (47)Scroll down for an update to this story:

    Greg Smith, a Goldman Sachs executive, decided that he was through with his company and resigned this morning. But rather than simply giving his two weeks’ notice and leaving it at that, he decided that he would do a little something extra.

    He decided to write an angry op-ed for the The New York Times, publicly denouncing what he calls Goldman’s culture of corruption. Smith, now a former executive director and head of the firm’s U.S. equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, had his op-ed published this morning.

    “Today is my last day at Goldman Sachs,” Smith writes, “After almost 12 years at the firm…I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.”

    Smith goes on to write that, unlike when he first joined the firm, Goldman is only interested in profits and its bottom line – even if it‘s detrimental to the clients’ best interests.

    “How did we get here?” Smith asks. “The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.”

    Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.

    Smith lists the unfortunate but “necessary” things an aspiring Goldman Sachs employee must do to achieve said “position of influence”:

    a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit.

    b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them.

    c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.

    But more than the inside games played by Goldman employees, Smith dislikes what he characterizes as the company’s general disdain for its clients.

    “It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off,” Smith writes. “Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as ‘muppets,’ sometimes over internal e-mail.”

    So who does Smith blame for bringing Goldman to the brink of ruin via a corrupt corporate culture? Goldman Sachs executives Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn.

    “When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs,” Smith writes, “they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.”

    As would be expected with a public display of this nature, Smith’s letter has practically gone viral, spawning parodies while the term “Goldman Sachs” is already trending on Twitter, according to Business Insider.

    UPDATE – Lloyd Blankfein and Gary Cohn have officially responded to Smith’s NYT op-ed (via Deal Journal):

    By now, many of you have read the submission in today’s New York Times by a former employee of the firm. Needless to say, we were disappointed to read the assertions made by this individual that do not reflect our values, our culture and how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients.

    …we wanted to remind you what we, as a firm – individually and collectively – think about Goldman Sachs and our client-driven culture.

    First, 85 percent of the firm responded to our recent People Survey, which provides the most detailed and comprehensive review to determine how our people feel about Goldman Sachs and the work they do.

    And, what do our people think about how we interact with our clients? Across the firm at all levels, 89 percent of you said that that the firm provides exceptional service to them. For the group of nearly 12,000 vice presidents, of which the author of today’s commentary was, that number was similarly high.

    Our firm has had its share of challenges during and after the financial crisis, but your pride in Goldman Sachs is clear. You’ve not only told us, you have told external surveys…

    We are far from perfect, but where the firm has seen a problem, we’ve responded to it seriously and substantively. And we have demonstrated that fact.

    It is unfortunate that all of you who worked so hard through a difficult environment over the last few years now have to respond to this. But, our response is best demonstrated in how we really work with and help our clients through our commitment to their long-term interests. That priority has distinguished us in the past, through the financial crisis and today.

    Read Smith’s op-ed here / Read Goldman’s Response Here


  39. Here are the links for the witness testimony Countrywide neve sent the note with the PSA. People were having a hard time finding it.
    1-10 of 243,000 results· Advanced
    EXPLOSIVE |CASE FILE New Jersey Admissions In Testimony NOTES …
    Source: Stop Foreclosure Fraud EXPLOSIVE |CASE FILE New Jersey Admissions In Testimony NOTES NEVER SENT to Trusts KEMP v. Countrywide UNITED …

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&…EXPLOSIVE |CASE FILE New Jersey Admissions In Testimony NOTES …
    11 Responses to “EXPLOSIVE |CASE FILE New Jersey Admissions In Testimony NOTES NEVER SENT to Trusts KEMP v. Countrywide”

    stopforeclosurefraud.com/2010/11/21/explosive-case-file-new-jersey…CASE FILE New Jersey Admissions in Testimony Notes Never Sent to …
    CASE FILE New Jersey Admissions in Testimony Notes Never Sent to Trusts Kemp v … John T. Kemp Plaintiff Case No. 08-18700-JHW Adversary No. 08-2448 v. Countrywide …


  40. Student Loan debt? Now that we have the reveal, it’s a known fact the money did not exist until the ‘student’ placed their signature on the paper, so how is it they ‘owe’ for something they created for their benefit? Nothing was ‘loaned’….no money changed hands.
    It didn’t exist, and the student signed and created it for their benefit..now if the bank made off with that paper and created multiples of 10 of what’s created, and added interest (which was not created) well seems the banks should have thought that through.

    The Creditor is not the debtor except by deception.

    The Creator should not be enslaved to the Creature (what was created).

    If the Creator/Creditor chooses to not be the Debtor, they have a Divine right to step back into their inheritance role as the Creditor and say ‘no’. I do not owe you what you would not have had I not created it for you.

    They have a right to be like Dorothy in Oz, no I want to be in Kansas, not here. Click your heels and you are home…you could always go home.

    Pure common sense. Search youtube for Money as Debt if you haven’t seen the video before.

    The ignorance of the masses is gone. We know how money is created and that it’s created a Debt and that the Creditor is treated as a Debtor when they created the money by their signature on a piece of paper.

    Trespass Unwanted, Corporeal, Life, Free and Independent State, Conscience, Allodial, In Jure Proprio, Jure Divino.

  41. AG settlement was posted at market-ticker.org
    Since when is the State of Texas officed in El Paso?
    Capital of Texas is Austin, before that in history it was Houston, and here we have a signed settlement from an unelected official in El Paso?

    This is not a settlement from anyone elected by the People of the State who are the State.

    This settlement should anyone jump on, it will be their own doing to attach themselves to this thing.

    If someone is not hired/voted on/appointed by you to represent them, then they cannot make any agreement for your or on your behalf.

    Opinion in the form of a question
    I wonder if the AGs who didn’t sign on, know that they would have performed a ‘treasonous act’ to negotiate with terrorists.

    There’s evidence of wrongdoing, knowingly, willingly, and intentionally, and culpability and then there is a ”we know what you did, but we forgive you if you pay us some money for the crime and you won’t have to go before a court of law because they stuck their neck out helping you do it, so just pay us a fine and you can pass “Go” and collect $200.


    There is no way, if a check came my way, that I would agree that someone who did not represent me, represented my interest and sign a dumb check and hand over more than what was already taken from me against my Free Will.

    Women and children were pulled into a financial war on our own land, and people can’t even see it. We have been destroyed by war without destroying the buildings we created with our life energy.

    Someone needs to be removed and I’m not talking about removing ‘O’.. I say he inherited this mess, and so many people don’t see what he’s up against. There are so many secret societies and secret oaths and secret alliances and allegiances, all around him, and the people don’t realize it would have been worse if he was not there right now.

    Those that signed that document.
    You are known by your deeds. We see you.
    We are in revelations.
    etymonline.com gives us the 13th century, and 14th century and Old French, and Latin definitions:
    c.1300, “disclosure of information to man by a divine or supernatural agency,” from O.Fr. revelacion, from L. revelationem (nom. revelatio), from revelatus, pp. of revelare (see reveal). General meaning “disclosure of facts” is attested from late 14c.; meaning “striking disclosure” is from 1862. As the name of the last book of the New Testament (Revelation of St. John), it is first attested c.1400

    late 14c., “revelation, disclosure,” from Church L. apocalypsis “revelation,” from Gk. apokalyptein “uncover, disclose, reveal,” from apo- “from” (see apo-) + kalyptein “to cover, conceal” (see Calypso). The Christian end-of-the-world story is part of the revelation in John of Patmos’ book “Apokalypsis” (a title rendered into English as “Apocalypse” c.1230 and “Revelations” by Wyclif c.1380). Its general sense in M.E. was “insight, vision; hallucination;” meaning “a cataclysmic event” is modern. As agent nouns, apocalypst (1829), apocalypt (1834), and apocalyptist (1835) have been tried.

    We are in revelation and witnessing the apocalypse.
    I am glad I chose to be here as a witness. I know the cleansing will come and shock us as to those that are removed from our midst that we thought were one of us, but they ended up working against us and living among us.

    God man of Genesis 1 and Lord God man of Genesis 2 after God rested.

    Yes, the information is being revealed, and the two seeds have been planted together as Jesus spoke in parable and the reapers must come and separate the weed seed from the good seed, as they have both grown up together and it’s time to reap what was sown and separate the two from each other.

    It is time. Are you prepared for what you will witness? You are here to see.

    Trespass Unwanted, corporeal, life, free and independent State, Conscience, by Divine Right (jure divino), in One’s own right (in jure proprio)

  42. @Chas404,

    Well, one thing bothers me about that: I expect judges will listen to the argument and say: “Well, even if banks did commit all those things, they AGREED to pay back for it and they fulfilled their agreement. Therefore we are not going to litigate something that has been resolved once and for all.”

    Nothing stops us from making the argument but I doubt it will have much weight anymore. That’s why that AG settlement has to be fought at any cost or its constitutionality analyzed. Even though it doesn’t stop homeowners from attacking banks, it de facto ends up preventing us from using the AG complaint.

    Wanta bet?

  43. From AG Settlement…

    Servicer shall ensure that mortgage assignments executed by or on
    behalf of Servicer are executed with appropriate legal authority,
    accurately reflective of the completed transaction and properly

    My comment…. hahahahahhahhahahhaahahha.

    Mine is MERS to WFargo via a WF employee posing as a MERS officer.

  44. So now that the AG settlement info is out concerning whether servicer employee/signers have personal knowledge of docs etc…. can that be used by local attorneys in court to hold their feet to the fire???

    meaning how does it trickle down>?

    Can attorney say to judge, given that WF for instance has signed off that they had these doc prep issues, I need discovery and to be able to depose the signers???

  45. @ Enraged

    Yeah, I guess we all have that choice before us.

    One thing I can say for myself: Being self-employed I have, in fact, been able to enrich others by employing them (at good wages), creating possibilities for folks, sharing with my family the fruits of my labor and contributing in life, from kind gestures and helping others. I find this situation another bump in the road, win-or-lose, I fought, like I always have. If my government controlled too much of what I earned, I would have nothing to give, nor discretion on how I gave it. Everyone who has made money isn’t ignorant and greedy, some of us have nurtured ourselves and in turn, give back when and where it is needed. I haven’t given up on people yet…they are just in a bad place, right now.

    As far as the government they can’t even balance a budget,…wow, I’ll pass, giving them control. Anyway, that’s my piece. Different stroke for different folks!

  46. @Enraged

    I email the information..

  47. Mr Buffet

    Homeowners across the US have few words for you !
    Maybe you should be jailed with the banksters ?

  48. Damnit! I need a life. Can’t be spending my life on LL… Won’t score too well with my creator either…

  49. @Chris,

    The “redistribution of wealth” you’re talking about is the one we’ve already gone through for 30 years. There’s nothing left to redistribute from the bottom up.

    I’m all in favor of redistribution of wealth. Know why? ‘Cuz there’s nothing to redistribute from me to… anyone, up or down. So, I can only be the beneficiary of it, regardless how it is done. But I’d rather not waste my life in court. I’ve got better things to do with my time and i can’t see myself on my death bed and my creator asking me: “Well, what did do you with your life?” “Well, I went to court…” Naw. Doesn’t seem to be a good use of a lifetime. If I have to, I’ll do it but…

    On the other hand, when that same creator asks me: “What did you do with that money I allowed you earn? How did it help others” and i have to answer: “Well, I was a moron who believed government so i gave it all to it by way of taxes and was paying so much that I never had a cent to give away to make someone’s life better”, I doubt it will score very well either…

    Pick you poison.

  50. @ Enraged

    The government has allowed the legislation of “squeezing” the entire country. No disrespect here, as you know, but the government is no longer “ours”. Hard work and the fruits of one’s labor should yield a better result, than someone who does not…that is what I mean when I say “redistribute”…redistribute what, what I worked and sacrificed for 100 hrs per week for, for over 10 years and to whom?

    The people in DC are mindless to me, they have no clue what it takes to create an economy that will flourish and afford “opportunity” for all to aspire to greatness and not by lying, cheating and using their power to steal from the citizens. So, in essence, I do not trust DC…at all! Just my humble point of view…everyone is entitled to theirs, of course.

  51. Mr Buffet has been loosing lots of money and is trying to appease his investors by these rhetoric…he owns several real estate companies he purchased during the short housing boom and now he is scared due to the foreclosures but I believe he also owns a large part of BOA and other insurance companies and may have to start paying out some large sums to investors. He is not as wealthy anymore as many think but perception is everything…he would so like to retire like Mr Gates but he cant do that now..

    Yes, he has also benefited from bailouts…our tx dollars so he really is a sham in giving the president advise…remember what is done in secret will be expose…

  52. @Chris,

    Why do you find “redistribution of wealth” scary? What do you suppose happens when homeowners get a win against the banks? A simple “redistribution of wealth”. It can happen the hard way, through endless litigation, which is the American way, or through government, by stringent laws and measures against the excesses of the past few years.

    The whole litigation system in the US is exclusively based on the idea of “redistributing the wealth”. A guy gets into a car crash he didn’t cause and ends up suffering economic damages. He sues and wins. What happened there? Redistribution of wealth from the other guys’ end through his insurance company. Why did that other guy carry insurance in the first place? Because it is the sine qua non condition for having the privilege to drive. Government/law intervention. Do we want more laws that will keep us out of court (provied that they are enforced, obviously…) or do we want to keep the right to sue and a crack at hitting the jackpot?

    What we’ve seen so far is the redistribution of wealth from the bottom up: take away from the poor to give to the rich. It has to be reversed if we are to survive as a species.

    Right now, what we don’t want is government intervention that favors the already-rich. If government doesn’t do its job of protecting us, we don’t need it.

    What i don’t understand is the fear people who don’t have a pot to piss in have of redistribution of wealth. I don’t care what means are used to accomplish it so long as it gets done in my lifetime. Personally, though, I’d rather pay someone to do the work of legislating and enforcing the laws rather than spend the few years of my life in court.

    Question of style, I suppose. Either way, there is potential for excesses. Not enough government gives what we’ve seen so far: complete deregulation and squeezing of middle cass out of jobs, money, income, houses, ect. Too much government gives regulations of things that should be left to the individual to decide: what to do inside our little panties, , whether or not to get pregnant, which school we can put our kids in, really seriously individual decisions.

    America is currently going through frickin’ growing pains. It wants it cake and to have. It wants the best of both worlds without making any concession in one or the other direction. What’s killing us is the constant double-mindedness!!!

  53. @ Enraged

    My concern with all this rhetoric “investing in equality” is synonymous with “redistribution of wealth”, which is very, very scarey. I, personally, would rather create an environment of entrepreneurial excitement, American manufacturing and production, while reducing imports and changing the tax structure, so as to encourage business to clean-up their environments and to prosper right here, at home.

    This global environment has been ripe for companies to take advantage of the very labor force that has led them to greatness. Our citizens have far more to offer its country, than people who just need a job, ’cause their government is dysfunctional. Let them work toward those ends, as we have…we have never gotten anything for free and neither should any other country at our expense…

    ’nuff said-my opinion only!

  54. This is the kind of articles that gives me hope things will turn around.
    I choose to believe they will because it makes absoluely no sense to me that humans would want to consciously, systematically and methodically destroy they own species. We are all completely interdependant and we all know it, deep inside.

    That’s why I believe the turn around is in the works. That being said, if there is rational justification for not prosecuting the fraud of the past years, we are owed, as a people who greatly suffered from it, to be told what it is and to be showed that it will never, ever happen again by seeing stringent regulations put back in place.

    Keeping us in the dark, even in the presence of an honorable vision, should one actually exist, is counterproductive to its realization since it serves only to inflame the people already seriously wounded. Rebuilding trust requires that we are told what is being envisioned and by whom and what the expected outcome of that vision is. Anything short of that will serve as the the reason for a bloody civil war here and everywhere else where those atrocities have been committed and condoned.

    Impact investing: Banks and a fairer society

    from EUROMONEY

    Private banks are looking to help clients move away from the greed-is-good mentality. President Barack Obama’s state of the union address last month has been described as being “class warfare”. In it, the president stressed repeatedly a need for the US to become a fairer society – the most obvious policies being an end to tax cuts for the US’s wealthiest individuals or a change in capital gains tax rates.

    While critics claim Obama’s rhetoric exacerbates the building tensions around the 1% versus the 99%, they are sadly missing a growing consensus among the wealthy that, indeed, the US is long overdue in addressing the wealth gap.

    Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, chosen by the Republicans to respond to the president’s comments, retorted: “We do not accept that ours will ever be a nation of haves and have nots; we must always be a nation of haves and soon to haves.”

    However, the US’s poorest individuals are far off being “soon to have”. The 1% versus the 99% might be exaggerated, but statistics seem to agree that the wealthiest 10% in the US possess 80% of all financial assets.

    It is getting worse. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are as much as two years behind on mortgage payments. And now potential buyers are avoiding homes with such delinquencies because they are regarded as being beyond repair. The real-estate crisis has, in fact, created more ghettos in the US where those in poverty have no means of getting themselves close to being “soon to have”.

    What is interesting is that the financial sector is realizing this. Even Warren Buffett has publicly criticized the tax system, declaring it absurd that his secretary pays a higher rate of tax than he does.

    Now private banks that cater to the 1% to 10% of the world’s wealthiest individuals are starting to move towards products that invest alongside local governments or organizations that can offer some solution to inequality.

    Their clients want to put more money to work in a way that fuses capitalism with government, and the banks are the best conduit for making sure that happens.

    If so-called impact investing takes off, it will be driven, not by political interference or insistence, but rather by the interference and insistence of the wealthiest individuals and their banks, and it has the potential to reverse the wealth gap.

    The wealthy seem to understand that the economy will improve at a greater rate if they and their financial institutions are involved.

    Whether Obama is aware of this growing desire on the part of the wealthy for a fairer society is unclear. But his message is timely and in touch with the shift in mentality away from “greed is good”.

    If the Republicans fail to realize that times have changed, then they risk alienating the very audience they are trying to target.

  55. The rule of law is dead in America. Stick a fork in it, it’s done. I find it amazing that the day after the “settlement” was signed, the HUD “investigation” was released. Should it not have been the other way around?
    Truth is, the “political elite” are just as complicit as the banksters. And I fully agree that there is NO discourse of our real problems, otherwise the politicians wouldn’t have time to discuss vaginas and contraception.

  56. These errogant crooks, take skill classes in how to manipulate the public and cons know how to manipulate and denie they are at fault. What really gets my goat, is our AG’s office here in Washington, has the same attitude, and has been blatant about it, that the homeowners were behind and were destin to foreclosure anyway. Insulting us and knowing full weel the scope of the crimes and the economic crime and devasation and being in a position that their sole job is to protect the vulner unsophisticated consumers. I am doing everything in my power to make sure Rob McKenna is not Govenor nor AG again. If you look on CloudedTitles.com you will find a report on McKenna accepting thousands in donations from foreclosure mills, until Dave Krieger exposed him, and I went farther and sent it in my emails and face book and on to Rob McKenna and “David Huey” ; (this is his email) whom made this outrageous, narrow minded and false statement in public against homeowners, showing I put it on face book and everywhere, three days later, I get Looooooooooook who just returned the foreclosure mill money. Guess who? Rob McKenna made a statement to put this in the past, he was good to return it and we are I suppose know to think he is a hero. He had accepted it in Sept of last year and did not return it until my emails and exposure on blogs on Foreclosure hamlet went out. He had ran RECONTRUST OUT OF WA, and must have known the replacement BAC was comming in. All the champaign donations were from N.W. Trustees and BAC people, and all remaining foreclosure mills. NONE FROM RECONTRUST! What does that tell ya? Some hero. People are easily manipulated to think the wrong way or the right way. I gave positive thinking classes to adults, to teach them and their children to think positive. Instead of saying dont spill the milk and setting a picture of spilling the milk. You say keep the milk in the glass, by moving the glass to the top of your plate after taking a drink. Setting a mind set to keep the milk in the glass, and not a picture of envitalbe spilling it. Your body will do what it thinks is going to happen. Sure enough you spill the milk or you dont if you think the other way. Either a glass is half empty or half full. Half full is more positive. These people know how to manipulate. Neils last article hit it on the head. In my case I brought out the economic crime causing the need to modifiy, the proof of lost income due to the fruad, when the housing industry went spiraling down, then the mod fruad, and the debt collector fraud. Does it make sense people paid for twenty years and thirty years on their homes and since the economic crime began to loose their homes. Many including me have owned the same house for over thirty years. all of a sudden the homeowner became a dead beat?

  57. I understand what Buffett was alluding to but one thing he completely ignored is this: in order for people to buy houses, they have to have a vision for the future. They have to be able to plan ahead.

    That has been taken away from us. We can’t plan ahead when work is precarious at best and we don’t know where our next meal will come from; when health insurance doesn’t exist and we don’t know what we would do if we got sick; when we have debts (as he mentioned) that will take years to repay; when every day, someone tells us that social security is a thing of the past and it will take everything we own to put away for old age.

    Anyone looking to marry and have kids in that atmosphere is irresponsible and people buy houses when they want to have kids or when they alread have some.

    Why are republicans so adamant that contraception should be eliminated altogether? because they know that until the birth rate increases, the economy will not improve since… yes, Warren, people will not get hitched for the long haul. We don’t have a frickin’ long haul to look at!!! So, of course, people don’t want to buy houses and clean up the mess made by the banks.

    Long haul would mean that our tax money serves to develop very quickly alternative energy sources so that the global warming can be curtailed or slowed enough to give us hope. Long haul would mean that we can take risks knowing that if we get sick, we are not thrown out in the street. Long haul would mean that, if we make kids today, we are not stiffing them for 3 generations to come with the debts accumulated by… you and your friends, Warren, through underhanded speculation and investments made in violation with the existing laws. Long haul would mean that we believe this world is juste and right and laws are upheld and respected. Otherwise, who in his right mond hates humanity so much as to makes babies and throw them into the existing lawless jungle? Making babies now in American would be tantamount to giving birth to food for sharks. People have much, much higher ethics than that!

  58. “There is no honesty among our political elites, and by that statement, I don’t mean that they are liars”

    Really? I think fraud, forgery, stealing, insurance fraud, IRS accounting misrepresentations, to name few, qualifies as lying, don’t you?

    As far as the DC clan, lobbying is a nice word and convenient for “bribery”, as the rest of us would call it and be criminally charged for!

    My $.02

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