It’s Down to Banks vs Society

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We are trying to rescue the creditors and restart the world that is dominated by the creditors. We have to rescue the debtors instead before we are going to see the end of this process. — Economist Steve Keen

Bankers Are Willing to Let Society Crash In Order to Make More Money

Editor’s Comment: 

I was reminded last night of a comment from a former bond trader and mortgage bundler that the conference calls are gleeful about the collapse of economies and societies around the world. Wall Street will profit greatly on both the down side and then later when asset prices go so low that housing falls under distressed housing programs and 125% loans become available in bulk. They think this is all just swell. I don’t.

The obvious intent on the part of the mega banks and servicers is to bring everything down with a crash using every means possible. When you look at the offers state and federal government programs have offered for the banks to modify, when you see the amount of money poured into these banks by our federal government in order to prop them up, you cannot conclude otherwise: they want our society to end up closed down not only by foreclosure but in any other way possible. They withhold credit from everyone except the insider’s club.

So now it is up to us. Either we take the banks apart or they will take us apart. I had a recent look at many modification proposals. In the batch I saw, the average offer from the homeowner was to accept a loan 20%-30% higher than fair market value and 50%-75% higher than foreclosure is producing. It seems we are addicted to the belief that this can’t be true because no reasonable person would act like that. But the answer is that the system is rigged so that the intermediaries (the megabanks) control what the investors and homeowners see and hear, they make far more money on foreclosures than they do on modifications, and they make far money on all the “bets” about the failure of the loan by foreclosing and not modifying.

The reason for the unreasonable behavior, as it appears, is that it is perfectly reasonable in a lending environment turned on its head — where the object was to either fund a loan that was sure to fail, or keep a string attached that would declare it as part of a failed “pool” that would trigger insurance and swaps payments.

Steve Keen: Why 2012 Is Shaping Up To Be A Particularly Ugly Year

At the high level, our global economic plight is quite simple to understand says noted Australian deflationist Steve Keen.

Banks began lending money at a faster rate than the global economy grew, and we’re now at the turning point where we simply have run out of new borrowers for the ever-growing debt the system has become addicted to.

Once borrowers start eschewing rather than seeking debt, asset prices begin to fall — which in turn makes these same people want to liquidate their holdings, which puts further downward pressure on asset prices:

The reason that we have this trauma for the asset markets is because of this whole relationship that rising debt has to the level of asset market. If you think about the best example is the demand for housing, where does it come from? It comes from new mortgages. Therefore, if you want to sustain he current price level of houses, you have to have a constant flow of new mortgages. If you want the prices to rise, you need the flow of mortgages to also be rising.

Therefore, there is a correlation between accelerating and rising asset markets. That correlation applies very directly to housing. You look at the 20-year period of the market relationship from 1990 to now; the correlation of accelerating mortgage debt with changing house prices is 0.8. It is a very high correlation.

Now, that means that when there is a period where private debt is accelerating you are generally going to see rising asset markets, which of course is what we had up to 2000 for the stock market and of course 2006 for the housing market. Now that we have decelerating debt — so debt is slowing down more rapidly at this time rather than accelerating — that is going to mean falling asset markets.

Because we have such a huge overhang of debt, that process of debt decelerating downwards is more likely to rule most of the time. We will therefore find the asset markets traumatizing on the way down — which of course encourages people to get out of debt. Therefore, it is a positive feedback process on the way up and it is a positive feedback process on the way down.

He sees all of the major countries of the world grappling with deflation now, and in many cases, focusing their efforts in exactly the wrong direction to address the root cause:

Europe is imploding under its own volition and I think the Euro is probably going to collapse at some stage or contract to being a Northern Euro rather than the whole of Euro. We will probably see every government of Europe be overthrown and quite possibly have a return to fascist governments. It came very close to that in Greece with fascists getting five percent of the vote up from zero. So political turmoil in Europe and that seems to be Europe’s fate.

I can see England going into a credit crunch year, because if you think America’s debt is scary, you have not seen England’s level of debt. America has a maximum ratio of private debt to GDP adjusted over 300%; England’s is 450%. America’s financial sector debt was 120% of GDP, England’s is 250%. It is the hot money capital of the western world.

And now that we are finally seeing decelerating debt over there plus the government running on an austerity program at the same time, which means there are two factors pulling on demand out of that economy at once. I think there will be a credit crunch in England, so that is going to take place as well.

America is still caught in the deleveraging process. It tried to get out, it seemed to be working for a short while, and the government stimulus seemed to certainly help. Now, that they are going back to reducing that stimulus, they are pulling up the one thing that was keeping the demand up in the American economy and it is heading back down again. We are now seeing the assets market crashing once more. That should cause a return to decelerating debt — for a while you were accelerating very rapidly and that’s what gave you a boost in employment —  so you are falling back down again.

Australia is running out of steam because it got through the financial crisis by literally kicking the can down the road by restarting the housing bubble with a policy I call the first-time vendors boost. Where they gave first time buyers a larger amount of money from the government and they handed over times five or ten to the people they bought the house off from the leverage they got from the banking sector. Therefore, that finally ran out for them.

China got through the crisis with an enormous stimulus package. I think in that case it is increasing the money supply by 28% in one year. That is setting off a huge property bubble, which from what I have heard from colleagues of mine is also ending.

Therefore, it is a particularly ugly year for the global economy and as you say, we are still trying to get business back to usual. We are trying to rescue the creditors and restart the world that is dominated by the creditors. We have to rescue the debtors instead before we are going to see the end of this process.

In order to successfully emerge on the other side of this this painful period with a more sustainable system, he believes the moral hazard of bailing out the banks is going to have end:

[The banks] have to suffer and suffer badly. They will have to suffer in such a way that in a decade they will be scared in order to never behave in this way again. You have to reduce the financial sector to about one third of its current size and we have to also ultimately set up financial institutions and financial instruments in such a way that it is no longer desirable from a public point of view to borrow and gamble in rising assets processes.

The real mistake we made was to let this gambling happen as it has so many times in the past, however, we let it go on for far longer than we have ever let it go on for before. Therefore, we have a far greater financial parasite and a far greater crisis.

And he offers an unconventional proposal for how this can be achieved:

I think the mistake [central banks] are going to make is to continue honoring debts that should never have been created in the first place. We really know that that the subprime lending was totally irresponsible lending. When it comes to saying “who is responsible for bad debt?” you have to really blame the lender rather than the borrower, because lenders have far greater resources to work out whether or not the borrower can actually afford the debt they are putting out there.

They were creating debt just because it was a way of getting fees, short-term profit, and they then sold the debt onto unsuspecting members of the public as well and securitized their way out of trouble. They ended up giving the hot potato to the public. So, you should not be honoring that debt, you should be abolishing it. But of course they have actually packaged a lot of that debt and sold it to the public as well, you cannot just abolish it, because you then would penalize people who actually thought they were being responsible in saving and buying assets.

Therefore, I am talking in favor of what I call a modern debt jubilee or quantitative easing for the public, where the central banks would create ‘central bank money’ (we cannot destroy or abolish the debt, which would also destroy the incomes of the people who own the bonds the banks have sold). We have to create the state money and give it to the public, but on condition that if you have any debt you have to pay your debt down — no choice. Therefore, if you have debt, you can reduce the debt level, but if you do not have debt, you get a cash injection.

Of course, this would then feed into the financial sector would have to reduce the value of the debts that it currently owns, which means income from debt instruments would also fall. So, people who had bought bonds for their retirement and so on would find that their income would go down, but on the other hand, they would be compensated by a cash injection.

The one part of the system that would be reduced in size is the financial sector itself. That is the part we have to reduce and we have to make smaller.  That is the one that I am putting forward and I think there is a very little chance of implementing it in America for the next few years not all my home country [Australia] because we still think we are doing brilliantly and all that. But, I think at some stage in Europe, and possibly in a very short time frame, that idea might be considered.





35 Responses

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  2. these stats you can copy & print:

  3. I didn’t realize how appropriate the title of this page is: “It’s now down to banks v. society”.

    The caption of any adversarial proceding always starts with its initiator. Always. As though there was some intrinsically righteous and inescapable cause of action deserving redress. Such as: DB v. Szymoniak, (DB has the inherent advantage of the attack. The American psyche understands that much). Brown v. Huntington: now, the situation is reversed. Brown has the advantage (and it didn’t turn out badly for him either).

    This title reads: “Banks v. society.” That says it all. Not “Society v. banks” (as it should long have become the norm, had we gathered enough outrage to sincerely want change) but “Banks v. society”. Collectiviely, we still believe that banks have a cause of action against society. Collectively, we still want to keep the status quo. Collectively, we still believe that society is the wrongdoer.

    Until we reverse that mindset, we cannot reverse the path on which this country has set course.

  4. usedcarguy- could have used your industry experience last month- bought an 04 Nissan Armada, credit has tanked, sat there and fumed but had to get a solid car for my wife and kids. A bunch of ongoing bull*****. About TARP- it is not only TARP, but TALF- and the loan backstops, shared-loss agreements, etc. Totals over 40 trillion dollars, at a time when the sum total of all residential mortgages was only 13.4 trillion. 10% were subprime, and 26% of them ‘defaulted’. so the total of defaults was 26% of 1.34 trillion, or about 510 billion. As you averred, the numbers don’t make sense. Never have, never will.

  5. Maiden Lane One was $74 TRILLION dollars of debt obligations. Lots of commercial and hotel debt, international debt included in that transaction. I didn’t do the hard math, but it appears that it’s less than half residential mortgage debt. Anybody got any stats on that one? Supposedly settled (exchanged) for a slice of the, what, $876Billion TARP? That math is kinda fuzzy. My head hurts.

  6. Why no talk about the GMAC RES-CAP mullarkey going on in the Southern District of New York? This affects all the assets in the Maiden Lane One deal wherein GMAC was the servicer. Debtors must file claims in the SDNY. Any motions to lift the stay will be met with contempt of court citations.

    Section 7.01 Releases. Except as set forth in Article VIII, as of the Effective Date, with
    respect to each and every Trust for whom the Trustee accepts the compromise contemplated by
    this Settlement Agreement, the Investors, Trustee, Trust, and any Persons claiming by, through
    or on behalf of such Trustee (including Institutional Investors claiming derivatively) or such
    Trust (collectively, the “Releasors”), irrevocably and unconditionally grant a full, final, and
    complete release, waiver, and discharge of all alleged or actual claims, demands to repurchase,
    demands to cure, demands to substitute, counterclaims, defenses, rights of setoff, rights of
    rescission, liens, disputes, liabilities, losses, debts, costs, expenses, obligations, demands, claims
    for accountings or audits, alleged events of default, damages, rights, and causes of action of any
    kind or nature whatsoever, whether asserted or unasserted, known or unknown, suspected or
    unsuspected, fixed or contingent, in contract, tort, or otherwise, secured or unsecured, accrued or
    unaccrued, whether direct or derivative, arising under law or equity, against ResCap that arise
    under the Governing Agreements. Such released claims include, but are not limited to, claims
    arising out of and/or relating to (i) the origination, sale, or delivery of Mortgage Loans to the
    Trusts, including the representations and warranties made in connection with the origination,
    sale, or delivery of Mortgage Loans to the Trusts or any alleged obligation of ResCap to
    repurchase or otherwise compensate the Trusts for any Mortgage Loan on the basis of any
    representations or warranties or otherwise or failure to cure any alleged breaches of
    representations and warranties, (ii) the documentation of the Mortgage Loans held by the Trusts
    including with respect to allegedly defective, incomplete, or non-existent documentation, as well
    as issues arising out of or relating to recordation, title, assignment, or any other matter relating to
    legal enforceability of a Mortgage or Mortgage Note, or any alleged failure to provide notice of
    such defective, incomplete or non-existent documentation, (iii) the servicing of the Mortgage
    Loans held by the Trusts (including any claim relating to the timing of collection efforts or
    foreclosure efforts, loss mitigation, transfers to subservicers, advances, servicing advances, or
    claims that servicing includes an obligation to take any action or provide any notice towards, or
    with respect to, the possible repurchase of Mortgage Loans by the applicable Master Servicer,
    Seller, or any other Person), (iv) setoff or recoupment under the Governing Agreements against
    ResCap, and (v) any loan seller that either sold loans to ResCap or AFI that were sold and
    transferred to such Trust or sold loans directly to such Trust, in all cases prior to the Petition
    Date (collectively, all such claims being defined as the “Released Claims”). For the avoidance
    of doubt, this release does not include individual direct claims for securities fraud or other
    disclosure-related claims arising from the purchase or sale of Securities.

    Each of the Parties acknowledges that it has been advised by its attorneys concerning,
    and is familiar with, California Civil Code Section 1542 and expressly waives any and all
    provisions, rights, and benefits conferred by any law of any state or territory of the United States,
    or principle of common law, which is similar, comparable, or equivalent to the provisions of the
    California Civil Code Section 1542, including that provision itself, which reads as follows:
    The Parties acknowledge that inclusion of the provisions of this Article IX to this Settlement
    Agreement was a material and separately bargained for element of this Settlement Agreement.

    Section 7.02 Release of Claims Against Investors. Except as set forth in Article VIII,
    as of the Effective Date, ResCap irrevocably and unconditionally grants to the Investors a full,
    final, and complete release, waiver, and discharge of all alleged or actual claims from any claim
    it may have under or arising out of the Governing Agreements. For the avoidance of doubt,
    nothing in this provision shall affect Ally’s rights in any way.
    Section 7.03 Agreement Not to Pursue Relief from the Stay. The Institutional Investors
    agree that neither they nor their successors in interest, assigns, pledges, delegates, affiliates,
    subsidiaries, and/or transferees, will seek relief from the automatic stay imposed by section 362
    of the Bankruptcy Code in order to institute, continue or otherwise prosecute any action relating
    to the Released Claims; provided, however, nothing contained herein shall preclude the
    Institutional Investors or their advised clients from seeking any such relief with respect to direct
    claims for securities fraud or other disclosure-related claims arising from the purchase or sale of
    Securities. ResCap reserves its rights and defenses therewith.

  7. The real solution is the forgiveness of the debt for all and we start over. This happened for us with a BK, but the banksters still evicted us with out proper authority (legal) to do so but was upheld by the corruption in the courts and the IRS.

  8. @Kathy: “no worries mate” & take a look at self help Ch-15 for a possible solution to society’s crumble:

  9. @ All, I am recovering from a concusion, it has been brought to my attention that my mind is a little fogged. “Fidicuary Duty” .. “Judicary Duty” … aka legal language. sheesh… but I think you get my point. @ guest you are 100% right! LuPuS is a terriable diease. Privacy and Privlage policy apply to LuPuS.. if you get my meaning. I’m pretty sure we found the Cure in our State for LuPuS. 🙂

  10. @Kathy: possibly because Orange County, Ca. houses some of the most corrupt courts, judges, and cops in this country, such as its convicted sheriff Corona, who was just tip of the iceberg. major criminal robo-singing operations are centered in Orange County, like the LPS indicted robo-signers, one of whom was found dead before testifying in an Nevada court…, I think Tracy Austin, or Tracy Lawrence…by the way usually signed contractual agreements which contradict a statute are unenforceable and illegal. for instance, your lender gets you to sign a waiver of liability if the lender forges any documents on your behalf…which by the way applies to just about everything they have printed in the past decade…OR??

  11. @guest, I wanted to mention that in the liability releases, they state….EXAMPLE. ONLY…should there arise a legal issue from this, you agree all legal proceedings will take place in Orange Co. California. ………Now how many people are going to be able to travel across the country to CA for legal preceedings?

  12. LMBO @ Enraged!

  13. @Guest,

    Where I come from we say: “Shake any genealogic tree and you’ll get your king, your whore, your rabbi and your priest…” (not necessarily in that order. 🙂

  14. @Guest! I agree 100% ! How many of these homeowners know this? How many of these homeowner know that with the stroke of that pen they are signing themselves up for a lawsuit? They bury those releases in hundreds of pages to be signed at closing. They know the homeowner has only scheduled an hour for closing and there is NO WAY to read all those docs in an hour (no lone a week) and understand them. That is what they are counting on! Only disclose some things verbally and bury the rest in the book they want you to sign.

  15. per 15 USC 1641 all subsequent assignees of false assignments are jointly & severally liable for all TILA +other violations & damages, but which lawyer knows that, much less plead it??

  16. Foreclosure filings in May exceeded the 200,000 mark for the first time in three months as more servicers moved to take possession of real estate collateralized by delinquent home mortgages. (that blurb from National Mortgage News)

    and I think I’m getting close to the answer to the riddle: “Who is foreclosing on me?”

  17. IF we stop the fraud going on with loan mods, refi’s and purchase loans and only approve the Legal ones …. we will stop their flow of blood supply and they will die quickly. Without thehomeowners signitures waving liabiliy against them for the so-called previous lenders actions. They are doing this under the nose of hard paying homeowners thru these refi’s. ABCna has 123 refi its inherited mortgages for them. But 123 is really an inity under ABCna’s umbrella corporation. 123 is working on ABCna’s behalf to get the siginutre of the homeowner. In the refi’s there are liability waivers releasing 123 and its assignees of any liability of ABCna and any of its predesers fraudulent actions. Then 123 transfers the loan (via MERS) back to ABCna. Nice Scam … and only we can Stop it!

  18. I have a plan to …and I will share it. Everyone go to your Sec of State Website and apply for your Notary Seal. ($10 fee and around $40 to get bonded) Register yourself with the NNA (National Notary Association) and other proffesional organizations in your state and start doing what we are. They used the Notaries to commit fraud and gave the rest of us honest Signing Agents/Notaries a Stigma associated with their mess. Well guess What? We Notaries have all the POWER to set things straight… they can fabricate all the docs they want, but they are not legal without our Seal Of Approvel. And I think I’ve explained Judicary Duties of a Notary to you all ready. Meeting of the Minds … Fraud on the Face of the Docs/contracts/notes/mortgages/title ins etc…

  19. One more point: if the bank has filed a title claim, you may be entitled too. After searching thousands of deed offices, I found many DOT’s are the title companies name, Crazy and unseen before. The fraudsters may be cleaning up titles and the insurers are not disclosing this information to homeowners. Even after bailouts, FHA money, FDIC money, master insurance and default payouts and TARP they are unbelievably, entitled to title insurance.

    Numerous deed office searches also reveals satisfactions of thousands of DOT’s across the country, within seconds and minutes of one another. One county wants $600. 00 per month to look at deeds…why would that be? We cannot even gain access to what was once free information now, Hmmmmmmmm?

  20. One of the best articles since i have been visiting this site. The debt system will take the initial shock, but it is no less harmful than writing the new bonds to pay the interest on the issued bonds, and maturing issues.

    The fact remains, if we do not move toward the reverse repo phase of this expansion soon, we will have crossed the threshold of no return.

    I have a solution to solve the housing crisis, stabilize the market, reduce losses to banks, and change the industry entirely all in one sweeping model.

    I will tell it only to the next presidential candidate and in return I want to be known as; “the guy that saved America”, after we stole it from the indians of course, but “America’s Saviour”

  21. I am doing my part to make sure the banks are broken up. I am not an Attorney, I can not give you legal advise. However before you get my stamp of approval … I have a Judicary Duty to make sure there is a Meeting of the Minds. I also have a Judicary Duty not to particapate in any transactions where there is Fraud on the face of the documents. (That would make me a Criminal if I did .. Right? ) Just doing my part to help save America one family at a time. Blessings and Best Wishes to All!

  22. We don’t NEED the banks they need us. They used our credit profiles to do their dubious deeds and left us with no equity, no discretionary funds and plummeted our assets values. They have been made whole plus and have used our deeds as collateral to sell fractional ownership to others, making us vulnerable to foreclosure of the debt they created. I’d like to see Contract Law 101, which says this is legal?

    And for me, I am sickened by the term Robo-signing…making it sound innocuous, like a dutiful machine on play mode, made the mistake of signing things while in its ON mode…Bull Shit, forgery is what it is, criminal behavior, intentional…misleading and obtaining goods under false pretenses, FRAUD and Conversion…theft, willful and malicious theft. I owe 1 lender, not 3,4,5…I did not make these agreements and I will not be responsible for them. Tell me who my lender is and I will contact them promptly to arrange a repayment plan, not these cheats. And for the record; if they did not perfect the lien and move the loan into the TRUST per their contact, their breach, not mine. When is this trash going to be held accountable, instead of me? A homeowner missing payments is no where near as bad as a thief in the night…

  23. recent 9th Circus opinion re mail fraud may be useful & applicable against foreclosure fraudsters who extensively use mail fraud for theft of millions of properties:

  24. “[The banks] have to suffer and suffer badly. They will have to suffer in such a way that in a decade they will be scared in order to never behave in this way again.”

    More anthropomorphic bleating. Do banks suffer….feel pain….remorse….guilt? If so, they’d have off’d themselves long ago from their crime spree. Give me a break!

    Mozilo’s creations – MERS and Countrywide feel no sense of shame, and he has no room for any on his 200’ seagoing yacht. Dimon pleasures himself in front of his on-the-take congress, while JPMC has no corporate angst whatsoever. All the players behind the scenes can’t count high enough to sort their gains, and yet their institutions know no shame while children the world over go without food. Countless bubbles prove that they not only are shameless, but they regroup overnight like the Terminator’s evil antagonist.

    These institutions have to be killed once and for all. Bring them all down sooner than later. I’ll relish in the schadenfreude when these masters of finance approach me with their fiat money in search of something for their growling stomachs. Death to Wall Street.

  25. @linda,

    That’s the whole point! In human history, we have always had food, shelter, clothing. Those are our needs. All the rest is optional. Allow us to meet those needs and you will survive. Prevent us and… watch out!

  26. … I meant “chef d’oeuvre”. Sucky keyboard.

  27. I wonder if we really need banks at all??
    There was a time when we did not have them, right?

  28. All true. Creditors would not be creditors without debtors.
    Their influence has convinced us that a state of servitude to debt is the norm in society. They have created a machine–a monster.
    Their adage is: Work hard and you will get ahead. But when you finally start to see some progress, they pull the rug out. Or, they want a large cut of your profits. (no competition for them)

    I do believe creditors are in control of nearly all aspects of our lives.
    Once we realize that, we can start to change business as usual and people can once again begin to think on their own two feet.

    Little by little our minds have been conditioned to depend on sources
    outside of our ourselves to control our thinking and our behavior to better serve the creditors. It’s been a trap for a very long time.

    I would not say it is the fault of the people because they strive to do “the right thing,” as in, pay the creditors, honor their debts, protect their integrity, and avoid negative consequences. — Even when they don’t lawfully OWE these debts. We are pushed into a corner and given a choice between two evils: pay the debt or suffer the consequences.
    Most of us suffer because we run out of money. Our behavior is reflected on credit reports and we are punished. We become dependent on government, another big banking machine of their own creation. Just a lower form of servitude.
    This lower form suggests that we would live off the fruits of others’ labors now instead of our own. We are degraded in the eyes of our peers. Humiliation sets in. That makes us victims. Victims are expendable in society. (But it’s okay if you are not a citizen to reap these government benefits. That form of inequality keeps us all angry and fighting amongst ourselves.)

    The question, then, is not how do we finally avoid their traps, but how do we finally stop these traps from being set for us in the first place?

    For instance, I just received an email entitled: “NDAA Unconstitutional – Federal Judge Bans Obama from indefinitely Detaining Americans.”

    Who would have ever guessed these types of actions could have occurred, one, let alone from our own President, and two, that we would have to go out of our way to overturn these types of rulings. It’s outrageous.

    The truth is continually kept hidden from us in order to promote
    an agenda. I would call that a form of occult and the people in power
    are a cult.

    Read the judge’s memorandum here:

    Article here:

    People are learning more and more the truth of their condition…
    e.g.: “Waking up.”

    Iceland’s Amazing Peaceful Revolution – Still Not in the News

  29. “[The banks] have to suffer and suffer badly. They will have to suffer in such a way that in a decade they will be scared in order to never behave in this way again. You have to reduce the financial sector to about one third of its current size and we have to also ultimately set up financial institutions and financial instruments in such a way that it is no longer desirable from a public point of view to borrow and gamble in rising assets processes.”

    Such poetry in that paragraph. It is moving me to the core. The artistry in the expression is simply exquisite. A true chech d’oeuvre, a master piece! Bravo and encore, please!

  30. Everyone talks and writes and opines under the assumption that the banks own the loans

    This article only works if you accept that the banksters own the assets

  31. Susan Webber seems to think this is just swell too. You just cannot trust most things you read on the web

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