Statute of LImitations Running on Bank Officers Who Perpetrated Mortage Crisis

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see http://www.courant.com/opinion/letters/hc-go-after-mortgage-fraud-perps-20150427-story.html

It appears that the statute of limitations might be running out this year on any claim against the officers of the banks that created the fraudulent securitization process. Eric Holder, outgoing Attorney general, made an unusual comment a few months back where he said that private suits should be brought against such officers. The obvious question is why didn’t he bring further action against these individuals and the only possible answer I can think of is that it was because of an agreement not to prosecute while these officers and their banks “cooperated” in resolving the mortgage crisis and the downturn of the US economy.

People keep asking me what the essential elements of the fraud were and how homeowners can use it. That question involves a degree of complexity that is not easily addressed here but I will try to do so in a few articles.

The first point of reference is that the investment banks sold mortgage backed securities to investors under numerous false premises. The broker dealers sold shares or interests in REMIC Trusts that existed only on paper and were registered nowhere. This opened up the possibility for the unthinkable: an IPO (initial public offering) of securities of an “entity” that would not complain if they never received the proceeds of the sale. And in fact, as I have been advised by accountants and other people who were privy to the inner workings of the Securitization fail (See Adam Levitin) the money from the offering was never turned over to the Trustee of the “Trust” which only existed on paper by virtue of words written by the broker dealers themselves. They created a non existent entity that had no business and sold securities issued by that entity without turning over the proceeds of sale to the entity whose securities had been sold. It was the perfect plan.

Normally if a broker dealer sold securities in an IPO the management and shareholders would have been screaming “fraud” as soon as they learned their “company” was not receiving the proceeds of sale. Here in the case of REMIC Trusts, there was no management because the Trustee had no duties and was prohibited from pretending that it did have any duties. And here in the case of REMIC Trusts, there were no shareholders to complain because they were contractually bound (they thought) to not interfere with or even ask questions about the workings of the Trust. And of course when Clinton signed the law back in 1998 these securities were deregulated and redefined as private contracts and NOT securities, so the SEC couldn’t get involved either.

It was the perfect hoax. brokers and dealers got to sell these “non-securities” and keep the proceeds themselves and even register ownership of interests in the Trust in the name of the same broker dealer who sold it to pension funds and other investors. Back in 2007-2008 the banks were claiming that there were no trusts involved because they knew that was true. But then they got more brazen, especially when they realized that this was an admission of fraud and theft from investors.

Now we have hundreds of thousands of foreclosures in which a REMIC Trust is named as the foreclosing party when it never operated even for a second. It never had any money, it never received any income and it never had any expenses. So it stands to reason that none of the loans claimed to be owned by the Trusts could ever have been purchased by entities that had no assets, no money, no management, and no operations. We have made a big deal about the cutoff date for entry of a particular loan into the loan pool owned by the trust. But the real facts are that there was no loan pool except on paper in self-serving fabricated documents created by the broker dealers.

Investors thought they were giving money to fund a Trust. The Trust was never funded. So the money from investors was used in any way the broker dealer wanted. The investors thought they were getting an ownership interest in a valid note and mortgage. They never got that because their “Trust” did not acquire the loans. But their money was used, in part, to fund loans that were put on a fast track automated underwriting platform so nobody in the position of underwriter could be disciplined or jailed for writing loans that were too rigged to succeed. Then the broker dealers, knowing that the mortgage bonds were worthless bet that the value of the bonds would decrease, which of course was a foregone conclusion. And the bonds and the underlying loans were insured in the name of the broker dealer so the investors are left standing out in the wind with nothing to show for their investment — an interest in a worthless unfunded trust, and no direct claim for the repayment of loans that were funded with their money.

The reason why the foreclosing parties need a foreclosure sale is to create the appearance that the original loan was a valid loan contract (it wasn’t because no consideration actually flowed from the “lender” to the “borrower” and because the loan was table funded, which as a pattern is described in Reg Z as “predatory per se”). By getting foreclosures in the name of the Trust they have a Judge’s stamp of approval that the Trust was either the lender or the successor to the lender and that makes it difficult for anyone to say otherwise. And THAT is why TILA was passed with the rescission option.

So through a series of conduits and sham entities, the Wall Street investment banks lied to the investors and lied to the borrowers about who was in the deal and who was making money off the deal and how much. They lied to the investors, lied to the public, lied to regulatory agencies and lied to borrowers about the quality of the loan products they were selling which could not succeed and in which the broker dealers had a direct interest in making sure that the loans did not succeed. That was the whole reason why the Truth In Lending Act and Reg Z came into existence back in the 1960’s. Holder’s comments are a clue to what private lawyers should do and how much money there is in these cases against the leaders of the those investment banks. Both borrowers and lawyers should be taking a close look at how they get even for the fraud perpetrated upon the American consumer and the American taxpayer.

It is obvious that someone had to be making a lot of money in order to spend hundreds of millions of dollars advertising and promoting 2% loans. There is no profit there unless someone is stealing the money and tricking borrowers into signing loan papers that instantly clouded their title and created two potential liabilities — one to the payee on the note who never had any economic interest in the deal and one to the investors whose money was used to fund the loan. Most investors still don’t realize what happened to their money and many are still getting payments as though the Trust was real — but they are not getting payments or reports from the REMIC Trust.

And most borrowers don’t realize that their identity was stolen, that their loan was cloned, and that each version of their loan that was sold netted another 100% profit to the investment banks, who also sold the bonds to the Federal Reserve after they had already sold the same bonds to investors. Thus the investment banks screwed the investors, screwed the borrowers and screwed the taxpayers while their plan resulted in a cataclysmic failure of the economies around the world. Investors mostly don’t realize that they are never going to see the money they were promised and that the banks are keeping the investors’ money as if it belonged to the bank. Most investors also don’t realize that the investment banks were their servant and that all that money the bank made really belongs to the investor, thus zeroing out the liability of the borrower but creating an enormous profit to the investors. Most borrowers don’t realize that they certainly don’t owe money to any of the foreclosing parties, but that they might have some remote liability to the clueless investors whose money was used to fund this circus.

Eric Holder Doctrine: Decriminalize Big Crimes

see also Guest Post: Why The Government Is Desperately Trying To Inflate A New Housing Bubble
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-03-25/guest-post-why-government-desperately-trying-inflate-new-housing-bubble

The problem with the theory that criminal prosecution of the banks could have a negative effect on the world economies is that the banks have already had their effect on the world economy. Along with their own well-deserved hit to their reputations they took the U.S. reputation and probably the whole Eurozone with them.

Refusing to prosecute is like saying we should not prosecute organized crime — or even the same crimes committed by smaller institutions — because someone might get killed or jailed or swindled out of more money than they already lost.
Our rating has dropped by all accounts in all the rating services — a consequence of not getting our house in order and not controlling institutions whose importance is obviously parallel to that of a water or electric utility. And people are still losing wealth and homes, thus undermining any prospect of a true economic recovery.
Eric Holder’s logic is simply not sustainable and the people of Maryland are doing the best they can to keep criminal banks out of their state. We should all do that, and do what the State of New York came close to doing — revoking the license of criminal banks to ply their snake oil financial products within their state. Now that does something to protect the public and puts everyone on notice that doing business with criminal mega-banks is risky business no matter what the smiling bank representative tells you.
The biggest flaw in Holder’s so-called logic about the banks being too big to jail is that an important part of justice has been thwarted. In fraud cases the victim receives some restitution from a receiver appointed after the culprit’s assets are seized. That can’t happen as long as we avoid criminal prosecution. And until there is criminal prosecution judges will continue to think that borrowers are deadbeats instead of victims.
Investors is the fake mortgage backed bonds issued by empty REMIC trusts that were never funded and thus never entered into a transaction in which they acquired loans deserve restitution. Clawing back the money held in the Cayman’s, Cyprus and other places can never happen as long as criminal prosecution is avoided.
The trust we earned from world central bankers,investors and borrowers has been destroyed and that is what is causing economic problems all over the world. Nobody knows where to put their money or even what currency will ultimately survive. This uncertainty is undermining our claim to moral superiority across the board in matters of state as well as commercial activity. We have opened the door to allowing Chinese firms to take the lead, like Alibaba which has quietly become larger than Amazon and EBay combined and is on track to become the world’s first trillion dollar company.
If we truly want to survive and prosper we can show the world that we know how to do the right thing rather than become an accessory during and after the fact of a continuing crime that ranks as the greatest fraud in human history. When investors get a check from a court-appointed receiver in a criminal case, when we see bankers go to jail, and when the amount demanded from borrowers is reduced by payments to the banksters, THEN confidence will be restored along with wealth, investment and employment.
We are pursuing a going out of business strategy. By holding back on the basis of the Holder Doctrine we are confirming that we lost our moral high ground. Someone will fill that void and don’t think for a minute that the Chinese are not acutely aware of their opportunity.
Remember when we made fun of Japanese products as cheap unreliable imports? They fixed that, didn’t they. The Chinese are now spreading out creating new standards of morality in the marketplace such as not releasing money to an online seller until the buyer is satisfied.

It won’t be long before Chinese currency and currencies pegged to Chinese currency become the standard medium of value replacing western currencies, unless we change and start running a country that controls and disciplines its players domestically and on the world stage.

Money-laundering firm should get no welcome in Maryland
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-hsbc-20130325,0,1565911.story

Reuters: Top Justice Officials Linked With Pretender Lenders and MERS

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Covington Issued Legal Opinions that Started MERS

Editor’s Note: 4 years ago I interviewed lawyers that had detailed knowledge of the start of MERS and the entire mortgage mess. They told me, on promise of anonymity, and for use as background only, that some of the lawyers balked at the assignment to the tasks at Covington and other law firms that were drafting the initial documentation for what became known as “Securitization” of mortgage debt. At least two resigned, according to these sources, stating that what they were being asked to do was be complicit in criminal acts.
In a world dominated by financial services, it is hard to think of a scenario where the public officials and lawyers involved would not be associated in some way with the mega Banks, so the mere association with those firms might not indicate direct complicity on the part of Holder and Breurer — especially in large firms like Covington.
But the appearance of impropriety is present when the justice department refrains from prosecution despite wide scale published reports of forgery, fabrication and fraud reported by the officials who are charged with responsibility for maintaining an orderly system of records and a registry of title in each county.
Even if Holder and Breurer were not directly involved in the representation of MERS and the mega Banks, it certainly appears as though they are protecting their old employers from the consequences of committing the largest economic crimes in human history.
And taking President Obama at his word, he has been told that what the Banks did was legal. I have no doubt that is exactly what he has been told. The problem is that he believed what what he was told.
As far as the overall plan for securitization and even the use of MERS, there may well have been no law prohibiting the plan, although we can all agree there should have been such laws in place. The problem is that the plan was not followed — instead violations of the plan were used as a vehicle to commit theft and fraud upon investors and borrowers alike using the same tactics that departed from all legal requirements.
  • It was the departure from the plan that got the Banks into trouble and they should be in deep trouble.
  • The blue print for securitization required that the money and documents follow a certain path.
  • Instead the money followed whatever path those Banks wanted, despite clear requirements to the contrary in the securitization documents.
  • And the transfer documents for each loan, without which there would be no securitization, were not present, drafted or executed, much less delivered.
  • And this was because the Banks, even though they were merely intermediaries, asserted ownership over the loans in a grey are they created between the execution of the loan by the borrower and the supposed delivery of the loans into the pools that the investors had created with their money.
  • By asserting ownership, directly or indirectly, the banks were able to create fictitious “trades” which they used to create transaction profits, only some of which were reported, the rest being “off balance sheet” and channeled out of the country.
  • Those “profits” were merely the improper use of proceeds from borrowers’ money and property and investors’ money and that was advanced for the purchase of mortgage bonds, intended for funding mortgage loans.
There are crimes upon crimes in this story with plenty of low hanging fruit that would entice any prosecutor. That the prosecutions have not proceeded and that the investigations have been self-limiting, combined with the desire to settle with the Banks before the investigation is complete (or even started) leaves only questions of the worst kind. At this point though the administration’s press for settlement with the Banks and servicers can only be seen as disingenuous — since we know that forgery, fraud, and fabrication of documents that never existed can only be illegal.

Insight: Top Justice officials connected to mortgage banks

By Scot J. Paltrow
Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:31am EST

(Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, were partners for years at a Washington law firm that represented a Who’s Who of big banks and other companies at the center of alleged foreclosure fraud, a Reuters inquiry shows.

The firm, Covington & Burling, is one of Washington’s biggest white shoe law firms. Law professors and other federal ethics experts said that federal conflict of interest rules required Holder and Breuer to recuse themselves from any Justice Department decisions relating to law firm clients they personally had done work for.

Both the Justice Department and Covington declined to say if either official had personally worked on matters for the big mortgage industry clients. Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said Holder and Breuer had complied fully with conflict of interest regulations, but she declined to say if they had recused themselves from any matters related to the former clients.

Reuters reported in December that under Holder and Breuer, the Justice Department hasn’t brought any criminal cases against big banks or other companies involved in mortgage servicing, even though copious evidence has surfaced of apparent criminal violations in foreclosure cases.

The evidence, including records from federal and state courts and local clerks’ offices around the country, shows widespread forgery, perjury, obstruction of justice, and illegal foreclosures on the homes of thousands of active-duty military personnel.

In recent weeks the Justice Department has come under renewed pressure from members of Congress, state and local officials and homeowners’ lawyers to open a wide-ranging criminal investigation of mortgage servicers, the biggest of which have been Covington clients. So far Justice officials haven’t responded publicly to any of the requests.

While Holder and Breuer were partners at Covington, the firm’s clients included the four largest U.S. banks – Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo & Co – as well as at least one other bank that is among the 10 largest mortgage servicers.

DEFENDER OF FREDDIE

Servicers perform routine mortgage maintenance tasks, including filing foreclosures, on behalf of mortgage owners, usually groups of investors who bought mortgage-backed securities.

Covington represented Freddie Mac, one of the nation’s biggest issuers of mortgage backed securities, in enforcement investigations by federal financial regulators.

A particular concern by those pressing for an investigation is Covington’s involvement with Virginia-based MERS Corp, which runs a vast computerized registry of mortgages. Little known before the mortgage crisis hit, MERS, which stands for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, has been at the center of complaints about false or erroneous mortgage documents.

Court records show that Covington, in the late 1990s, provided legal opinion letters needed to create MERS on behalf of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and several other large banks. It was meant to speed up registration and transfers of mortgages. By 2010, MERS claimed to own about half of all mortgages in the U.S. — roughly 60 million loans.

But evidence in numerous state and federal court cases around the country has shown that MERS authorized thousands of bank employees to sign their names as MERS officials. The banks allegedly drew up fake mortgage assignments, making it appear falsely that they had standing to file foreclosures, and then had their own employees sign the documents as MERS “vice presidents” or “assistant secretaries.”

Covington in 2004 also wrote a crucial opinion letter commissioned by MERS, providing legal justification for its electronic registry. MERS spokeswoman Karmela Lejarde declined to comment on Covington legal work done for MERS.

It isn’t known to what extent if any Covington has continued to represent the banks and other mortgage firms since Holder and Breuer left. Covington declined to respond to questions from Reuters. A Covington spokeswoman said the firm had no comment.

Several lawyers for homeowners have said that even if Holder and Breuer haven’t violated any ethics rules, their ties to Covington create an impression of bias toward the firms’ clients, especially in the absence of any prosecutions by the Justice Department.

O. Max Gardner III, a lawyer who trains other attorneys to represent homeowners in bankruptcy court foreclosure actions, said he attributes the Justice Department’s reluctance to prosecute the banks or their executives to the Obama White House’s view that it might harm the economy.

But he said that the background of Holder and Breuer at Covington — and their failure to act on foreclosure fraud or publicly recuse themselves — “doesn’t pass the smell test.”

Federal ethics regulations generally require new government officials to recuse themselves for one year from involvement in matters involving clients they personally had represented at their former law firms.

President Obama imposed additional restrictions on appointees that essentially extended the ban to two years. For Holder, that ban would have expired in February 2011, and in April for Breuer. Rules also require officials to avoid creating the appearance of a conflict.

Schmaler, the Justice Department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that “The Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General Breuer have conformed with all financial, legal and ethical obligations under law as well as additional ethical standards set by the Obama Administration.”

She said they “routinely consult” the department’s ethics officials for guidance. Without offering specifics, Schmaler said they “have recused themselves from matters as required by the law.”

Senior government officials often move to big Washington law firms, and lawyers from those firms often move into government posts. But records show that in recent years the traffic between the Justice Department and Covington & Burling has been particularly heavy. In 2010, Holder’s deputy chief of staff, John Garland, returned to Covington, as did Steven Fagell, who was Breuer’s deputy chief of staff in the criminal division.

The firm has on its web site a page listing its attorneys who are former federal government officials. Covington lists 22 from the Justice Department, and 12 from U.S. Attorneys offices, the Justice Department’s local federal prosecutors’ offices around the country.

As Reuters reported in 2011, public records show large numbers of mortgage promissory notes with apparently forged endorsements that were submitted as evidence to courts.

There also is evidence of almost routine manufacturing of false mortgage assignments, documents that transfer ownership of mortgages between banks or to groups of investors. In foreclosure actions in courts mortgage assignments are required to show that a bank has the legal right to foreclose.

In an interview in late 2011, Raymond Brescia, a visiting professor at Yale Law School who has written about foreclosure practices said, “I think it’s difficult to find a fraud of this size on the U.S. court system in U.S. history.”

Holder has resisted calls for a criminal investigation since October 2010, when evidence of widespread “robo-signing” first surfaced. That involved mortgage servicer employees falsely signing and swearing to massive numbers of affidavits and other foreclosure documents that they had never read or checked for accuracy.

Recent calls for a wide-ranging criminal investigation of the mortgage servicing industry have come from members of Congress, including Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., state officials, and county clerks. In recent months clerks from around the country have examined mortgage and foreclosure records filed with them and reported finding high percentages of apparently fraudulent documents.

On Wednesday, John O’Brien Jr., register of deeds in Salem, Mass., announced that he had sent 31,897 allegedly fraudulent foreclosure-related documents to Holder. O’Brien said he asked for a criminal investigation of servicers and their law firms that had filed the documents because they “show a pattern of fraud,” forgery and false notarizations.

(Reporting By Scot J. Paltrow, editing by Blake Morrison)

 

ERIC HOLDER REPRESENTED MERS?

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SUBMITTED BY MARY MALONE

Reuters and all Americans need to know that the reason there have been no prosecutions is: Attorney General Eric Holder is implicated in the cover-up.

Before joining the Obama White House, Holder was a partner at the white shoe law firm, Covington & Burling, who represented MERSCORP.

In 2006 Covington & Burling wrote the legal opinion that justified MERS business model to the lending and title industries.(letter on scribd.com)

AG Holder effectively squashed all FBI investigations into actions of TBTF banks in 2008, when he arrived in office. No actions were initiated until the s#$% hit the fan in October 2010, when robo-signing scandal bubbled up in national media.

Then, Holder directed his top lieutenants, Covington & Burling alumnae all, to launch investigations into mortgage fraud. The FBI was told to partner with the Mortgage Banking Association, the trade group for TBTF banks.

The FBI, in partnership with MBA, created a definition of mortgage fraud which does not include banks. It narrowly focuses on consumers and flim-flam artists.

So, if the definition of mortgage fraud does not include banks, banks will not be investigated.

Instead, the Federal Government has partnered with the trade agency whose members committed $11 trillion heist to arrest the people who who defrauded by the banks.

Ain’t crony capitalism grand?

Sen. Cantwell demands DOJ investigate foreclosure fraud before a settlement

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By Matt Browner Hamlin, www.americablog.com

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued a blistering letter calling on the Department of Justice to investigate big banks for fraudulent foreclosure practices before agreeing to any settlement deal which would grant them immunity for these practices. In her letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Cantwell writes:

I am concerned that recently reported settlement proposals will effectively absolve these financial institutions of substantial civil and criminal liability in one of the largest alleged fraud schemes during the financial crisis. Specifically, I am concerned that the proposed settlement includes a release from liability that may be far too sweeping, does not adequately compensate victims, does not require enough of banks to reform the system that led to the crisis in the first place, and is being made before all the facts are known and without the backing of a full inquiry into the size and scope of the alleged fraud.

Without a thorough investigation, it is impossible to truly estimate just how pervasive the defects in the foreclosure and securitization process are. Continued reports of wrongful foreclosures, forged documents, and an inability of servicers and banks to prove chain of title and the legal right to foreclosure, raises the very alarming possibility that these defects were endemic to the mortgage servicing industry across the country. The sheer magnitude of the potential fallout from these defects demands that we undertake a full investigation to uncover the true scope of wrongdoing before providing blanket immunity to the perpetrators.

I am also concerned that reports of a settlement in the range of $20 billion, as recently reported, may not adequately compensate the victims of the foreclosure crisis. As a result of the pump-and-dump scheme perpetrated by the nation’s largest banks that inflated – and burst – the housing bubble, an estimated 14 million Americans are underwater, owing $700 billion more on their homes than those homes are worth. A $20 billion settlement is woefully inadequate to compensate the wrongfully evicted or homeowners struggling to stay in their homes. Much more should be required of banks to provide meaningful help underwater homeowners and compensate foreclosure fraud victims.

Boom goes the dynamite.

Washington is an important state in the context of the foreclosure crisis and the ongoing settlement talks between AGs and banks. Washington’s Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna is running for governor and has long been viewed as being a potential get for people trying to stop a bad deal. McKenna’s Democratic opponent in the gubernatorial race is Congressman Jay Inslee. Inslee has made stopping a bad settlement a major campaign issue and is collecting signatures on a petition against the rumored deal. Inslee is trying to wedge McKenna – either by making him look like a tool of the banksters or forcing him to do the right thing and help his constituents who were defrauded of their homes by the banks. It looks like Cantwell is aiding Inslee in that squeeze play, but the politics are really secondary to the potential outcome. Simultaneously, we are seeing another major politician standing up to the banks and demanding a halt to the consideration of a bad settlement deal. This is a very good thing.

“Keep your fingers crossed but I think we will price this just before the market falls off a cliff,” a Deutsche Bank manager wrote in February 2007

Internal emails indicate Deutsche Bank knew they were bankrolling toxic mortgages by Ameriquest and others

Internal emails indicate Deutsche Bank knew they were bankrolling toxic mortgages by Ameriquest and others

iWatch

In 2007, the report says, Deutsche Bank rushed to sell off mortgage-backed investments amid worries that the market for subprime loans was deteriorating.

“Keep your fingers crossed but I think we will price this just before the market falls off a cliff,” a Deutsche Bank manager wrote in February 2007 about a deal stocked with securities created from raw material produced by Ameriquest and other subprime lenders.

Deutsche Bank Analyst: Overpay For Our Assets, Or You’ll Regret It

By Zachary Roth – February 12, 2009, 3:49PM

For a while now, it’s seemed like Wall Street’s message to government has been: We screwed up. But if you don’t rescue us on our terms, you’re all gonna be in trouble.

But you don’t usually see that expressed quite as clearly as it was in a research memo sent out yesterday by a senior Deutsche Bank analyst, and obtained by TPMmuckraker.

In the memo — one of Deutsche’s daily “Economic Notes” sent out to the firm’s clients, and to some members of the press — Joseph LaVorgna, the bank’s chief US economist, essentially, appears to warn that if the government doesn’t pay high prices for the toxic assets on the books of Deutsche and other big firms, there will be massive consequences for the US economy.

Writes LaVorgna:

One main stumbling block to the purchasing of troubled assets has been pricing, specifically how does the government price a diverse set of assets in a way that does not put the taxpayer on the hook. However, this should not be the standard by which we judge the efficacy of the plan, because a more prolonged deterioration in the
economy will result in a higher terminal unemployment rate and a greater deterioration of the tax base. As such, the decline in tax revenues will crimp many of the essential services provided by the government. Ultimately, the taxpayer will pay one way or another, either through greatly diminished job prospects and/or significantly higher taxes down the line to pay for the massive debt issuance required to fund current and prospective fiscal spending initiatives.

We think the government should do the following: estimate the highest price it can pay for the various toxic assets residing on financial institution balance sheets which would still return the principal to taxpayers.

One leading economist described the memo to TPMmuckraker as a “ransom note” to the US government. And David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors, who writes such research memos for his own clients, acknowledged that the memo, like all such communications, could be interpreted as an attempt to influence policy-makers.

Still, seeing the memo as a threat to the government to drive the softest of bargains wouldn’t be entirely fair. Kotok that cautioned that the effects of a single analyst’s memo are limited: “Joe LaVorgna doesn’t have enough clout to hold the US government hostage.”

LaVorgna himself was blunt: “I don’t write editorials,” he told TPMmuckraker.

At the very least, the memo can be seen as a frank statement of position from the chief economist of a major bank: if the government doesn’t cave and buy up all the banks’ toxic assets at inflated prices, the country will suffer.

Nice fix we’ve got ourselves into.


House Fails on Cramdown in Chap 13

The outlook is bleak in terms of government providing for the common welfare and common defense. We have a coup d’etat that is a fait accomplit. The job is finished. Wall Street and the insurance companies are running the country. So it is up to us to go with the flow and have them wondering about the old saying “Be careful what you wish for.” If they want to run the country they will find they can’t just run PART of it. This is not a pick and choose situation.

If the country is being run for the benefit of the powerful financial sectors and other businesses too big to fail, they are going to find themselves in the same position that every government encounters — disatisfied people who start taking matters into their own hands. If we are going to ignore the protections contained in the constitution and the ideals stated in the Declaration of Independence, then anyone can.

Law enforcement has already shown a willingness to stop serving foreclosure papers. Everyone knows this is wrong. The Titans, who didn’t even show up at Obama’s meeting (again) believe in their arrogance that they can continue their reign of domestic terror forever.

As a student of history and in particular Mr. Jefferson, I personally am quite satisfied that government or the exercise of governmental power ONLY exists by virtue of the collective consent of the governed. The time comes (it always does) when internal and external forces converge on these newly annointed autocrats, and dislodge them from their positions.

This country was created to provide multiple vehicles to allow those transitions to occur without violence, chaos and extremism. As each one of these paths is shut down, the autocrats risk more than their power and privilege.

It seems that despite the fact that we have a Democratic controlled House and Senate, we have further proof that as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has said “the banks own the place.” The Bankruptcy courts despite not being given the “cramdown tool” in Chap 13 have continued to produce some of the better rulings by simply enforcing black letter property law, particularly with regard to an identifiable real party in interest being joined to foreclosure proceedings. Here again we have further evidence that answers to the foreclosure problem are not going to come from the Legislative or Executive branches of government. The battle will be waged in the courtroom.

Eric Holder, US Attorney General recently said before the Senate Judiciary Committee, “When I appeared before this committee in January for my confirmation hearing, I laid out several goals for my time as Attorney General: to protect the security of the American people, restore the integrity of the Department of Justice, reinvigorate the Department’s traditional mission, and most of all, to make decisions based on the facts and the law, with no regard for politics.”

Well perhaps Mr. Holder can take a sabbatical from worrying about due process for Guantanamo detainees and spend a little time addressing the absence of due process that homeowners are experiencing, paricularly in non-judicial venues like California, Arizona and Nevada. The objective of non-judicial foreclosure was judicial economy, it was not meant to be an avenue to do an “end around” due process.

There is no greater security than HOME for most people. The greatest injustice or illegal seizure of property is still occuring in states that allow non-judicial foreclosure. When combined with the shortage of competent legal representation for homeowners in both judicial and non-judicial states not to mention the cost of obtaining any kind of represenation has resulted in thousands of Pro Se litigants having to fend for themselves.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has rejected an effort to expand a Wall Street regulation bill with mortgage relief that would let debt-ridden homeowners reduce their payments in bankruptcy court. The vote was 241-188 to reject.

The provision would have revived a previous bill that passed the House but later failed in the Senate. Democrats hoped that by inserting the provision in the regulatory legislation they would have had another opportunity to make it law. Aiding homeowners through bankruptcy had been a key feature of President Barack Obama’s foreclosure fighting proposal, but the president did not push for it.

Banks and credit unions have lobbied against the bankruptcy measure. They say it would force a flood of bankruptcy filings and ultimately drive up mortgage rates.

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