Banks Targeting LivingLies?

There is an old expression which I may have used on this site before says “you know that you are over the target when you start getting flack.”

In a variety of ways, we have uncovered a number of strategies being employed by the large banks on Wall Street directed at discrediting the discussion on this blog and making it as difficult as possible for us to do business. One of the ways that they do this is by planting articles in various periodicals which make it seem as though the housing crisis is behind us and that the banks are doing everything possible to alleviate the suffering of homeowners who are under the gun of wrongful foreclosures that amount to nothing less than outright theft.

Another way they do it is by posting “comments” on the blog that are designed to take up a lot of space and interfere in serious discussion between the readers. The latest round of spamming from the banks has been pointed out to us by a reader and the way that we are handling this is by eliminating the comments from those people who are clearly interfering in intelligent conversation and bona fide research that appears in the comment section in each blog article. To those whom we suspect are paid spammers from the banks, we are sending the following email:

“We received numerous complaints from other followers of the blog  regarding comments that you have posted. We are now blocking any comments from you and we will be watching for any variations used by you to post comments that are designed to confuse and chase people away from the blog. We are very much aware of the effort of banks to interfere with our operations and we must be extremely careful to stop any activity on the site that appears to be spawned by people who are paid by the banks to discredit the blog. If you wish to appeal this decision please send an email to NeilfGarfield@Hotmail.com.”

As for the attempts to interfere in our business I will not give any details here nor will I state how we are staying one step ahead of the banks who would like to see the blog taken down in the business destroyed. I am no stranger to fighting with these banks. And they are no stranger to losing the fight when the issues finally appear on the radar screen.

For my part I will continue to provide increasing depth, suggestions, strategies and tactics for lawyers to use against these banks. There is no doubt in my mind that these banks will eventually fall despite all attempts by government and central bankers to create the illusion of strength when in fact both the financial condition of the banks and the financial condition of the economy continued to be bankrupt beyond repair.

There is only so far that you can kick the can down the road. Now that I have so much company in this effort in the form of attorneys, government officials, and pro se litigants, it can be fairly said that my efforts have spawned  a cottage industry in which these banks will find themselves the target as real people represented by real lawyers seek money damages and other relief. The outcome of this is very clear to me. There are many economists who have seen and recently made comments based upon their analysis of government issued economic statistics; in particular there are concerned that financial services was at equilibrium with the rest of the economy when it accounted for only 16% of economic activity.

Now at a time when unemployment and underemployment combined with those people who have given up completely may have reached an all-time high, it is apparent to those economists that the alleged growth of our gross domestic product is in large measure due to our willingness to treat the trading of worthless paper as economic activity. The proof is in the pudding. The only way we can say that our gross domestic product is improving at a low rate of 2.5% is by ignoring the fiction of economic activity in the financial sector.

Financial services are now counted in gross domestic product at around 48% versus the 16% when financial services were at equilibrium with the volume of actual production of products and delivery of services. While unemployment grows and while wages continue to stagnate and even decline, we invite a social catastrophe caused by graphic economic inequality supported by fictitious numbers and arrogant policies controlled by those who have received the largest benefit from the largest crime in human history.

Thus the question being answered by this blog and others like it is how long we will listen to government statistics showing an increase in economic activity of 2.5% which is a complete illusion, and when will we start acting on the fact that comparable economic activity has declined by 32%. Think about it.

And by the way, those people who think that they can earn easy money by acting on behalf of the banks should realize that they are extremely expendable and will definitely be thrown under the bus once the plan of action has been disclosed. To the extent that you have any written confirmation of instructions from the banks as to how to interfere with this blog and other discussion sites, I suggest you make copies and have them distributed in different geographic locations. Otherwise, in the event of a lawsuit for interference in our contractual relations with customers and prospective customers, you might end up being the lead defendant.

 

At Least 50% JPM Mortgages Have Errors

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.
The selection of an attorney is an important decision  and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Comment: The real reason why the foreclosure reviews were terminated was not because of the expense, complexity or time it was taking to do them. The real reason was that the people close to the reviews were finding “error rates” that were 10 to 20 times the rate claimed by the banks. That is a euphemistic way of saying the foreclosures should never happened in at least 50% of the foreclosures that did happen. And now they are saying you can have $1,000 on average for your trouble instead of getting your house back or enough money to replace it.

The “problem” the OCC is addressing is that directive from the Obama administration to not kill the megabanks, issued on the information from those megabanks that killing them will kill the world economy. That is pure horse crap. And now books are coming out  detailing how that the TBTF doctrine is both false and highly destructive to our economy, past, present and future.

If a bank is carrying assets that are really not worth anything, then those assets should not be included in the requirements for capital structure of that banks. They either need more money (which they have lying in the Cayman Islands) or they must fall apart, after being resolved by the FDIC.

We are left with an economy built on an illusion that creates the illusion of recovery until it busts again. And it will. As Zillow points out today, the apparent price increases remain out of line with income and are solely based upon low interest rates which will start to go up to normal levels at some point. Once that happens, people won’t be able to afford paying even on modest loans because they just don’t have the income or credit to enter into a transaction that is destined to fail.

The latest “settlements” involving billions of dollars of payments to homeowners who were wrongfully foreclosed, is a drop in the bucket for what the banks owe back to the American economy, investors who purchased bogus mortgage-backed bonds from unfunded and possibly nonexistent “trusts” whose “trustees” have nothing to do except collect their own fees.

Obama promised transparency and in some ways he fulfilled that promise. One notable exception is in banking and finance where the entire business is dependent upon big lies. The simple answer is that if someone’s house was foreclosed wrongfully they should either get the house back or compensation for the loss of the house based upon the figures used to induce the homeowner borrower to enter into the deal.

That means the banks should be stuck with the false appraisals now that we know they are false. And the banks should absorb the risk of loss now that we know there was no underwriting committee or procedures to verify the collateral, income of the borrower or viability of the loan.

If we start telling the truth, then the clawback of wealth for those thrown under the bus into poverty and those who have still managed to stay in the middle class will be a far superior method of providing stimulus to an economy that at this point relies upon the financial services sector to make up for almost 50% of the GDP we lost when we lost manufacturing and other outsource jobs abroad.

Small business will inevitably improve by leaps and bounds, hiring the bulk of the workers who are unemployed or those who have given up looking for work. Median income rises, with the ability to pay more on a higher mortgage increasing directly promotional to the increase in median income. The shortage of housing for sale is solely the result of foreclosures and underwater homeowners, which accounts for more than 25% of all homes that could be on the market and are not.

When you base your policy on a lie, then more lies must be told to prop up the original lie. And eventually, as we have repeatedly seen throughout history, the house of cards collapses — again and again. What we need is a mechanism to evaluate all foreclosures — past, present and future — and if the foreclosures are or would be wrongful, then they shouldn’t be done and the victims should be compensated.

OCC Releases Embarrassing List of Foreclosure Review Payouts on Eve of Senate Hearings
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/04/occ-releases-embarrassing-list-of-foreclosure-review-payouts-on-eve-of-senate-hearings.html

Scant Relief in Foreclosure Payouts
http://stream.wsj.com/story/markets/SS-2-5/SS-2-207702/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/francinemckenna/2013/04/01/jpmorgan-chase-still-haunted-by-foreclosure-reviews-and-more/

GAO Report on Foreclosure Reviews Misses How Regulators Conspired with Banks Against Homeowners
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/04/gao-report-on-foreclosure-reviews-misses-how-regulators-conspired-with-banks-against-homeowners.html

http://http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/04/wells-fargos-reprehensible-foreclosure-abuses-prove-incompetence-and-collusion-of-occ.html

The Banks’ “Penalty” To Put Robosigning Behind Them: $300 Per Person
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-09/banks-penalty-put-robosigning-behind-them-300-person

http://http://www.scribd.com/doc/134192424/Naked-Capitalism-Whistleblower-Report-on-Bank-of-America-Foreclosure-Reviews

Regulators: 4.2 million foreclosure settlement checks to be mailed
http://www.housingwire.com/news/2013/04/09/regulators-42-million-foreclosure-settlement-checks-be-mailed

Independent Foreclosure Review: 1,135 Borrowers to Receive Max $125,000 Payment in Fraudclosure Settlement
http://4closurefraud.org/2013/04/09/independent-foreclosure-review-1135-borrowers-to-receive-max-125000-payment-in-fraudclosure-settlement/

False recovery?

Doesn’t anyone see that if “financial services” accounts for 40% of our GDP that it means we are kidding ourselves? THAT only means we are trading from the left pocket into the right pocket into the back pocket and around again — and counting it as GDP. Our real GDP is far lower than anything reported.
Editor’s Note: The U.S. economy depends largely on the the state of the housing market. The housing market is a large factor in determining consumer confidence and consumer spending. Consumer spending accounts for the vast majority of transactions coutned in our gross domestic product, although health-care is certainly on track to over take consumer spending within 5-10 years.
Look around you. Have you noticed that home building is far from dead. Even though millions are homes are vacant and millions more will be vacant, the building continues. Why? Who in their right mind would be building homes in a market like this where the supply of new and existing homes so vastly outstrips demand?
It can only be the result of increasing demand for what they are building — shoddier, lower cost housing.
That is because the housing market is like a glass bowl on the edge of a shaky table. You know it is going to fall (again). It cannot recover because there appears to be serious motivation in the private banking and building sectors to see the housing situation worsen. Just follow the money. Wall Street and builders are set to make a ton of money while the rest of us go down the tubes. Then economic indicators are all there for anyone to see. It’s about time that Mr. Obama abandons conciliation and adopts the arm twisting aggressive tactics of Lyndon Johnson.
It is unfair to compare Obama with FDR’s situation. By the time FDR came to office in 1933, the depression was already 4 years old and there were hardly any Republicans left. This time the crisis was handed to Obama in midstream and now the republicans are working hard to pin the recession on Obama in the minds of gullible citizens who don’t have the time to inquire or research any of these issues.
I’m no fan of Johnson — but when it came to health care and civil rights he pushed it through over the vehement objections of vested special interests.And for all their venting, I don’t see anyone turning in their medicare card and very few people are left who want to go back to when women couldn’t vote (still less than 100 years ago) and minority races were prevented from voting or participating in the economy.
Each day we wait the situation gets worse and harder to reverse. Each foreclosure and each eviction, each time a homeowner leaves the keys on the kitchen counter in search of alternative, less expensive housing, the banks are laughing all the way off-shore where they are parking trillions of dollars in false untaxed profits, threatening the stability of our currency, the viability of our government financial structure and the confidence in our ability to actually start producing goods and services that people want.
We keep moving in the direction of vapor. False demand and dubious supply of things that nobody should be required to buy, much less need or want. Somehow, whether it is the tea party, the coffee party or something else must gain traction to break the death grip big business and Wall Street has on our government.
Doesn’t anyone see that if “financial services” accounts for 40% of our GDP that it means we are kidding ourselves? THAT only means we are trading from the left pocket into the right pocket into the back pocket and around again — and counting it as GDP. Our real GDP is far lower than anything reported.

Right now, our only hope is to convince one Judge at a time to listen to the facts and decide cases on the merits instead of presumptions.
March 3, 2010
Economic Scene

In Tracking Recovery, Jagged Lines

Could the economy be at risk of a double dip?

We’re now in the midst of the worst run of economic news in almost a year. Home sales have dropped. So has consumer confidence. Stocks peaked on Jan. 19.

This Friday may well bring the darkest piece of news yet, at least on the surface. Forecasters are predicting that the Labor Department will report that job losses accelerated in February, perhaps back above 100,000. The main reason will be the temporary hit from the big snowstorms last month. Yet there is reason to wonder if the economy also has bigger problems.

The weekly data on jobless benefits are narrower and less consistent than the monthly jobs report, but they have the advantage of being more current. From early January to late February, the number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose 15 percent. Over the previous nine months, this number was generally falling.

Economies rarely move in a straight line, and — as the better-than-expected numbers on Tuesday on vehicle sales suggested — the recent run of bad data is probably overstating the troubles. But whatever you thought at the start of the year about the recovery — strong, moderate, fragile — you probably need to be more pessimistic today.

“The strength of data we saw at the end of last year exaggerated the strength of the underlying economy,” Richard Berner of Morgan Stanley, says. “And now we’re seeing some pullback.”

This is especially troubling because the economy is still such a long way from being healthy. Lawrence Katz, the Harvard labor economist, estimates that 10.6 million jobs would need to materialize immediately to return the job market to its condition when the Great Recession began. For it to get there four years from now, the economy would have to add 316,000 jobs a month. That pace would be faster than in any four-year stretch of the 1990s boom.

The economy’s biggest problem has not changed. When bubbles pop, they wreak enormous, lasting damage. Credit stays hard to get for years because banks need to rebuild their balance sheets. Families and businesses, whose net worth isn’t what they thought it was, have debts to pay off.

Over the last two years, households have been paying down their debts at a fairly good pace. But they aren’t yet close to being finished.

The average household still has debt that eats up roughly 17.5 percent of its disposable income — in mortgage payments, minimum credit card payments and the like. That’s down from a peak of 18.9 percent in 2008. It is still above the 1980-95 average of about 16.6 percent, according to the Federal Reserve. So debt payments will continue to hold down spending in the months ahead.

The economy did so well late last year in large part because companies began building up inventories they had whittled when they cut production during the recession. What worries some forecasters is that this buildup won’t last. Consumer spending, they say, will remain too weak to get companies to keep increasing production and to begin adding workers. “Not too long from now,” says Joshua Shapiro of MFR, a research firm in New York, “you’re going to need other demand to kick in.”

The second problem is that the stimulus program and the Fed’s emergency programs are in the early stages of slowing down.

These programs have done tremendous good, as I’ve written before. The bubbles in housing and stocks over the last decade were far larger than an average bubble, and yet the resulting bust is on pace to be shorter and less severe than the typical one in the wake of a financial crisis. That’s not an accident. It’s a result of an incredibly aggressive response by the Fed, Congress, the Bush administration and the Obama administration.

Just consider home sales. The stimulus bill last year included a tax credit for first-time home buyers that originally expired on Dec. 1. Like clockwork, home sales fell 16 percent in December. From March to November, sales rose 36 percent.

The credit has since been extended, but if you combine the other fading parts of the stimulus with household debt burdens, you can see why some economists are concerned. Mr. Shapiro predicts monthly job growth will be only 50,000 to 75,000 by the end of this year. To keep up with population growth — to keep unemployment from rising — the economy needs to add more than 100,000 jobs a month.

Recent events in Congress, however, have offered some cause for optimism. Last week, the Senate passed a small-bore $15 billion jobs bill, focused on road building and employer tax credits. But on Monday, Democratic leaders announced a proposal that would do more: a $150 billion bill to extend jobless benefits, Medicaid payments to states and some tax cuts.

Some of the extensions last through the end of the year, rather than for just a few months, as is typical. Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, told me the bill was meant to prevent what he called the “Perils of Pauline” problem — referring to the silent movie serial that placed its heroine in repeated danger.

The most recent extension of jobless benefits expired on Sunday. The Senate voted Tuesday night to extend the benefits for 30 more days after Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, dropped his opposition to the measure.

If Congress passes a longer-term extension and adds some measures — like more aid to struggling states, maybe the single most effective form of stimulus — it can offset the winding down of other government programs. (Yes, these efforts to prop up the economy will have to end sometime soon, and debt reduction will have to begin. But the main historical lesson of financial crises is that governments are too timid and too quick to step back.)

It’s also possible that Mr. Shapiro and his fellow pessimists are being a bit too dire about the private sector. Inventories are still quite lean, and some restocking is likely to continue. Banks are becoming more willing to lend, Fed surveys show. Strong growth in China and other emerging markets will help American exporters like General Motors and Cargill. To my mind, these forces make a true double dip unlikely.

Still, the jobs number on Friday will be ugly. Macroeconomic Advisers, a research firm, estimates that the snow kept 150,000 to 220,000 people off a payroll when the government conducted its jobs survey in early February. But most of those jobs will reappear in March — the month when many economists think job growth will, at long last, resume.

Here’s the thing, though. Even the optimists are not very optimistic. Morgan Stanley expects average monthly job growth of just 110,000 this year. The great jobs deficit — 10.6 million and counting — will be with us for years.

So no matter when the recent run of bad news comes to an end, the economy is still going to need help.

E-mail: leonhardt@nytimes.com

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