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EDITOR’S NOTE: The Times Editorial hits the nail on the head, but uses the wrong hammer. Jobs and growth of the middle class is the only thing that will stand between us sustaining ourselves as a world power or becoming a banana republic. Jobs and growth are not magical concepts that suddenly happen when you waive a wand.

Jobs are created when businesses start and grow. Businesses start and grow with capital. Wall Street, directly or indirectly is holding $3.5 TRILLION hostage in its effort to force Obama from office while it starves the economy and literally takes food of the plates of tens of millions of Americans. The capital held by Wall Street is NOT the capital of Wall Street, it is the money stolen from other people that Wall Street is holding.

That money was stolen in the world’s largest financial fraud of all time — something that will remain unequaled for decades, perhaps hundreds of  years. They did it with the sale of exotic instruments to investors, betting against those investments because they knew they had the power to torpedo the investments, and the tools of destruction were exotic mortgages where even the simplest looking transaction was based upon fraudulent appraisals, non-disclosure of important information required by law, and in particular using conduits as though they were lenders, thus achieving insulation from charges of predatory and fraudulent lending practices. In fact the entire mortgage mess was really just part of the larger scheme of the issuance of unregulated securities in fraudulent schemes to deprive investors, pension funds and homeowners of what little they had left to survive.

As with all crimes against society the only way to cover them up is with more fraud. More deception and more intimidation. So the paperwork is mostly fabricated, forged and unduly notarized documents pretending to attest to the authority and knowledge of signors. But the paperwork is a distraction from the fact that the the “mortgage” transactions were really part of the securities issuance. This actually makes the signing of the mortgage documents an integral part of the issuance of the mortgage bonds. That changes the character of the transaction and probably the laws that apply.

Applying existing laws without any changes to substantive law, procedure or the rules of evidence, the banks will lose, pure and simple. Every time a Judge takes a close look at some piece of paper that is

  • signed by “John Jones, as authorized signor (it doesn’t even say agent) [without any document showing agency authority],
  • on behalf of XYZ corporation, as attorney in fact (same defect),
  • as successor to ABC, as servicer (under a PSA in which the loan transfer requirements were never satisfied and therefore never completed),
  • for the DEF Trust (a non-existent trust that is actually a general partnership),
  • on behalf of JKL Corp. Trustee (a trustee of a Trust that never existed because it lacked the elements under New York State law to create a common law trust, and in which the powers of the trustee actually amount to nothing once you read the whole document purporting to describe the “trustee”)”
  • all out of the chain of title using some private system of keeping track of the owners thus depriving anyone of the knowledge as to who can sign a satisfaction of a mortgage that was obviously never perfected into a valid lien, even though ti was recorded —
  • every time the Judge really looks —- he/she decides this smells to high heaven and that the entire process is defective.
  • There is no lending institution in existence that would accept such a signature from an agent for a borrower.
  • That they accept it from each other as they treat the loan was though it was transferred even though it wasn’t is just a game without risk because nobody is paying anything for the loan and nobody funded the loan except the hapless pension fund whose money was taken for fees first and mortgage later.

Housing drives the economy directly and indirectly. So if we want to see a change we must bring the banks and big business to task, force them to act like good citizens and return the favor of special tax treatment and subsidies with growth money, start-up money and easier credit for consumers, who drive 70% of the economy. Ignore housing and you abandon hope of a solution. Ignore consumers and their jobs and earnings, and you have disrupted 70% of the economy with no prospects for improvement.

Somehow the banks continue to be heard on their spin that it is better to let them keep the proceeds from stealing the purse than to give it back to the consumers from whom they stole it. That is ending now with Occupy Wall Street. The OWLS are wise beyond their years.

More Bleak Job Numbers

It would take a lot of optimism to put a positive spin on the jobs report for September, released on Friday by the Labor Department.

Employers added 103,000 jobs last month, allaying fears, for now, of a double-dip recession. But even if the economy avoids another contraction, the numbers confirm that the job market is in a deep rut that is, for all purposes, indistinguishable from recession. There are still 14 million people officially unemployed, and nearly 12 million more who have given up actively looking for work or who are working part time but need full-time jobs.

Earlier this week, President Obama and the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, delivered bleak economic assessments, which demand a government response. The economy, already at a crawl, could well slow down further in response to economic setbacks in Europe and China or to homegrown problems like political gridlock that delay spending on job-creation efforts.

The economy is not producing enough jobs, and many of the ones created are lousy. Much of last month’s job growth came as 45,000 striking Verizon employees returned to work. Without that one-time boost, the economy added only 58,000 new positions in September, roughly in line with the slow pace of job creation over the past several months.

That is not nearly enough to lower the unemployment rate, which is at 9.1 percent and is almost certain to rise in the months ahead, barring an unexpected upsurge in economic activity.

The new jobs are generally in lower-paying fields, like home health care, and in part-time and temporary employment. These kinds of employment may be better than no work, but they are generally not the types of jobs that allow workers to get ahead.

The September report also shows the permanent scars caused by persistent joblessness. The share of workers who have been unemployed for more than six months increased from 42.9 percent to 44.6 percent, near its record high from early last year. That is likely to translate into irreversible reductions in the standard of living for millions of Americans because the longer one is unemployed, the harder it becomes to find new work, especially at previous pay levels.

Children will be among those most harmed by the jobs crisis. The Economic Policy Institute, using data from the September report, has calculated that 278,000 teachers and other public school employees have lost their jobs since the recession began in December 2007. Over the same period, 48,000 new teaching jobs were needed to keep up with the increased enrollments but were never created. In all, public schools are now short 326,000 jobs.

At a time when more and better education is seen as crucial to economic dynamism and competitiveness, larger class sizes and fewer teachers are the last thing the nation needs. Staffing reductions also mean that schools are less able to respond to the needs of poor children, whose ranks have increased by 2.3 million from 2008 to 2010.

The situation calls out for swift passage of Mr. Obama’s jobs bill and even more far-reaching efforts to revive growth and employment. The alternative is lasting damage from a jobs crisis that has already done enormous harm to families and communities.

Revenue Sharing? How About Revenue Withholding?

It is time to bring back true general revenue sharing — temporarily — to stimulate the economy. Hundreds of articles in political science and public policy journals have studied past efforts, and analyzed the concept of fiscal federalism, without establishing general revenue sharing as a fundamental pillar of Keynesian stabilization policies. This lapse is understandable: most of these articles were written before the current economic crisis, the most serious since the Great Depression. — Schiller
In the absence of revenue sharing and in the context of a reality with dark implications, I can foresee state and municipal governments finding creative ways to divert revenue that would otherwise go to the federal government and retaining it at the local level.  It sounds like a radical move and it probably contains some highly controversial elements. The fact remains, as Schiller points out, that we are not getting the results we need when we need it. We are not getting the action we need where we need it. Time has run out. In order to restore services, jobs and encourage liquidity in the capital markets, state and local governments are going to need to reach for innovative solutions, including like Wall Street did, issuing their own currency. Local government support of local community banks and credit unions together with existing agencies that already have numerous powers that have rarely if ever been used is the only option left to avoid an economic catastrophe that seems to be obvious to most citizens but completely obscured in Beltway analysis and decision-making. — Garfield
EDITOR’S COMMENT:  In the article below this world-famous economist whose analysis has been proven to be accurate and useful looking at trends that extend over 100 years, is sounding an alarm. Will anyone listen? This economist has proven the obvious: housing prices have a direct index relationship with median income. If people are making less money they must seek less expensive housing. We have an overbuilt housing market fueled by a delusional artificial infusion of fake liquidity. Neither the sale of existing homes nor the sale of new homes is going to have any positive effect on the economy for the foreseeable future. The only solution, as Schiller points out, is to cut through all the red tape and instantaneously put as many people to work creating actual products and projects that add value to our society. Each day we wait we get closer to the edge of a cliff that most of us at least fear is present, but which policy makers are ignoring at our peril.
The stability of our society and the prospects for our economy are the stakes in this gamble. The people making the decisions and the people who influence those making decisions do not believe they will be affected by a  negative outcome either way. I don’t think that they are correct. But whether I am right or wrong, the fact appears to be that our decision-makers appear largely derived from a group of people whose analysis is based on theoretical long-term models rather than the current emergency.
August 28, 2010

The Case for Reviving Revenue Sharing


PROTRACTED unemployment is eating away at millions of people. And the economy’s failure to create enough jobs for them is part of a vicious circle that could keep turning for years to come.

In my last column, I called for big, temporary government programs aimed directly at putting people back to work. But how might we best accomplish this? The clock is ticking, and we don’t have time to create new national organizations to employ people. Instead, the most efficient approach is to use existing organizations for specific ideas and projects.

State and local governments as well as nonprofit and other organizations need to be mainstays in this effort. We need to enlist their help — without telling them exactly what to do. As for a framework, think of the general revenue sharing program adopted by Congress in 1972.

In his 1971 State of the Union message, President Richard M. Nixon advocated general revenue sharing to offset the tendency for power to be concentrated in Washington. Give local governments the money and “put the power to spend it where the people are,” he said.

Support for the idea was not confined to Republicans. A leading Democrat, Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, supported it in 1972, saying that federal taxes were more progressive than state and local ones and that federal money could be spent more effectively by people with local knowledge than by “some agency head in Washington.”

General revenue sharing came under attack in the Reagan years, and Congress ended it in 1987, arguing that by breaking the link between taxation and local needs, it encouraged higher taxes.

We are in a different time now. State and local governments are in severe fiscal trouble, and their constitutions often prevent deficit spending. In these circumstances, the federal government, which does not face such constraints, needs to raise revenue for them.

Legislation providing the states with $26 billion, which President Obama signed into law this month, took an important step in this direction. It did not create true general revenue sharing, because it tied the funds to specific needs — mostly hiring teachers and paying for Medicaid. But it did free states to use other resources as they saw fit.

It is time to bring back true general revenue sharing — temporarily — to stimulate the economy. Hundreds of articles in political science and public policy journals have studied past efforts, and analyzed the concept of fiscal federalism, without establishing general revenue sharing as a fundamental pillar of Keynesian stabilization policies. This lapse is understandable: most of these articles were written before the current economic crisis, the most serious since the Great Depression.

The need for a Keynesian revenue-sharing program is clear. After Congress approved stimulus legislation in 2009, Lawrence H. Summers, head of the National Economic Council, said that “it’s harder to spend $300 billion within a year on quality projects than you might think.” And no wonder the task was tough: decision makers in Washington were removed from local needs.

Martin Shubik, a professor of mathematical institutional economics at Yale, has proposed creating a “Federal Employment Reserve Authority,” a permanent agency that would do extensive research and maintain a detailed list of ready-to-go public works projects should a recession come. That’s a great idea, but we do not have such an agency now, and, if we did, it might still suffer from a Washington bias.

Now, local governments are laying off a wide variety of employees, including teachers, police officers and social workers. So why don’t we embrace general revenue sharing? Unfortunately, when faced with a need for stimulus, members of Congress seem to prefer to start their own projects, for which they are likely to get more credit from voters. Local governments, meanwhile, which are more likely to know where spending is really needed, remain in deep trouble.

It’s time for the public to assert loftier expectations. We need to respect existing government bureaus and organizations for their ideas, and get down to the business of financing important jobs temporarily, and on a huge scale. This will avert more layoffs, and perhaps give cities and states time to recover to the point they can pay local employees from local revenue.

When the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt began its vast job creation program in 1933, it had to accept certain practical realities, which limited the immediate stimulus that could be provided. Foremost among them was that the government had to work largely within the framework of existing organizations — whether state and local governments, the military or nonprofit groups — which provided much of the economy’s infrastructure.

Economic stimulus is not a matter of turning on the money spigot, as some economists are wont to describe it. It is about getting the widespread cooperation of dispersed organizations to provide jobs, at least for as long as the economy is weak.

When the Roosevelt administration and Congress created the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933, it was done within the framework of the Army. There seemed to be no other organization that could move hundreds of thousands of young men into wilderness encampments where they could work on conservation efforts. But the Roosevelt C.C.C. placed no more than a half-million people in jobs. We need to reach further than that.

Labor unions, which represent workers who naturally fear displacement by people in new jobs, might seem to be an obstacle. But unions do have an idealistic base, and working union members have sons and daughters and friends and relatives who are unemployed. The unions need to be consulted if new jobs are to be created in a relatively nonthreatening way. In a savvy move, President Roosevelt made a union leader the head of the C.C.C.

The concept of general revenue sharing can also be extended to the nation’s nonprofits, including charities and foundations. The government has long given support to such organizations, but usually in the form of narrow grants. But broader general revenue grants could be made in times like these.

Millions of people need jobs, and there are organizations that could help put them to work. It’s time to move forward.

Robert J. Shiller is professor of economics and finance at Yale and co-founder and chief economist of MacroMarkets LLC.

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

Mortgage Meltdown and Credit Crisis: News and Comment 4-4-08

Collateral damage and contributing damage 

From CNN and NY Times: Loss of jobs means loss of income, loss of tax revenue, increased defaults on home loans, credit cards etc. The downward spiral of economics and the upward spiral of inflation are here. They will continue to feed off of each other. It is political cowardice to avoid the obvious — stop the foreclosures, stop the evictions, restore the value of CDOs, and initiate a single payer healthcare system that will save us all money, emphasize better health through fitness and diet, and decrease the wild race for riches in credit, oil, and drugs. 

It was an act of political cowardice for the senate to jettison the one form of relief that would force mediated settlements from which all parties to the frivolous mortgages would get the most benefit — the ability of bankruptcy judges to modify the mortgages. Just leaving that provision in there would have caused a stampede of settlements that were governed by the free market forces that the critics of the plan so ardently advocate. 80,000 jobs lost, unemployment spikes

Employers slash jobs for third straight month while unemployment jumps to 5.1%, a nearly three-year high.

By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer

Last Updated: April 4, 2008: 12:37 PM EDT

Bernanke: recession possible

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — U.S. employers slashed jobs for the third straight month in March and unemployment rose to a nearly three-year high, offering the latest signs that the economy has fallen into a recession.

The Labor Department’s much anticipated report, released Friday, showed a net loss of 80,000 jobs last month. That marks the third straight month that jobs have fallen – the longest period of decline since early 2003.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast that payrolls would fall by 50,000 in the latest reading.

The new report also pegged job losses in January and February at 76,000 each month.

Those revisions added an additional 67,000 job losses to previous readings. The Labor Department now estimates that the economy has shed 232,000 jobs in the first three months of this year.

“The revisions are the real surprise in the report,” said John Silvia, chief economist for Wachovia. “If we had known it was anything like that, there would not have been any debate going on about whether we were in a recession. It’s pretty stark.”

The job losses were widespread, with the battered construction sector losing 51,000 jobs and manufacturing employment falling by 48,000. But there were also losses in key service sector industries. Retail employment dropped by 12,000 jobs, and business and professional service employers cut staff by 35,000.

Unemployment rate rises

The unemployment rate jumped to 5.1% from 4.8% in February. The new reading is the highest level since September 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Economists had forecast that unemployment would rise to 5%.

The unemployment rate is based on a separate survey of households, rather than the employer survey that produces the closely watched payroll number.

The household survey gave an even grimmer view of job losses. It found that the number of Americans saying they were unemployed soared by 434,000, the biggest jump in that reading since October 2001, right after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Economists say the prospect of a quick pick-up in jobs is not good, given current problems in the economy. Silvia estimates there will be job losses every month through at least August.

“It’s not going to be a lot of fun. Recessions are never fun,” he said.

Others say that job losses could continue into next year.

“The job market is a lagging indicator,” said Arpitha Bykere, economic analyst at RGE Monitor.com. “We can expect the picture to get gloomier. We won’t see a positive picture any time soon, even if the economy recovers.”

But some other experts said that while job losses are climbing, the job market is still relatively strong by historic standards, although even they expressed concerns about growing weakness.

“So far the job strength has held up consumer spending when there’s been a lot of other bad news,” said Tig Gilliam, CEO of Adecco Group North America, the unit of the world’s largest employment agency. “If we have serious job deterioration in the job market, that could feed into problems. But as long as we’re at 5.1% unemployment, or even 5.5%, I don’t think that should drive a consumer spending halt.”

Still the 5.1% unemployment rate only describes part of the problem for those struggling to find work in the battered labor market. The number of people outside of agriculture who are working part time who want to work full-time is now up 591,000 compared to a year ago.

Candidates chime in

The job report reverberated on the campaign trail Friday, as the presidential candidates sounded off on the economy.

“Despite today’s news, the Democrats will continue to advance their anti-growth agenda,” said Sen. John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee.

Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama called the report “the latest evidence that Washington needs fundamental change because it has failed the American people.” And Democratic hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton said “it’s time the president and John McCain recognize the r-word: reality.”

The job outlook will be a key factor influencing interest rate decisions by the Federal Reserve when it meets on April 29-30.

Earlier this week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke made his bleakest and bluntest assessment on the economy’s condition. The central bank chief told a joint congressional committee that a recession is possible in the first half of this year.

Investors placing bets using Chicago Board of Trade options were already pricing in a 100% chance of at least another quarter-percentage point cut even before the jobs report came out. But the chance of a half-point cut rose to 38% in morning trading following the report, after being at 20% at the end of trading Thursday.  

First Published: April 4, 2008: 8:39 AM EDT

Mortgage Meltdown: Business Plan for the Distressed Homeowner

Here is my answer to the heart wrenching story presented by one of my readers. Perhaps it will help others as well. 

Your story is heart wrenching. You did everything right and it came out wrong. The deck is stacked. Perhaps there is a silver lining in all this. You have some extensive experience in dealing with this situation. I don’t know your level of education or training or job (and I would like to hear about that). There IS a possibility that you could turn this situation around to your advantage and I am willing to help you do it. I can’t give you money but I can give you an idea that might help you make more money than you did, and even acquire another house with real equity. If this strikes you as pure fantasy and not helpful then ignore it. But if it resonates with something inside you, then pursue it. Game the system against the financial perverts that started this. Here is the outline of a business plan that might help you heal from this trauma and give you the support, money and resources to get even.

1. Advertise and conduct seminars on the process of foreclosure from the lay perspective. You can either charge a nominal fee for the seminar and the charge for tapes or pamphlets which you can clearly write, since you are so articulate. Let me see the drafts and I will spruce them up a bit.

2. Form an alliance with a local attorney who understands the foreclosure process AND who is actively interested in taking on big money interests.

3. Go to see the Administrative Judge in your local area, and bring with you the proposed rule changes I have published.

4. Let the Press know what you are doing. Get on talk radio shows. It is easy. They are all hungry for material (of course I’d like a plug for my site).

5. Write a book and publish it digitally by email on eBay.

6. Form an association of distressed homeowners and pool what little resources you have so that defenses can be mounted in court.

7. Read up on Banking, currency, and lending and become an “expert” witness. it is easier than you think and you can charge a lot of money.

8. Go see the Sheriff who handles evictions and sound him/her out on their attitude on evictions — particularly their resources on handling the evictions from thousands of homes when they are short-staffed, and suffering cuts in budgets because of declining tax revenues.

9. Write to the consumer affairs office of your State Attorney general and file a complaint against your lender. 

10. Go see you local state legislator and ask him/her what they are doing about the future of a society that is heading toward ruin.

11. And by all means get your writing started on a blog. You can tie in through Google Ads a feature that will enable you to get paid every time there is a click on the Ads that Google places there. Google will figure out the ads to place. 

12. Be open about your problems. Maybe go into the campaign offices of candidates running in your area from Federal (President) all the way down to the most local offices. Ask for position papers and help candidates that seem like they are on board with your agenda. Disregard party affiliation — this is no time to stand on ceremony.

13. Join other associations that are being formed and find out what they are doing and how you can help. They might return the favor.

14. Finally, if you wish, you can send me copies of all relevant documents concerning your closing, your loan and your foreclosure. I can draft a letter to the lender demanding return of your property, damages etc. It might not do any good but I can tell you the lenders and all the other people in the this chain of fraud are VERY nervous about going to jail. If you want to do this, then let me know and I’ll give you the address. 

15. If you are successful in coming up with money or getting some relief from your lender, or both, then start looking for houses owned by investors and making low-ball bids with THEM carrying the paper (the mortgage). I have been through these markets before and I can tell you with certainty that if you are prudent and you look around, you will find something not only satisfactory, but surprising. You don’t need money to buy a house. You need a willing seller that is backed against a wall such that he /she must gives terms.

In any event good luck and God Speed. May your life recover and rebound with plenty and with meaning such that you and your family are healed from this tragic miscarriage of what was once called “justice.”

Mortgage Meltdown Tragedy: No Checks, No Balances, No Honesty

Reality Check

Before we go forward with who called who a monster, or Ken Starr, bringing back memories of deceit, sex, lies and and videotape, let’s do a reality check. People are hurting and the candidates are getting information from advisors who simply don’t get it: the monster here is the economy, reflecting society decisions that are having screamingly negative consequences in people’s daily lives. 

Whether some adviser made an off the cuff remark does not address the real issues. We are bleeding all over the place — housing, jobs, the dollar, earnings, wages, purchasing power, and of course the Iraq war which represents an expense that cannot be covered and will drive up inflation to incomparable levels. 

But more than anything, it is the story of people, one at a time who are trying to make it. The stories are heart wrenching as the American Dream fades away from them while the Judiciary, the legislatures, the congress and the President do nothing but argue over ideology. While I don’t agree with everything this reader says, I agree with 99% of it. As we do pause for our fallen heroes in Iraq, take a moment and read this, a story of the fallen heroes who fought for, achieved and lost the American Dream.


I had drafted a reply to your message many days ago. In it I had waxed so eloquently in regards to our situation, the same or similar, as that so many others are finding themselves in. 

It being that which may well prove to be our ultimate destruction…

…Despite our unwavering decision to fight the good fight for all that we’re worth!

It is an overwhelming and discouraging thing, to find one and ones family the target of such an attack by predatory lucre loving vermin, disguised as lawyers, bankers and “real” human beings! 

Vermin who have made it their goal to rob millions of people of billions of dollars and property, by manipulating and coercing the uninitiated public into forfeiting, not only their wealth and the fruits of their toil and tears, but also their very homes, and sense of sanctity, safety and security… 

…All in the name of “business” and “making a profit”!

It behooves us to comprehend how “making a profit” can be considered “profit”, when the “rewards” come from theft and deception?

In our obviously defective perception and understanding of the term “profit”, it has always meant the reward of gain that was received through the investment of something that one had right to, or had earned, and which had yielded fruit from being so invested.

Profit cannot, by our understanding, come from theft or guile, only the exact opposite can be claimed as being the reward for such negative and patently evil acts!

Thus, the manner in which these evil beings has contived and conspired to strip, not only us, but everyone who lives, as we all have need of shelter and sanctuary, as is offered by a “home”, and a “dwelling”, of every bit of the fruits of our labors, is completely and unspeakably reprehensible and unconscionable!

This is especially compounded when the thefts are then converted into “legal” business transactions, through the deft manipulation of the so-called judicial system by these vermin!

There once was a time when the term “legal” was synonymous with “right” and “just”. 

But that comparison is more of an exact antonym now. And it has become completely unsettling and deeply disturbing to see how wrong has become right, and that right no longer exists…

…Outside of some imaginary quality of character. and illusionary precept for a standard of personal conduct that is but a fading memory of another era, and which has died, or become extinct through lack of use, or belief.

To have watched, over the years, as the sole motivation for the peoples of a society, of which one is a member, has become the pursuit of personal enrichment for oneself, and damn the cost or expense that ones own gain of lucre may cost another, is like watching one’s own death while millions stand by, able to intercede and to stop the untimely demise, but whom remain unwilling to do so, without being compensated for doing so.

The fact of the matter is that we’ve become so acutely aware that the rampant greed which is consuming the people that were once considered fellow countrymen and women of ours, that it has resulted in our own awareness of being as aliens in a strange land! 

Not one of the multitudes of persons and businesses that we have paid out thousands to, for aid and assistance in our attempts to turn the tide of the onslaught against ourselves, and that against multitudes of others, also, has served to buy us one bit of genuine and effective help, or provided the least amount of effect in stemming or diminishing the effect or result of this attack.

On the contrary, the greed has so overcome this society and it’s more`s and morals so completely compromised, that no one seems to feel compelled to even try to live up to their promises of providing the services and/or results, for which they all demand to be paid so handsomely for, in advance!

One becomes painfully aware that the entire society, as a whole, has become nothing more than a pack of predators. All of whom, seek to devour the individual and consume all of their resources, with as much compassion and finesse as that exhibited by a feeding school of piranha’s!

We’re fought the good fight, so hard and for so long, that we’ve now been completely drained of resources, and our very spirit’s have become consumed and are nearly extinguished by the multiple manifestations of oppression and evil that have engulfed us and our lives!

It becomes easily understandable what should so motivate those poor deranged individuals, whom one hears about on the evening news, with increasing frequency, whom go into some public place, somewhere, pull out their arsenal of armament, and begin mowing down “innocent” victims, in droves!

One can easily imagine that these poor deranged individuals were once normal and compassionate person’s, also… 

…And, in fact, the true “innocent” “victims” of that self-same society, which they seek to lash out at…

… In a futile and self-destructive last dying act of self- defense!

For so long, now, we have held the belief that we would be able to overcome this onslaught against good, right and decency. 

And that, in so doing, we would be able to become members of a vanguard wave of change. 

Whereby, we could assist others in winning their own battles in this cause. Helping to guide them through the mine field, obstacle course, pitfalls, snares and booby-traps that await them, and, thereby enable many to reach that same elusive (and apparently imaginary) goal that we have fought so diligently and faithfully to attain.

Unfortunately, those opposed to us have been doing what they do for so long, that they have become far too efficient and proficient, from experience and practice, for the efforts of those like ourselves, taken in response to their greed and aggression, to be of any genuine use, or effect.

It has become impossible to continue to resist any longer and still retain sufficient strength, and barely adequate resources, to even move one’s physical presence and property to some other location… 

…Though God, alone, knows where that might possibly be, and He seems to have no concern, regarding us in this matter, any more…

We’ve exhausted far more money, and all of our time, spirit and attention, in fighting these thieves and crooks, than ever would have been required, had they not taken the initial illegal steps of wrongly declaring us in default, and then manipulating the payment history and records, thereby making it impossible to determine even who had actual possession of the note and right to initiate the foreclosure proceeding, or who, in fact, actually had begun it?

Through deception, sleight of hand, and hiding behind so many facades and fronts, the bankers have perfected the mechanism by which they do steal all of the wealth of the people, and once they have wrongfully taken that, then they take the people’s homes, also!

This country is being destroyed, even as I write this, by these evil people… 

…And, all of the wealth and fruits of our labors were, so long ago, traded off by traitors to our country…

… Those who were elected to serve and protect, and now we have all become serfs to the elite, the European banking cartel, which owns and controls the entire wealth and governments of the world, and especially America!

For three years we have fought valiantly to make our stand for what is right…

But, when faced with the unlimited resources at the disposal of our enemy, it finally becomes a matter of nothing more than defeat by attrition, in the end.

Even our faith in the Omnipotence and Omnipresence of God, has served to provide no reconciliation nor reprieve in the matter, and we feel that we are merely living out then last dying nervous twitches of a corpse that has already had it’s head detached and it’s heart removed from within it’s chest.

It is easy for one, whom has not been subjected to such evil and oppression, to encourage those whom are, to hold on and continue to fight.

But you have no idea the toll that it takes upon one, when one’s entire life becomes focused on defending oneself, and ones family, from such a relentless, heartless and continual onslaught and never ending attack, being made by far too many persons, on far too many fronts…

… Nor the depth of despair that engulfs one, when they realize that they’ve effectively wasted the last years of their life, in futile resistance to a lost cause, and an impossible to win, in their own strength, against such organized and specialized forces, battle for their rights and property, not to mention morals and ethics!

At this point in time, we’ve been reduced to having to declare an emergency bankruptcy, in order to temporarily stay the enforcement of a Writ of Restitution, and of having only approximately $3,000 worth of the Federal Reserve debt notes in our possession, which we can either exhaust by throwing them in with all of the others we’ve given in vain to save ourselves from this grievous wrong.

 Or, to finally admit defeat, and drag ourselves off into some dark corner, to hide and lick our wounds, hopefully to survive to fight another day.

Our lives have been irreparably damaged, our peace of mind destroyed, and our personal resolve and resources bankrupted.

The only thing good that has come of this, is that those behind the banking cartel that controls this country, and the entire world, for that matter, have earned themselves one more dedicated enemy, whom shall expend every possible avenue available to them to disrupt, harm, hinder or destroy anything and everything that those evil and demon controlled and inspired excuses for humans ever say, attempt to do, claim to possess, or stand for, and to encourage anyone who will listen to do the same.

Alone, we may not have been able to stop them from destroying our lives and stealing our home…

But, thanks to the power of the internet we’ll be able to multiply the effectiveness of our responses to their thefts and attacks, and we are certain that we shall cause them far more harm, damage and expense than they could have incurred, if they’d not sought to steal our home by fraud and deception.

We possess one thing that they can never steal, nor rob from us….

…The absolute knowledge that ours was, and is, a noble and righteous cause, and that, in the end, we win!

Despite any appearances to the contrary in this material world, here and now.

Thank you, kind sir, for your encouragement and attempt to solicit some assistance for us. We’re afraid that it’s far too little, and far too late, to be of any good or effect.

I never thought that I’d say this….

..But, we give up!

It’s become the only choice left..

… If we are to even survive at all!

And I won’t subject my wife to the humility of being forcefully ejected by the sheriff’s from what is rightfully our home….

I’ll put the match to it as we walk out the door, before I’ll let those bastards steal it, though!

The shame of it all is that we have a winning case, but no longer possess the outrageous retainer fee that any competent counsel demands before accepting our case…

…And our window of opportunity to defend ourselves in the matter closes on April 20th of this year!

Goddamn it, all to hell!

With that, I close.

Good day, Neil,


The problem for homeowners is that however many ideas are put forward they won’t be effective in time to save most people, they won’t be in time to save the economy, and they won’t be in time to save our currency from further wrenching devaluation. It is the fierce urgency of now that cannot even wait to the election or January 20, 2009. There is only one place where immediate relief can be achieved — the Court System. There are constitutional impediments to interference with the mortgage foreclosure process. Yet there is authority in the judicial system to change the rules as long as it does not significantly impede or in this case, it should enhance access to the courts and the ability to mount a credible defense to foreclosures on predatory or fraudulent loans. 

These are the rules that could be enacted by each court in the land that would [a] slow down the process and [b] protect borrowers from the steamroller of lender foreclosures and [c] protect lenders, investment bankers and investors from themselves. These rules preserve and enhance due process so that the unsophisticated borrower is not wiped out again by his or her lack of knowledge. 


Emergency Provisional Rules

Mortgage Foreclosures

These emergency rules of civil procedure apply to all foreclosures on all property, real or personal, initiated on or before January 1, 2007. No Judgment shall be executed, or if already executed, enforced, and no order of removal or eviction or seizure related to foreclosure shall be executed, or if already executed, enforced unless a Court of competent jurisdiction shall have executed an order finding as a matter of law and fact that the foreclosing party(ies) have complied with each and every provision contained herein.

1. Every Petition for Foreclosure and/or every action undertaken by a foreclosing party prior to seeking recovery or seizure, or occupancy of property, shall require the foreclosing party(ies) to file a verified complaint or affidavit alleging the facts supporting the claim for relief, executed by a person with actual knowledge of all facts alleged. The executing party on said verified Petition or affidavit shall affirmatively allege and actually be available for the taking of testimony by deposition or at an evidentiary hearing in the jurisdiction in which the property is located.

2. Each such Petition or Affidavit shall state the names and addresses of all parties involved in the loan transaction and shall be served under the rules governing service of process upon each of said parties as third party non-party litigants, if such parties were not the lender or borrower.

3. Each such Petition or Affidavit shall account for all funds that were passed through or to each party named in the action, the disposition thereof, and the manner and time in which the passage of said funds were dispersed, together with a citation to the mortgage documentation, including a quote of the relevant passages in the body of the Petition or Affidavit wherein said funds are disclosed and wherein said funds are authorized. 

4. Each such Petition or Affidavit shall state with particularity whether any changes occurred after the closing of the subject loan transaction in which parties or persons were changed including the names and addresses of all parties and persons related to the transactions subject to the mortgage.

5. With respect to sale or assignment or any joint or sharing arrangements concerning ownership, distribution of risk, or securitization in which the subject loan was referenced as collateral or otherwise, each such Petition shall state with particularity the details of each such transaction, the distribution or re-distribution of funds, and the documents employed by said parties after said closing.

6. Each and every such Petition or Affidavit shall affirmatively state that the foreclosing party(ies) have standing and authority to bring the action, defend counterclaims and answer affirmative defenses. The signature of the attorney on said pleading shall be mandatory and shall constitute a representation to the COURT that the filing attorney has performed proper due diligence to ascertain the truth of the allegations of legal standing and all other allegations.

7. Each such Petitioner or Affidavit shall be accompanied by attachments of the referenced documents to be included with the first service of such Petition or Affidavit.

8. Each such Petition or Affidavit shall state with particularity and specificity each disclosure made to the borrower and any third parties involved in the transaction under the Truth in Lending Act and the corresponding provision of the mortgage documents executed by the borrower which supports said disclosure.

9. Each such Petition or Affidavit shall state with particularity and specificity each disclosure made to the borrower and any third parties involved in the transaction under the Truth in Lending Act and the corresponding provision of the mortgage documents executed by the borrower which does not support said disclosure. If any allegation other than “none” is made under this paragraph, the foreclosing party(ies) shall state with specificity the law or fact upon which they should be excused from compliance.

10. Each such Petition or Affidavit shall attach a full and complete accounting of all money, value or funds transmitted, paid or or promised between all parties involved in the loan transaction before or after the loan transaction. In the event the borrower has been overcharged, undercharged, or charged correctly, the Petition or Affidavit shall so state affirmatively, providing a full accounting of said funds. 

11. No answer or response from the borrower shall be due unless and until the foreclosing party(ies) are in complete and full compliance with the provisions of these rules. Any prior answer or response may be amended by the borrower after a determination is made that the foreclosing party(ies) are in full compliance. No prior Judgement, order or other document or rule shall prevent the borrower from filing a response or answer after the foreclosing party(ies) are found to be in compliance with these rules.

12. In the event that the foreclosing party(ies) fails or refuses to comply with these rules, the foreclosure shall be barred with prejudice and until the terms of the mortgage are determined with certainty by the Court by clear and convincing evidence, no payments to the mortgagee shall be due. This provision that not apply to payment to taxing authorities. In such event of delay caused by the the foreclosing party(ies) the court may fashion such equitable remedies as the Court deems fit in its discretion. for example, the Court could apply delinquent payments to the end of the mortgage, thus extending the terms. 

13. In the event of non-compliance with these rules wherein the foreclosing party(ies) demonstrate to the Court the probability that they could amend their filing to conform to the requirements herein, the foreclosing party(ies) shall file an amended Petition or Affidavit on or before thirty (30) days from the date of the order of the Court allowing the amendment. Failure to file within said thirty period shall be grounds for a mandatory immediate dismissal with prejudice. 

14. In the event of the filing of a verified amended Petition or Affidavit, Borrower shall have sixty (60) days in which to answer or respond. Failure to answer or respond shall not relieve the burden of proof of the foreclosing party(ies) in compliance with state, local and Federal law, and in compliance with these rules.

15. The Court may grant attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party in each case where a motion or other filing occurs, wherein a determination is made in an adversary proceeding that the filing is in or out of compliance. 

16. In the event a foreclosure has already been completed and all subsequent and customary actions have occurred and no bona fide third party has taken control or occupancy of the property, these rules may applied retroactively. 

17. Once compliance has been established and the issues are joined, the Court shall enter an order requiring the parties to enter into a process of mediation. The purpose of the mediation shall be to fashion a settlement which provides relief and incentives to all affected parties, including non-party litigants. Mediation shall take place no earlier than thirty (30) days after the entry of the mediation order, and not later than is reasonably possibly given the volume of cases and the availability of competent mediators.

These rules are subject to review by the Court but are effective immediately. Comments and applications to be heard shall be available in keeping with the usual and customary methods of proposed rule changes. Said rules shall be effective unless and until stated otherwise by the Court.


Mortgage Meltdown Movement: Start Now, Obama



As we have have repeatedly pointed out, there is no time for stimulus packages, legislative bailouts, or executive orders. 

The evidence is mounting because [a] the situation is as bad as it looks and it is getting worse and [b] the administration ran out of places to hide the mounting losses to the economy. 

The dollar continues its slide which will create devastating inflation within 6 months. Consumer buying power is now the lowest it is had been since 1945. Job losses are at record levels and more people, especially men are starting to simply walk away from their jobs because the pay does nothing for them. People are also getting ready to walk away from their homes and just leave the keys with banks who will try to dump their real estate inventory, perhaps with some new derivative security plan.

The financial industry cannot bail us out, the U.S. Treasury can’t bail us out, China can’t bail us out, the congress cannot bail us out, the President won’t or can’t bail us out, and the candidates for President will inherit the second Great Depression (GDII) unless something is done right now. The plain truth is that if you do the arithmetic, there isn’t enough money in the world to buy our way out of this. Leadership, agreements, cooperation and sharing are the commodities that will settle the financial claims and avert a general collapse.

Start with the obvious — 900,000 foreclosures and mounting. At the center of this meltdown is the mean fact that prices were artificially inflated and, as in every Ponzi scheme, eventually collapsed. The debt was as fake as the prices. But we are still pretending it is real. The monthly payments were in many cases procured by fraud and numerous violations of the Truth in Lending Act. 

Change the procedure, not the substance of the law. 

The change needed is to enumerate the requirements for initiating foreclosures such that Ponzi operators are deterred from filing foreclosures, the entire foreclosure process is slowed down, and the loans are reinstated, re- negotiated, or modified on some basis that will result in continued occupancy of homes, restoring capital to balance sheets of financial institutions, restoring some degree of quality to CDO’s that were sold, and adding liquidity to the economy without pumping more funny money into it — thus adding value to the dollar, and adding purchasing power to consumers and industry. We encourage immunity from criminal prosecution those players who are still in the chain and assist in the process of recovery. Those actions and investigations by State attorney generals will at best provide an empty victory in an empty marketplace.


The only hope is the judiciary, which handles the foreclosures. Everyone agrees, including the parties initiating the foreclosures and evictions, that the goal is slowing down the process, giving everyone a little hope and incentive, and creating a process where these cases are settled equitably by agreement or by the equitable powers of every court in which an eviction or foreclosure matter is pending. Foreclosure is an equitable remedy which grants wide latitude to the Judge. Procedures should be in place that force the initiators of foreclosure proceedings to slow down, force everyone into mediation and give some breathing room so the marketplace, the financial sector, and government has time to catch up with events that have overtaken them.

In order to accomplish this, the authority is usually vested in the State Supreme Court of each state. The State Supreme Court is usually the authority that creates, amends or changes rules of civil procedure. This plan is not sexy but it is quick and it will work. Change the rules as we have suggested in our recent posting “Send this to Your State Supreme Court”. 

As for the PRESIDENTIAL candidates it is a dismal picture. The candidates for all other public offices don’t look any better in any of the State, local or Federal elections.

While we applaud McCain for his honesty in admitting he doesn’t know much about economics, that is hardly the person we want making executive decisions during a deep recession or depression. 

While Clinton is good at creating four point plans, ten point plans etc., she has not demonstrated any understanding of the economics at work here. Her husband didn’t have any experience in economics beyond a small state with niche industries. Her “experience” might sell but it isn’t true. She was a tea and cookies first lady in Arkansas and in the White House. This is no Eleanor Roosevelt. We can only hope that, like her Husband, if she is the candidate, she will be lucky enough to have people around like Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and others who not only understood the economy but knew how to grow it and that her personal political ambitions for a second term don’t get in the way of good judgment.

While Obama does have a close-up understanding of the economics of poverty, because he gave up Wall Street to work on Main Street, he also lacks experience in the macro-economic events that are in the process of burying our economy. He also is an academic, having taught constitutional law for 10 years, and brilliant analyst and fast learner. He also energizes people to out-perform which is exactly what we are going to need in the White House if we get through this in one piece. 

Obama is about leadership while Clinton is about tactical maneuvering. Both are valuable talents. But the truth is that Clinton would probably be one of the best Senate Majority leaders in history and at best a mediocre President for precisely those reasons. With Obama in the White House and Clinton and Pelosi in charge of Congress, it is hard to imagine a scenario where we can’t emerge from all this a little smarter and rebounding from the worst economic times in our lives.

There are no guarantees. Yet it seems like an Obama presidency will be a populist presidency directed by the people and for the people, while a Clinton presidency will be a Hillary presidency. McCain appears best suited to go to war and least suited to deal with any domestic issues. But none of them will like what is delivered to them on “Day One” unless something is done now. Obama too is at least as likely to attract energized geniuses in their respective fields to manage the difficult terrain ahead of us.

What Obama should do is what Obama does best — create a movement that moves the Supreme Courts of every state into action. All candidates for public office should sign on and all present office holders should introduce and pass remedial legislation in support of the movement. Obama is best suited to initiate this movement because his core constituency is the sector hardest hit by predatory lending practices, job losses, and NAFTA failures. 

The Obama Presidency should, as much as possible, start now. 

It is highly unlikely that Clinton’s last gasp pf political maneuvering and attack ads is going to change the math — Obama ends up with more popular vote, more states won, and more delegates one. Unless the convention turns to a compromise candidate like Gore, who probably won’t take the job, Obama is the only candidate that can be the nominee without tearing the Democratic party apart.

Mortgage Meltdown: NAFTA-Gate


The mortgage meltdown is a by product of many different unsavory things. One of them is the effect of NAFTA and our complete lack of control over our borders which has suddenly sliced into the ability of middle-class to keep their job, get a job or earn enough to pay the mortgage and other expenses, even with multiple incomes. 

NAFTA-GATE is a good thing. It focuses attention on a central problem. When President Clinton signed it, congress loved it, Hillary praised it right up until 2 years ago despite the obvious loss of jobs, and the American public didn’t understand it. Now that we are starting to understand it, and we don’t like it. The more we learn about how it is being executed, the less we like it. Executive ability again comes front and center. 

Canada has its own problems with lower wages and loss of economic power. They have their own interest in seeing changes in NAFTA. It is quite likely that they reached out to find out what specifically the candidates had in mind. 

Obama’s people, according to the latest reports simply repeated what he had said in public. 

Clinton’s people apparently did two things according to the very latest information — [a] reassured Canadian officials that campaign rhetoric is not policy and [b] got someone in Canada to leak an anti-Obama memo that would give Clinton an advantage in Ohio and Texas. Clinton admits that the untruthful NAFTA leak gave her an advantage. This eliminates Obama as a likely player in the creation of this script.

With investigations started in Canada, demands for resignations, accusations of meddling in American politics, apologies and finger-pointing we are once again left with dishonesty on the part of SOMEONE in the Canadian government, SOMEONE in the CLINTON campaign, and at least confusion in the Obama Campaign. It seems obvious that the one with the most likely access to Canadian officials would be Bill Clinton as former President since Obama had very little to do with Canada until now.

Once again we are dealing with a failure of executive leadership on the part of the Prime MInister, who should have had a handle on this if neutrality was the objective and a failure of executive leadership and judgment on the part of Hillary Clinton who was either dishonest or didn’t know what was going on).

Once again we are diverted from the real issues of renegotiating or opting out of NAFTA. In theory it was a great idea. In practice it is killing us. Canada could start with publicly stating its position on NAFTA, what it likes and what it doesn’t like.

The Candidates have started that discourse, but whether Clinton means what she says now or intends to return to her consistent praise of NAFTA and pride in her husband’s achievement in signing NAFTA is anyone’s guess.

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