Regulatory Capture and Monopoly of Residential Lending by Wall Street

It is simply not true and has not been true for 20 years that lending is subject to free market forces or that lenders are subject to regulation. 

all of this has resulted from extraordinary illegal Market Control which has resulted in the complete inability of small financial institutions to compete with lending practices sponsored by investment banks on Wall Street.

As a result consumers are negatively affected. Contrary to the requirements of law they do not have the right to choose the party with whom they are dealing, they do not have the protections of the truth in Lending Act, and they are lured into a dangerous transaction in which the counterparties have an incentive merely to bring a transaction into existence and label it as a loan.

When it comes to regulation, it is the legislature that deems who is worthy of regulating and on what terms. The legislature then enacts into law those terms and creates the agency or enforcement mechanism.
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Regulatory Capture occurs when persons and companies whom the legislature has deemed worthy of regulating have control over the agency or enforcement mechanisms. This happens all the time when the regulators are persons formerly, currently or intended to be employed by the companies that they are supposed to regulate.
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I am sure, now that it has been pointed out, that there has been in a concerted strategy of regulatory capture that has negatively impacted the legal profession and therefore chilled access to the courts and to counsel. This has enabled a monopoly that has so constrained free market forces as to make them virtually irrelevant. It is simply not true and has not been true for 20 years that lending is subject to free market forces or that lenders are subject to regulation.
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Even the most uninformed lay person knows by now that the Wall Street banks screwed the market and the marketplace. True, they don’t understand how it was done. But they know it happened, which is why I have counseled persons running for public office to run against the banks, because right now, almost everyone hates the Wall Street securities firms that call themselves “investment banks.”  But very little is being done to counter their illegal impact on free markets, consumer rights, and the hallmark of any capitalist economic system — competition.
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This has shown up in regulation and discipline of lawyers. Lawyers who advance false claims in court go with both impunity and immunity. Lawyers who defend homeowners from those false claims almost always find themselves the target some investigation, complaint discipline, sanctions or judgements from Bar associations, the FTC or the attorney general of some state.
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The result is entirely predictable. Most trial lawyers won’t take on cases involving foreclosure defense because they fear for their livelihood. Consumers are the ones who suffer the most because they can’t find a lawyer to take their case. So they try to appear pro se and they lose because only lawyers know how to navigate the judicial system. It’s a perfect storm for the Wall Street firms.
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I am also sure that all of this has resulted from extraordinary illegal Market Control which has resulted in the complete inability of small financial institutions to compete with lending practices sponsored by investment banks on Wall Street.
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Homeowner transactions sponsored by Wall Street do not rely upon profits from the transactions with homeowners. They rely entirely upon profits from false claims arising out of securitization Cycles. so it is literally possible and often happens that the marketing and other expenses associated with generating transactions with homeowners are much higher than any cash flow that could be considered Revenue. This makes it possible to offer incentives and lower interest rates for the sole purpose of initiating another securitization cycle, which is the source of all actual profit.
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As a result consumers are negatively affected. Contrary to the requirements of law they do not have the right to choose the party with whom they are dealing, they do not have the protections of the truth in Lending Act, and they are lured into a dangerous transaction in which the counterparties have an incentive merely to bring a transaction into existence and label it as a loan.
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Those counterparties also have an incentive to see the transactions fail, since they have knowingly created obligations based upon false appraisals and false assessments of viability. In doing that they have guaranteed themselves additional profit simply by insuring the certificates that are indexed on the performance of the homeowner transactions. And they further profit from false claims leading to forced sale of property for profit rather than restitution for an unpaid obligation.
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Thus this monopolistic control causes homeowners to enter into transactions that they think are loans but instead are investments into securitization schemes. The terms and incentives for conduct are far different than the reasonable expectation of any reasonable consumer borrower. 
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The other class negatively impacted by this strong arm behavior is the U.S. class of approximately 7,000 community banks, credit unions and savings and loan associations that would otherwise be able to compete for loan business but can’t because they are presented with a bad choice: either they serve merely as sham conduits to feed securitization or their loan business virtually fails. In turn this negatively impacts their ability to cross market for depository business and other bank services. 
My point is that just like 100 + years ago when the big trusts were considered impregnable, they were brought down with a thud by claims that they had ruined the free markets with both economic control and asymmetry of information. Regulatory capture was of course a perk that enabled them to write and make laws that made their ruinous behavior totally legal — until the courts and Congress said it wasn’t legal.

Plaintiffs present this evidence as a prototypical example of “regulatory capture,” a term coined by public choice economists to indicate when members of a regulated occupation also dominate the regulatory and law-making process in their field. Professor Todd Zywicki of George Mason University School of Law, a leading scholar in law and economics, testified that the limitations on funeral home ownership in Maryland are consistent with the principles of regulatory capture. He stated that in his opinion the Morticians Act appears to be:

an effort to create governmentally imposed barriers to entry in the funeral home industry and thereby to transfer wealth to a discrete, well-organized interest group at the expense of consumers of funeral home services and the public at large. The result of this regulation is reduced competition in the provision of funeral home services and higher prices and reduced choice in funeral home products and services for consumers.

Brown v. Hovatter, 516 F. Supp. 2d 547, 553 (D. Md. 2007)

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Neil F Garfield, MBA, JD, 73, is a Florida licensed trial attorney since 1977. He has received multiple academic and achievement awards in business and law. He is a former investment banker, securities broker, securities analyst, and financial analyst.
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