“And so Wall Street moves on, a whirlwind of razor teeth and predatory instinct. Bankers commit fraud, settle for billions paid with other people’s money, then commit the very same crimes again. Why not? Their financial incentives encourage it.
And who’s stopping them? The writers and activists who catalog their crimes are marginalized as radicals, scolds, and bores. The ones who strike a “moderate” tone help perpetuate a climate in which their behavior continues unchecked.”
“When the FHFA filed the 17 lawsuits, it said the bond issuers had misled Fannie and Freddie about the soundness of the loans underlying $196 billion of mortgage-backed securities. Other defendants include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Bank of America Corp. and Ally Financial Inc. — the last of which is still majority-owned by the government.
The agency dropped its suit against GE (which had sold mortgage bonds to Freddie Mac) in January, without disclosing any of the agreement’s terms. It settled with Citigroup in May, after initially accusing the company of making misrepresentations about $3.5 billion of mortgage bonds that it sold to Fannie and Freddie before they were rescued by the government.”
“Julie Miller of Marion County, who was awarded $18.4 million in punitive and $180,000 in compensatory damages, contacted Equifax eight times between 2009 and 2011 in an effort to correct inaccuracies, including erroneous accounts and collection attempts, as well as a wrong Social Security number and birthday. Yet over and over, the lawsuit alleged, the Atlanta-based company failed to correct its mistakes. ”
“Because the case is so old, homeowner attorney Roy Oppenheim said the bank may run into trouble trying to refile it. There is a 5-year statute of limitations on foreclosures.
Homeowner Valerie Kaan bought the 13,000-square-foot home in 2003 for $8.4 million. Her loan was for $6.8 million from Washington Mutual Bank, which was later purchased by JP Morgan Chase. The outstanding balance as of Thursday was up to about $10 million with late fees, taxes and insurance, Oppenheim said. ”
“The GLD inventory raids are becoming almost a comedy. The big US banks routinely short the GLD shares, help themselves to gold bars overnight, and use the same bars to satisfy COMEX official deliveries. Worse, deep suspicion has been aroused that the New York banks are selling GLD gold bars in Shanghai, taking advantage of the higher price posted at the Shanghai Gold Exchange. It is called arbitrage, but primarily the banks qualify to participate in this shuffle operation. The correlation is over minus 80% in the last few years, as shown in the graph.”
“These servicers, including Bank of America Corp. ( BAC ), J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFS), agreed to pay $3.6 billion in cash to nearly 4.2 million homeowners and provide $5.7 billion in other relief, such as loan assistance to borrowers.
ResCap in February asked Judge Glenn if it could get out of the program without facing punishment from the Fed, a request that is now moot with the approved settlement.”
“Susan Hendrick testified at a hearing Thursday that she told the state attorney general’s office about bill-padding she witnessed while a lawyer at Aronowitz & Mecklenburg in Denver, conduct that investigators say needlessly cost homeowners facing foreclosure millions of dollars. She then laid out a number of other alleged abuses she says happened.
The abuses ranged from the padding of attorney hours to allegations that the law firm destroyed evidence that prosecutors were seeking in their investigation into billing practices by foreclosure law firms, according to testimony in Denver District Court.”
“State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly sued in May 2012 alleging the defendants’ recording system effectively eliminates the ability to track the purchase and sale of properties through the traditional public records system, in violation of state statute. The five-count complaint also alleges unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy, deceptive trade practices and consumer fraud.”
“ I fully expect history to look back at the past year’s Draghi Plan, Fed open-ended QE, and Bank of Japan “Hail Mary” monetary inflation as misguided market interventions that set loose historic market Bubble excess. I will posit that global systemic risk is significantly higher today than it was a year ago. And if the current trajectory of global central bank market intervention continues, systemic risk will be even more problematic one year from now.
“The amount of speculation occurring in the housing market is extremely high. Not to the levels of what was seen between 2005 and 2007 but it is certainly getting close. For example, the usage of adjustable rate mortgages is reaching multi-year highs. This is an odd choice unless you have a fanatical belief that home values will continue to go up or that the Fed has god-like powers to control the mortgage markets into eternity. Yet that perception is very real and perceptions drive a good amount of energy in the housing market. ”