The trial of the century—a long-awaited determination of the damage perpetrated by Wall Street institutions in the financial crisis—began Monday in New York. But it’s only happening because one bank—unlike Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, and Bank of America—refused to settle out of court. The Japanese firm Nomura stands accused of lying to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about the quality of mortgages pooled into securities during the housing bubble. The case will finally reveal hard data on just how much money Nomura, and the rest of the industry, made through fraud.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, sued 18 of the biggest banks in the world in 2011. As an investor, Fannie and Freddie purchased $196 billion in mortgage-backed securities from 2005 to 2007, filled with loans that did not meet specific underwriting guidelines. Sixteen of the 18 banks settled with FHFA, netting the agency $18.2 billion. One suit with the Royal Bank of Scotland remains in limbo. Only Nomura pushed FHFA into trial.1
Nomura. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.