Alan Greenspan | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

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Home Truths | To keep itself politically bullet-proof, Fannie Mae paid competing lobbyists to sit on the sidelines.

Home Truths | To keep itself politically bullet-proof, Fannie Mae paid competing lobbyists to sit on the sidelines.


Wall Street Journal

‘The American people realize they’ve been robbed. They’re just not sure by whom,” write Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner in “Reckless Endangerment.” But Americans who read this outstanding history of the financial crisis will know, by the end, exactly who created the meltdown of 2008 and how they did it. This is a story, the authors say, “of what happens when Washington decides, in its infinite wisdom, that every living, breathing citizen should own a home.”


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‘Reckless Endangerment’: Morgenson, Rosner Name Names — Point Finger at Fannie Mae

‘Reckless Endangerment’: Morgenson, Rosner Name Names — Point Finger at Fannie Mae


YAHOO FINANCE-

In Reckless Engagement, the latest book about the financial crisis, co-authors Gretchen Morgenson and Josh Rosner do what many of their high-profile counterparts failed to do: Name names for those responsible for the crisis.

“Instead of it seeming like it was an ‘act of god’ that couldn’t have been prevented, we try to single out some of the people who were crucial at the center in the years leading up the crisis, not just when it struck,” says Morgenson, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist with The NY Times.

While familiar culprits like Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, Barney Frank are cited in the book, front and center is a name most Americans probably don’t know: James Johnson, the former chairman and CEO of Fannie Mae.

continue reading HERE

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MUST READ |U.S. Housing Market Even More Fraudulent Today

MUST READ |U.S. Housing Market Even More Fraudulent Today


Written by Jeff Nielson Tuesday, 17 August 2010 11:50

Old habits are hard to break, and in the United States of America, there are few “habits” as common as mortgage-fraud. In 2006, the world discovered that the U.S. housing market was the most-fraudulent market in history. However, since that time, even that level of fraud has been surpassed – by the U.S. housing market of 2010.

Incredibly, four years after learning that the U.S. housing market was the global fraud-capital, U.S. mortgage-fraud has continued to increase every year. There is simply too much material here to cover even a small portion. For inquisitive readers, I recommend doing a simple Google-search for “U.S. mortgage-fraud increasing”.

In addition to coming up with an endless list of articles covering the last four years, one of the first “results” which readers will encounter is a Reuters article from June. That article reported a large haul of fraudsters: 1,215 people were charged in numerous frauds, totaling $2.3 billion in losses for victims. Thanks to the “magic” of search-engines, readers will also encounter a further list (on the left side of the page) of the recent Reuters articles on “U.S. mortgage-fraud increasing”.

One of the more hilarious/disturbing search-results was a Reuters article from April 2009, where the U.S. Justice Department “urged Congress” to force U.S. banks to keep records of their mortgages. The Justice Department stated unequivocally that such record-keeping would make it much easier to crack-down on fraud.

Naturally, nothing has been done on that front – since the U.S. government likes mortgage-fraud. Here’s why. A Reuters article released today on U.S. mortgage-fraud reported the case of a run-down Chicago home, which sold for $25,000 in a foreclosure auction, and then was quickly “flipped” in a fraudulent transaction for $355,000.

Pull out your calculator, and you’ll discover that this phony transaction resulted in a (fraudulent) price-rise of more than 1,300%. Put another way, if there were 100 non-fraudulent transactions, each of which reported a 5% decline in prices, and we add in the one fraudulent “sale”, suddenly those 101 sales show a “rising” U.S. housing market, once averaged-out (instead of the falling market which exists in the real world).

Of course, with U.S. mortgage-fraud steadily increasing (even though total sales in this market have plummeted to a tiny fraction of their bubble-peak), obviously the rate of fraud is much higher than merely 1% of transactions. This is especially true given that the vast majority of offenders are “insiders”: “mortgage brokers, appraisers, real estate agents or loan officers”. In other words, the supposed “rising prices” which the Obama regime and media-parrots cited to conclude that the U.S. housing market had “stabilized”, were in fact nothing more than a fraud-induced mirage.

Equally disturbing, even in the FBI “crackdown” on mortgage-fraud, of the $2.3 billion in victim-losses, only a paltry $147 million was recovered – less than 10%. This is of tremendous significance to U.S. taxpayers, since their government has made them “guarantors” of all U.S. mortgage-debt – including this endless stream of fraudulent transactions.

Even the “detected” fraud is leading to losses of 90+% for taxpayers. Meanwhile, the much larger mountain of undetected fraud naturally means losses of virtually 100%. For readers who dispute the premise that mortgage-fraud is a “way of life” in the United States, I will simply refer them to a superb, PBS expose on the U.S.’s fraudulent markets.

The Warning” is a PBS documentary which goes back to the roots of current, U.S. mortgage-fraud, during the years of the Clinton regime. Of principal note was the position of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman, Alan Greenspan – who was adamant that “market fraud” should not even be illegal in the U.S. Greenspan’s position was that the market should be left alone to “resolve” this fraud “in its own way” (i.e. through the fraudsters taking every last dime of the “sheep”).

What more needs to be said when you have the government of the world’s largest economy taking the position that rather than being a “problem”, that mortgage-fraud was a “solution to problems” (i.e. the crashing U.S. housing market)? Let the fraudsters artificially pump-up the prices of U.S. homes through their phony transactions, et voila we have a “U.S. housing recovery”.

Indeed, regular readers will be familiar with my previous articles on the “MERS” registry system. This was a fraud-facilitation entity created by Wall Street bankers during the mid-1990’s. It’s entire purpose was to replace the mortgage record-keeping of individual, financial institutions – so that it would be much easier to engage in serial mortgage-fraud via “mortgage securitization”, as the U.S. financial crime syndicate commenced their housing-bubble crime-wave.

The “MERS” registry has been regularly rejected in numerous court-decisions for being woefully inadequate in its record-keeping. This has resulted in a number of U.S. homeowners who, instead of losing their property to foreclosure were handed free and clear title to their properties – because the MERS registry had failed to provide adequate documentation of title.

However, none of the previous documentation of fraud in this commentary can compare with the most-brazen admission of mortgage-fraud – by the banksters themselves. In a previous commentary, I referred to a Wall Street Journal article about yet another mortgage-fraud court case.

In that incident, the bankers of JP Morgan were asked to explain a mortgage document where, instead of a buyer’s name appearing, there were the words “Bogus Assignee”. The hilarious explanation of Michelle Kersch, the lawyer defending the case was that the “name” wasn’t an indication of a fraudulent transaction in-progress. Instead, “Bogus Assignee” was merely a generic term, or a “placeholder”, which had been used on “a few occasions”.

In other words, instead of using the five-letter word “buyer” as its generic term on loan documents, we are supposed to believe that the substition of the two words “Bogus Assignee” was merely a random choice of words, to which we should attach no meaning whatsoever.

For market participants, the message is simple: invest in a U.S. bank and you are investing in fraud. Invest in a U.S. home-builder, and you are investing in fraud. Even though home-builders have not been directly connected to this fraud, when you create the “supply” for a fraud-saturated market, you become equally affected by that fraud – irrespective of the fact that these entities did not participate in this crime-wave.

As I have already demonstrated previously, even without mortgage-fraud, the U.S. housing market was doomed to a much worse, much longer collapse – now that this market has clearly begun another slide. However, as we become more aware of the massive levels of fraud in this market, it would appear that I have been guilty of understatement.

Simply put, there is nothing more that the Bush regime, and its successor the Obama regime could have done to destroy the U.S. housing market. This matters not at all to the U.S. government, which clearly believes that fraud is “good for business”. This is the attitude of the Wall Street Oligarchs as well, who engage in serial-fraud as a basic ingredient of their “business model”.

The Oligarchs defraud a client or business partner (generally numerous times). If the fraud becomes so obvious that U.S. regulators can’t simply pretend it doesn’t exist (any longer), then the bankster is taken to court by the U.S. “regulator”. A sweetheart-settlement is reached where a) the banker isn’t required to admit any “wrong doing” (since U.S. officials don’t consider fraud a “crime”); and b) the fine levied against the Oligarch is generally only a tiny portion of the profits they obtained through the fraud.

The fact that U.S. mortgage-fraud continues to soar, four years after this fraud-saturated market was exposed tells us that the U.S. government is intentionally under-funding law enforcement in this area. Law enforcement officials must be extremely demoralized. Not only are they unable to obtain the necessary “resources” to properly police this crime-wave, but the “big players” (i.e. the Wall Street Oligarchs) are essentially “immune” to any law-enforcement actions.

Never in history, never in any other part of the world, and never in any other market have the words “caveat emptor” carried as much weight.

Source- BullionsBullCanada

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. GRG [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

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Derivatives Warning – Michael Greenberger interview

Derivatives Warning – Michael Greenberger interview


Pay close attention…We know who should be held accountable for this mess we are in today! How convenient for Greenspan to get out when he did…CRIMINAL!

This is a collection of soundbites from Prof. Michael Greenberger from the University of Maryland School of Law who was interviewed for a PBS FRONTLINE program concerning Brooksley Born, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, who attempted to regulate the secretive, multitrillion-dollar derivatives market whose crash helped trigger the 2008 financial collapse.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLzuTxhhklY]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-kExdTgNZA]

THE WARNING: Long before the meltdown, one woman tried to warn about a threat to the financial system.

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What happened to the global economy and what we can do about it: The Baseline Scenario

What happened to the global economy and what we can do about it: The Baseline Scenario


Our Pecora Moment

By Simon Johnson

We have waited long and patiently for our Ferdinand Pecora moment – a modern equivalent of the episode when a tough prosecutor from New York seized the imagination of the country in the early 1930s and, over a series of congressional hearings: laid bare the wrong-doings of Wall Street in simple and vivid terms that everyone could understand, and created the groundswell of public support necessary for comprehensive reregulation.  On Friday, that moment finally arrived.

There is fraud at the heart of Wall Street, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Pecora took on National City Bank and J.P. Morgan (the younger); these were the supposedly untouchable titans of their day.  The SEC is taking on Goldman Sachs; no firm is more powerful.

Pecora exposed the ways in which leading banks mistreated their customers – typically, retail investors.  The SEC alleges, with credible detail, that Goldman essentially set up some trusting clients and deliberately misled them – to the tune of effectively transferring $1 billion from them to a particular unscrupulous investor.

Pecora had the drama of the congressional hearing room and used his skills as an interrogator to batter the bastions of Wall Street, day-after-day, with gruesome and convincing detail.  We don’t know where and when, but the SEC action points in one direction only: Lloyd Blankfein (CEO of Goldman) in the witness box, while John Paulson (unindicted co-conspirator) waits in the on-deck circle.

Either Blankfein knew what was going on – and is therefore liable before the law – or he was clueless and therefore incompetent.  Either way, the much vaunted risk management and control systems of Goldman, i.e., what is supposed to prevent this kind of thing from happening, are exposed to be what we have long here claimed: bunk (as I argued with Gerry Corrigan, former head of the NY Fed and long-time Goldman executive, before the Senate Banking Committee when we both testified on the Volcker Rules in February).

 “Too big and complex to manage” is actually the best defense for Goldman’s executives and they should offer to break up the firm into smaller and more transparent pieces as a way to settle the firm’s liability with the SEC.  The current management of Goldman – along with the team that ran the firm under Hank Paulson – have destroyed the value of an illustrious franchise.  Goldman used to stand for something that customers felt they could trust; now it is just a sophisticated way of ripping them off.

John Paulson obviously knew what he was doing in helping to create the “designed to fail” securities – and the consequences this would have.  If he cannot be convicted of conspiracy to commit fraud, then the law in this regard needs to be tightened significantly.  The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, chaired by Phil Angelides, is probably already planning to grill John Paulson about his taxes – the point Pecora made in this regard with J.P. Morgan junior was most telling and gripped the nation; it turned out that Morgan hardly paid any tax.  I would respectfully suggest that the Angelides Commission also pull in Hank Paulson and pursue a similar line of questioning with him – when it focuses on how much money Hank Paulson made, and how little tax he paid, while building and overseeing an extortion scheme of grand proportions, America will scream.

We have something today that Pecora did not have – the pattern of behavior is already established, if not yet widely comprehended.  Senator Levin’s recent grilling of WaMu revealed another layer of deliberate mistreatment of consumers within the mortgage industry.  The Valukas report on the failure of Lehman exposed exactly how investors are misled by balance sheet manipulation in its most modern and insidious form.  And we have learned more than enough about Goldman misleading investors over Greek debt levels.

Brooksley Born was right, a very long time ago, to fear the “dark markets” of over-the-counter derivatives and what those would bring.

Senator Ted Kaufman was right.  Just a few weeks ago, he argued strongly from the Senate floor that there is fraud at the heart of Wall Street.  Even some people who are generally sympathetic to his critique of modern financial practices thought perhaps that this specific notion was pushing the frontier.  But now they get it – and today Ted Kaufman is more than mainstream; he is the public figure who made everything crystal clear.

When you deliberately withhold adverse material information from customers, that is fraud.  When you do this on a grand scale, the full weight of the law will come down on you and the people who supposedly supervised you.  And if the weight of that law is no longer sufficient to deal with – and to prevent going forward – the latest forms of very old and reprehensible crimes, then it is again time to change the law.

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13 BANKERS: MIT’s Johnson Says Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Will Spark New Crisis

13 BANKERS: MIT’s Johnson Says Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Will Spark New Crisis


Review by James Pressley :BLOOMBERG REVIEWS

March 22 (Bloomberg) — Alan Greenspan, the master of monetary mumbo jumbo, leaned back in his chair and grew uncharacteristically forthright.

“If they’re too big to fail, they’re too big,” the former Federal Reserve chairman said when asked about the dangers of outsized financial institutions.

It was October 2009, and the man who helped make megabanks possible was sounding more like Teddy Roosevelt than the Maestro as he entertained what he called a radical solution.

“You know, break them up,” he told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “In 1911, we broke up Standard Oil. So what happened? The individual parts became more valuable than the whole.”

Greenspan the bank buster crops up near the end of “13 Bankers,” Simon Johnson and James Kwak’s reasoned look at how Wall Street became what they call “the American oligarchy,” a group of megabanks whose economic power has given them political power. Unless these too-big-to-fail banks are broken up, they will trigger a second meltdown, the authors write.

“And when that crisis comes,” they say, “the government will face the same choice it faced in 2008: to bail out a banking system that has grown even larger and more concentrated, or to let it collapse and risk an economic disaster.”

The banks in their sights include Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Though Wall Street may not like “13 Bankers,” the authors can’t be dismissed as populist rabble-rousers.

Cash for Favors

Johnson is an ex-chief economist for the International Monetary Fund who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kwak is a former McKinsey & Co. consultant. In September 2008, they started the Baseline Scenario, a blog that became essential reading on the crisis. When they call Wall Street an oligarchy, they’re not speaking lightly.

Drawing parallels to the U.S. industrial trusts of the late 19th century and Russian businessmen who rose to economic dominance in the 1990s, the authors apply the term to any country where “well-connected business leaders trade cash and political support for favors from the government.”

Oligarchies weaken democracy and distort competition. The Wall Street bailouts boosted the clout of the survivors, making them bigger and enlarging their market shares in derivatives, new mortgages and new credit cards, the authors say.

Suicidal Risk-Taking

These megabanks emerged from the meltdown more opposed to regulation than ever, the authors say. If they get their way — and they will, judging from current congressional maneuvering over President Barack Obama’s proposed regulatory overhaul — Wall Street will retain its license to gamble with the taxpayer’s money. This isn’t good for anyone, including the banks themselves, which often feel compelled by competitive pressure to take suicidal risks.

“There is another choice,” they write: “the choice to finish the job that Roosevelt began a century ago, and to take a stand against concentrated financial power just as he took a stand against concentrated industrial power.”

Obama finds himself in the middle of a struggle that has coursed throughout U.S. history — the struggle between democracy and powerful banking interests. The book’s title alludes to one Friday last March when 13 of the nation’s most powerful bankers met with Obama at the White House amid a public furor over bailouts and bonuses.

The material that sets this book apart can be found at the beginning and end. Chapters three through six present an all- too-familiar, though meticulously researched, primer on how the economy became “financialized” over the past 30 years.

Regulatory Arbitrage

Crisis buffs won’t miss much if they skip ahead to the last chapter, where the authors debunk arguments that curbing the size of banks is too simplistic. A more complex approach, they say, would invite “regulatory arbitrage, such as reshuffling where assets are parked.”

They propose that no financial institution should be allowed to control or have an ownership interest in assets worth more than 4 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, or roughly $570 billion in assets today. A lower limit should be imposed on investment banks — effectively 2 percent of GDP, or roughly $285 billion, they say.

If hard caps sound unreasonable, consider this: These ceilings would affect only six banks, the authors say: Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

“Saying that we cannot break up our largest banks is saying that our economic futures depend on these six companies,” they say. “That thought should frighten us into action.”

Though Jamie Dimon won’t like this (any more than John D. Rockefeller did), incremental regulatory changes and populist rhetoric about “banksters” are getting us nowhere. It’s time for practical solutions. This might be a place to start.

“13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown” is from Pantheon (304 pages, $26.95). To buy this book in North America, click here.

(James Pressley writes for Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer on the story: James Pressley in Brussels at jpressley@bloomberg.net.

Last Updated: March 21, 2010 20:00 EDT

By: Simon Johnson
The Baseline Scenario

Posted in bank of america, bernanke, bloomberg, citi, Dick Fuld, federal reserve board, geithner, jpmorgan chaseComments (0)

THE WARNING: Long before the meltdown, one woman tried to warn about a threat to the financial system.

THE WARNING: Long before the meltdown, one woman tried to warn about a threat to the financial system.


This is courtesy of PBS FRONTLINE: THE WARNING

“We didn’t truly know the dangers of the market, because it was a dark market,” says Brooksley Born, the head of an obscure federal regulatory agency — the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC] — who not only warned of the potential for economic meltdown in the late 1990s, but also tried to convince the country’s key economic powerbrokers to take actions that could have helped avert the crisis. “They were totally opposed to it,” Born says. “That puzzled me. What was it that was in this market that had to be hidden?”

To watch the rest of the video you can go to PBS

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