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Richard (RJ) Eskow: Bad Bankers, Bad Fraud Deals, and the President’s ‘Great Gatsby’ Problem

Richard (RJ) Eskow: Bad Bankers, Bad Fraud Deals, and the President’s ‘Great Gatsby’ Problem


Richard always finds a way to tie this all together, placing the Obama Administration front and center!

HuffPO-

“Investigate the Banks!” Today a coalition of progressive groups handed in a petition with more than 360,000 signatures that demanded exactly that. It calls on the Administration to stop pushing a cushy fraud settlement for bankers, to pursue a fair deal for shafted homeowners, and to let criminal investigations against Wall Street crooks proceed.

Yet White House officials are still aggressively pushing the very same cushy deal on foreclosure fraud that inspired the petition. And just this week the Justice Department declined to prosecute fraudulent bankers once again as it worked to settle another bank fraud case.

Thinking about this relentless pursuit of Wall Street settlements, suddenly the last line of The Great Gatsby — the one about “boats against the current” — came to mind. Bankers are today’s Jay Gatsbys. They’re shady figures who have adopted a veneer of respectability, yet remain relentlessly, ruthlessly, and sometimes illegally self-interested.

[HUFFINGTONPOST]

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Obama May Move Convention Speech to Bank of America Stadium for Wealthy Donors

Obama May Move Convention Speech to Bank of America Stadium for Wealthy Donors


If this doesn’t send a statement, I don’t know what else would…

Bloomberg-

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign is considering moving the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, to Bank of America Stadium to sell more skyboxes to wealthy donors, according to three Democrats involved in the fundraising.

The almost 74,000-seat home of the Carolina Panthers professional football team would also have room for the convention to sell more floor passes close to the stage. Planners for the event are struggling to meet a $36.6 million fundraising goal, according to the Democrats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter.

[BLOOMBERG]

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President Obama’s view of fraud “from 40,000 feet” (without an oxygen mask) – William K. Black

President Obama’s view of fraud “from 40,000 feet” (without an oxygen mask) – William K. Black


New Economic Perspectives-

Sixty Minutes’ December 11, 2011 interview of President Obama included the following gem:

KROFT: One of the things that surprised me the most about this poll is that 42%, when asked who your policies favor the most, 42% said Wall Street. Only 35% said average Americans. My suspicion is some of that may have to do with the fact that there’s not been any prosecutions, criminal prosecutions, of people on Wall Street. And that the civil charges that have been brought have often resulted in what many people think have been slap on the wrists, fines. “Cost of doing business,” I think you called it in the Kansas speech. Are you disappointed by that?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think you’re absolutely right in your interpretation. And, you know, I can’t, as President of the United States, comment on the decisions about particular prosecutions. That’s the job of the Justice Department. And we keep those things separate, so that there’s no political influence on decisions made by professional prosecutors. I can tell you, just from 40,000 feet, that some of the most damaging behavior on Wall Street, in some cases, some of the least ethical behavior on Wall Street, wasn’t illegal.

That’s exactly why we had to change the laws. And that’s why we put in place the toughest financial reform package since F.D.R. and the Great Depression. And that law is not yet fully implemented, but already what we’re doing is we’ve said to banks, “You know what? You can’t take wild risks with other people’s money. You can’t expect a taxpayer bailout.

Hallucinations occur at high altitude when you become oxygen deprived.

[…]

[NEW ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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The “Banker Gangs” Are Still on the Loose, and the Justice Department Still Won’t Come Clean

The “Banker Gangs” Are Still on the Loose, and the Justice Department Still Won’t Come Clean


HuffPO- Richard (RJ) Eskow

No financial executives have gone to jail, despite an overwhelming body of evidence indicating that a group of organized “banker gangs” conducted a widespread Wall Street crime wave that made them rich and while throwing millions into poverty. The Justice Department’s failure to act against these bankers is matched only by its declining credibility — a problem it only makes worse whenever it tries to defend itself.

An interview with an outgoing Justice official in today’s Wall Street Journal is merely the latest in a sad parade of weak excuses and implausible arguments, and it comes on the heels of Justice Department official Lanny Breuer’s poor 60 Minutes showing this week on the same topic.

Stop. Just stop. If nobody at Justice can get the job done, it’s time for the Administration to bring in a whole new team and start again. Did everybody in the banking business break the law? No. Very few did. But some of the ones that did appear to be very well-placed, and if they’re not punished they’ll do it again and again.

[HUFFINGTONPOST]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Obama’s signature: Is it real or is it autopenned?

Obama’s signature: Is it real or is it autopenned?


AP-

It’s the open secret that nobody in government wants to talk about: That cherished presidential signature that’s tucked away in a scrapbook or framed for all to see might never have passed under the president’s hand.

For decades, presidents of both parties have let an autopen do some of the heavy lifting when it comes to scrawling their signatures. The machine was recently put to use signing a bill into law, apparently a first.

Overseas and out of reach when lawmakers passed an extension of certain provisions of the Patriot Act, President Barack Obama employed the autopen to sign it, a step the White House has been mum about ever since.

“I always heard the autopen was the second most guarded thing in the White House after the president,” says Jack Shock, who had permission to wield former President Bill Clinton’s autopen as his director of presidential letters and messages.

Continue reading [ASSOCIATED PRESS]

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Jamie Likes It, The New Consumer Bureau That Is

Jamie Likes It, The New Consumer Bureau That Is


We have to question if this has anything to do with the  White House Considering Sarah Raskin or Jennifer Granholm To Head Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

From NY Times DealBook

Jamie Dimon, it turns out, has a soft spot for the government’s new consumer financial bureau.

“We need to create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that is effective for both consumers and banks,” Mr. Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, said in his April 4 letter to shareholders.

Yes, this is the same Mr. Dimon who last month complained that various new rules facing Wall Street “would damage America.” And it is the same JPMorgan that (unsuccessfully) lobbied lawmakers to kill plans for an independent consumer financial agency.


© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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White House Considers Sarah Raskin, Jennifer Granholm To Head Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

White House Considers Sarah Raskin, Jennifer Granholm To Head Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


(Reuters) – The White House is considering Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Raskin and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to head a new agency charged with protecting consumers of financial products, a source aware of the process said on Tuesday.

The consumer protection body will have broad powers to rein in abuses in the financial industry and was created in response to the aggressive and sometimes predatory lending practices that contributed to one of the worst financial crises in U.S. history in 2007-2009.

However its creation has been tarnished by a months-old logjam over who should head the agency. Law professor Elizabeth Warren, an outspoken consumer advocate and harsh critic of industry practices who had championed the bureau’s establishment, had been a leading candidate to run it but was seen as too confrontational to industry to overcome objections from Senate Republicans.

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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A Banker Can’t Get Arrested in This Town

A Banker Can’t Get Arrested in This Town


Richard (RJ) Eskow

Richard (RJ) Eskow

Consultant, Writer, Senior Fellow with The Campaign for America’s Future

Posted: August 5, 2010 06:55 PM

The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have broad powers to root out and punish financial fraud. The Interagency Financial Fraud Task Force, formed last November, is an Obama-era innovation that enhances the government’s ability to track down financial criminals. As we look back on the last two years’ revelations about Wall Street misbehavior, then, it seems reasonable to ask the question:

What’s a banker gotta do to get arrested in this town?

We’re not talking about the “show up with your attorney and we’ll work out a settlement” kind of arrest, either. We mean the pull-them-from-the-boardroom, handcuff-wearing, hands-on-the-police-car perp walk sort of arrest. Enforcement actions seem few and far between, and when they do come around the settlement is usually far too small to deter future crime.

Headlines last week announced the arrest of software entrepreneurs the Wylie Brothers who, according to the SEC, netted more than $550 million through various forms of securities fraud. General Electric was charged with “bringing good things to life” for some Iraqi officials in the form of fat bribes. Stories say that Office Depot may be close to settling with the SEC on a variety of charges. Dell and its senior executives were charged with failing to disclose material facts to investors. (Write your own “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” joke; I’m too busy.)

But a review of 49 charges brought this year by the SEC shows that the majority of their targets were “ABB” — “anybody but bankers” — and that only eight charges were directly related to the fraud that trashed the economy. Most of those eight charges involved bit players, and penalties for the two major fraudsters involved were so light that they gave would-be malefactors no good reason to change their evil ways.

Here’s a sampling of SEC charges filed this year: A father/son accounting team was charged with insider trading. Italian and Dutch companies bribed some Nigerians and a telecommunications company slipped a mordida or two to Chinese officials. Some Canadians fraudulently touted penny stocks on Facebook and Twitter. A Florida retirement benefits firm skimmed some funds. Some guys were busted for an affinity fraud and Ponzi scheme targeting African American and Caribbean investors in New York City.

The SEC even charged a psychic with fraud after he claimed he could predict what would happen in the stock market. (Of course he was a fraud! A real psychic would’ve known they were investigating him and left town.)


Continue Reading…Huffington Post

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