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MATT TAIBBI: Another Hidden Bailout: Helping Wall Street Collect Your Rent

MATT TAIBBI: Another Hidden Bailout: Helping Wall Street Collect Your Rent


Rolling Stone-

Here’s yet another form of hidden bailout the federal government doles out to our big banks, without the public having much of a clue.

This is from the WSJ this morning:

Some of the biggest names on Wall Street are lining up to become landlords to cash-strapped Americans by bidding on pools of foreclosed properties being sold by Fannie Mae…

While the current approach of selling homes one-by-one has its own high costs and is sometimes inefficient, selling properties in bulk to large investors could require Fannie Mae to sell at a big discount, leading to larger initial costs.

In con artistry parlance, they call this the “reload.” That’s when you hit the same mark twice – typically with a second scam designed to “fix” the damage caused by the first scam. Someone robs your house, then comes by the next day and sells you a fancy alarm system, that’s the reload.

In this case, banks pumped up the real estate market by creating huge volumes of subprime loans, then dumped a lot of them on, among others, Fannie and Freddie, the ever-ready enthusiastic state customer. Now the loans have crashed in value, yet the GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises) are still out there feeding the banks money through two continuous bailouts.

[ROLLING STONE]

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Robosigning = Smoking Gun

Robosigning = Smoking Gun


FDL-

There are a few voices emerging suggesting that the current iteration of the “50 AG settlement” is somehow wonderful, or at least OK, because it only immunizes robosigning. “Only,” as if robosigning was some relatively benign peccadillo, instead of a massive conspiracy to commit forgery and perjury that is systematically driving our population into homelessness AND continuing to drive down the value of our homes…

[FIRE DOG LAKE]

image: sodahead

 

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MATT TAIBBI | A Victory for the Public on Foreclosures? Half of Wall Street May End Up In Jail.

MATT TAIBBI | A Victory for the Public on Foreclosures? Half of Wall Street May End Up In Jail.


Rolling Stone-

So there was big news yesterday on the foreclosure settlement front. We still have to wait and see what the final deal looks like, but there are reports out that the long-awaited settlement is a far, far better deal for the public than expected. If these reports are true, it looks like New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and California AG Kamala Harris have scored an enormous victory in narrowing the scope of the settlement to the point where it really only covers robosigning abuses.

[ROLLING STONE]

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Woman Gets Jail For Food-Stamp Fraud; Wall Street Fraudsters Get Bailouts – Matt Taibbi

Woman Gets Jail For Food-Stamp Fraud; Wall Street Fraudsters Get Bailouts – Matt Taibbi


Want to break the law over and over again and promise never to break that law you first broke?

Work for Wall Street!

Rolling Stone –

Had a quick piece of news I wanted to call attention to, in light of the recent developments at Zuccotti Park. For all of those who say the protesters have it wrong, and don’t really have a cause worth causing public unrest over, consider this story, sent to me by a friend on the Hill.

.
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Matt Taibbi Seeks NJ People With Credit Card, Mortgage Issues For Upcoming Corruption Stories

Matt Taibbi Seeks NJ People With Credit Card, Mortgage Issues For Upcoming Corruption Stories


Rolling Stone-

Just a quick all-points bulletin, and please excuse my use of this space to make up for research failures. I’m working on a pair of corruption stories and I’m looking for people who may have ended up having consumer problems with certain companies. I’m particularly interested in people from central and northern New Jersey. So I’m looking for people who had either of the following issues:

• Problems with a Chase credit card (or a Chase-related card, like for instance a Circuit City card). Especially if you had, or know someone who had, a court judgment over a delinquent Chase account, please drop me a note.

• A foreclosure involving a home loan originally issued by the now-defunct New Century Co.

Read more: [ROLLING STONE]

 

The best address to which to write is matt.taibbi@rollingstone.com

 

 

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MATT TAIBBI: My Advice to the Occupy Wall Street Protesters #OWS

MATT TAIBBI: My Advice to the Occupy Wall Street Protesters #OWS


Hit bankers where it hurts

Rollingstone-

I’ve been down to “Occupy Wall Street” twice now, and I love it. The protests building at Liberty Square and spreading over Lower Manhattan are a great thing, the logical answer to the Tea Party and a long-overdue middle finger to the financial elite. The protesters picked the right target and, through their refusal to disband after just one day, the right tactic, showing the public at large that the movement against Wall Street has stamina, resolve and growing popular appeal.

But…

[ROLLINGSTONE]

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Matt Taibbi on the evolution of the #OccupyWallStreet protest

Matt Taibbi on the evolution of the #OccupyWallStreet protest


Via: Current

Keith and “Countdown” contributor and Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi discuss how the current Occupy Wall Street protest could sprout a much larger movement for reform. Taibbi also compares the media coverage of this protest to the coverage of the tea party.

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SEC Bans Document Destruction After Whistleblower Cries Foul

SEC Bans Document Destruction After Whistleblower Cries Foul


Massive Collateral Damage has been done and in the age of having files held in electronic data, this is very disturbing.

Executive Gov-

The Securities and Exchange Commission has forbidden its employees from destroying investigative documents, as fallout spreads from a whistleblower’s recent claim that the agency has illegally destroyed thousands of preliminary investigation documents.

An SEC attorney alerted Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) of the possible crimes in August. The whistleblower said the documents in question were “matters under inquiry,” including reviews of AIG, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers and Bernie Madoff.

[EXECUTIVE GOV]

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One More Reason to Shut the SEC and Start Over: William D. Cohan

One More Reason to Shut the SEC and Start Over: William D. Cohan


Bloomberg-

Thanks to Darcy Flynn, a longtime attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission, we now have all the ammunition we need to do what should have been done years ago: terminate the SEC, with extreme prejudice, and in its place construct a new regulatory watchdog for Wall Street free of obvious conflicts of interest.

Flynn’s courage has almost been lost in all the recent apocalyptic talk of earthquakes and hurricanes, but a few weeks back he did something remarkable. After raising concerns internally at the SEC last year — and getting nowhere — Flynn went public and alleged in a formal whistleblower complaint that for at least 17 years the SEC “followed a policy of systematically destroying documents” related to what are known as Matters Under Investigation, or MUIs, most of which were focused on possibly illicit or illegal behavior at Wall Street firms. MUIs are the first step in investigating a case that may lead to a formal SEC inquiry.

[BLOOMBERG]

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Document Shredding: Why SEC’s Defense Won’t Fly

Document Shredding: Why SEC’s Defense Won’t Fly


MATT TAIBBI-

Just a quick note about the “Shredded Justice” story, as I’ve had a couple of questions about some of the SEC’s responses to the story.

Several readers pointed to this story in which SEC spokesman John Nester said this:

“We do keep records of our MUI’s and they’re available to our investigators to learn about previous work on matters that have been reviewed.”

[ROLLINGSTONE]

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MATT TAIBBI: Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?

MATT TAIBBI: Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?


A whistleblower claims that over the past two decades, the agency has destroyed records of thousands of investigations, whitewashing the files of some of the nation’s worst financial criminals.

Rollingstone-

Imagine a world in which a man who is repeatedly investigated for a string of serious crimes, but never prosecuted, has his slate wiped clean every time the cops fail to make a case. No more Lifetime channel specials where the murderer is unveiled after police stumble upon past intrigues in some old file – “Hey, chief, didja know this guy had two wives die falling down the stairs?” No more burglary sprees cracked when some sharp cop sees the same name pop up in one too many witness statements. This is a different world, one far friendlier to lawbreakers, where even the suspicion of wrongdoing gets wiped from the record.

[ROLLINGSTONE]

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Foreclosure-Probe Chief Asked Bank Lawyers for Money

Foreclosure-Probe Chief Asked Bank Lawyers for Money


Probe? What probe?

TIME-

Now, in response to queries from TIME, Miller says he initiated fundraising calls to several national firms that represent big banks after he had announced his intention to investigate the foreclosure mess. “In September and October, I tried to reach out to people that I’d worked with and I thought had respect for me and potential support for me and tried to raise money from them,” Miller says. “And a number of them were from national firms.”


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Bank of America Accused of “Divide and Conquer” Strategy of Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Probe

Bank of America Accused of “Divide and Conquer” Strategy of Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Probe


Bloomberg-

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) was accused by a top official at the Iowa attorney general’s office of engaging in a divide-and-conquer strategy by undermining support for the settlement of a nationwide probe into foreclosure practices, a person familiar with the matter said.

The bank tried to get attorneys general to break away from those supporting the proposed accord, Iowa Assistant Attorney General Patrick Madigan said during a recent conference call, according to the person. A second person familiar with the settlement talks said the bank sought to sow dissent among the states, eight of which have publicly criticized the proposal’s terms. Both people asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Madigan declined to comment.

“We have held face to face negotiating sessions and our negotiations continue,” Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat who leads the 50-state effort, said in a statement. “We believe all the banks are negotiating in good faith.”


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TAIBBI | Best Way to Raise Campaign Money? Investigate Banks

TAIBBI | Best Way to Raise Campaign Money? Investigate Banks


ROLLING STONE POLITICS

A hilarious report has come out courtesy of the National Institute of Money in State Politics, showing that Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller – who is coordinating the investigation into the banks’ improper mortgage dealings – increased his campaign contributions from the finance sector this year by a factor of 88! He has raised $261,445 from finance, insurance and real estate contributors since he announced that he was going to be coordinating the investigation into improper foreclosure practices. That is 88 times as much as they gave him not over last year, but over the previous decade.


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Internal emails indicate Deutsche Bank knew they were bankrolling toxic mortgages by Ameriquest and others

Internal emails indicate Deutsche Bank knew they were bankrolling toxic mortgages by Ameriquest and others


iWatch

In 2007, the report says, Deutsche Bank rushed to sell off mortgage-backed investments amid worries that the market for subprime loans was deteriorating.

“Keep your fingers crossed but I think we will price this just before the market falls off a cliff,” a Deutsche Bank manager wrote in February 2007 about a deal stocked with securities created from raw material produced by Ameriquest and other subprime lenders.

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Merrill Lynch Lawyer Told Eliot Spitzer: “Be Careful, We Have Powerful Friends”

Merrill Lynch Lawyer Told Eliot Spitzer: “Be Careful, We Have Powerful Friends”


Spitzer to Holder: Prosecute Goldman Sachs or Resign

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TAIBBI | The REAL Housewives of WALL STREET

TAIBBI | The REAL Housewives of WALL STREET


Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs? 

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MATT TAIBBI | Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?

MATT TAIBBI | Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?


The Real Housewives of Wall Street

via Rolling Stone

America has two national budgets, one official, one unofficial. The official budget is public record and hotly debated: Money comes in as taxes and goes out as jet fighters, DEA agents, wheat subsidies and Medicare, plus pensions and bennies for that great untamed socialist menace called a unionized public-sector workforce that Republicans are always complaining about. According to popular legend, we’re broke and in so much debt that 40 years from now our granddaughters will still be hooking on weekends to pay the medical bills of this year’s retirees from the IRS, the SEC and the Department of Energy.

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Embattled Virtual Mortgage Registry MERS Retains Top Lobbying Talent

Embattled Virtual Mortgage Registry MERS Retains Top Lobbying Talent


By Michael Beckel on January 5, 2011 12:00 AM

One company embroiled in the nation’s property foreclosure crisis is not unprepared for a fight.

In Washington, D.C., Merscorp Inc. has retained several well-heeled lobbyists and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying efforts since the start of the mortgage crisis and economic meltdown.

Merscorp Inc. is the parent company of Virginia-based Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), which serves as an electronic registry for 67 million U.S. mortgages — more than 60 percent of the country’s total.

MERS was created in the 1990s by the mortgage banking industry to save them significant sums of cash by capitalizing on the digital revolution. The firm’s motto is “process loans, not paperwork.”

The ease of this streamlining process has brought trouble and detractors, however, especially in the face of the $12 trillion real estate bubble’s burst, and the company’s role in helping banks foreclose on properties, as the Washington Post recently reported.

“Several state courts have rejected attempts by MERS to act on behalf of banks seeking to foreclose on delinquent mortgages,” the Post reported last week. “And Congress is weighing legislation that would bar home loan giant Fannie Mae from buying any mortgage listed in MERS, potentially a death knell for the registry.”


Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi recently
summed up the company’s status this way: “In short, the mortgage industry considers MERS owner enough to foreclose on you, but not owner enough to be sued, or reasoned with, or even to provide basic customer service.”

In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee in November, Merscorp Chief Executive Officer R.K. Arnold maintained his firm did not profit from foreclosures or decide when to foreclose upon a property.

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MATT TAIBBI: An Extremely Long Metaphor to Explain Mortgage Chaos

MATT TAIBBI: An Extremely Long Metaphor to Explain Mortgage Chaos


POSTED: January 1, 1:25 PM EDT | By Matt Taibbi

Happy New Year, America…

Have multiple relatives en route to my home this morning, but wanted to post a few thoughts on an interesting story that came out this week before I disappear into a weekend of overeating and meaningless NFL games.

The piece, which came out Thursday, is the Washington Post’s feature on MERS, the electronic mortgage registration company that is at the center of the foreclosure/mortgage bubble mess. MERS is the brainchild of the mortgage-lending industry and is essentially an effort at systematically evading taxes (more on that in a moment) and hiding information from homeowners in ways that enabled the Countrywides of the world to defraud investors and avoid legal consequences for same.

The idea behind MERS was to wipe away centuries of legal tradition that mandated the physical transfer of loan notes and ownership information. Whereas lenders once were required to physically register with county clerk offices every time a mortgage loan was extended or re-sold, MERS provided an “electronic registry” of mortgage notes where all such transfers were recorded in the wiry brain of a giant computer instead of on paper.


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[VIDEO] Nasty Mortgage Fraud Self Help remedy: Courtroom video in New Hampshire.

[VIDEO] Nasty Mortgage Fraud Self Help remedy: Courtroom video in New Hampshire.


KingCast65 | December 07, 2010 |

http://christopher-king.blogspot.com/…
This is a crucial video with actual courtroom footage showing how mortgages and notes are lost as U.S. Citizens face foreclosure, as noted by journalists like Matt Taibbi. Fight back with KingCast courtroom video. I’ve been shooting courtroom video since I tried Civil Rights cases in the mid 1990’s.

KingCast — Reel News for Real People.

Ingress v. Wells Fargo
Hillsborough South
226-2010-CV571

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Matt Taibbi: Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners

Matt Taibbi: Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners


Retired judges are rushing through complex cases to speed foreclosures in Florida

By Matt Taibbi
Nov 10, 2010 2:25 PM EST

The following is an article from the November 11, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone. This issue is available Friday on newsstands, as well online in Rolling Stone’s digital archive. Click here to subscribe.

The foreclosure lawyers down in Jacksonville had warned me, but I was skeptical. They told me the state of Florida had created a special super-high-speed housing court with a specific mandate to rubber-stamp the legally dicey foreclosures by corporate mortgage pushers like Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan Chase. This “rocket docket,” as it is called in town, is presided over by retired judges who seem to have no clue about the insanely complex financial instruments they are ruling on — securitized mortgages and laby­rinthine derivative deals of a type that didn’t even exist when most of them were active members of the bench. Their stated mission isn’t to decide right and wrong, but to clear cases and blast human beings out of their homes with ultimate velocity. They certainly have no incentive to penetrate the profound criminal mysteries of the great American mortgage bubble of the 2000s, perhaps the most complex Ponzi scheme in human history — an epic mountain range of corporate fraud in which Wall Street megabanks conspired first to collect huge numbers of subprime mortgages, then to unload them on unsuspecting third parties like pensions, trade unions and insurance companies (and, ultimately, you and me, as taxpayers) in the guise of AAA-rated investments. Selling lead as gold, shit as Chanel No. 5, was the essence of the booming international fraud scheme that created most all of these now-failing home mortgages.

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