What follows here was originally published in February, 2011. What I have learned since originating this site and publishing You the Jury is that nobody really cares about mortgage fraud. That you are here at all is an anomaly.
In 2012 the President of the United States has said that what the world's largest investment and commercial banks did was "immoral but not illegal." The Attorney General of the United States has scrambled to present the illusion of law enforcement, but in fact has not produced a SINGLE indictment of a major executive or financial institution for mortgage fraud. He has even gone so far as to claim that a settlement of foreclosure irregularities "addressed the causes of the mortgage crisis." Nothing could be farther from the truth.
So, why are you here, and why am I still writing? I believe that, unless and until the way America practices the real estate business is fundamentally changed, we are all at risk for yet another round of debilitating economic events. I invite you to check out my facts, analyze my solutions, and participate in preventing another round of mortgage fraud. I urge you to participate, to reach out, and to create an environment of integrity in the real estate business, even if it is forced integrity, to reverse a problem that has existed for almost 50 years.
The history of crime teaches that punishment is essential to the prevention of behavior which endangers society. The rule of law in America has always been held as a fundamental value. No one is above the law, the sages say. President Barack Obama, in 2010, stated that his Administration would hold those responsible for mortgage fraud "accountable." He repeated, "No one is above the law." Then he said, "But I want to look forward, not backward."
In words similar to those uttered by every white collar criminal caught in the act, the President endorsed the sentiment of "Let's move on. Let's get this behind us." And why wouldn't the barons of Wall Street want to put the mortgage fraud they practiced unfettered for over 8 years between 1999 and 2007 behind them? Especially when not one of them or their companies has been indicted or otherwise charged with a crime through Valentine's Day 2011, when this was first written, to May, 2012, when this has been updated.
"You the Jury: How Wall Street Cashed In On the American Dream and Nearly Killed It" is not about President Obama. It is not about politics. It is about over 40 years of mortgage fraud and the decision of Wall Street to commit crimes which led to the greatest economic collapse in history, the destruction of trillions of dollars of wealth, record unemploymeent, trillion dollar bailouts, and the effective repudiation of the rule of law. It is about a Republican Attorney General who likened mortgage fraud to "street crime" and said its prosecution should be left to local authorities. It is about an FBI which has pursued purchasers, brokers, appraisers, mortgage originators, scam artists, and their ilk, while not arresting a single head, or even executive officer, of a major financial institution for mortgage origination fraud, securities fraud, theft, wire fraud, or any number of other crimes committed by Wall Street institutions and their governing individuals.
This book tells you who did it, how they did it, why they did it, and how they could be caught and successfully prosecuted. It rejects without exception those who blame a "perfect storm" or "bad bets" or mere "greed" for the greatest economic collapse in American history. It seeks your voice to demand that law enforcement enforce the law-even against the rich and powerful. It warns that those in power, in government and out, have set the stage for a repeat performance. In the end You, the Jury, will have to demand that most precious of commodities: Justice.
Since the above paragraphs were written, I have reluctantly concluded that there will be no law enforcement, no justice for what Wall Street did between 1999-2007. The Statutes of Limitation have expired during Eric Holder's term of office on virtually all of the crimes committed . Not only have criminal violations been barred, but also civil fraud violations have been barred by expiring Statutes of Limitation. That this was deliberate is, in my opinion, beyond dispute. What remains is an industry prone to giving lip service to integrity.
Without either a voluntary shift in how the real estate business is funded and paid out, or a massive infusion of regulation and law enforcement, the housing markets will not return to the safe and predictable investments they represented for years. Surely homes will be bought and sold, but investors will never again place their faith or their money in the trillions of dollars necessary to create a robust housing market. There must be change.