Fed Adds Fuel To Fire

September 13th, 2012

The Federal Reserve Board announced an open-ended $40 billion per month purchase of mortgage backed securities today. The intent, according to Chairman Bernanke, is not to facilitate the re-election of President Obama, but to "stimulate" the economy by making housing easy to purchase, and letting Americans feel their home values are rising.

How superficial, how naive, how corrupt! Besides making the savings of fixed income families incapable of drawing purchasing power interest, the purchase of mortgage backed bonds will relieve the very financial institutions which caused the housing crisis from the burden of maintaining ownership of toxic assets.  Instead, the American taxpayer, again, will bear the burden of Wall Street's perfidies.

Readers here will remember that there have been no penalties imposed on Wall Street for its financial crimes. Now, the Government of the United States subsidizes Wall Street, prints money it hasn't earned, promotes inflation, and rewards the very people who caused the housing disaster which has helped destroy the US economy.

Personally, I believe this is a political move to curry favor with Wall Street, and a cynical manipulation of the financial future of the citizens of the United States.

Here We Go Again!

July 9th, 2012

It's hard to believe, but the federal government, once again, is paving the way to another housing collapse.

Spurred, no doubt, by a populist-pleasing bid for votes, the Obama-appointed head of the newly created monolith, Federal Consumer Protection Agency, announced last week that it aimed to make mortgages "easier to get" in order to spur a housing industry recovery. The genius in charge of the Agency actually said that more and better paperwork would lead to greater disclosure, and, hence, greater understanding of what they are buying by consumers, so that there would be fewer defaults down the road. That was his actual message!

The shallowness, the superficiality, the naivete, the, perhaps, deliberate avoidance of the truth, in presenting such an agenda to the American people is an affront to us all, and a threat to the economy. To suggest that "consumer protection" disclosures will make mortgages more secure, will prevent more fraud in origination, and will restart the housing industry is a cruel, unhappy hoax. That it comes as the election campaign enters the "spin" phase, where white is black and black is white, and lies abound everywhere, is an indictment of the new agency and its leaders. Surely we can do better than that?

Rule of Law

June 29th, 2012

Readers here may notice I haven't posted for a while. There is a reason for that. How many times can one say, or read, there has been no serious prosecution of mortgage fraud, the real crime of the millennium? How many times can examples of Eric Holder's mendacity be published? How often can the abrogation of the Rule of Law be shouted? Each of these things loses impact with repetition, until we, as a nation, become numbed to the repeated assaults on the law and its relevance to our civilized society.

Blogs here, and Tweets on @Accetta20, consist of a steady stream of the individual acts that I believe have shaken the foundations of the Rule of Law. The President declines to enforce immigration laws. The President declines to enforce marijuana laws. The President outflanks Congress and the law by making "recess" appointments when there is no recess. The Attorney General says a multi-billion dollar foreclosure settlement "addresses the causes of the housing crisis" when, in fact, it does no such thing. The Attorney General denies knowledge of Fast and Furious, then admits knowledge, but refuses to produce relevant evidence as to the details of by whom, when, why, and how this misguided program was allowed to proceed.  The President asserts Executive Privilege in an attempt to legitimize the stone wall created by his Attorney General.  And, of course, Wall Street mortgage fraud goes unpunished and undeterred.

The SEC, billions on Solyndra and so many more failed energy companies, union payoffs, foreign bribes, regime change through violence and assassination, so many instances of the law turned upside down, who wants to hear about it more and more, much less write about it? Even I get tired, and wonder "why bother?"

And then something magical happens. Something, the result of which with I disagree, but the process of which I salute and urge be repeated until this Nation's leadership gets it and practices it for the good of all.

The Supreme Court Obamacare decision produces a result with which I disagree. But the process used, quibbles with reasoning aside, is a strong and necessary reaffirmation of the Rule of Law.  Justice Roberts, with one brilliant piece of judicial restraint, has told America, "We are, indeed, a nation of laws and not of men." "We will obey the law whether we agree with it or not,  whether we like it or not, unless and until the law is changed by our elected representatives."  There cannot have been, at this point in our history, and with the political forces at large in the land so powerful and so divided, a more important ruling. And I use the word "ruling" rather than "opinion" or "thought" or "finding" or other conditional term, because the Supreme Court has Ruled that the law trumps political preference. Profit, or social agenda, or political advantage, cannot justify abuse of the law. Period.

Those who would gloat over "victory" for a flawed health care statute will have missed the point of the exercise. The Supreme Court has provided America with an example of the meaning of statesmanship. It has transcended parochial self-interest, and placed the dirty aspects of politics in its proper place. The end result of Obamacare will be resolved through a lawful process. The Nancy Pelosis, who say you have to "pass it in order to know what's in it" will have to prove its worth, and the detractors will have to make their case, at the ballot box. and that is how it should be.

There will be no Executive Order.  There will be no imperial decree from the White House because "Congress isn't doing what I want." or "Congress isn't acting fast enough." The American people will decide if Obama lied when he said Obamacare isn't a tax. Or if he was just "mistaken."  Or if they want to pay the tab.  In short, a law ruled to be Constitutional will, for the first time, be reviewed and analyzed by the people, and the people will decide if it's a law they want.

And it should not be lost that on the same day the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Rule of Law, the House of Representatives, with a bipartisan vote, and a vote that was even more meaningful because prominent liberal Democrats didn't vote at all, held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for his well-documented failure to obey the Rule of Law in his initial and subsequent handling of the Fast and Furious debacle.

And it should not be lost that President Obama invoked Executive Privilege to frustrate the Rule of Law and to prevent the truth from being told to the American people about the facts of the Fast and Furious program and its coverup, if any.  The President's health care "victory" should, but most probably will not, create a sense in the White House that the law does matter, that people do care, and that we are all willing to play by the rules so long as they are consistently and evenly applied.  If that lesson is not learned, then a lawful election will be the guarantor of how much America cares about the Rule of Law.

Foreclosure Settlement-Holder Lies

February 9th, 2012

The NYT reported today on the broad outlines of a "Settlement" of claims arising out of bad foreclosure practices by major banks. Essentially banks will pay anywhere from $20-$40 Billion to individuals,states and the FHA to settle civil claims arising out of poor paper work and expedient, shady, devices used by banks to foreclose on defaulted mortgages. In return, banks will not be able to be sued by either the government or individuals for their actions.

"The deal announced Thursday is about righting the wrongs that led to the housing market collapse." said Eric Holder. With this settlement, we recover precious taxpayer resources, fix a broken system and lay a groundwork for a better future.”

I don't believe in name calling, but Eric Holder is a liar. This travesty is nothing of the kind! It does nothing to right the wrongs that led to the collapse. The wrongs that led to the housing collapse were criminal fraudulent acts by virtually every segment of the real estate industry. Especially Wall Street. They occurred long before there were foreclosures. This "settlement", read payoff, does absolutely nothing to deter, punish, or otherwise inconvenience those in high corporate and political office who plundered the housing market into oblivion, and destroyed trillions in the net worth of Americans. It doesn't "right wrongs," it perpetuates and rewards them. The spin on this is a Big Lie, and I am personally sick and tired of hearing these lies.

"The wrongs that led to the housing collapse" had nothing to do with foreclosures. Foreclosures were the inevitable results of criminal conduct in the origination of thousands of loans to under-qualified buyers who didn't have the means to repay their mortgages, as well as the result of the loss of jobs suffered by hundreds of thousands when the economy collapsed because of this fraud. Foreclosures were a result, not a cause, of the collapse. Holder's statement is outrageously false, and should be condemned by anyone who reads it.

Elsewhere in these blogs the history of inaction by Obama and Holder is detailed. What makes today's announcement so insulting, and ultimately depressing, is this Administration's continued belief that the American people are stupid and cannot see through this sham. This sort of deceit cannot be limited to this issue. It has to permeate this government and its relationships around the world. And that, I submit, is a clear and present danger to us all.

Let's Not Overstate Foreclosure Practices As "Stealing"

February 3rd, 2012

Massachusetts has filed suits against major banks, accusing them of "stealing" homes through faulty foreclosure practices and documentation. Nobody is more willing and able to lead the charge against Wall Street mortgage origination and securitization crimes than I. However, suits such as this beg the question. Certainly those being foreclosed upon have defaulted. Certainly the financial institutions have an interest in those defaulted mortgages. They paid for them. To characterize their foreclosure practices as "stealing" is a bit over the top. Make no mistake: both Bush and Obama have given Wall Street a major pass. Not a single major individual or institution was indicted. No license was revoked, no franchise cancelled. Thanks to Holder and Obama, statutes of limitation now preclude most criminal and civil fraud action. The new Commission is a cynical and manipulative ploy to give the impression of action where there has been none, accountability where none can or will be imposed. It behooves the dissident Attorneys General to accurately describe the issues, and take such action as may remain available. False headlines about "stealing" do not advance that mission. Homeowners who have not paid their mortgages are not victims. The real victims are the housing markets and the US economy.

Another New Low For SEC and Rule of Law

January 7th, 2012

What follows is an excerpt directly from the New York Times. There are remarkable aspects of this article, including that it is based on an SEC announcement trumpeting "change," that it declares " a fundamental policy shift," and that it seems to convey the notion that this is a really good thing.

The idea of blogging on mortgage fraud and the lack of law enforcement efforts to punish wrongdoers and prevent future harm once seemed a way to contribute to society and improve the common good. Surely, I thought, the obvious lack of enforcement of the rule of law would be a passing phenomenon. Surely, I thought, persons in a position of trust would understand, believe, and deliver on the concept that a just society requires equal and consistent and vigorous application of the law to the highest as well as the lowest among us. Surely, I think, I have been wrong on all counts.

People who should know better have virtually destroyed the rule of law as it has existed in this country for over 250 years. While there have always been aberrations, while the rich and powerful have always found it possible to escape justice, there has never been such universal pandering to the rich, such clear and obvious political interference with law enforcement, and such blatant insult to the intelligence of the people as has been demonstrated by this SEC and this Justice Department. The new SEC "policy" is but further evidence that this SEC and its political masters think the people are blind, stupid, insensitive, or, worse, uncaring, over whether there is justice in America.

From lack of mortgage fraud prosecution, to selective drug law enforcement, to ignoring immigration laws, to making compliance with mandated education rules optional, to twisting recess appointment protocols, to selective enforcement of voting laws, this Administration has done grievous harm to the rule of law. This harm must be reversed if we are to ever recover and survive as an economy and as a nation.

Justice is supposed to be blind. That means politics have no place in the administration of justice or the enforcement of the law. The SEC action on "neither admit nor deny wrongdoing" is nothing more than a political ploy to appear to address the criticism this SEC practice has suffered, while actually doing nothing at all.

Here is an excerpt from the New York Times:

"S.E.C. Changes Policy on Firms’ Admission of Guilt
By EDWARD WYATT
Published: January 6, 2012 WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission, in a fundamental policy shift, said Friday that it would no longer allow defendants to say they neither admit nor deny civil fraud or insider trading charges when, at the same time, they admit to or have been convicted of criminal violations.
Robert Khuzami said that, in some cases, defendants would not be able to settle S.E.C. fraud charges without admitting wrongdoing.
The change is the first time that the S.E.C. has stepped back from its longstanding practice of allowing companies to settle fraud charges by paying a fine without admitting wrongdoing. The new policy will also apply to cases where a company or an individual enters an agreement with criminal authorities to defer prosecution or to not be prosecuted as part of a settlement."

This "fundamental policy shift" is so meaningless as to be laughable, were it not so manipulative and cynical. A Federal Judge in New York was recently highly critical of the SEC practice of settling fraud and other civil violation cases by including a provision that the defendant neither admits nor denies guilt of the allegations brought aginst it. The purpose of the provision is to prevent litigants from obtaining an admission of fact from a future defendant in a civil case which would automatically be deemed an admission of liability. The practice has sound legal theory behind it, but has been used to allow cost-of-doing business settlements with the SEC. For the price of the settlement, which usually is paid from profits of wrongdoing and almost never, if ever, has been a blow to the capital of the defendant, a perpetrator of fraud avoids a trial in which facts could be exposed and established which would be ammunition for future lawsuits. The SEC, in essence, gets a headline and a buck, at the cost of the truth.

NOTHING IN THE SEC'S "FUNDAMENTAL POLICY SHIFT" HAS BEEN CHANGED. NOTHING! It has always been true that admissions in a criminal case can be used in a civil case. It has always been true that a criminal conviction for unlawful conduct is admissible in a subsequent civil trial. To declare to the world that "neither admit nor deny" will be excluded from settlements arising from criminal convictions is misleading and deceptive. The criminal conviction and its underlying factual basis as set forth in the indictment have always been, and will continue to be, admissible whether a civil settlement has a "neither admit nor deny" clause or not. Similarly, that clause will continue to protect SEC defendants from exposure in the 99.9% of cases it settles-all civil, not criminal.

I wonder when the Bar of this nation will rise up and demand a return to the rule of law? I wonder when there will be sufficient public outcry that politicians have been bought and paid for, and that crime does, indeed, pay, that real change will bring us back to the justice system we once knew?

More Justice Department Bribery- GE Bid Rigging

December 24th, 2011

General Electric is paying $70.4 million to settle criminal and civil "probes" of bid rigging. This is the latest in a series of payoffs to the Department of Justice. Bid rigging is criminal conduct. The settlement of $70.4 million is reported to be for both criminal and civil offenses. Legal canons of ethics forbid civil settlements of criminal charges. The reason? Buying one's way out of criminal charges is supposed to be illegal It's called bribery. But have no fear. The Obama Administration and its "Justice" Department under Eric Holder have made bribery and corruption the rule of the day. Forget the rule of law. All you need is to be big enough and have enough money and you can rob the public blind with no consequence except to pay cost-of-doing-business fines. Has the capital structure of a single financial giant been touched by a fine? No. Has a single executive or institution been indicted? No. A small fry here and there, but the big bosses go scott free. This is a national disgrace.

Eric Holder's Pathetic, Racist Excuse

December 18th, 2011

An article by Charlie Savage in the NYT quotes Attorney General Eric Holder as saying, as a reason for criticism he has received, "It's because, you know, I'm African-American."
My Cerificate of Appointment as an Assistant United States Attorney was signed by John Mitchell and Richard Kleindienst, the only 2 convicted Attorneys General in US history. Their disgrace pales in comparison to the cowardly reference by Eric Holder to criticism deriving from, "You know, I'm African-American." This pathetic, manipulative, racist accusation is consistent with Holder's record as the executioner of the rule of law. Besides guns to Mexico and election law tampering, Holder has made the rule of law optional. Immigration, marijuana, and education are but some of his political interferences with enforcement of the law.
His worst, however, is his utter failure to prosecute the rich and powerful Wall Street perpetrators of mortgage fraud.Time after time, now, DOJ has said there was nothing criminal about Wall Street mortgage fraud. This view parrots the President, who said two weeks after inauguration, and before any investigations, "Let's look forward, not backward.", and his declaration last week that Wall Street did nothing "...illegal, that's why we need new laws." That is simply rubbish.
The paucity of Grand Jury investigations is astonishing. The lack of public information about the efforts to indict Wall Street is telling. Typically, Grand Jury investigations are announced in an effort to find witnesses and bring pressure on potential informants and defendants. Has there been any of that with mortgage fraud? No. There is ample evidence that Mr. Holder, as the person responsible for obeying the President's command, is a failure as an Attorney General, and that the rule of law under this Administration is, indeed, dead.

SEC Civil Action VS Fannie and Freddie Execs

December 16th, 2011

Six executives have been cited in a civil action by the SEC for understating risk in subprime mortgages. Once again, the SEC serves as pimp to the White House and the DOJ. Civil cases? More settlements "Without admitting or denying guilt?" Another Mozzilo-type "enforcement action? This SEC, this President, have done everything in their power to appear to have brought justice to the mortgage fraud scandal. In fact, they have failed miserably. 95% of criminal acts are now barred by the statute of limitations. Over 3 years of not prosecuting, and then, last week, the President said,"Wall Street did nothing illegal." Now the SEC hands up civil charges against the latest batch of scapegoats, and ignores the origination and securitization frauds which really caused the problems. Whether Fannie and Freddie misled the markets is one thing. Certainly there should be accountability for that. But the root causes, the worst players, the biggest origination and securitization crooks, have been, and will continue to be, let go. And, worst of all, there really has been no reform of the industry.

President Obama Exonerates Wall Street

December 12th, 2011

The NYT reports today that President Obama claims on 60 Minutes that Wall Street's behavior causing the mortgage crisis was not illegal! Finally, his true colors emerge. He actually exonerates Wall street from criminal wrongdoing.
Nonsense! Absolute nonsense. Wishing that fraudulent mortgage applications, false representations about securities, and consciously avoiding and recklessly disregarding the origination frauds of its mortgage origination factories isn't illegal doesn't make it so. This is the ultimate travesty: a declaration that crimes were not committed. Readers here understand that the conduct WAS criminal, that this President promised accountability, but delivered exoneration. This is as bad as it gets.
All the nonsense about mortgage fraud task forces, all the phony numbers put out by the FBI on ongoing "investigations", are just so much deceit. It's too bad Occupy Wall Street lacks the focus necessary to demand Obama's accountability. It's too bad the Big Lie is still a viable tool for this President.

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