tagged w/ Whitewash
Quelle Surprise! DoJ Pushing State AGs to Whitewash Servicing Abuses; Failure to Investigate Confirmed
The latest report by Shahien Nasirpour at Huffington Post confirms two things you’ve heard here and on some other sites following this sorry affair: first, that Tom MIller, Iowa attorney general who is leading the 50 state attorneys general negotiations on mortgage abuses, is a liar, and second, that any settlement will be a whitewash.
Actually, we already knew Miller was a liar. Shortly after the effort was launched, Miller promised that “”We will put people in jail.” He then started walking that back. Not only did he tell Bloomberg that they were NOT pursuing criminal charges, but per an e-mail:
I was w/ a European documentary maker this weekend who spoke to Miller a few days ago and said Miller relayed the fraud isn’t so bad, everything will be worked out .. the standard line; he’s already made up his mind. He doesn’t want those European governments demanding their money back. The meeting is a photo-op setup because the too-big-to-fail crowd is scared of put-back liability and shorts; they’re working hard to make it appear they’re doing something to quiet everybody down.
Note this message was sent BEFORE MIller made the “jail the baddies” promise that MIller recanted. And it indicates that this entire affair was intended to be an exercise in kabuki theater rather than anything remotely resembling a real investigation.
That brings us to MIller’s second lie. After a staffer ‘fessed up that no investigations were being undertaken, Miller maintained that extensive examinations were underway. That, as Nasiripour indicates, confirming earlier intelligence via Gretchen Morgenson, is complete crap (emphasis ours):
According to sources familiar with the ongoing state and federal probes, state and federal officials have wasted months not digging into the details of the foreclosure crisis, yielding little of value in court and undercutting the lenders’ incentive to strike a settlement of greater benefit to homeowners and taxpayers.
The investigators have yet to gather many documents, conduct depositions or assemble tallies of aggrieved homeowners. They don’t yet have a good handle on the number of wrongful foreclosures, the amount of fraudulent documents filed in local courts or the volume of legal instruments processed by so-called “robo-signers,” the agents that lenders employed to process foreclosure filings en masse without examining the underlying paperwork.
“The evidence a prosecutor would use is not in the possession of the prosecution,” said one person familiar with the ongoing settlement talks.
Even Richard Shelby, the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, and a long-standing critic of Wall Street, is not happy with the lack of investigations:
We need a full-fledged investigation,…There’s no substitute for a thorough investigation and finding of fact
The piece later details the evidence the prosecutors say they have obtained, and shows how it actually adds up to very little. This was a feature, not a bug. Consistent with the objective of doing nothing more than provide air cover for the banks, no meaningful investigations were conducted (and on top of that, there have been plenty of other irregularities in how the discussions were conducted). We pointed out this was essential to have any negotiating leverage: a party agrees to settle in order to escape possible litigation. The HufPo article underscores that point:
“I would never want to go into a negotiation without solid evidence of actual misconduct to hold as leverage over my counterpart,” said Neil M. Barofsky, the former special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which was crafted to bail out teetering banks. “It would also be very dangerous from a public policy perspective to waive all future claims as part of such a settlement if you do not have a good sense of the size, scope and severity of the underlying misconduct.”
If you don’t have a credible threat to launch a suit, why should anybody bother? The answer here is obvious: this isn’t a “settlement”; it’s a cash for a broad release (effectively, an indemnification). And since the AGs have done nada in the way of a probe, only the banks know the value of that waiver, and they won’t enter into a deal unless they think it is a bargain.
And indeed, the intended deal is a “get out of liability for almost free” card:
….expedience now appears to be trumping other considerations in settlement talks with major mortgage servicers. Despite failing to marshal a strong case proving misconduct during the foreclosure crisis, the government is seeking to craft a settlement quickly, in the hopes that this will inject greater certainty into the financial system, stabilize home prices and add vigor to a flagging economy.
Ah, yes, if we just give the banks another bailout, surely that will fix the economy! We can see how well that movie is working. As if “fixing the economy” is a good reason to ignore crooked behavior. By that logic, the government shouldn’t go after companies that sell beef full of e-coli because they provide employment.
And have no doubt, the Administration’s fingerprints are all over any deal:
The Justice Department is pressing state attorneys general to release the banks from liability for a host of alleged violations in exchange for a far-reaching settlement, people familiar with internal discussions said.
And the AGs have been sold a complete bill of goods:
The government fears that if it can’t stanch the flood of foreclosures by lowering troubled homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments — and if mortgage servicers cannot resume taking possession of homes for which borrowers have long been delinquent and sell them to people able to afford them — the housing crisis could drag on for years, keeping the broader economy in a feeble state. This is the scenario the government is seeking to stave off by striking a swift settlement with banks, restoring legal clarity to the foreclosure process and providing additional relief for distressed borrowers.
By including assistance for homeowners in the settlement agreement — like loan modifications that reduce payments or the overall amount owed — state and federal authorities said they believe they can help the housing market recover.
This is utter rubbish. First, the AGs are NOT going to “restore clarity to the foreclosure process.” Any action by the AGs will have no impact on the judiciary (the settlement will apparently include useless boilerplate about how banks will follow the law. They are supposed to be following the law regardless; an extra affirmation is pointless). The reason the banks are having so many trouble foreclosing is pervasive problems with how ownership interests were handled in the securitization process. In most cases, they are not amenable to easy fixes, which is why there has been so much fraud committed in courts all over the country.
The story indicates that the states are willing to sell out because any cash settlement would help fill yawning state budget gaps. But what we have been told by well placed sources is that the banks will take a deal only if it is very close to free: a minimal cash component (the $30 billion number in the HuffPo article is pure smoke and mirrors), with the rest being credits of various sorts, including for past mortgage mods. Oh, and any settlement is tax deductible, further lowering what little real cost there will be.
If you are as upset with this as I am, call your state attorney general and give him a piece of your mind. You can find their phone numbers here.http://crimeshouldntpay.com/callagtodayQuelle Surprise! DoJ Pushing State AGs to Whitewash Servicing Abuses; Failure to... more
SICKENING: “60 Minutes” Lionizes Hezbollah Spy Nada Nadim Prouty (& Cites My NY Post Column)
By Debbie Schlussel
You know what’s truly disgusting? That Hezbollah spy, immigration fraud perpetrator, and FBI/CIA infiltrator Nada Nadim Prouty a/k/a Nada Nadim Al-Aouar DeLaDurantaye Valley Prouty is not only not behind bars for life for selling out America to Hezbollah because Federal Judge Avern Cohn, a Marxist, gave her only a fine of a few hundred dollars as a “sentence” for her treason (the limp Bush administration sought only six months prison time for her spying).
Click here for the Full Storty...“Hezbollah Patriot” Natda Prouty Is An Islamic Terrorist…The First Jihad Jane…60 Minutes Propaganda & Lies…VIDEO...http://ctpatriot1970.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/hezbollah-patriot-natda-prouty-is-an-islamic-terrorist-the-first-jihad-jane-60-minutes-propaganda-lies-video/
Even more disgusting, though, is that, tonight, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” is whitewashing her as a “patriot.” She’s a patriot, all right. Just not an American one. She’s a Hezbollah patriot. Prouty was the first Jihad Jane, about whom I wrote in a New York Post column, in which we called her Jihad Jane.SICKENING: “60 Minutes” Lionizes Hezbollah Spy Nada Nadim Prouty (&... more
Menominee Tribal School students in Keshena, Wisconsin are learning valuable lessons about protecting the environment and learning their tribe’s heritage including keeping native language alive.
In April 2008 the tribal school’s 180 students participated in “Clean Up the Rez Day" by picking up garbage around the reservation. The many environment projects at the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin were part of the EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day challenge. During a drum & feast to honor the students, teacher Beth Waukechon and culture teacher Dana Warrington explained the importance of taking care of Mother Earth. During a field trip to Green Bay's Pamprin Park, students climbing a replica of the Planet Earth were reminded of their reservation clean up. The 234,000-acre reservation has thick forests and 24-miles of the pristine Wolf River. Sturgeons spawned in reservation portions of the river until two dams were built blocking annual migration. Fifth grader La-Rie Corn hopes to form an Earth Club at the tribal school. After whitewashing gang graffiti at a popular skateboard park, students replaced negative symbols with American Indian art. Corn, 11, knows about 500 Menominee words thanks to teachers & elders that care about saving their native tongue. Fourth graders Tahekiah Bourdon, Raven Webster, Shae Perez, Naneque Latender, & Sherlinda Nahwahquaw learned the importance of respecting the Earth and how it fits their heritage.
Teacher Beth Waukechon said students will hopefully continue environment friendly practices as they grow older. MITW Restorative Justice Coordinator Claudette Hewson said the Menominee Teen Court Panel picked up litter & removed graffiti from roads signs in the Middle Village housing area. Tribal school students learned about the sturgeon, a vital part of Menominee heritage. Named the “People of the Wild Rice,” Menominee legend calls the sturgeon “the protector” of the grain that grows in water.
Corn said sturgeon hold a high place in Menominee culture because they're one of three gifts the creator gave to the Menominee people. Language arts instructor Joe Awonohopay said Earth Week 2008 classes were devoted to the sturgeon including the effects of pollution on life cycle, habitat, biology and more.
The College of Menominee Nation Implementing Sustainable Development Class collected electronic waste & pharmaceuticals. Students collected 23 pounds of medicines including 100 bottles of pills. The college students won 50 recycling bins in the Coca-Cola National Recycling Coalition Bin Grant. The class participated in the 10-week Recycle Mania project for the second year in a row. College Prof. Dr.William Van Lopik said the class is “actually doing something." Including curbside collections, Menominee reservation residents recycled over four tons of electronics.
Sponsors: Community Resource Center, Menominee Tribal Police, Tribal Clinic, Maehnowesekiyah Wellness Center, Probation & Parole, Recreation Department, Community Recycling Project; Menominee County Sheriff’s Department, Keshena U.S. Post Office.
The Earth Healing Initiative assisted some challenge organizers with interfaith liaisons & encouraged churches/temples to participate in Earth Day events. Videos on 2008 Challenge projects made possible ban US Environmental Protection Agency grant, EPA Region 5 office in Chicago, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office.
The EHI involves American Indian tribes, churches/synagogues, other faith traditions working to heal, protect and defend the environment.
Interfaith graphics by Justice St. Rain/Interfaith Resources/Special Ideas:
http://www.interfaithresources.comMenominee Tribal School students in Keshena, Wisconsin are learning valuable lessons... more
Just as predicted, Scotland Yard was sent to Pakistan so as to whitewash Musharraf. They state that she was killed when hitting her head following the blast of the bomb, yet there is incontrovertible video evidence that she collapsed at the moment she was shot at and fell into the car *before* the bomb went off, and that her hair and veil were lifted upwards by the bullets. Disgusting. Just as predicted, Scotland Yard was sent to Pakistan so as to whitewash Musharraf.... more