This precisely echoes how it was bloggers who broke the subprime story, while the mainstream media initially mocked them while doing nothing. Then finally managed to stumble across the story after bloggers did the hard work for them.
WaPo profiles the bloggers at 4closeurefraud.org whose determination and research ignited foreclosure-gate. But, as it too typical with MSM, they wait until the end of the article to list the name and URL of the site when it should be in the first paragraph. Isn’t it a basic tenet of journalism that the important facts, like names, come first? But then, maybe they’re afraid of the competition.
Smoking gun: New evidence of How Wall Street shafted pension funds by misrepresenting mortgages; Rep Miller calls for full audit of Fannie Mae
Calculated Risk details how foreclosure mills were pumping out thousands of signed docs without looking at them but Naked Capitalism says the problem is much deeper than robo-signing firms. Specifically, we need to ask why were there so many incorrect docs. Sounds like control fraud to me.
Republican operatives in Michigan may challenge voting credentials for those in foreclosure, based on residency requirements. They are ignoring that 1) a homeowner can still be living in a foreclosed home and 2) Republicans lose their homes in foreclosure too but I guess all that pond scum they’re covered with is confusing their thought processes.
The foreclosure docs were robo-signed by an ethics-challenged drone at GMAC who said he ‘signed’ 400 a day and never reviewed any of them. GMAC calls this a “technicality” as does the Obama Administration. The stock markets would beg to differ, as banking stocks got clobbered today as everyone realizes just how serious this fraud and corruption is.
And it all started because a volunteer lawyer at a legal assistance nonprofit spotted the robo-signed docs for the house in Maine and deposed the GMAC employee.
The mortgage mess is making nonsense of claims that we have effective contract enforcement — in fact, the question is whether our economy is governed by any kind of rule of law.
The fix is in, and at a very high level indeed. One set of laws for the banksters (i.e. no law at all) and actual enforcement for the rest of us.
For one thing, it’s a near certainty that significant numbers of borrowers are being defrauded — charged fees they don’t actually owe, declared in default when, by the terms of their loan agreements, they aren’t.
Oh, that’s just a technical bookkeeping error, and the banksters will fix that ASAP. Just you wait.
True to form, the Obama administration’s response has been to oppose any action that might upset the banks, like a temporary moratorium on foreclosures while some of the issues are resolved. Instead, it is asking the banks, very nicely, to behave better and clean up their act. I mean, that’s worked so well in the past, right?
Obama virtually always does the bidding of the banksters. Liberals and progressives who think he will do otherwise once presented with the real facts (and a pox upon devious advisers, they are the one’s poisoning his judgement, right?) are living in a dream world.
The Obama Administration reaction to foreclosure-gate
At JPMorgan Chase & Company, they were derided as “Burger King kids” — walk-in hires who were so inexperienced they barely knew what a mortgage was.
At Citigroup and GMAC, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on home foreclosures was outsourced to frazzled workers who sometimes tossed the paperwork into the garbage.
The response from the Obama ( “We heart banksters” ) Administration on this latest batch of fraud and dirty deeds done dirt cheap from the financial world is, of course, studied silence while no doubt running interference for them in the background.
In case anyone has any lingering ideas as to where Obama’s loyalties lie.
I get a sinking feeling hearing that the White House is encouraging a bunch of liars and cheats to “reconstruct” paperwork. I thought that was the big problem: banksters and their hired guns are making up documents and lying in affidavits and directly to courts, not to mention stonewalling customers while extracting their last few dollars in the vain hope of a mortgage modification.
It won’t work. This new pile of fraud and corruption is so obvious and stinky, and comes so soon after the subprime collapse that eventually cratered the economy, that the public is paying attention.
Thousands of bank execs went to prison during the S&L crisis of the 1980’s. Not a single bankster has yet during this current debacle. In fact, virtually none have even been criminally charged. This is a disgrace, a subversion of justice, and an obvious corruption of the legal system.
We need thousands of criminal prosecutions for this biggest fraud ever. Will we get them?
Ezra Klein: What’s happening here? Why are we suddenly faced with a crisis that wasn’t apparent two weeks ago?
Janet Tavakoli: This is the biggest fraud in the history of the capital markets. And it’s not something that happened last week. It happened when these loans were originated, in some cases years ago.
EK: And how much danger are the banks themselves in?
JT: When we had the financial crisis, the first thing the banks did was run to Congress and ask for accounting relief. They asked to be able to avoid pricing this stuff at the price where people would buy them. So no one can tell you the size of the hole in these balance sheets. We’ve thrown a lot of money at it. TARP was just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve given them guarantees on debts, low-cost funding from the Fed. But a lot of these mortgages just cannot be saved. Had we acknowledged this problem in 2005, we could’ve cleaned it up for a few hundred billion dollars. But we didn’t. Banks were lying and committing fraud, and our regulators were covering them and so a bad problem has become a hellacious one.
(Janet Tavakoli is the founder and president of Tavakoli Structured Finance, Inc. (TSF), a Chicago based consulting firm providing expert experience and knowledge about maximizing value in the face of complexity and uncertainty.)