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The story ain’t about Barclays and LIBOR anymore…it’s about the apparent fact that all the banks are in on the game…and that world governments knew about it….FOR DECADES AND NO ONE HAS GONE TO JAIL YET.
What emerges from the BANKING SCANDALS DU JOUR, the near daily revelations that are merely confirmations that “banking” these days is really just gambling with other people’s money…and lying about how you’re doing it, is a disturbing and detailed commentary (again) on the interplay between government and the private banks and businesses that own governments all across the world.
The story anymore is not just little ‘ole Barclays, the real question is just how many more banks and governments are going to be sucked down into this vortex. Clearly the answer is
all the banks are involved and all the governments are involved
Well, it’s just high time that we all sit up and understand….all of our money is owned by the criminal banking/gambling cartels….
Here’s what Abigail Fields called it:
THE LYING BANKERS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT ENABLERS
The “LIBOR scandal”, which really should be called the “Lying Bankers scandal”, is more than simply the newest example of bankers systematically stealing from everyone else. In its scale, simplicity, and government complicity the Lying Bankers scandal is perhaps the purest distillation of all that’s gone wrong with our financial system and the government that’s supposed to police it.
The Lying Bankers scandal also offers the clearest opportunity to send bankers to jail. Opportunities, of course, are not outcomes. No one should be sanguine that even this exquisitely clear showcase of banker illegality will necessarily produce meaningful law enforcement. Signs out of Britain are sort of hopeful.
The Lying Bankers scandal in a nutshell: All the biggest banks (allegedly) conspired to manipulate the interest rate underlying trillions of dollars of complex investments and public perceptions of bank health, to increase personal and corporate profits. And governments looked the other way.
As I write this, I am disgusted by an insult and offense to those good lawyers who have stood for consumers and the Rule of Law so grave that I will not even repeat it here. It in fact is a very public insult but I will not dignify such blasphemy, such offense to the interests of consumers and the higher calling of what’s left of the honor in the profession of law.
There is a scorecard being kept, and I am so proud of all those good lawyers and activists who stand bravely and proudly in the face of threats, intimidation, persecutions and bullying. Your reward and recognition is knowing that you served the interests of your clients and the higher calling, the aspirational values and goals of The Law.
I am eternally grateful that I have been given the opportunity to live the highest calling of this profession since my hero and mentor April Charney introduced me to this calling so many years ago. I will always be grateful that I spent this time on a path that history will recognize and I will always welcome and grant amnesty to those that have the courage to turn away from the darkness and are willing to embrace the light.
I spent too many years of my life waiting and hoping that The Bar and the legal profession as a whole would embrace the fight for consumers and the defense of The Rule of Law. I pictured good and honorable lawyers working together to forge solutions that served the larger interests of both clients, of society, of our nation as a whole. What a fool I was. Like the rest of the world, the darkness overpowers and far too many are consumed by the evil that exists and to which so many in the practice of law have succumbed.
Abigail Field really nails it here:
We lawyers shrug off the ubiquitous jokes because once wronged, people want us. But in the socially crucial contexts of mortgages, foreclosures and securities, lawyers have become a new kind of joke, one that should shame us all.
Failed Securities Counsel
By now many are realizing that the bankers lied materially and often about the mortgage loans they packaged into securities and sold to suckers like pension funds and Fannie & Freddie. But stop and think about that–where were the lawyers?
Underwriters’ counsel and issuers’ counsel should never have let those deals go through. Heck, in-house counsel shouldn’t have signed off. And yet the deals were done.
The securities-related lawyering failures didn’t stop once the securities were created and sold. They also involve how the securities are managed-”serviced”- in an ongoing way. As Michael Olenick exposes here, servicer misconduct (including servicers’ foreclosure counsels’ misconduct), has made things much worse. Indeed, catastrophic costs will soon be realized. If the legal profession in this area were still a profession, Olenick’s case study shouldn’t be possible.
Perhaps you’ve heard the line about not wasting a crisis. It means seize the opportunity to make big changes.
Well, the banks are doing just that: they are using their self-created foreclosure crisis to build pressure to dismantle judicial foreclosures. The bankers want it to be much cheaper and easier to take collateral with fraudulent documents. Which it is, in non-judicial foreclosure states.
Before I dissect an example from today’s news, I want to explain why I think the banker campaign to end judicial foreclosures is about easing fraudulent foreclosure, rather than, say, liquidating collateral quickly. It’s simply really– the banks aren’t swiftly liquidating the collateral they’ve already taken title to. The banks are letting the properties rot.
More than that: the banks are slowing foreclosures all on their own. Florida attorney Matt Weidner saw banks voluntarily dismiss some 50 foreclosure cases he defended in 2010. A year later, not a single one has been refiled, even though his clients remain in default. Or consider this anecdote from Michael Olenick of Seeing Through Data:
The last time I went to [Florida] foreclosure court with a reporter there was a borrower who thought the bank lawyer was his own lawyer because, he said, “she really goes all out, even when the judge gets cranky, to keep me in my house.” The judge was cranky the bank attorney wasn’t advancing her case and kept arguing for sale delays (cranky’s an understatement; red in the face yelling at her) but she kept her ground.
I tried to explain to the defendant that she works for the bank and is supposed to be trying to take his house but he wasn’t having any of it. After a few minutes of that the bank lawyer came out of court and he said “hey – I have to go – I have to ask my lawyer what to do now.”
Let’s be clear: the banks aren’t bitching about the Due Process accorded homeowners in court because the banks need to speed up foreclosures. No, the bankers want what they always want: to cut costs and reduce potential liability. And that’s easiest if they can manufacture fraudulent docs, as needed, and foreclose using them without hassle.
On Thursday, April 5th U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer announced she had decided to sign off on the ”$25 billion” Mortgage Settlement. By “announced”, I mean she signed the consent orders all our major law enforcers and the biggest bankers had agreed to, and entered them into the record. Judge Collyer didn’t actually say anything about the deal. She didn’t let anyone else say anything, either: she didn’t hold a public hearing on the deal.
In acting silently, Judge Collyer not only okayed the deal’s lousy terms, which institutionalize servicer theft and foreclosure fraud, she reinforced the incredibly poor public process that’s kept the enforcement fraud at the heart of the deal hidden. Deliberately hidden.
To understand just how deceptive “our” government and “our” law enforcers have been with us, imagine them as a Shakespearean magician, confessing his thoughts to us as he tries to trick an audience seated just off stage. Hear the magician, as he secretly pleads for his misdirection to work:
‘Please, keep focused on this hand, the one with the wand waiving above the shiny new servicing “standards.” Pay no attention to what I’m doing with my other hand. Please don’t notice me transforming the “standards” into empty promises through the ‘magic’ of metrics.
I must succeed at controlling and guiding your attention, so you fall for my trick! Otherwise, my trick is obvious-my ‘magic’ is all there in black and white, in Exhibits E and E-1. So don’t look there…stay with me, stay focused on the new servicing “standards” and that big sounding “$25 billion”…
Think I’m overstating the deliberate deception in selling the Mortgage Settlement as something other than the enforcement fraud it is? Let’s review the history.
It’s just disgusting. I’m so tired of writing about this. It documents (again) how utterly sold out we have all been (again). We are a lawless nation. If they are able to commit such tyranny and treason right in front of our eyes, directly in front of the kleig lights with everyone watching, can you imagine what’s going on down in the nether regions? How bout that little story with John Corzine? No one’s talking about that now are they? You still think the news means anything?
I got a reality check for you…it comes from Abigail Field:
The mortgage settlement signed by 49 states and every Federal law enforcer allows the rampant foreclosure fraud currently choking our courts to continue unabated. Yes, I realize the pretty language of Exhibit A promises the banks will completely overhaul their standard operating procedures and totally clean up their acts. Promises are empty if they’re not honored, and worthless if not enforceable.
We know Bailed-Out Bankers’ promises are empty, so what matters is if the agreement is enforceable. And when it comes to all things foreclosure fraud, the enforcement provisions are laughable. But before I detail why, let’s be clear: I’m not being hyperbolic. The bankers running and profiting most from our bailed-out banks are totally dishonest when dealing with the public, and their promises are meaningless.
To see their dishonesty in the mortgage context, read the complaint filed in the mortgage deal, or my take on it here. But the bankers don’t limit their lying, cheating and stealing to homeowners. They abuse their clients the same way. Most broadly damaging, the bankers steal from taxpayers on a federal, state and local level and practically everybody else too. Fraud is just how they do business. When dealing with bankers, you can’t do business on a handshake.