Helpful Facts About the Civil Suit Against Wells Fargo

By: Wednesday October 10, 2012 8:15 am

I mentioned in passing yesterday this federal civil lawsuit against Wells Fargo for its conduct on some FHA loans. “Mentioned in passing” is all that the suit deserved, but I see that the PR shop at DoJ tried to turn this into a big deal, with the media playing along. So maybe I should put together a short and sweet FAQ on this lawsuit, to place it in the proper context.

Schneiderman’s Office Seeing Staff Exodus

By: Monday October 8, 2012 6:30 pm

Much like a winning sports team, everyone wants to be part of a winner and nobody wants to be part of a loser. If there’s a perception that things are getting done in a political office, and that the office is rising to prominence, in a general sense people want to associate themselves with that. Maybe these staff departures have their particular reasons, and maybe they’re just climbs up the political ladder. The mayor of New York City or the Obama campaign or the New York Governor may be perceived as a step up from the New York Attorney General. I don’t know how Blake Zeff’s departure “to write about the presidential race” fits with that explanation, or all the lawyers leaving. But if the office was nailing corrupt actors left and right and gaining a reputation for toughness and accountability, I just don’t think this would be happening.

Georgia Foreclosure Fraud Story Emblematic of Lack of Accountability, Crushing Consequences

By: Monday October 8, 2012 1:35 pm

The financial fraud task force can file civil suits for the next 10 years, and they still won’t understand how this will not satisfy homeowners who had everything they’ve ever worked for taken away from them, and who see no complementary losses on the side of those who caused this tragedy in their lives.

The Potential Conflict of Interest Issue Inside the Schneiderman/JPMorgan Chase Case

By: Wednesday October 3, 2012 9:28 am

Much thanks to FT Alphaville for highlighting my storyabout Eric Schneiderman’s lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase over Bear Stearns’ dodgy mortgage-backed securities deals. As I have stressed, nothing in this case indicates there’s been much new investigation at all, or participation from the federal task force. It borrows liberally from a lawsuit by mortgage bond insurer Ambac, which was filed by Karla Sanchez, a former litigator who now works in Schneiderman’s office as the Deputy AG for Economic Justice.

Ruling Class Shows No Effects of Physiological Stress

By: Tuesday September 25, 2012 9:35 am

It turns out that the myth of high-stress positions of power is unfounded. Our lords of industry, our masters of the universe get along just fine. And if you had the benefits of a golden parachute to fall back on with none of the threats of accountability for your performance, you would too.

Treasury Lowballs Settlement Against Standard Chartered, Despite Large Award to New York Regulator

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 7:15 pm

Several weeks back, Standard Chartered Bank, caught engaging in multiple acts of money laundering, settled with the New York Department of Financial Services for $340 million. At the time I wrote that if the Treasury Department and the other federal regulators cannot get as much from Standard Chartered as the DFS, “it will be completely embarrassing.”

Apparently, Treasury is so in the tank for the banking industry that they have no problem going the embarrassing route.

Uncle Sam Is Watching You

By: Wednesday September 12, 2012 6:00 pm

This week, Congress prepares to abuse the rights of We the People of the United States again, by extending its 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). With the House of Representatives poised to vote today on a premature five year extension, will members remember what they heard when reading the Constitution on the House floor, or instead entrench the Bush-Cheney legacy beyond even the next administration?

Criminal Prosecutions Not Happening From New Financial Fraud Task Force

By: Monday September 10, 2012 8:37 am

I don’t need a source to tell me that there will be no criminal charges arising from the Residential Mortgage Backed Securities working group, the task force set up to “hold accountable” those financial institutions who crashed the economy through misdeeds in the securitization process. Take only this piece of evidence: all of the subpoenas so far issued by the RMBS working group have been civil in nature, not criminal. That’s about all the evidence I need.

The Democratic Platform’s Nonsense on Banks

By: Tuesday September 4, 2012 3:17 pm

The Democratic Platform seems to have missed the central point of the banking mess: the Obama administration did not investigate the disaster, and didn’t indict anyone for the crimes that led to the Great Crash. In fact, the administration specifically refused to follow up on criminal referrals from the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission regarding one of the Goldman Sachs mortgage deals, saying as it always does, that it stinks, but isn’t a crime.

DoJ Continues Closing Cases, Ends One Investigation Into Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio

By: Saturday September 1, 2012 10:30 am

I wouldn’t be surprised if they started to post lists of all the cases they’ve successfully closed over the years. Forget conviction rates, the “wrapped up without charges” rates must be through the roof!

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