Geithner: Systemic Risk Is Whatever I Say It Is (You’re Welcome, Citigroup)

By: Friday January 14, 2011 7:00 am

Shahien Nasiripour’s article about Citibank’s near-bankruptcy in November 2008 shows how silly it is to expect safety by creating a “systemic risk council,” one headed, I might add, by Tim Geithner. He basically applies the Potter Stewart principle to systemic risk, saying that he’ll know it when he sees it. And somehow, I’d guess that he’ll see systemic risk in any big bank that goes down.


Foreclosure Fraud: About that AG “Investigation” and “Settlement”

By: Wednesday November 17, 2010 6:05 am

On Tuesday, Iowa’s Attorney General Tom Miller testified to the Senate Banking Committee it would be months before the combined AG “investigation” came up with a settlement. That’s almost exactly the moment when the Washington Post posted a story reporting the AGs were close to a settlement.

Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud: Richard Shelby’s Selective Investigation

By: Friday November 12, 2010 12:45 pm

Let me make a rare statement: I agree with just about everything Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) said in his call for an investigation of mortgage servicers. But Shelby’s choice of targets sure does bear watching.

Want to Sue the Banksters? Ask WhereIsTheNote

By: Wednesday November 3, 2010 5:45 pm

Remember WhereIsTheNote?

In the face of mounting evidence that the banks foreclosing on homes did not comply with legal requirements during securitization of mortgages and therefore don’t have legal standing to foreclose, the SEIU and some community organizations teamed together last month to create an online tool that anyone can use to ask their mortgage servicer where their note is. By helping homeowners proactively check whether their bank has the right paperwork, it gives them more power in the event of a foreclosure.

The site launched just over three weeks ago. 200,000 people have visited the website; around 15,000 have used the tool to ask their bank for their note (I’ll have a more exact number shortly).

Citi’s Fear

By: Sunday October 31, 2010 1:16 pm

I wanted to return to a detail I mentioned in yesterday’s book salon. As I noted, in his book on the auto bailout, Steven Rattner described Citi as being worried during the Chrysler negotiations that retail customers would retaliate if Citi played hard ball.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Steven Rattner, Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry

By: Saturday October 30, 2010 1:59 pm

I come to Steven Rattner’s Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry from a very particular perspective. As a Michigander whose husband still works in the auto industry and whose town has benefited from battery subsidies, I’m a grateful direct beneficiary of the work the Obama Administration did to save the auto industry. But that also means I read this book, which might have been subtitled, “Wall Street gapes at Detroit” from the perspective, “Detroit gapes back at Wall Street.”

If Voluntary Foreclosure Moratoria Mean Banks Are Solving the Problem, What About Wells Fargo?

By: Friday October 15, 2010 6:09 am

Only three of the top five servicers have issued moratoria of any sort (and some of those are limited to judicial states). Citi (with 6.3% of the market) and Wells Fargo (with 16.9%) have not issued moratoria at all.

Remember the Stress Tests?

By: Tuesday October 12, 2010 4:05 pm

Had the stress tests included a real look at the subject banks’ servicing business, these banks might not have been declared healthy.

Maine Homeowners Sue GMAC Over Foreclosure Fraud

By: Saturday October 2, 2010 10:15 am

Yesterday, five homeowners in the state of Maine filed a class action suit against GMAC Mortgage, accusing them of filing knowingly false certifications for foreclosure, and false affadavits which back up the documents. Maine is one of the 23 states where judicial sign-off is required to move ahead with a foreclosure, and where GMAC (now Ally Financial) has suspended evictions.

“Creative” Wall Street and Money-Laundering: Citibank as Heir to BCCI, Riggs Bank

By: Tuesday July 6, 2010 8:55 am

The efforts to keep Wall Street and all its celebrated creativity intact could serve to make it easier for banks like Wachovia to engage in widespread money-laundering. That is, it’s not just shadow banking as it is politely understood, but banking for entire shadow networks, both our own and our enemies.

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