Continuing on the theme of prosecutions for fraud during the housing collapse, though in this case civil rather than criminal ones, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman just announced a new lawsuit against Credit Suisse for defrauding investors in its mortgage backed securities business. The case mirrors the previous suit filed by Schneiderman against JPMorgan Chase over Bear Stearns’ MBS business. Curiously, both of these banks engaged in settlements just this past weekwith the SEC over precisely the same conduct, settlements where they didn’t have to admit wrongdoing.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday November 20, 2012 2:35 pm|
|By: David Dayen Sunday November 11, 2012 8:45 am|
Of all the thumbsuckers about the second-term Obama agenda I’ve read, the ones that reflect the least contact with reality concern Administration housing policy.
It’s beyond clear that the first-term policy framework sought to protect banks and allocate losses from the collapse of the housing bubble elsewhere. That was the point behind HAMP, designed to “foam the runway” for the banks, allowing them to squeeze out a few extra payments from borrowers and absorb foreclosures more slowly. That was the point behind the foreclosure fraud settlement, reacting to the largest consumer fraud in the history of the world by immunizing the conduct in exchange for a pittance of a fine. That was the point behind a financial fraud task force that turned up precious little financial fraud and sought criminal prosecutions of no individual.
|By: David Dayen Monday October 15, 2012 7:15 pm|
The ACLU plans to sue Morgan Stanley on behalf of five named plaintiffs (they will seek class action status), for the investment bank’s role in fueling what they view as a discriminatory subprime bubble. In doing so, the ACLU will try to pioneer a new legal strategy, by going after the securitizer of the loans instead of the now-defunct originator.
|By: David Dayen Friday October 5, 2012 10:40 am|
A financial firm or any other defendant doesn’t allow a tolling agreement out of the goodness of its heart. It comes out of a negotiated process. The prosecutor gets to stop the clock on the statute of limitations but must give up something in return. Maybe they’re given the opportunity to stop Schneiderman from filing a case at all, or maybe they’ve moved immediately to the settlement phase. Or maybe Schneiderman got the tolling agreement in exchange for agreeing not to prosecute or name any individuals in the cases. A tolling agreement isn’t free, in other words. And it would be good to know the cost of this.
|By: David Dayen 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.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday October 2, 2012 11:35 am|
the lawsuit against Bear Stearns on securitization fraud put together by Eric Schneiderman’s office is that it’s rooted in reality. My issues are primarily with timing and scope. There’s no reason this case couldn’t have been filed in 2011. There’s literally nothing in the case that advances what we knew from these other cases in any meaningful way. If the New York AG’s office wanted to pursue a parallel proceeding, they had every ability to do it in 2011, before the foreclosure fraud settlement. Now they’ve given up claims they could have pursued.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday October 2, 2012 6:10 am|
The delay in bringing the case cost tens of billions of potential exposure for JPMorgan Chase. And more than anything, the lack of federal participation in the suit shows that the federal agencies involved in the task force are simply disinterested in prosecution, forcing Schneiderman to cobble together an off-the-shelf suit from other sources to make it look like this move against the banks represents anything real. The timing, one month before voters go to the polls in the Presidential election, is similarly obvious.
|By: David Dayen Monday September 24, 2012 11:35 am|
Investors, envisioning a bottom in the market and capitalizing on public policy to sell off the inventory, have pushed into this space in a big way in 2012, providing almost the entire margin of the modest recovery this year.
|By: David Dayen Monday September 3, 2012 10:23 am|
While housing analysts revel in numbers about home prices and construction starts, I have been trying to focus on the realities of an unhealthy market, with hedge fund house-flippers and shadow inventory driving the so-called “recovery” more than anything fundamental. Gretchen Morgenson takes up the other aspect of this, the fact that the legal wrangling over faulty foreclosures and broken processes never actually ended
|By: David Dayen Sunday September 2, 2012 4:00 pm|
Eric Schneiderman may not be on the roster of speakers at the upcoming Democratic National Convention. But he appears to be providing a much more valuable service.