The Banks’ "Penalty" To Put Robosigning Behind Them: $300 Per Person

Via: ZeroHedge

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 04/09/2013

Back in late 2010, there was much hope that as a result of the unfolding robosigning “Linda Green” scandal, not only would banks would be forced to fix their ways by incurring crippling civil penalties (because not even the most optimistic hoped any bankers would ever face criminal charges for anything), but that the US housing market may even reprice to a fair price as for a brief moment there nobody had any idea who owned what mortgage. Ironically, what did end up happening was to provide banks with a legal impetus to slow down the foreclosure process to such a crawl that an artificial backlog of millions and millions of houses at the start of the foreclosure process formed, bottlenecking the foreclosure exits even more (as described in Foreclosure Stuffing) and in the process providing an artificial, legal subsidy to housing prices manifesting itself best in what is erroneously titled a “housing recovery” for many months now.

What this did was to allow banks to aggressively reprice the mortgage-linked “assets” on their balance sheets much higher, and in the process unleash much capital, primarily for bonus and shareholder dividend purposes. Yet this epic self-benefiting act did not come without a cost. Yes, it turns out the banks will have to fork over some out-of-pocket change to put not only the robosigning scandal behind them but the indirect housing subsidy from which they have benefited to the tune of hundreds of billions. That quite literally change, which is what the final cost of the release and bank indemnity amounts to, is roughly $300 for each of the affected borrowers!

Read more: here

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Obama Picks Goldman Sachs Exec for Ambassador to Canada

Via: CBC News

If approved, new ambassador would replace David Jacobson

Posted: Apr 3, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama has selected a partner at the investment firm of Goldman Sachs in Chicago to be the new U.S. ambassador to Canada, CBC News has learned.

Sources tell CBC News Network’s Power & Politics that Bruce Heyman has accepted the job but still has to pass a vetting process in order to be be formally nominated. His confirmation will be up to the U.S. Congress.

If he is approved, Heyman would replace David Jacobson, who has held the position since 2009. Jacobson is also from Chicago.

Well known as a high-level fundraiser to Barack Obama, Heyman and his wife Vicki, also a fundraiser, raised more than $1 million for Obama and were on his national finance committee.

Heyman runs the private wealth fund at Goldman Sachs and his areas of responsibility include parts of Canada.

Sources tell CBC News that although Heyman is Obama’s top choice he still has to pass a rigorous vetting process.

Read more: here

A politician selecting a banker…. Wow…amazing insight…
Something is stinky here…
-Moose

Judge Dismisses Most Claims In Libor Lawsuits, Ruling In Favor Of Big Banks

Via: Reuters

By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK | Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:03pm EDT

(Reuters) – A judge on Friday dismissed a “substantial portion” of claims facing a number of banks in a barrage of lawsuits accusing them of interest-rate rigging.

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan ruled for the banks, which include Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and others, of allegedly manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate, commonly known as Libor.

The judge granted the banks’ motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ federal antitrust claims and partially dismissed their claims of commodities manipulation. She also dismissed racketeering and state-law claims.

The decision is a significant setback for private plaintiffs, whose lawsuits had been consolidated before the New York judge as part of a multidistrict litigation proceeding.

In a 161-page opinion, Buchwald said she recognized her ruling might be “unexpected,” since several defendants had paid billions of dollars in penalties to government regulatory agencies.

Read more: here

Can you say crooked judge?…Read up on Naomi’s other interesting decisions…ruling in favor of Monsanto!
-Moose 

Our Chavez: Huey Long

Via: Counterpunch

Where’s the Kingfish Now That We Really Need Him?

by MIKE WHITNEY

“Every man a king, but no one wears a crown.”
– Huey P. long, Governor of Louisiana

Americans are committed to capitalism and prefer free market solutions whenever possible.

Wrong. The truth is that support for capitalism has been steadily eroding since the Great Crash of ’08 when markets tumbled and housing prices plunged wiping out $8 trillion in home equity and leaving 5 million homeowners facing foreclosure. After that dose of cold water in the face, support for the free market system dropped precipitously from 80% (in 2002) to a titch above 54% by 2010. Interestingly, in France (according to the Economist) only 6% of the people now “strongly” support the free market. Here’s more from the article in the Economist:

“Capitalism’s waning fortunes are starkly visible among Americans earning below $20,000. Their support for the free market has dropped from 76% to 44% in just one year. The research was conducted by GlobeScan, a polling firm. Its chairman Doug Miller says American business is “close to losing its social contract” with average families.” (“Market of Ideas: Capitalism’s waning popularity”, The Economist)

“Social contract”? What social contract? You mean the social contract that allows the banks to fleece your ass at every opportunity with no chance of being held accountable?

While the report is 2 years old, it indicates something that’s fairly obvious to many, that Americans are generally pragmatic people who judge a system by its results not by the public relations blabber issuing from the business channel. “Show me the beef”, that’s what the average working slob cares about, not some horseshit about “the wondrous symmetry of the self-correcting market”. What a load of malarkey. If we’d applied the theories of the market fundamentalists after Lehman Brothers collapsed, the 10 biggest banks in the country would have been euthanized (as they should have been) and we’d be well on our way to a true recovery. Instead, the economy is still hopelessly mired in a long-term slump that shows no sign of ending. The only thing that’s “corrected” is the profit margins on Wall Street which are at record highs. Get a load of this from the WSWS:

“As the US government prepares to furlough 1 million federal workers and slash hundreds of billions in social spending, corporate executives in the United States are receiving among the highest payouts in history. USA Today reported Thursday that at least ten CEOs took in $50 million apiece in 2012, largely as a result of cashing in stocks that have soared in value with the rising market. According to the newspaper, “Early 2013 proxy filings detailing 2012 compensation show a growing number of CEOs reaping $50 million or more, gains that could prove unmatched in breadth and size since the Internet IPO craze enriched tech company executives more than a decade ago…..

Read more: here

Why Is The World Economy Doomed? The Global Financial Pyramid Scheme By The Numbers

Via: The Economic Collapse Blog

By Michael, on March 20th, 2013

Why is the global economy in so much trouble? How can so many people be so absolutely certain that the world financial system is going to crash? Well, the truth is that when you take a look at the cold, hard numbers it is not difficult to see why the global financial pyramid scheme is destined to fail. In the United States today, there is approximately 56 trillion dollars of total debt in our financial system, but there is only about 9 trillion dollars in our bank accounts. So you could take every single penny out of the banks, multiply it by six, and you still would not have enough money to pay off all of our debts. Overall, there is about 190 trillion dollars of total debt on the planet. But global GDP is only about 70 trillion dollars. And the total notional value of all derivatives around the globe is somewhere between 600 trillion and 1500 trillion dollars.

So we have a gigantic problem on our hands. The global financial system is a very shaky house of cards that has been constructed on a foundation of debt, leverage and incredibly risky derivatives. We are living in the greatest financial bubble in world history, and it isn’t going to take much to topple the entire thing. And when it falls, it is going to be the largest financial disaster in the history of the planet.

The global financial system is more interconnected today than ever before, and a crisis at one major bank or in one area of the world can spread at lightning speed. As I wrote about yesterday, the entire European banking system is leveraged 26 to 1 at this point. A decline in asset values of just 4 percent would totally wipe out the equity of many of those banks, and once a financial panic begins we could potentially see major financial institutions start to go down like dominoes.

We got a small taste of what that is like back in 2008, and it is inevitable that it will happen again.

Read more: here

The Fed Has Already Imposed A "Cyprus Tax" On U.S. Savers

Via: Street Talk Live

Written by Lance Roberts | Thursday, March 21, 2013

Over the course of the last few days I have been swamped with media calls to discuss the “deposit tax” on Cyprus account holders and the potential impact on global financial markets and, more importantly, the possibility of such an event occurring domestically. (See recent Fox Business Interview) So far, Cyprus has not been able to pass such a direct tax against depositors and has gone to Russia for a helping hand. However, the question of whether such an event could happen in the U.S. is a much more interesting point of discussion.

While I find it doubtful, but not totally improbable, that a direct deposit tax would be instituted by domestic banks – the issue of the Fed’s monetary policies, particularly since the last recession, has had a significant impact on “savers.” As we have discussed in the past individuals are not “investors” but rather “savers.” Therefore, in planning for retirement, of which there is a very finite and generally short time frame within which to achieve that objective, individuals must not only have a return ON their principal, to maintain purchasing power parity of those saved dollars, but also the return OF their principal so that it may be reinvested to generate further returns. One without the other, as has been see witnessed first hand over the last decade, is a losing proposition in the achievement of those retirement goals. As my friend Doug Short recently showed in his amazing commentary on working age demographics – the age group that should be seeing declines in employment, 65 and older, are actually showing increases. The destruction of principal since the turn of the century, which is far more disastrous than it appears when adjusted for inflation, has ended the dream of retirement for many individuals.

Read more: here

US Begins Regulating BitCoin, Will Apply "Money Laundering" Rules To Virtual Transactions

Via: ZeroHedge

Last November, in an act of sheer monetary desperation, the ECB issued an exhaustive, and quite ridiculous, pamphlet titled “Virtual Currency Schemes” in which it mocked and warned about the “ponziness” of such electronic currencies as BitCoin. Why a central bank would stoop so “low” to even acknowledge what no “self-respecting” (sic) PhD-clad economist would even discuss, drunk and slurring, at cocktail parties, remains a mystery to this day. However, that it did so over fears the official artificial currency of the insolvent continent, the EUR, may be becoming even more “ponzi” than the BitCoins the ECB was warning about, was clear to everyone involved who saw right through the cheap propaganda attempt. Feel free to ask any Cypriot if they would now rather have their money in locked up Euros, or in “ponzi” yet freely transferable, unregulated BitCoins.

Read more: here 

Are the US regulators feeling threatened by a more stable currency?
-Moose

The Streets of America in the Very Near Future…

Via: SHTFplan.com

Mac Slavo
March 21st, 2013

We’ve seen it time and again over the last five years. Governments overstepping their authority and punishing their people because of the actions of elite banking conglomerates, dirty politicians and bought-off regulators.

Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Hungary, Argentina, Spain, and Portugal have all been pillaged in the name of purported recovery and stability.

Today we’re seeing it in Cyprus, where Euro Zone financiers have threatened to not only rob the populace of their personal savings, but shut off access to bank accounts indefinitely. And, as we’ve seen elsewhere, the people are having none of it.

Like the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, it took a mere 72 hours of restricted access to funds, and thus essential goods, before the people took to the streets in mass protest and rioting.

The following pictures depict what’s in store for the United States in the very near future, when our own banking system re-collapses and Americans are left with no ability to access their money or are restricted to how much cash they are able to withdraw.

When the banks close your only option will be ATM’s, most of which will be empty:

And within 72 hours, when the realization of the magnitude of this event takes hold, people will no longer stand in line peacefully, but rather, will storm their banks and government offices, just as they have done in Cyprus (and elsewhere).

There is one key distinction to consider between the rioting in Cyprus and what we’ll experience here in the United States.

You see, the US government and the Pentagon have been actively war-gaming this very scenario for years. They know an economic collapse and the civil unrest that follows is an inevitable outcome of our current paradigm. Thus, they have spent the better part of this crisis training the National Guard to respond to mass riots, along with coordinated exercises that involve local law enforcement and military forces.

There’s a reason that Department of Homeland Security has stockpiled nearly two billion rounds of ammunition.

What’s waiting for Americans when this goes down is starkly different from the response by government officials in other parts of the world.

Read more: here

Not here in America…it can’t happen here..
-Moose 

Senate Censors Part of Report on JPMorgan About Its Stock Trading

Via: Wall Street on Parade

By Pam Martens: March 18, 2013

The 307-page report the Senate released last Thursday on JPMorgan’s cowboy culture was deeply unsettling; the testimony under oath at the related Senate hearing on Friday was equally shocking with eyewitness accounts confirming that CEO Jamie Dimon ordered the withholding of financial data to a regulator while both he and the Chief Financial Officer at the time, Douglas Braunstein, presented an Alice in Wonderland version of facts to the public in April 2012.

But it now appears that the worst of this story may be so unsettling to the markets and the public perception of Wall Street that it must be censored from public viewing. Throughout the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation’s 98 exhibits of emails and internal memos on the wild trading schemes at JPMorgan, the word “Redacted” appears. In a high number of the areas where the material is censored, it concerns trading in the stock market, not the credit market where Bruno Iksil, the trader known as the London Whale, was causing giant ripples and eventual mega losses for the largest bank in the U.S. To date, there has been no media attention to the issue of stock trading within the Chief Investment Office nor has the issue been raised by investigators.

That the words equity trading (meaning stock trading) appear at all in this investigative report raises more serious red flags for JPMorgan. As Wall Street on Parade has repeatedly reported, the Chief Investment Office at JPMorgan, which oversaw the London Whale trades, was using insured deposits of the bank to place its casino bets. Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations, confirmed on Friday that JPMorgan used insured deposits as well as funds corporations had placed on deposit.

That’s clearly not compatible with the Nation’s safety and soundness rules for banks and likely explains why the FBI is involved in an investigation.

Read more: here

WTF!?  
Too big to fail?
-Moose

What’s Supposed to Happen, and What Might Happen: 3 Baseline Scenarios

Via: Of Two Minds


Monday, March 18, 2013

We all know what’s supposed to happen in the global economy: we get more of everything: more stuff manufactured, more coal dug up and burned, more “aggregate demand” i.e. insatiable desire for more of everything, more innovation, more wealth, more money printed, more debt taken on to buy more stuff and more education, more tourists occupying more beaches sipping more drinks, more strip malls built, more airports expanded, more jobs created, more taxes collected– more “growth” of everything, in every way and every day.

Beneath this expansive more-of-everything splendor, the power structure is supposed to remain unchanged: a small political-financial Elite holds all the reins of power, a manufacturing-consent propaganda machine (a.k.a. mainstream media) persuades the masses all is well, wealth continues to accumulate in the top 1/10th of 1%, money is printed/created and distributed to the State-financial partnership’s fiefdoms and cartels, moderate inflation eats away at the value of wages but makes debt cheaper to service, and the Upper Caste of technocrats continue their well-paid enabling of the Aristocracy’s dominance.

The dream of tens of millions of young people is to join the Upper Caste of lackeys, factotums, toadies and apparatchiks serving the Aristocracy’s cartels and fiefdoms.

In sum, the pie of wealth is supposed to expand so fast that the 10% left for the bottom 90% will be enough to satisfy their high expectations of endlessly rising prosperity.

Read more: here

The Bank, The School And The 38-year Loan

Via: The Orange County Register

Published: Feb. 15, 2013 Updated: Feb. 21, 2013 1:43 p.m.
Melody Petersen / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

The fliers touted new ballfields, science labs and modern classrooms. They didn’t mention the crushing debt or the investment bank that stood to make millions.
In early 2008, residents of Placentia and Yorba Linda approved a $200 million school construction bond after reading those fliers and being assured repeatedly that “their money will be spent wisely.”

Borrowing through capital-appreciation bonds is helping to pay for a 600-seat performing arts center at El Dorado High School in Placentia. The expensive bonds, which delay payments for decades, were sold by Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified officials after voters approved Measure A in 2008.

What happened instead was that Measure A led to a debt so large and long lasting that it has mortgaged the future of their children’s children.

With no public discussion, the school board had hired George K. Baum & Co. and its staff of political strategists to help push the measure through so the district could continue an ambitious building spree.

After the election, the board allowed the bank to sell some of the costliest bonds ever issued by a California public agency. Just one $22 million borrowing from 2011 will cost taxpayers nearly 13 times that amount – $280 million – to repay.

Those bonds, known to Wall Street traders as capital appreciation bonds, are like a loan for which no principal or interest payments are made for 35 years. Interest is charged on a growing pile of unpaid interest, causing the balance to balloon.

“It’s another method of pushing debt to future generations,” said state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who compares the bonds to “payday loans.” “I just don’t understand how these board members got away with this,” said Alexandria Coronado, a former member of the Orange County Board of Education. “These people need to be recalled.”

Read more: here

This scam has been played out all over.
Greed isn’t only in Orange County….although there is a lot of it there..
-Moose

The Debt Bomb Just Got Bigger

Via: RT

Published time: March 18, 2013 15:49

The amount of debt worldwide is more than all of the bank accounts in the world, and the current financial situation in Cyprus is the inevitable next phase: Confiscation.

All pretense is now gone that central or global bankers can ‘securitize’ growth by packaging and repackaging debt; by hypothicating and rehypothicating debt; by regulating and rergulating debt. Since the bond market rally began in the early 1980s (yes, it’s that old) each crisis has been met by central and global bankers – the IMF, EU and ECB, to name a few – and their Wall St. and City of London brethren with an increase in debt, and an extension of the debt’s maturity.

The result has been – as of 2007 – the biggest mountain of on-balance sheet and off-balance sheet debt in history: A staggering $220 trillion in debt in America’s $14-trillion economy alone (when you include all public, private and contingent liabilities of unfunded entitlement programs). Deals in the global debt derivatives market now stand in excess of $1 quadrillion, riding above a global GDP of approximately $60 trillion.

But starting in 2007, and then becoming spectacularly apparent in 2008 with the Lehman collapse, the ability of the world’s taxpayers to pay either the interest or principal on this debt has hit a brick wall. And for several years now, governments around the world have tried the same old tricks of ‘extend and pretend.’ Repackage and extend the maturity, and pray that tax receipts start picking up enough to pay some of the debt off. It didn’t work. The debt bomb just got bigger.

Now in Cyprus we see the inevitable next phase: Confiscation.

Read more: here

Thank goodness our leaders are looking out for us…
-Moose

After The Banksters Steal Money From Bank Accounts In Cyprus They Will Start Doing It EVERYWHERE

Via: The Economic Collapse Blog

By Michael, on March 17th, 2013

Cyprus is a beta test. The banksters are trying to commit bank robbery in broad daylight, and they are eager to see if the rest of the world will let them get away with it. Cyprus was probably chosen because it is very small (therefore nobody will care too much about it) and because there is a lot of foreign (i.e. Russian) money parked there. The IMF and the EU could have easily bailed out Cyprus without any trouble whatsoever, but they purposely decided not to do that. Instead, they decided that this would be a great time to test the idea of a “wealth tax”. The government of Cyprus was given two options by the IMF and the EU – either they could confiscate money from private bank accounts or they could leave the eurozone.

Apparently this was presented as a “take it or leave it” proposition, and many are using the world “blackmail” to describe what has happened. Sadly, this decision is going to set a very ominous precedent for the future and it is going to have ripple effects far beyond Cyprus.

After the banksters steal money from bank accounts in Cyprus they will start doing it everywhere. If this “bank robbery” goes well, it will only be a matter of time before depositors in nations such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal are asked to take “haircuts” as well. And what will happen one day when the U.S. financial system collapses? Will U.S. bank accounts also be hit with a “one time” wealth tax? That is very frightening to think about.

Cyprus is a very small nation, so it is not the amount of money involved that is such a big deal. Rather, the reason why this is all so troubling is that this “wealth tax” is shattering confidence in the European banking system. Never before have the banksters come directly after bank accounts.

If everything goes according to plan, every bank account in Cyprus will be hit with a “one time fee” this week. Accounts with less than 100,000 euros will be hit with a 6.75% tax, and accounts with more than 100,000 euros will be hit with a 9.9% tax.

How would you feel if something like this happened where you live?

Read more: here

Thank goodness this could never happen here…
-Moose

Dylan Grice Explains How "Crackpot" Central Bankers Are Destroying Society

Via: Zero Hedge

From Dylan Grice of Edelweiss Holdings

Would the real Peter and Paul please stand up?

In a previous life as a London-based ‘global strategist’ (I was never sure what that was) I was known as someone who was worried by QE and more generally, about the willingness of our central bankers to play games with something which I didn’t think they fully understand: money. This may be a strange, even presumptuous thing to say. Surely of all people, one thing central bankers understand is money?

They certainly should understand money. They print it, lend it, borrow it, conjure it. They control the price of it… But so what? What should be true is not necessarily what is true, and in the topsy-turvy world of finance and economics, it rarely is. So file the following under “strange but true”: our best and brightest economists have very little understanding of economics. Take the current malaise as prima facie evidence.

Read more: here

Incredible Video: Beppe Grillo Dissects the Financial System…in 1998

Via: Liberty Blitzkrieg

“Whom does the money belong to?  Who does its ownership belong to?  To the State fine…then to us, we are the State. You know that the State doesn’t exist, it is only a legal entity.  WE are the state, then the money is ours…fine.  Then let me know one thing.  If the money belongs to us…Why…do they lend it to us??”
– Beppe Grillo in 1998

If you really want to know why Beppe Grillo is causing Central Planners throughout the European continent to wet themselves, this video will show you.  There’s a real revolution happening in Italy.  This guy is the real deal and he understands the heart of the whole issue plaguing the world.  All I can say is:  WOW.

Read more: here

Definitely watch the video..WOW is right..
-Moose

How Many Billions Of Drug-Laundered Money Does It Take To Shut Down A Bank?

Via: Zero Hedge

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/07/2013

It’s an odd question, we know – especially ahead of today’s Stress Tests, but given today’s testimony on assessing the bank secrecy act, apparent trouble-maker Elizabeth Warren pokes and prods (correctly we would add) at the surreality that exists between the Department of Justice, The Treasury, and the financial system. David Cohen, Tom Curry, and Jerome Powell dodged bullets and blame, “does that mean essentially we have a prosecution-free zone for large banks in America?”

But Warren wasn’t going to be fobbed off with useless banter as she pointed out, “if you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you’re going to go to jail… for the rest of your life. But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night – I think that’s fundamentally wrong.”

Indeed Ms. Warren.

Read more: here

Bunch of Crooks!
-Moose

QE Is "Unsustainable And Unfair To Those Who Work For A Living"

Via: Zero Hedge

Via ‘Lucas Jackson’,

Fed Creates A New $4.25bn Asset Manager Every Business Day in March

There is ample debate going on in the market right now about the long-term effects of the Fed’s seemingly never-ending QE. The well-respected Stanley Druckenmiller was on CNBC this morning defending his recent commentary that the mal investment currently being instigated by the Fed can only end poorly. The counter-point was provided by former Fed governor Kevin Warsh who in his best status quo pleasing way essentially said Bernanke is in charge and all is well.

Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn’t. Personally, in the debate between a Fed governor academic and a man who successfully managed billions of dollars for decades, I’ll put my money behind Mr. Druckenmiller any day of the week and twice on Sundays!

But I’m not smart enough to know what will be the result of the Fed’s latest monetary experiments. Perhaps all will be well. Perhaps the magical money multiplier really works and is higher than anyone thinks? Perhaps the wealth effect is just about to kick in. Perhaps inflation really is low and muted, as Bernanke keeps repeating. Perhaps housing is recovering despite a continuing decline in real wages. Who knows? I don’t.

But one thing I do know is that the Fed’s hands are all over markets today. Consider for a moment the current QE program.

QE aka Money for Nothing

In March, there are exactly 20 business days. Also in March, the Fed will commit to purchase via their Permanent Open Market Operations (POMO) approximately $85bn in securities from the TBTF primary dealers. The $85bn in cash (not real cash but actually 1s and 0s in an electronic account) didn’t exist on the world’s ledger in February. However, yesterday at the Fed some functionary sat down at a computer, went into one of the Fed’s POMO accounts and entered the numbers 85, followed by nine 0s. Suddenly, the world had an additional $85bn. It doesn’t exist and then POOF! 11 key strokes later and it exists.

Read more: here