RISMEDIA, March 23, 2010—I must be living in Bizarro World. Last week, the Associated Press began an article as follows, “Banks weren’t the only ones giving big bonuses in the boom years before the worst financial crisis in generations. The government also was handing out millions of dollars to bank regulators, rewarding “superior” work even as an avalanche of risky mortgages helped create the meltdown.”
Let me see if I’ve got this straight? Banking regulators who looked the other way during a massive Wall Street fraud were paid huge bonuses for doing their jobs so well?
I feel like such a patsy. I thought that hard work, dedication and commitment were the keys to prosperity. It turns out to be the opposite. The more you screw things up, the more lucrative it is whether you are in the private sector or government.
The American worker is the Cadillac of the global labor pool. According to a 2007 report by The United Nations, the United States, “leads the world in labor productivity.”
The report goes on to say that American workers stay longer in the office, at the factory, or on the farm than their counterparts in Europe and most other rich nations, and they produce more per person over the year.
We’ve been showing up, performing at a high level and helping these firms make huge profits, and what do we have to show for it? Less than nothing.
For many years, Business Week has been comparing average CEO annual pay to average factory worker pay. The ratio of CEO pay to factory worker pay rose from 42:1 in 1960 to as high as 531:1 in 2000, at the height of the stock market bubble, when CEOs were cashing in big stock options. It was at 411:1 in 2005.
It’s even more revealing to compare the actual rates of increase of the salaries of CEOs and ordinary workers; from 1990 to 2005, CEOs’ pay increased almost 300% (adjusted for inflation), while production workers gained a scant 4.3%. The purchasing power of the federal minimum wage actually declined by 9.3% when inflation was taken into account.
Wall Street says the problem is that American workers earn 20% too much and government says we should pay more taxes. And, while doing that, they need for us to spend more to stimulate the economy. Do you understand “trickle-down economics” a little better now?
Why does none of this seem to outrage anyone enough to do anything to help themselves and others stop this government-sanctioned assault on the middle class? You want terror? I’m not worried about Al Qaeda. Short of being dead, this is about as high on the terror chart as one can get.
Where is the Cavalry now? Our bravest young men and women are coming home to the stark reality of high unemployment and possibly losing the home they bought while serving. Thank you very much for your service; welcome back. Enjoy life on the streets.
While they have distracted us with Health Care, a symptom, the real cause of our pain goes untreated.
Well, I’m mad as hell and I’m going to do something. In fact, I’ve already started. I moved all of my accounts to a credit union, which changes the relationship to owner. I’m a member and share in the efficient operation of that institution.
The other thing I’m going to do is make available what I have learned investigating debt securitization as it relates to mortgages and the various legal issues that have come to light as more and more people have stood up and said, “Not without a fight.”
Many people have emailed me from all over the country wondering if it is appropriate to ask for my assistance. That leads me to believe that there are twice as many who have a question or need direction that haven’t.
All I can do is point you in the right direction. I’m not a lawyer and I believe you need one. Banks will be bringing the best lawyers in the business. You have the law and facts on your side, but it’s a long fight; you have to be patient.
The “show me the note” argument is only the beginning and is still not enough to convince all judges. The real substance of your claim is that tracing the note back to the holder will prove that you were the victim of a predatory loan, and having proven your claim, you will be entitled to remedies.
You are entitled to that due process, but you’ll have to fight for it. You can send the pretender lender a “Qualified Written Request,” which is your legal right. They are required to provide that information. As most who have done this have learned, they are not about to comply.
You’ll have to take them to court in non-judicial foreclosure states and compel the information as part of discovery. I believe they will do everything they can to prevent you from obtaining the information to which you are entitled.
I have been compiling a list of lawyers from various states who are having success. They understand securitization and how to plead these cases. Most attorneys are completely unfamiliar with this emerging area of practice. If you want to add someone to the list, email me their contact information.
In order to better facilitate communication and organization of resources available to those who want to fight, I am forming the American Foreclosure Resistance Movement.
The objectives are two fold: to assist those resisting foreclosure, and to organize a movement to demand that Congress act to stop all foreclosures until the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission finishes its work and issues its report.
Serious irregularities are going to come to light that will clearly prove that American homeowners were systematically stripped of their equity and tossed out on the street. It is still going on; defaults are still hugely profitable and it is still unconscionable.
One in 10 mortgages is in default. Some experts are predicting 9 million more foreclosures over the next three years.
And, while some banks I believe have been walking away from their own obligations, their spokespeople have been feeding bogus “news” stories about being responsible and making payments to them, to a lap-dog media.
And then there is this from the Associated Press:
“The European Central Bank’s chief warned Friday that credit default swaps ‘should not be misused in a speculative manner,’ backing European leaders eager to curb market pressure on government debt.”
France, Germany and Greece have called for a clampdown on the trade of credit default swaps, a form of insurance against default, without owning the debt. They claim traders who profit from so-called naked swaps are pushing costs on government borrowing to “unjustifiably high” levels.
Here is what I believe is the entire business plan in as few words as I can say it:
Financial intermediaries, not banks, took investors’ money and, undisclosed to anyone, kept a substantial portion for themselves. They created predatory loans with features that would cause the loan to default; they then bribed the credit reporting agency for a triple AAA rating. Next they bought credit default swaps covering not just the loan amount but the entire revenue stream to the payout of the loan. Only a few loans in a pool need to default to collect on all of the credit default swaps.
If the loan is modified, it isn’t a default and that is why they keep losing the paperwork. The financial disincentive for the bank to modify the loan is so great that they are only doing enough to make it look like they are doing something.
They are simply “cherry-picking” the best case scenarios and grudgingly grinding through those, all the while juggling other loans in the pool to make sure that enough loans remain in default to keep the pool in default.
During this period of delay, others will enter into default giving them other loans in the pool to maintain the proper balance. Pretend and extend. And, if the pool needs more defaults to maintain the balance, they simply default someone who isn’t delinquent.
I’ve now done enough research to conclude that the government is not unaware of this so it is obvious they are going to continue to do nothing, basically sanctioning what I am calling the economic destruction of America.
Perhaps you’re not in default or behind on your payments, but your circumstances have changed and you