The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) latest civil suit against Bank of America (B of A) is an embarrassment of tragic proportions on multiple dimensions. We're "only" going to explore seven of its epic fails here. The two most obvious fails (except to most of the media, which failed to mention either) are that the DOJ has once again refused to prosecute either the elite bankers or bank that committed what the DOJ describes as massive frauds and that the DOJ has refused to bring even a civil suit against the senior officers of the banks despite filing a complaint that alleges facts showing that those officers committed multiple felonies that made them wealthy by causing massive harm to others. Those two fails should have been the lead in every article about the civil suit. There are many more...
You could even make a case that QE is part of TBTF. Chew on that for a while Shirley.
For the first time since September of 2010, nearly two years ago, has the Case Shiller 20 City Index realized a year-over-year gain. Does this signify a sustainable turning point for the market?
Fraudclosure Case v ABBY G. LOPEZ Involving Leaked Email Heats Up, Akerman Senterfitt Tries to Close Off the CourtroomSubmitted by 4closureFraud on 06/05/2012 17:49 -0500
And I thought the Florida Bar said foreclosure lawyers must report fraud to court...
FHA insured loans have been a big booster for the current market. Historically FHA insured loans made up roughly 8 to 12 percent of all mortgage originations but in 2009 they hit 30 percent. For first time home buyers it was a stunning 50 percent showing that most people can only purchase a home today with a very small down payment. Yet small down payments create instant negative equity positions if the market moves sideways or pops lower (aka our current market). For example, the 3.5 percent standard FHA down payment is wiped away by the 5 to 6 percent selling costs. What is interesting with this is that the FHA insured loan market is fully backed by the government (i.e., you) so any losses will be completely shouldered by the public.
The California housing market sits in an odd stage of limbo.
Smith, Hiatt & Diaz Motion to Purge Lender Processing Services' (LPS) Accidentally Leaked Internal EmailSubmitted by 4closureFraud on 04/25/2012 12:21 -0500
They may have a little more difficulty getting this now public record "purged" from the internets...
"Please advise us regarding a reliable procedure whereby the appropriate foreclosing party can be situated in the matter such that we can proceed to judgment of sale"
Humans are a flawed species. Our minds are easily manipulated. We don’t like pain. We prefer instant gratification. We are susceptible to mass delusion. We will often choose hope over critical thought. Those with higher IQs will regularly attempt to take advantage of those with lower IQs. Fear and greed are the two motivations used by the minority in power to control and manipulate the majority. The American people have been led astray by a small group of powerful men. We were herded through a door in the wall of perception that promised an American dream of material goods, entitlements and pleasure with no obligations or responsibility to future generations. There is only one choice that can save this country from ruin. Each individual must make a choice to either to continue supporting the manipulative, corrupt status quo or coming back through the Door in the Wall.
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend” – Aldous Huxley
The Wall Street mantra of stocks for the long run is beginning to get a little stale. If Abbey Joseph Cohen had been right for the last twelve years, the S&P 500 would be 4,000. For this level of accuracy, she is paid millions. Her 2011 prediction of 1,500 only missed by16%. The S&P 500 began the year at 1,258 and hasn’t budged. The lowest prediction from the Wall Street shysters at the outset of the year was 1,333, with the majority between 1,400 and 1,500. The same Wall Street clowns are now being quoted in the mainstream media predicting a 10% to 15% increase in stock prices in 2012, despite the fact we are headed back into recession, China’s property bubble has burst, and Europe teeters on the brink of dissolution. They lie on behalf of their Too Big To Tell the Truth employers by declaring stocks undervalued, when honest analysts such as Jeremy Grantham, John Hussman and Robert Shiller truthfully report that stocks are overvalued and will provide pitiful returns over the next year and the next decade.
Latest from Ed Pinto, who piles on the blame the GSEs argument with some new data and analysis in The American, AEI's online magazine. This will not help the cognitive illusion being so skillfully maintained by our friends Ritholtz and Nocera, who still cannot bring themselves to admit that Wall Street runs the GSEs just like a private SIV. Lawyers and first loss exposure is the only difference.
So with just a 3 years delay, the SEC has finally put down the porn channel remote, and decided to do what it should have done back in 2008, which is to sue the former heads of Fannie and Freddie for "misleading investors about risky mortgages" in the case below, former Fannie CEO Daniel Mudd, who was paid $13.4 million in 2007. With MF Global telling everyone it had no European exposure as recently as September 30, this appears to be a recurrent theme. So at this pace, Corzine should expect the SEC to sue him... about 8 years after he passes away? Per Reuters: "The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued three former executives at Fannie Mae and three at Freddie Mac, including former chief executives of both companies. The civil charges were filed in two separate lawsuits. The SEC said both firms have agreed to cooperate with the agency and have entered into non-prosecution agreements." Yes, your honor, we don't admit or deny that we got paid tens of millions to blow up the companies at the backbone of the American mortgage industry by lying what we were investing in, but we will cooperate... We promise. In the meantime, we won't hold our breath for the SEC to clawback even one cent from Mudd in this purely theatrical spectacle, of which we will see many more as the US enters election year. Incidentally, any and all LPs of Fortress Group may want to ask themselves what else (if anyhting) the current CEO of the company, who just happens to be Dan Mudd, is misrepresenting these days.
Bank of America Lynch[ing this] CountryWide's Equity Is Likely Worthess and It Will Rape FDIC Insured Accounts Going BustSubmitted by Reggie Middleton on 10/22/2011 06:50 -0500
Warning! Highly controversial post. Long. Thick (with information) & HARD [hitting]! Thus if you are easily offended by pretty women, intellectually aggressive brothers in cognitive war garb, government regulators selling you out to the highest European bidder, or cold hard facts borne from world class research not seen in the sell side or the mainstream media, I strongly suggest you stop reading here and move on. There is nothing further for you to see.
Several years ago Paolo Pellegrini, Kyle Bass, Michael Burry and several other visionaries were well ahead of the conventional wisdom groupthink curve by not only sensing that the housing market was massively overvalued and riding on the crest of a huge leverage bubble (many others agreed) but by finding a ridiculously cheap, low theta way of expressing an uber-bearish long-term outlook with negligible downside and virtually unlimited upside by purchasing billions in ABX index notional at a cost of a few basis points, and watching it explode as one after another asset manager figured out just what "subprime" means and why it may not be conducive to a healthy career in finance. Virtually all of them ended up being very, very rich in just a few short years having had the foresight and, more importantly, the way to express that vision. Lightning may be about to strike twice as the Subprime implosion of 2007 becomes the Prime implosion of 2011. Back in December 2009, when musing on the very interesting topic of the advent of a new ABX-like index, this time tracking Prime mortgages, we asked, rhetorically as so often happens, "Will The New ABX Prime Index Be The Reason For The Next RMBS (And Thus, FHA/GSE) Collapse?" (for more on this index which MarkIt now markets as PrimeX see here). And while the rest of the world is fretting about Europe, Morgan Stanley, lack of decisive political decision-making in a pseudo union of 17 different countries, lack of decisive monetary intervention, a Chinese hard landing and everything else that makes front pages these days, slowly our prediction is starting to come true. But you won't hear about it anywhere else, because if the market understands that in addition to a global solvency crisis, America has another Subprime contagion on its hands actually being expressed in the markets as we type, and potentially costing banks, pension funds and various asset managers billions in losses behind the scenes, that may well be the last straw.
If the equity crowd only knew how difficult it is to trade financial instruments in secondary markets (or primary markets with IPOs non-existent and IG issuance taper off etc) and what each new non-agency valuation mark means for the next quarterly earnings report, given top five banks own near $800 billion of second liens and stuff not to mention other variations of housing stock. Record long mortgage exposute in all its forms. These asset markdowns will be reflected across the street in next slate of earnings statements. Litigious environment too blurring liability thanks to partner government. Financials CDS anywhere from +15 bps to +25 bps wider. Another thought is that this particular primary banking group is actually the lubrication, artery or aorta for the liquidity of the U.S. Treasury as primary role for distributing U.S. and other sovereign debt. What does it mean when the equity valuations of these players plummets, what their OWN liquidity dysfunction and willingness and ability to raise liquidity for U.S. or any debt? I suppose with the recent Op Twist release a few minutes ago, the Fed will buy some of it.