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View Diary: Schneiderman's Mortgage Fraud Task-Force: A Con Job & Political Hackery (14 comments)

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  •  Important question: (1+ / 0-)
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    Is Schneiderman in on the con or is he just another mark?

    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

    by Johnny Q on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:59:10 PM PST

    •  There was a lot of discussion of this at the time (2+ / 0-)
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      Ray Pensador, aliasalias

      There was a lot of discussion about various state attorney generals who were seeking to prosecute banksters at the time.  Among those proposing to prosecute financial industry criminals was Schneiderman, perhaps the most visible inasmuch as his beat actually included Wall Street.  The federal task force was the DOJ's way to co-opt those prosecutors.  If I remember correctly, it took a while to bring Schneiderman on board.  There was some hope at the time that he might have moved the DOJ towards actually doing its job, but there were a lot of skeptics.  In retrospect, we learned once again that a cynical interpretation of the events was the right one.  

      •  One of the main problems is that financial (1+ / 0-)
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        transactions that are voluntarily entered into by two parties with full knowledge that one or both might suffer an injury or loss are virtually impossible to describe as fraud. If a person agrees to abuse, it's no longer abuse, just as when a person pleads guilty, the conviction is almost impossible to reverse, even when there is evidence that the plea was coerced.
        In other words, it's hard to correct injustices after the fact. Never mind that financial injury is not really real. Money is a token and the transactions are abstractions. Which is why, if equity is desired, the relationships have to be structured fairly ahead of time. That's what the Consumer Protection Bureau is supposed to achieve. The word "consumer" isn't quite correct, but it is familiar to people who are the recipients in a transaction. "Receiver" may be more accurate, but probably wouldn't be appreciated. Being a recipient is laden with negative implications.
        The lenders in the collapse of 2008 knew what they were getting into and the borrowers should have known. After all, the borrowers were signing away their rights, as this "Waiver of Rights," which was appended to notes demonstrates:

        Waiver of Rights

        By execution of this Instrument Borrower expressly,

        (1) Acknowledges the Lender's Right to Accelerate the debt and the power of attorney given hereby to Lender to sell the premises by nonjudicial foreclosure upon default by borrower without any judicial hearing and without any notice other than such notice as is specifically required to be given under the provisions of said Deed to Secure Debt;

        (2)Waives all rights which Borrower may have under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the various several states, the Constitution of the State of Georgia, or by reason of any other applicable law, to NOTICE AND TO JUDICIAL HEARING prior to the exercise by the lender of the right or remedy herein provided to Lender, except such notice as is specifically required to be provided in said Deed to Secure Debt;

        (3)Acknowledges that Borrower has read this deed and its provisions have been fully explained to Borrower and Borrower has been afforded the opportunity to consult with counsel of Borrower's choice prior to executing this deed;

        (4)Acknowledges that all Waives of the aforesaid rights of Borrower Have Been Made Knowingly, Intentionally and Willingly by Borrower as part of a bargain for loan transaction;

        (5)Agrees that Borrower's right to notice shall be limited to those rights to notice provided by this deed and no other; and

        (6)Agrees the provisions hereof are incorporated and made part of the Deed to Secure Debt.


        This particular waiver was employed by the Oglethorpe Bank of Brunswick, Georgia, which is one of some 50+ Georgia banks that has gone bankrupt, but other financial institutions used similar forms. Note that the borrower is granting the lender a power of attorney. That's the same kind of authorization the unjust steward in the biblical parable had to write off his master's debtors' debts. That's the same kind of power we have given to the Congress to manage our currency. And, two thousand years later, the only viable response is the same -- fire their asses!

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:06:02 AM PST

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        •  Well, yes but ... (1+ / 0-)
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          There were clearly fraudulent aspects to both the loans and foreclosure processes that give rise to the potential for civil and criminal prosecution.  That the borrowers "should have known" presupposes that the lenders disclosed what they knew, or should have known.  Then there are simple mechanics - take robosigning, for example.  It wasn't just me who thought there was criminality there.  My low opinion of state's attorney generals with whom I have had some dealings notwithstanding, the various attorney generals that were engaged in actively developing cases suggests that actual prosecutors thought that it was more likely than not that they could win at trial.  Furthermore, it appears that the DOJ thought so too, as evidenced by their formation of a "task force" to sidetrack the state prosecutions.  I stand by my conclusion that it's hard to keep up with the degree of cynicism needed to properly understand our DOJ's, and some state prosecutor's, handling of this.

        •  I totally disagree with that premise. The lenders (2+ / 0-)
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          Dumas EagerSeton, aliasalias

          which I call Wall Street financial criminal cartels, purposely engage in a sophisticated ponzi scheme.  They knew what they were doing.  Their "financial products" infected the market, just like any pathogen does in biology.

          If you create a situation where you basically say "I'm going to spread 'free money' around" and make that a proposition for average citizens, people are going to start grabbing with both hands.

          The fraudulent financial products were created so there would be very high volumes of transactions, and the financial criminal cartels would make their money from fees on those transactions, and from speculating further on those transactions.

          They paid off the rating agencies and our worthless political establishment to accomplish this.

          The result: Tens of thousands of suicides, entire communities devastated, the defunding of essential services in community after community...

          This was the biggest and most heinous crime in modern history, and everybody knows who the culprits are.  The most offensive thing is that they are still walking around, with smugness on their faces, instead of doing hard time in prison.

          •  Well, the currency is the responsibility of (0+ / 0-)

            Congress. Money ought not to be used for gambling, just as hammers ought not to be used to hit people over the head.
            Using money as a tool of subordination is essentially abusive. But, it's been going on for so long that it's almost accepted.
            Imagine if we rationed inches. Congress rationing dollars is much the same.
            However, habits are hard to break. Islam preaches, as far as I know, that it is wrong to charge interest on money, over and above the cost of keeping accounts.
            Beppe Grillo refers to bankers as the priests of money. The Catholic church has a history of selling indulgences. Making an idol out of money is sort of the reverse.

            We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

            by hannah on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 08:38:38 AM PST

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