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Not too short and not-so-sweet...just a few of the many outrageous things being at least somewhat ignored here while the DKos community focuses upon the silly season...and the nation's latest, shameful outrage du jour.

On November 3rd, regardless of the vote, it'll be back to the "new normal," even here...and it just seems to get uglier with every passing day, even when -- as the sad, old one-liner tells us -- one is "so poor they can't even afford to pay attention."

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JOBLESSNESS/UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: 1.2 million more Americans could lose their jobless benefits over the next 40 days, alone, if our legislative branch doesn't extend unemployment benefits by November 30th. It is our nation's record-breaking number of long-term unemployed, along with the young, the old and people of color, in general, who are feeling the lion's share of economic pain in our country.

"RUINING CHRISTMAS: 1.2 Million Will Lose Benefits By Year's End Unless Congress Acts," Arthur Delaney, HuffPo, 10/22/10.

From the National Employment Law Project: "1.2 Million Workers Out in the Cold for the Holidays If Congress Fails to Renew Federal Jobless Benefits that Expire November 30th," via Calculated Risk, 10/22/10: "Report: 1.2 Million Workers could lose Unemployment Benefits next month."


Report: 1.2 Million Workers could lose Unemployment Benefits next month
Calculated Risk
10/22/2010 04:07:00 PM


A new analysis released by the National Employment Law Project today reveals that 1.2 million workers will be cut off of federal jobless benefits by year's end if Congress fails to renew the federal emergency extensions that expire on November 30th.
...
Of the 1.2 million workers at risk of losing federal benefits, 387,000 are workers who were recently laid-off and are now receiving the six months (26 weeks) of regular state benefits. After exhausting state benefits, these workers would be left to fend for themselves in a job market with just one job opening for every five unemployed workers and an unemployment rate that has exceeded nine percent for 17 months in a row--with no federal unemployment assistance whatsoever.

This doesn't include the '99ers - the workers who have exhausted all available unemployment benefits.

"The Young, the Old, the Unemployed," Mike Konczal, New Deal 2.0, 10/21/10. Netroots Nation discussion group leader and economist Mike Konczal reviews a comparative analysis of unemployment in December 2007 versus September 2010, by Roosevelt Institute intern Charlie Eisenhood...


The Young, the Old, the Unemployed
Mike Konczal
New Deal 2.0
Thursday, October 21st, 2010

...What jumps out for me? College educated 20-24 year olds have the highest percentage increase in unemployment. This should go against a structural unemployment story, as college educated people have the `freshest' skills and incredibly high mobility. It's worth pointing them out in particular because if their careers hit a rough spot, hysteresis sets in and they'll have serious wage losses years down the road (see this classic White House blog post on the subject by Peter Orszag). Their situation is also important because the crisis is often seen as a small deal for college educated workers.

The other thing that jumps out at me is that the unemployment rate for everyone 55-64 has more than doubled. One thing we aren't talking about enough is that someone who is 60 and has been unemployed for a year isn't going to find a decent job again. Other ways of looking at the labor search outcomes of 55-64 year olds are even more worrying. Why don't we temporarily lower the retirement age, conditional on a bunch of hoops? Why don't we give them some relief, rather than raising the retirement age (a subject likely to be at the center of the December debate), when 55-64 year olds have had such a large increase in unemployment?

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HOUSING/MORTGAGES/FORECLOSURE CRISIS: Further answering rhetorical questions I've asked in diary headlines over the past few weeks (SEE: "Will The Foreclosure Fraud Crisis Undermine Our 'Recovery?'," and "Guess who's going to pay the bill for the foreclosure crisis?," and this, "Has The Mortgage/ Foreclosure Fraud Crisis Gone Surreal?") at least according to one reliable source, the housing market has (indeed) virtually and comprehensively collapsed over the past 60 days, according to the most up-to-date analysis of residential real estate selling prices (see below).  

Despite outdated reports of "stable" sales that were "aged" before they were even published over the summer and through September, north of 40% of all mortgageholders (a little shy of double the number of folks that owed more on their homes than they were worth, just 90 days ago), or roughly one-third of all homeowners, are -- or will soon be -- underwater. (I've been discussing the effects of this this projection by Deutschebank and Barclay's in my diaries for over a year, and catching hell for it; now it is happening.) To say this bodes very poorly for our "recovery," in general, is an understatement; since being underwater in one's "own" home dramatically increases the odds that a person will default on their mortgage.

Looked at another way, every 5% drop in home values is very conservatively equivalent to $500,000,000,000 (a half-trillion dollars) in lost equity for U.S. homeowners (Main Street), as well as the "mark-to-make-believe" valuations of the portfolios of banks, our government (and/or the Federal Reserve), and mortgage investors (Wall Street), combined. (That's downright ominous, IMHO.)

Clear Capital: "Sudden and Dramatic Drop in U.S. Home Prices," Calculated Risk, 10/22/10.


Clear Capital: "Sudden and Dramatic Drop in U.S. Home Prices"
by CalculatedRisk on 10/22/2010 12:58:00 PM

...I thought I'd pass along this alert today: Clear CapitalTM Reports Sudden and Dramatic Drop in U.S. Home Prices


"Clear Capital's latest data through October 22 shows even more pronounced price declines than our most recent HDI market report released two weeks ago," said Dr. Alex Villacorta, senior statistician, Clear Capital. "At the national level, home prices are clearly experiencing a dramatic drop from the tax credit-induced highs, effectively wiping out all of the gains obtained during the flurry of activity just preceding the tax credit expiration."

This special Clear Capital Home Data Index (HDI) alert shows that national home prices have declined 5.9% in just two months and are now at the same level as in mid April 2010, two weeks prior to the expiration of the recent federal homebuyer tax credit. This significant drop in prices, in advance of the typical winter housing market slowdowns, paints an ominous picture that will likely show up in other home data indices in the coming months.

... if previous correlations between the Clear Capital and S&P/Case-Shiller indices continue as expected, the next two months will show a similar downward trend in S&P/Case Shiller numbers.The most recent Case-Shiller numbers were for July (actually a three month average of May, June and July). The August numbers will be released next Tuesday (an average of June, July and August) - so there is a significant lag in the numbers.

What does this mean for Wall Street and a public already in the throes of a foreclosure fraud crisis? Well, for starters, talk of liquidating our two most insolvent too-big-to-fail ("TBTF") firms, Bank of America and Citigroup, has come to the fore, perhaps moreso (or, more sincerely) now than even during the market crash in late 2008.

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WALL STREET: One of the big three credit ratings agencies, Fitch, has just placed most major U.S. banks on a "negative watch," in-turn feeding a major move in the credit default swaps sector (thus feeding a shorting frenzy which may--if allowed to continue unaddressed and in its own right--morph into a self-fulfilling prophecy), and shorting, in general, very similar to what we experienced in the lead-up to the market crash in early Fall 2008.

This ratings shift, although years overdue, is particularly devastating for Bank of America, and Citigroup, the two most insolvent TBTF banks in our country, and the largest and fourth-largest (or, is it fifth-largest?) U.S. banks by assets, respectively. Meanwhile, as talk abounds about the Federal Reserve's impending second round of quantitative easing ("QE"), the reality is becoming more and more apparent that, with every passing day, QE2 will be as much about a second round of (even stealthier) Wall Street bailouts as it is about anything else.

"Here We Go: Fitch Places Bank Of America, All US Banks On Rating Watch Negative," from Zero Hedge, on 10/22/10, reminding us of how the political whims of credit-ratings firms still working in concert with Wall Street's objectives -- the sector that was a significant part of everything that's still wrong with a financial services sector gone wild -- still have a gun to our economy's head, to this day...


Here We Go: Fitch Places Bank Of America, All US Banks On Rating Watch Negative
Zero Hedge 10/22/2010 13:05 -0500

Here we go - the rating agencies are now officially in the game. Next up - collateral calls and other nasty stuff: "Today, Fitch Ratings issued a number of separate press releases placing on Rating Watch Negative most U.S. bank and bank holding companies' Support Ratings, Support Floors and other ratings that are sovereign-support dependent. The two companies mostly impacted by this announcement are Bank of America Corporation and Citigroup, Inc." BBB+ coming up...

And, this...

"Foreclose on the Foreclosure Fraudsters, Part 1: Put Bank of America in Receivership," William Black, L. Randall Wray, Huffington Post, 10/23/10 (This is what should happen, IMHO. But, more than likely, we'll see something like this -- formal control of Wall Street shifting to the still, mostly-unregulated shadow banking system -- play out: "Blackrock CEO Seeking Partner To Buy 35% BofA Stake Per Charlie Gasparino."

Yes, while our Party may still lack an understanding of how (per Rahm Emanuel's widely-publicized quote) not to "let a perfectly good emergency go to waste," the one thing you may still count on Wall Street to do is to remember exactly how to take advantage of an opportunity to subvert the system and loot Main Street whenever it arises!

Then of course, there are quite legitimate questions about the ulterior motives of those in our own Party: "Obama Administration: "Nothing to See Here" on Foreclosure Crisis."


Obama Administration: "Nothing to See Here" on Foreclosure Crisis
Yves Smith
Naked Capitalism
Friday, October 22, 2010      6:00AM

The Obama Administration is entirely predictable. It ever and always sides with large corporate interests, while trying to create the impression that it is actually concerned for the welfare of the average citizen. Admittedly, the occasionally tough talk with little follow through feeds a perverse spectacle of plutocrats sulking, pouting, and claiming that they are really, really badly treated.

Yesterday, the Financial Times reported "Foreclosure crisis tops Obama agenda" and described a closed door meeting scheduled with top officials. This mountain of effort so far seems to be producing a molehill, apparently by design. Team Obama is resorting to another of its well ingrained bad habits, of using PR as the preferred solution for all policy problems.

The only question here is whether the powers that be are so out of touch that they regard the foreclosure crisis version of extend and pretend as a viable strategy, or whether they are simply using it to buy time. And if the latter, is the object to get more breathing room while they do a proper diagnosis or simply to keep things on an even keel through the elections? Presumably, any bank-favoring measures would be radioactive right now, while voters will lack immediate recourse after November 2. Indeed, in a DC version of Br'er Rabbit's pleas not to be thrown in the briar patch, expected Republican gains could serve as a very useful excuse for the Administration to rescue the banks once again: "Congress made us do it".

A very good account by Shahien Nasiripour and Arthur Delaney at the Huffington Post lays bare the Administration's dubious logic...

And, amidst all of the now-overwhelming investor and homeowner litigation currently well on its way to flooding the courts, below is a list of my most recent diaries on these two very intertwined subjects:

NYT Lead: "Battle Lines Forming in Clash Over Foreclosures" 10/21/10
Mtge. Fraud Bill Escalates As Stiglitz "Bashes" Bernanke's QE 10/19/10
Has The Mortgage/ Foreclosure Fraud Crisis Gone Surreal? 10/18/10
Is Wall St. Imploding, Again? Krugman: It's "very, very bad." 10/15/10
Guess who's going to pay the bill for the foreclosure crisis? 10/13/10
Krugman Nails It: Dem's Economic Policy Messaging Failure 10/11/10
40+/- States' AG's May Announce Joint Foreclosure Probe 10/9/10
Will Elizabeth Warren Enter The Foreclosure Fraud Fray? 10/6/10
Will The Foreclosure Fraud Crisis Undermine Our "Recovery?" 10/5/10
Plunging Into The Abyss: "America's Deepening Moral Crisis" 10/4/10
Wall Street Spawn Still Spew Spin On TARP/Bailout ... Again! 10/1/10

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THE U.S. STOCK MARKET AND GOING FULL CIRCLE, BACK TO MORE WELFARE FOR THE RICH: As Naked Capitalism pointed out the other day, "70% of all stock market trades are held for an average of 11 seconds."

Sincerely, doesn't this single, factual headline, IMHO, totally debunk virtually all of the propaganda that our nation's stock markets are operating freely and rationally, or being run fairly in any way, shape or form? Think about it!

So, while we continue to hear references to a second round of Wall Street bailouts, which still masque the true extent of systemic insolvency running rampant throughout our financial services industry, to this day; and, while we're now hearing, once again, of "stealthy," forced mergers (see BofA-Blackrock story, linked up above) with dying, TBTF behemoths (that should've been put down years ago) throughout the MSM, the reality is that, as I noted it in my diary from this past Tuesday, the entire concept of a second round of Federal Reserve-managed Quantitative Easing is really just another massive Wall Street bailout for the corporatocratic oligarchs.

Perhaps what frosts my butt most, however, is the fact that--while our country witnesses record income inequality, poverty and ongoing joblessness--we are now hearing about impending austerity on Main Street.

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JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK LIKE IT'S "SAVAGE AUSTERITY" FOR MAIN STREET COME NOVEMBER 3RD: Running in tandem with the narrative concerning the Catfood Commission, we're hearing that, across-the-board (not to mention across the pond) "savage austerity" is what's in store for the U.S. economy soon after November 2nd, according to Citigroup's leading international strategist. (SEE: "Willem Buiter: The US Must Prepare For Savage Austerity.") And, Great Britain's already there, according to Paul Krugman. (SEE: "British Fashion Victims.")

So, it's a good thing we have the mid-terms to preoccupy us...because the last thing we need is another reminder, at least right now, that many of us are just too damn poor to even pay attention!

Yes, let's wait until November 3rd to get back to reality...

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A weekend must-read, IMHO...

Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi will be out with a new book on November 2nd. Rolling Stone has an Exclusive Excerpt: America on Sale, From Matt Taibbi's `Griftopia'


America is quite literally for sale, at rock-bottom prices, and the buyers increasingly are the very people who scored big in the oil bubble. Thanks to Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and the other investment banks that artificially jacked up the price of gasoline over the course of the last decade, Americans delivered a lot of their excess cash into the coffers of sovereign wealth funds like the Qatar Investment Authority, the Libyan Investment Authority, Saudi Arabia's SAMA Foreign Holdings, and the UAE's Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

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Diarist's Disclosure: HERE and HERE.

Originally posted to http://www.dailykos.com/user/bobswern on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:04 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I wish more so-called "supply-side" economists... (6+ / 0-)

      would wrap their brains around this.

      Cutting off transfer payments, including unemployment benefits, will only stall this country's chances of economic recovery, as these Americans will no longer be consuming and driving demand for both inferior and normal goods - to say nothing of gifts during the holiday season.

      But then again, perhaps that has been the Right's plan from the start. Drive the economy into oblivion, celebrate bailouts before condemning them, then point the finger at Obama until he is defeated in 2012.

      Strong, consistent education of the public is IMPERATIVE with regards to the truth of our economy. We can't afford to hand the keys to the GOP for another decade lest the middle class disappear completely and the wealthy continue to step on the throats of the exploited in America.

      "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

      by APA Guy on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 12:02:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, all you say is true. Just remember that (9+ / 0-)

        the Dems are part and parcel of this problem. Their hands are just as dirty. It was Clinton who allowed Glass-Steagall to be revoked, and pushed thru NAFTA. The Obama Admin is NOT confronting, nor adequately addressing the criminality, and hooliganism that is PERVASIVE throughout the financial sectors of this country.

        I agree, we don't want the GOP in control, they are worse....but only worse....they aren't the problem alone.

        Until the Congress/WH is no longer for sale, there will be no peace and prosperity for the people of this country.

        I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

        by Lucy2009 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 12:27:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, no question about it... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lucy2009

          Democrats have aided and abetted this snail-paced, jobless "recovery"...including their refusal to get tough on tax policy and substantive jobs solutions.

          I hope our party will elect STRONG leadership when the next congress convenes. This current acquiescence to the Right on these matters is contributing to both our sagging poll numbers AND economy.

          "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

          by APA Guy on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 01:34:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  APA Guy? I have a question. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lucy2009

            I hope our party will elect STRONG leadership when the next congress convenes. This current acquiescence to the Right on these matters is contributing to both our sagging poll numbers AND economy.

            I ask this sincerely. How is it possible we can "elect" anything?

            Given the sure knowledge, that Corporations are now "people" too, how is it this country schizophrenically still believes a "vote" means a damned thing?

            "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

            by Annalize5 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 01:47:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Additionally, they don't really elect people (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Annalize5

              on merit anyways, do they?  I thought that folks got put in positions of power based on how long they've been hanging out in the Congress. Seems unlikely if they get rid of the current lot, that the next would be any better.

              Don't mean to be pessimistic, but if my understanding is correct, that's a set-the-bar-low kind of a criteria to establish who our leaders will be.

              Not to mention that Obama will still be Pres, Holder will still be the Atty Gen, etc, etc......

              Hope springs eternal, but my glass is feeling a bit empty at the moment.   :)

              I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

              by Lucy2009 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 04:40:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Lucy, we are riding the same bike... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lucy2009

                what with the revelations  coming out of Washington over the past ten years, to include the most recent horror ie: Wikileaks, I have very little faith left.

                I've faith in the the hearts and wisdom of everyday folks.

                I just know what "The Lie" feels like now, it's become palpable. If not for the technology of the WWW, I may still have had hope for the "Leadership" of this country.

                I really don't mean to bum anyone out. It's just the way it seems to be to me.

                "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

                by Annalize5 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 10:22:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Cool....tandem bike riding. LOL I've done (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Annalize5

                  that down at Venice Beach with friends....so FUN!!!

                  Yea, I find it kinda scary when I really sit and ponder what is going one, has been going on and unfortunately seems like will continue unabated. I don't see that HCR, FinReg....none of it is actually sufficient to handle the problem that the legislation was supposed to address.

                  Particularly, FinReg/WallStreet, Afghanistan/Iraq, Social Security/Deficit Commission. These are major actions that effect 100's of millions of peoples lives that are being "addressed" by people who have proven they are untrustworthy and are not really on the side of the average citizen. There are some good people in Congress, (not sure about Obama), but there are too many hucksters in a position of power that is poisoning the whole thing right now.

                  Ah well, I'll go out this afternoon to the fabric store to buy material to make my 27 yr old daughter a quilt for Christmas. Weather is beautiful here in So Cal, and I'll forget the machiavellian maneuvering happening in D.C. Doing pleasuable things puts everything back in a better perspective.

                  I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

                  by Lucy2009 on Sun Oct 24, 2010 at 12:41:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You have it~! :) (0+ / 0-)

                    Ah well, I'll go out this afternoon to the fabric store to buy material to make my 27 yr old daughter a quilt for Christmas. Weather is beautiful here in So Cal, and I'll forget the machiavellian maneuvering happening in D.C. Doing pleasuable things puts everything back in a better perspective.

                    Now that's "reality" and a beautiful one at that. I too am tired of the language of death and destruction.

                    "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

                    by Annalize5 on Sun Oct 24, 2010 at 11:45:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Because many of us still have faith in people (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lucy2009

              I haven't lost that faith, in spite of the wrongs that have been done by frauds of the past and present.

              "Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society" -Oliver Wendell Holmes

              by APA Guy on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 07:13:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you, Lucy. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lucy2009

          Until the Congress/WH is no longer for sale, there will be no peace and prosperity for the people of this country.

          It's really that simple.

          "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

          by Annalize5 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 01:36:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  We're Too Information-Poor, Yes Absolutely. (15+ / 0-)

    And too disinformation rich.

    For most Americans, informing themselves in the reasonable ways that ordinary people have available to them is like drinking seawater. Enough water's there alright, but the contamination makes you more thirsty not less.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:18:18 AM PDT

  •  Hey, the Pres was on about the Wall Street (11+ / 0-)

    Reforms and how the Republicans would try to repeal the [weak tea] legislation and he is of course correct.  

    He still is working to convince us that we are on the right track to recovery. We shall see.

    Glad to see that the Pres now has at least one advisor that's not totally in bed with trickle down supply side the economy is on the right track thinking:

  •  I just realized that my saved sites for economy (5+ / 0-)

    are running almost completely unemployment and foreclosure lately.  pretty scary

    Thank you for putting this together.

    REMEMBER THE GULF! Republicans want to get the country moving by taking us from D to R for Ramble.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:22:10 AM PDT

  •  Yes, Next question. (12+ / 0-)

    Not only are we so poor, the 91% who are employed or underemployed are working so hard to keep their 1, 2, 3, 4 jobs that they don't have time to pay attention.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:32:14 AM PDT

  •  sidebar: excerpt from email - paying attention (13+ / 0-)

    MoveOn

    You've got Karl Rove's attention.

    Yesterday morning, we got word from a trusted source in Washington, D.C.: He said Rove and the Chamber of Commerce are "really pissed off" about our campaign exposing the shadowy corporate front groups spending hundreds of millions to elect Republicans.

    They've seen the polls, and they're concerned that our message is working—and that it'll hurt Republicans on Election Day.

    So Rove and his corporate friends apparently decided to pour millions of additional dollars into attack ads against two candidates who've centered their campaigns around confronting corporate influence—to "make an example of them."

    One target is Alexi Giannoulias, who's running for Obama's old Senate seat in Illinois. Alexi was one of the first signers of our Fight Washington Corruption pledge, and he's refused to take money from corporate lobbyists and PACs. The other is Connecticut representative Chris Murphy, who got dozens of his colleagues signed on to a plan to overturn Citizens United and curb the influence of lobbyists.1

    We absolutely cannot let Rove and company win. We've got a plan to intensify our ad campaign supporting Alexi and to redouble our efforts to recruit get-out-the-vote volunteers in both races

    GOP Senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina favors suspending California's global warming regulations indefinitely. Senator Barbara Boxer does not.

    by anyname on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:34:28 AM PDT

  •  I like your diaries; they are very informative. (6+ / 0-)

    But wow, they are DEPRESSING.  :/  Possibly more so because it really, really feels like there is nothing we can do besides sit here and watch the wreck.

    I wasn't expecting to be this pessimistic about my future at age 29, I really wasn't.

    If you want to fight and die for my right to sit here and bitch, sleep with whomever you want.

    by talismanlangley on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:36:35 AM PDT

  •  You forgot to mention Glen Beck (15+ / 0-)

    and Christine O'Donnell and Sarah Palin. Next time put their names in your title and people will pay attention.

     I've been discussing all these scenarios, particularly the UI benefits cut-off and the Fraudclosure scandal, in conjunction with the fact that Congress won't even meet for another 3 weeks at the earliest. A lame-duck Congress is not likely to pass a serious fix.
     By early January, when the new Congress is in session, this could all be getting out of hand. The Democrats might not be sorry for losing this coming election. The Republicans might be in a position for having to vote for yet another Wall Street bailout, and I don't think the public will stand for it.

    "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want & the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

    by gjohnsit on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:37:48 AM PDT

    •  They're calling the bailout "quantitative easing" (10+ / 0-)

      ...when, in fact, it's all about buying the mark-to-make-believe MBS (mortgage-backed securitizations/securities) still off (and/or on) the balance sheets of the TBTF's. That's about the size of it, IMHO.

      Now...back to your pootie and photo diaries! LOL!

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:46:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  MERS: the weak link (10+ / 0-)

        Check out this link. The banks have gotten themselves into a position that, at best, will tie them up in lawsuits for years to come.

        "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want & the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

        by gjohnsit on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:56:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  MERS (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          divineorder, CuriousBoston, Siri

          In mortgage foreclosure cases, the plaintiff has standing as the holder of the note and the mortgage. When MERS forecloses, MERS is the mortgagee and it is the holder of the note because a MERS officer will be in possession of the original note endorsed in blank, which makes MERS a holder of the bearer paper. MERS will not foreclose unless the note is endorsed in blank and held by MERS.

          The MERS Legal Primer provides a sampling of cases that address the standing of MERS to foreclose its mortgages. These cases are not meant to be an exhaustive list involving MERS but are merely to serve as a primer for the legal arguments.

          http://www.mersinc.org/...

          state-by-state legal precedents:
          http://www.mersinc.org/...

          California
          Occasionally the case of Sulak et al. v. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., et al.,
          (Superior Court of Riverside County # RIC398123) comes up when researching challenges to
          MERS? standing. MERS prevailed at every stage in this action. MERS won all four appeals
          filed by the borrowers, including a judgment affirming an award of attorney's fees to MERS....

          In Florida, the situation is more complicated.

          MERS has rules that lenders need to follow.

          I'm not a lawyer. Consult a real estate or mortgage specialist lawyer if the best information and/or effective representation is needed.

          •  But there have been cases decided against MERS (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Angie in WA State, Jim P

            The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California
            has issued a ruling dated May 20, 2010 in the matter of In Re: Walker,
            Case No. 10-21656-E-11

            From the Opnion

            "Since no evidence of MERS’ ownership of the underlying note has been offered, and other courts have concluded that MERS does not own the underlying notes, this court is convinced that MERS had no interest it could transfer to Citibank. Since MERS did not own the underlying note, it could not transfer the beneficial interest of the Deed of Trust to another. Any attempt to transfer the beneficial interest of a trust deed without ownership of
            the underlying note is void under California law."

            Other cases cited by this judge which also went against MERS were Boyko (Ohio), Kesler (Kansas decision as to lack of authority of MERS), LaSalle Bank v. Lamy (New York), Vargas (California)

            "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." -- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

            by Siri on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 01:49:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks! Yes, it's a long-term mess n/t (4+ / 0-)

          "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

          by bobswern on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 12:06:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, "quantitative easing"... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Siri

        that makes me so goddamned mad. Man behind the curtain talk, assuming we don't have the intelligence to know what it really means~!

        "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

        by Annalize5 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 01:41:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tons of emerging lawsuits (11+ / 0-)

    I sent you a justia.com link a few days ago that shows a walloping increase in foreclosure "petitions for removal", "truth in lending", and "breach of contract" and other actions against just one small (ex-Lehman spinoff) mortgage servicing company and MERS in federal district courts across the country.  

    Why is this being so downplayed even in business media?  The bastards have to know what's going on behind the scenes.  Are they worried about that Great Depression II much?

    If I show my support and enthusiasm for positive change, I create an environment that enables the change to be made even better.

    by Richard Cranium on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:39:54 AM PDT

  •  Can we have our "French" fries back. (8+ / 0-)

    Seems at least the French are trying to shake the banking cartel's tree.  Most Americans simply don't understand what is happening.  The rich are getting richer while more are made poor and the poor are getting more poor.  Duh.  The money is going somewhere.
    I'm now convinced the situation will not improve, and will only get worse with the two party system.  And the elephant in the room, the propaganda machine is running at high gear with challenges only met by charges of tin foil and CT accusations.  The most disappointing thing is how many people acquiese to the machine.  Just watch a Bank of America commercial.

    The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism.

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:42:41 AM PDT

    •  Under capitalism (5+ / 0-)

      faith is often as good as money.

      If every homeowner in LA thinks the minimum price of a house should be $500,000, that's the minimum price.

      There wasn't and isn't $500,000 for every house in LA and many Angelino families don't even have $5,000.

      It's mainly faith based on a few comparative sales.

      Apple sells for over $200/share but its last four years profits sum to about a tenth of that (~$20).

      It's mainly faith.

      Economic faith can vanish in a flash.

  •  Read the Taibbi (11+ / 0-)

    excerpt this morning and now I am ready to give up and just move somewhere off the grid and inaccessible to the greedy psychopaths.  Geesh, can it get any worse?

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:43:17 AM PDT

  •  Another good diary... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lying eyes, CuriousBoston

    for me to poop on!

    just a few of the many outrageous things being at least somewhat ignored here while the DKos community focuses upon the silly season...

    So Democrats in the Daily Kos community more or less uniting in the quest to fend off the Republican barbarians at the gate is a silly waste of time.  The sort of infighting and recrimination that will once again be the norm after November 2nd is much to be preferred.  Never mind that every Democratic seat lost reduces the chances of unemployment benefits being extended and never mind that a Republican majority in either house of congress would expend all of it's energies trying to find ways to benefit the wealthy at the expense of those hardest hit by this rotten economy.

    And quotes like this from your hero Yves Smith:

    Presumably, any bank-favoring measures would be radioactive right now, while voters will lack immediate recourse after November 2. Indeed, in a DC version of Br'er Rabbit's pleas not to be thrown in the briar patch, expected Republican gains could serve as a very useful excuse for the Administration to rescue the banks once again: "Congress made us do it".

    are why she's not to be taken seriously any longer.  At this point she's just out to be as big an asshole toward the administration as she can be.

    "Hope 2010 feels a lot different than Hope 2008. Tougher, deeper, more dearly bought." Femlaw, Hope 2010, September 8, 2010.

    by seanwright on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:53:24 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, that's why Technorati just ranked... (9+ / 0-)
      Naked Capitalism #1 among all financial commentary websites.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 12:03:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Love the Dems, but don't have your head (10+ / 0-)

      buried in the sand as to their activities behind the scenes.

      I agree the GOP need to be kept out of the Congress. I've donated, and I just early voted for my Dems. However, we all need to be aware of the chicanery that the Dems engage in daily much to our detriment and continued/increasing levels of cultural/economical stress.

      To do otherwise does not benefit you, nor anyone else in this country.

      I love my kids more than anything in the world. I am a total mother bear when it comes to them. But...I can see they have flaws and if they are full of shit, I'll tell them so nicely and in an effort to get them to act right.

      It would behoove Dem voters to treat the Party in a similar manner.

      I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

      by Lucy2009 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 12:38:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are you honestly suggesting things are as (4+ / 0-)

      represented?  by either party? by the media?  Keeping Republicans out of office is the best we can do, but that ain't much; and because someone shows you your warts when you don't want to see them doesn't mean "they" are the asshole.  

      Don't tax the rich, starve the poor.

      by dkmich on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 12:39:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you honestly believe that Barack Obama's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lying eyes

        "warts" really include a secret desire for the republicans to win so that he can pursue his real objective which is to serve the banking interests at the expense of average Americans?  Because that's what Smith is accusing him of and Taibbi's thrown around similar accusations.

        "Hope 2010 feels a lot different than Hope 2008. Tougher, deeper, more dearly bought." Femlaw, Hope 2010, September 8, 2010.

        by seanwright on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 01:22:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know about his secret desires, but (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Angie in WA State

          I do know about the end results of his actions.   Talk is cheap.

          Don't tax the rich, starve the poor.

          by dkmich on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 03:04:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Three Parties: Dems, Repub, Big Money (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yoduuuh do or do not

          Big Money is the majority party in our politics, and there's a bi-partisan agreement that Big Money has .... well, the Big Money.

          Doesn't mean the Republicans aren't bat-shit insane, and the Democrats are better than them by miles and miles.

          But it doesn't mean that our government puts Big Money's interests 2nd to the well-being of the people and the nation. Is going over the waterfall in a unpaddled canoe much much much better than in a cigarette boat at full throttle? Of course, but.... what's wrong with recognizing you ARE going over, when you in fact are?

          Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

          by Jim P on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 03:53:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  "Republican barbarians at the gate" ? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State, Siri

      "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

      by Annalize5 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 01:19:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Finger-pointing is a strategic distraction... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, Jim P

      ...to divert us from the rot at the core of the system, and to get us past the finishing line on Nov. 2, after which politicians won't be accountable to us--their employers--for another two years.

      If you were truly concerned about keeping the GOP from returning to power, you'd help convince Democratic politicians to serve the interests of their employers instead of trying to convince voters through ooga-booga scare tactics.

      The bottom line is that the Democrats now own the economy, and ad homs that personalize critics as "assholes toward the administration" won't change that.

      •  Heh. I'll show lock-step Party unity when (0+ / 0-)

        the Dem leadership shows me how it's done. A lock-step unity on bringing our enemies in banking and insurance to heel.

        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 03:55:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  welcome (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State, bobswern, Siri

    to the Machine ...

    warning: silly season, in full play here.


    Isn't the demise of the Fact-based Media, wonderful.


    Where's the Note?    -- SEIU

    by jamess on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 11:56:09 AM PDT

  •  Why so much angst? (9+ / 0-)

    A friend of mine asked me this question the other day.

    There are a lot of awful things going on, I know that, but I don't feel it the way you and so many other people do. How does all this affect you directly? [I'm okay, no foreclosure, bankruptcy, illness or other catastrophe, so he continued] Why do you spend so much time learning about the situation, get so upset, take it so personally?

    I said that I've always wanted to know a) what's going on and 2) the truth. I've always lived near DC and I take a personal interest in the federal government.

    But that isn't really an answer. Yes, we have empathy for our less fortunate friends, but that doesn't explain why we chase down the details and read so many books and blogs.

    I couldn't tell him why the systemic threat affects me so viscerally. Why do we care so much, those of us who aren't falling off the cliff?

    Two good rules of life: Don't brake on a curve and don't drag the gears.

    by JG in MD on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 12:01:32 PM PDT

  •  Banks need to partner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    with experienced real estate investors and offer gain-share financing on foreclosed properties.

    Right now a bank sells a foreclosed house at a bargain basement price of say $99,000 and calls it a done-deal.

    Instead a bank should enter a contract with an experienced real estate investor at say a base value of say $99,000 and allow the real estate investor to rent out the house at say a market rent of $750/month. The bank should share the loses/profits of renting at 50/50 and any sales gains/loses when the house is sold by the investor after 2014 and before say 2026 (unless extended at the bank's option) on the same 50/50 basis.

    The real estate investor brings his marketing skills and the bank brings the house and both stand to profit.

    Since the houses are rented, there are fewer foreclosure sales at the bottom to drive down prices and the bank has an upside.

    Also, if the mortgagor "homeowner" can pay at least the higher of a market rental rate or the market value purchaser monthly rate, then foreclosure should be avoided.

    If the mortgagor "homeowner" pays more than market rental rates after tax deductions, then the bank may wish to offer minimum walk-away-share of any excess to market rental rates in states like California to keep buyers from walking away from underwater houses.

    Say if the market rent is $1,600, and the mortgagor pays $3,000/month and that $3,000 costs the mortgagor $2,050 after tax deductions, the bank might let the mortgagor "homeowner" keep $450/month after say December of any sales proceeds. The "overpaying" homeowner would then not have any incentive to walk away.

  •  (shrug) My congresscritter is paying attention! (7+ / 0-)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    The House can probably do its part, but the Senate has too many Republican Grinches," said Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), in a statement to HuffPost.

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 12:22:59 PM PDT

  •  Wow! Taibbi article made my hair stand on end (9+ / 0-)

    and I thought I was past all that.  The thing that has always bothered me big time is how cheap everyone is willing to sell out for.  In the grand scheme of things for a congressional vote a corporation only has to pay a few thousand dollars for which they reap millions.

    and the politicians  who sell state, city, county and national assets plan it to come to fruition after they are retired from public life and just don't give a damn.  And we elect them?????

    That Donald Trump would even consider a run for president is hair raising.  This man inherited a small fortune that he turned into a big one by bidding for city projects, deliberately underbidding and then filing bankruptcy so that he paid pennies on the dollar to small contractors and creditors.  And he has done this rinse and repeat with no consequences.

    All of this makes me sick.  I have not had a TV for a year and half and that has helped my anxiety.  I may have to give up kos---it would not be fair to just give up bobswern diaries you either can handle the truth or not.

    I can recognize it but damn if I know what to do about it.

  •  If the Obama Administration doesn't... (6+ / 0-)

    address the criminality of this market and the banks/investment brokers that exploited the American people and every investor, then America will lose all credibility in the world financial markets.

    The foundation of any functioning economy is a legal system and political process that treats all people equitably as possible. A legal system that is consistant in both process and procedure, with predictable results, given the preponderance of evidence and the precedent of recorded legal decision. Coupled with a political system that is not capricious or corrupt acting with neither fear nor favor towards the people.

    The perception of the American legal and political system nationally and worldwide is at stake, if the people lose what little faith remains in both systems the country is in grave trouble.  

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 01:10:39 PM PDT

  •  The only thing that separates us from Animals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State

    is opposable thumbs and a job.

    Well at least I still have my thumbs.

    At least the bankers still have their yachts.

    But your flag decal won't get you Into Heaven any more. They're already overcrowded From your dirty little war. -- John Prine (also flag lapel pins)

    by CitizenOfEarth on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 03:29:10 PM PDT

  •  "All your assets are paperwork errors" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not

    and they'll have to be corrected in the bank's favor, it looks like.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 03:42:39 PM PDT

  •  reading about the Chiago parking meter scam, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not

    the thought occurs to me that it should become the patriotic duty of Chicagoans to destroy parking meters and deny the investors their loot.

    Seems like a massive public education campaign is called for, so that informed Chicagoans can choose whether they want to support foreign investors when they park.

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 04:03:55 PM PDT

  •  I think that Yves hit it on the head (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CitizenOfEarth, bobswern

    when she mentioned the elections. My first thought when I heard about this several weeks ago was that the Obama administration knows perfectly well what month is famous for stock market crashes. I think that they are desperately trying to reassure the markets at this point and keep them from crashing before the election.

    It wouldn't surprise me at all if they don't expect it to crash again sometime soon, and are just trying to stave off a disastrous crash a few weeks before the election.

    Which isn't to say that they will take the right approach after the elections. I expect them to continue to pour money down the rabbit's hole for the banks. I just think that they probably know that there is a good chance it won't work.  

  •  Ooh! I 'll bet I know what Republicans are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern

    doing for Christmas! Instead of giving us anything they'll take away unemployment benefits just in time for Christmas. By April fools day tens of thousands homes of the jobless will be in default. It would be just like the  Republicans to give homelessness to tens of thousands of Americans as a Christmas present.

    "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sat Oct 23, 2010 at 06:06:43 PM PDT

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