Saturday, February 11, 2012

'No One Was Cheated' In The Biggest Mortgage Meltdown In American History

It is beyond comprehension that there is anyone in the financial services world who, at this stage of the game, could make the following statement about the mortgage crisis of 2008:
"No one was cheated."
Those stunning words were uttered by Dick Bove, senior vice president of equity research at Rochdale Securities, in an appearance on CNBC on Thursday.
"No one was cheated."
Those are breathtaking words coming from someone who's supposed to understand finance. Mr. Bove was educated at Columbia University and has been in his line of work since 1965, so clearly he is knowledgeable as to how things work in what is supposed to be his area of expertise. So when he boldly makes the wildly-dishonest claim that "no one was cheated," there are really only two reasonable conclusions one can come to about Mr. Bove:

  • He's nothing more than a political shill for the banking industry, from which he has profited for decades, or
  • He is an angry, bitter and possibly hateful man, clearly filled with an enormous amount of resentment for his fellow citizens.

In Mr. Bove's world, this is how it works:

Hardworking couple walks into a bank and says, "we would like to buy this house, but we can only put down five percent," and the banker says, "No problem! We've got just the loan for you! Even Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said you can get a better deal with an adjustable mortgage! Sign here and it's all yours! Woo HOO!"

All kinds of machinations happen behind the scenes that the unsuspecting home-buyers are unaware of: the complete abandonment of sound underwriting practices; the bundling of the home-buyers' "sub-prime" mortgage with more unsuspecting people's 401ks, pensions, and company stock options into CDOs, credit default swaps, derivatives and securities (what home-buyer ever heard of that stuff?); the sale of this "junk" to even more unsuspecting people; and then betting against the junk they just sold, meaning they were actually hoping the economy would crash!

Then the economy actually does crash. The housing bubble bursts, the value of the home the hardworking couple bought using the shit loan the banks dressed up as the glamorous Zsa Zsa Gabor just plummeted into the toilet, they lose their jobs along with a staggering 8.8 million other hardworking Americans and are now struggling to keep up with their mortgage payment (which, by the way, has ballooned up to a 9+ percent interest rate, G-d bless that super-duper adjustable mortgage they were talked into) and the bank flat out refuses to re-finance their loan.

Lo and behold, some other entity or bank starts foreclosure proceedings against the homeowners, forging signatures, splicing documents together, and applying falsified notary statements to the paperwork, while claiming—falsely—to be the mortgagee of record. The court signs off on the foreclosure and the local sheriff shows up to lock the couple out of their house.

Except that the bank that actually does hold their mortgage didn't actually foreclose on them (yet).

So quite clearly it's all the homeowners' fault. All of it.
"No one was cheated."
According to Dick Bove, anyway.

For my money, I think he's both a shill and a bitter, nasty person who hates his fellow Americans. Watch the above video, make your own call and let me know what you think in the comments section below.


Signing scandal hitting home; Dubious names affect verification of deeds ~ By Dan Stockman at The Journal Gazette
Five Reasons Why Dick Bove's Mortgage Settlement Rant Was Dead Wrong ~ By Ben Walsh at Business Insider
Dick Bove Just Argued All Mortgage Holders Should Get Cramdowns ~ By Gary Anderson of Strategic Default Books, published at Business Insider
Stimulus added jobs — but not enough ~ By Chris Isidore at CNNMoney

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~ Anne Frank

Friday, February 10, 2012

Which Party Has Our Servicemembers' Backs Back Home?

21 of 29 bills in the current Congress related to our military are supported by more Democrats than Republicans.

Current Legislation Number of Sponsors 
Key Bills in Congress  Republicans Democrats Independents
S. 1990 - TSA Hiring Improvements for National Guard and Reserve  4 7 1
H.R. 3612 - Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2011  17 25 0
Military Pay
S. 724 - Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011  47 33 1
H.R. 1297 - Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011  160 47 0
H.R. 1110 - The Combat Act of 2011  0 8
Health Care Issues 0
S. 1629 - Agent Orange Equity Act of 2011  1 10 0
H.R. 812 - Agent Orange Equity Act of 2011  11 50 0
H.R. 115 - CHAMPVA Children's Protection Act of 2011  0 9 0
GI Bill
H.R. 1451 - Post 9/11 GI Bill Payment Restoration Act  2 10 0
Veterans Issues
S. 146 - Veteran Employment Transition Act  5 17 1
H.R. 3670 - Reemployment Rights for TSA Workers  7 3 0
H.R. 1025 - Honor the Guard and Reserve Act  21 34 0
H.R. 333 - Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act  43 103 0
Retirement Issues
S. 866 - Reserve Retirement Deployment Credit Correction Act  8 20 1
S. 344 - Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2011 - Full Concurrent Receipt  4 23 1
H.R. 1332 - Social Security Fairness Act of 2011  53 94 0
H.R. 1092 - Military Retirees Health Care Protection Act  7 18 0
H.R. 303 - Retired Pay Restoration Act  35 39 0
H.R. 186 - Extended Concurrent Receipt Eligibility  17 8 0
H.R. 181 - National Guardsmen and Reservists Parity for Patriots Act  38 34 0
H.R. 179 - Reserve Health Care Coverage  4 0 0
Survivor Issues
S. 260 - End Surivor Benefit Plan Offset  12 36 2
S. 260 - Repeal SBP-DIC Offset  12 36 2
H.R. 178 - Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act  85 88 0
Other Issues
H.R. 3636 - Protect Veterans' Memorials Act of 2011  0 4 0
Military Spouse and Family
S. 1852 - Spouses of Heroes Education Act  0 2 0
S. 697 - Military Spouse Job Continuity Act  2 10 1
S. 687 - Military Spouse Employment  11 4 0
H.R. 687 - Military Spouses Employment Act  34 33 0

You do the math.

Source: Legislative Center