Archive for the ‘Morgan Stanley’ tag
July 26, 2011
Lyndon LaRouche today called for the immediate jailing of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and President Barack Obama for their role in a massive theft of taxpayers money, in the 2008 bailout of Wall Street and London, and the ongoing pledge to continue the bailout of the hopelessly bankrupt European Monetary Union and Wall Street.
LaRouche made the demand after reviewing the July 2011 Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit of the Federal Reserve, which is the first installment of a larger audit to be completed by October of this year. The preliminary audit revealed a trail of criminal action on the part of Bernanke and Geithner. In March 2008, Fed Chairman Bernanke fraudulently invoked an emergency clause in the Federal Reserve Act, claiming that on the basis of “unusual and exigent circumstances,” the Fed could issue emergency loans to nondepository institutions for the first time since the Great Depression. As the result, the Fed issued more than $16 trillion in emergency loans to Wall Street and foreign banks. Furthermore, most of the fraudulent “emergency lending” was outsourced to private contractors, led by JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, in no-bid contracts that totalled $660 million in fees. Numerous officials of the Fed and the outside contractors were given blanket waivers, allowing them to act despite clear conflicts of interest. The Fed audit cited the case of William Dudley, a former chief economist of Goldman Sachs, who is now the Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve, who was given a conflict-of-interest waiver to retain his stocks in AIG and General Electric at a time when he was authorizing hundreds of billions of dollars in fraudulent “emergency” loans to these firms. In another example of the rampant conflict of interest, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase was allowed to remain on the board of directors of the New York Federal Reserve Bank while his firm received $390 billion in loans, and functioned as a major clearinghouse for the entire Federal Reserve emergency loan program.
The GAO audit was conducted under an amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill that was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), over strenuous objections.
Lyndon LaRouche today demanded that Bernanke, Geithner and President Obama be immediately sent to prison for their role in this fraudulent theft of taxpayer’s money. “There never was an emergency warranting $16 trillion in bailout to Wall Street and foreign banks,” LaRouche declared. “There was always an alternative, which I spelled out clearly in my 2007 Homeowners and Bank Protection Act (HBPA), an alternative thoroughly in keeping with the U.S. Constitution. I called for the immediate reinstatement of the Glass Steagall Act and a freeze on all home foreclosures for the duration of the bankruptcy reorganization of the entire Federal Reserve System. It was a high crime to bail out Wall Street and London’s gambling debts, and Bernanke’s declaration of emergency, unleashing $16 trillion in Fed funds to bailout gambling debts that can never be paid, was a criminal fraud. President Obama has furthered that criminal fraud, by pledging that the U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury would be the lenders of last resort for the European Monetary Union. The President made that illegal promise as recently as last week, during a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
LaRouche concluded: “There is only one appropriate course of action. Send Bernanke, Geithner and Obama to prison right now. The idea that the American people should be held responsible for bailing out tens of trillions of dollars in fraudulent, worthless, unpayable debt, is unforgivable, and must be punished by criminal prosecution and hard jail time. Public officials elected or appointed to high office in our Federal government must be held accountable for their crimes, or else our entire Constitutional system is worthless. I know the American people are with me, and that there can be no delay. The GAO is the official investigative arm of the U.S. Congress. They have provided their findings in a 239 page audit report. The facts speak for themselves.”
Well. Isn’t this a welcome development?
Last week, we heard the announcements by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that his office is investigating fraud in mortgage securitization — originally focused on Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley, this morning expanded to include JPMorgan, UBS, and Deutsche Bank.
Previously, the Florida AG had published a brutal analysis on Florida foreclosure fraud.
We now learn that California is stepping up to the plate: California Attorney General Kamala Harris is creating a 25-person task force to target mortgage fraud of any size. It includes a team of 17 lawyers and eight special agents from the state Department of Justice. The focus will be on three key areas:
• Corporate fraud: including instances in which bundled mortgages were sold as securities to the state or its pension funds under false pretenses, using California’s False Claims Act, which makes false claims submitted to the state a felony;
• Scams: including instances in which consultants, lawyers and others took fees from people in foreclosure, saying they would help the homeowners get loan modifications or other remedies, but delivered nothing.
• Origination Fraud: Fraudulent lending practices, including deceptive marketing, failure to fully disclose loan terms. This includes qualifying people for loans who couldn’t afford the terms.
Note that this initiative is distinct from the multistate investigation because “it would go after all aspects of the mortgage-lending business.”
That statement makes the third item above quite fascinating: It means that the California AG is looking into something that no one else has been willing to touch: Origination Fraud. Any finance firm that lent money to people they knew could not possibly pay is back could be prosecuted under these terms.
Even more significant is the possibility of “Systemic Origination Fraud” — the no doc loans where lenders voluntarily kept themselves ignorant about the borrowers ability to repay loans.
Understand what the New York and California Attorneys General just did: They raised the bar for what it is going to take to stay in office as an elected AG. I expect we should soon hear from the Attorneys General offices Arizona and Nevada undertaking similar prosecutions.
If not, angry citizens in these foreclosure heavy, fraud ridden states will become very frustrated. Voters will be asking: “If NY and California and Florida can do this, why aren’t we?”
I imagine that any AG that refuses to hold corporate interests accountable should best prepare to return to the private sector.
Follow the Money: How Systemic Bank Fraud Contributed to the Financial Crisis (April 12, 2011)
Florida Attorney General Report on Fraudclosure (January 5, 2011)
Dodo Bird Bankers (May 9, 2011)
California creating mortgage fraud task force
Los Angeles Times, May 23, 2011
New York Investigates Banks’ Role in Financial Crisis
NYT, May 16, 2011
Consider this post one of MANY to follow yesterday’s post about the greatest theft in the History of mankind. For those who haven’t yet read it, please take a moment to read “The Real Housewives of Wall Street” at the Rolling Stone. (Hard to believe I’m linking to an RS article…)
But if you want to get a true sense of what the “shadow budget” is all about, all you have to do is look closely at the taxpayer money handed over to a single company that goes by a seemingly innocuous name: Waterfall TALF Opportunity. At first glance, Waterfall’s haul doesn’t seem all that huge — just nine loans totaling some $220 million, made through a Fed bailout program. That doesn’t seem like a whole lot, considering that Goldman Sachs alone received roughly $800 billion in loans from the Fed. But upon closer inspection, Waterfall TALF Opportunity boasts a couple of interesting names among its chief investors: Christy Mack and Susan Karches.
Christy is the wife of John Mack, the chairman of Morgan Stanley. Susan is the widow of Peter Karches, a close friend of the Macks who served as president of Morgan Stanley’s investment-banking division. Neither woman appears to have any serious history in business, apart from a few philanthropic experiences. Yet the Federal Reserve handed them both low-interest loans of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars through a complicated bailout program that virtually guaranteed them millions in risk-free income.
Those of you wondering where your social security benefits went, along with how the coming collapse of Medicare and Medicaid is happening… this post should shed some light on the outcome.
The bottom line is that big corporate bankers not only stole your money, they did it through the U.S. Treasury. What’s worse is they did it through legal means. In fact, they did it with the blessing and blank check of the U.S. government.
The case of Christy Mack is significant, but only a very small part of the pie. It’s important to study what happened with Mack, though, because when you consider that she’s just one of MANY who are in on this scam, you start to see where all the money went.
TALF, or “Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility,” is a program run out of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and has the following definition on its website:
The Federal Reserve created the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), to help market participants meet the credit needs of households and small businesses by supporting the issuance of asset-backed securities (ABS) collateralized by auto loans, student loans, credit card loans, equipment loans, floorplan loans, insurance premium finance loans, loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration, residential mortgage servicing advances or commercial mortgage loans. The facility was closed for new loan extensions against newly issued commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) on June 30, 2010, and for new loan extensions against all other types of collateral on March 31, 2010.
The scam was set up with virtually zero accountability. According to WikiPedia:
Under TALF, the Fed lent $1 trillion to banks and hedge funds at nearly interest-free rates. Because the money came from the Fed and not the Treasury, there was no congressional oversight of how the funds were disbursed, until an act of Congress forced the Fed to open its books. Congressional staffers are examining more than 21,000 transactions.
The TALF program was launched on March 3, 2009, just after Barack Obama took office. Christy Mack, who’s husband is Chairman of Morgan Stanley, and close friend Susan Karches launched “Waterfall TALF Opportunity” in 2009.
As pointed out in the Rolling Stone piece, Mack and Karches had virtually no experience or History in business. Outside of their obvious connections to the financial industry, there was no reason for risks to be taken on them and their business plans.
Furthermore, TALF appears to have been set up to assist small businesses with credit and loans to help “stimulate” the economy. With this in mind, how in the hell did Mack and Karches move to the front of the line and secure almost a quarter of a BILLION dollars in no-interest taxpayer funded loans that had zero Congressional oversight?
The loans were given to Mack and Karches in or around June of 2009. Two months later Mack and her husband started making some interesting purchases.
a 107-year-old limestone carriage house on the Upper East Side of New York, complete with an indoor 12-car garage, that had just been sold by the prestigious Mellon family for $13.5 million.
Now keep in mind this is the same Federal Reserve Bank of New York that criminal (now Secretary of the U.S. Treasury) Timothy Geithner was in charge of when the rich bankers got their $700 BILLION dollar “bailout.” And remember, that bailout was “needed” because the bankers scammed America out of billions through the mortgage bubble and watched their companies crumble under an unsustainable outcome.
In other words, they ripped us off for billions, then when the money ran out they came back and robbed us again through TARP. Then, when that wasn’t enough, they once came back and started robbing us through TALF.
The bailout theft happened very quickly. In a matter of years Americans were robbed of everything, leading to a depression (yes, we’re in a depression and government is printing money to hide it). The steps are pretty easy to see.
They started out small, with the government throwing a few hundred billion in public money to prop up genuinely insolvent firms like Bear Stearns and AIG. Then came TARP and a few other programs that were designed to stave off bank failures and dispose of the toxic mortgage-backed securities that were a root cause of the financial crisis. But before long, the Fed began buying up every distressed investment on Wall Street, even those that were in no danger of widespread defaults: commercial real estate loans, credit- card loans, auto loans, student loans, even loans backed by the Small Business Administration. What started off as a targeted effort to stop the bleeding in a few specific trouble spots became a gigantic feeding frenzy. It was “free money for shit,” says Barry Ritholtz, author of Bailout Nation. “It turned into ‘Give us your crap that you can’t get rid of otherwise.’ “
If someone came to you with a Chevy Corvette that was gutted, had no engine and the frame was bent up in an unrepairable manner, would you buy it? Not only did the government buy it, they paid an amount that would have been accurate if the car was in perfect condition.
That my friends is insanity. Well, it appears to be insane, but it would only be insane if it wasn’t intentional. Don’t forget, Henry Paulson, Ben Benanke, Timothy Geithner and the rest of the thugs running the game are all in on it.
Their circle of friends include all the people running the big financial institutions in New York. And those friends are now once again stealing taxpayer dollars through programs like TALF.
Before you stand up and walk away from your computer in disbelief, there is more… and it’s much, much worse.
A key aspect of TALF is that the Fed doles out the money through what are known as non-recourse loans. Essentially, this means that if you don’t pay the Fed back, it’s no big deal. The mechanism works like this: Hedge Fund Goon borrows, say, $100 million from the Fed to buy crappy loans, which are then transferred to the Fed as collateral. If Hedge Fund Goon decides not to repay that $100 million, the Fed simply keeps its pile of crappy securities and calls everything even.
You see how it’s all a set up? Come on… these guys aren’t idiots. When they created this beast they knew full well there was no incentive to actually pay back the money.
Going back to the Chevy Corvette analogy… If instead of purchasing that car, you asked me for a loan at the “perfect condition” value and I gave it to you, what incentive is there for you to pay me back? In fact, you would be stupid to buy back the car. And I would be an absolute idiot for giving you the loan in the first place.
Unless, of course, the money I used to give you the loan was not my money. In that scenario, nether of us really lose anything. The only party that loses is the party the money originally belonged to.
And that party is the American taxpayers.
Christy Mack is still sitting on some $150 MILLION of that initial “loan.” Again, there is no incentive to ever pay it back. And there is no oversight to ensure it’s all being used for its intended purpose.
Meanwhile, how is Christy’s husband doing over at the bank?
Those kinds of deals were the essence of the bailout — and the vast mountains of near-zero government cash turned companies facing bankruptcy into monstrous profit machines. In 2008 and 2009, while Christy Mack was busy getting her little TALF loans for $220 million, her husband’s bank hauled in $2 trillion in emergency Fed loans. During the same period, Goldman borrowed nearly $800 billion. Shortly afterward, the two banks reported a combined annual profit of $14.5 billion.
The Rolling Stones article should be damning and should have Congressional hearings happening right this second. Someone should be in handcuffs and the entire mob should stand trial.
But where is the outrage? Where is Michele Bachmann and all the other “tea party” members of Congress?
Wake up, America. Your future and the future of your entire family is being stolen right in front of you. And our Congress isn’t doing a damn thing about it.
A Morgan Stanley property fund failed to make $3.3 bil in debt payments by Fri., handing over keys to a 32-story Tokyo office building to Blackstone (BX) and other investors, Reuters said. The building houses Microsoft’s (MSFT) Japan offices and others. The repayment failure is the largest of its kind in Japan. It’s the latest fallout from highly leveraged investments by Morgan Stanley, a very aggressive property investor before the 2008 financial crisis. Morgan Stanley declined comment. Its shares rose 0.7%. Morgan Stanley and Blackstone report Q1 results on Thu.
One thing I have come to be certain about in recent years is that these guys, the Morgan Stanleys of the world, always have the inside scoop on what is really going on. So why are the bailing out of Tokyo taking a 3.3 billion dollar loss in the process?
Because the potential losses in the near future if they stay in Tokyo are FAR greater. This is possibly the end of Japan as we know it.
Impeccable timing! Who wants to own real estate in radioactive Tokyo anyway?
Matt Taibbi has resurfaced with another stunner of Wall Street impropriety which will lead to merely more silence, even more unanswered questions and be quickly buried by the kleptocratic oligarchy.
The Real Housewives of Wall Street: Look Who’s Cashing In On the Bailout
Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?
From Rolling Stone Magazine
In August 2009, John Mack,
at the time still the CEO of Morgan Stanley, made an interesting life decision. Despite the fact that he was earning the comparatively low salary of just $800,000, and had refused to give himself a bonus in the midst of the financial crisis, Mack decided to buy himself a gorgeous piece of property — a 107-year-old limestone carriage house on the Upper BeerEast Side of New York, complete with an indoor 12-car garage, that had just been sold by the prestigious Mellon family for $13.5 million. Either Mack had plenty of cash on hand to close the deal, or he got some help from his wife, Christy, who apparently bought the house with him.
The Macks make for an interesting couple. John, a Lebanese-American nicknamed “Mack the Knife” for his legendary passion for firing people, has one of the most recognizable faces on Wall Street, physically resembling a crumpled, half-burned baked potato with a pair of overturned furry horseshoes for eyebrows. Christy is thin, blond and rich — a sort of still-awake Sunny von Bulow with hobbies. Her major philanthropic passion is endowments for alternative medicine, and she has attained the level of master at Reiki, the Japanese practice of “palm healing.” The only other notable fact on her public résumé is that her sister was married to Charlie Rose.
It’s hard to imagine a pair of people you would less want to hand a giant welfare check to — yet that’s exactly what the Fed did. Just two months before the Macks bought their fancy carriage house in Manhattan, Christy and her pal Susan launched their investment initiative called Waterfall TALF. Neither seems to have any experience whatsoever in finance, beyond Susan’s penchant for dabbling in thoroughbred racehorses. But with an upfront investment of $15 million, they quickly received $220 million in cash from the Fed, most of which they used to purchase student loans and commercial mortgages. The loans were set up so that Christy and Susan would keep 100 percent of any gains on the deals, while the Fed and the Treasury (read: the taxpayer) would eat 90 percent of the losses. Given out as part of a bailout program ostensibly designed to help ordinary people by kick-starting consumer lending, the deals were a classic heads-I-win, tails-you-lose investment.
So how did the government come to address a financial crisis caused by the collapse of a residential-mortgage bubble by giving the wives of a couple of Morgan Stanley bigwigs free money to make essentially risk-free investments in student loans and commercial real estate? The answer is: by degrees. The history of the bailout era reads like one of those awful stories about what happens when a long-dormant criminal compulsion goes unchecked. The Peeping Tom next door stares through a few bathroom windows, doesn’t get caught, and decides to break in and steal a pair of panties. Next thing you know, he’s upgraded to homemade dungeons, tri-state serial rampages and throwing cheerleaders into a panel truck.
The impetus for this sudden manic expansion of the bailouts was a masterful bluff by Wall Street executives. Once the money started flowing from the Federal Reserve, the executives began moaning to their buddies at the Fed, claiming that they were suddenly afraid of investing in anything — student loans, car notes, you name it — unless their profits were guaranteed by the state. “You ever watch soccer, where the guy rolls six times to get a yellow card?” says William Black, a former federal bank regulator who teaches economics and law at the University of Missouri. “That’s what this is. If you have power and connections, they will give you a freebie deal — if you’re good at whining.”
This is where TALF fits into the bailout picture. Created just after Barack Obama’s election in November 2008, the program’s ostensible justification was to spur more consumer lending, which had dried up in the midst of the financial crisis. But instead of lending directly to car buyers and credit-card holders and students — that would have been socialism! — the Fed handed out a trillion dollars to banks and hedge funds, almost interest-free. In other words, the government lent taxpayer money to the same assholes who caused the crisis, so that they could then lend that money back out on the market virtually risk-free, at an enormous profit.
Cue your Billy Mays voice, because wait, there’s more! A key aspect of TALF is that the Fed doles out the money through what are known as non-recourse loans. Essentially, this means that if you don’t pay the Fed back, it’s no big deal. The mechanism works like this: Hedge Fund Goon borrows, say, $100 million from the Fed to buy crappy loans, which are then transferred to the Fed as collateral. If Hedge Fund Goon decides not to repay that $100 million, the Fed simply keeps its pile of crappy securities and calls everything even.
This is the deal of a lifetime. Think about it: You borrow millions, buy a bunch of crap securities and stash them on the Fed’s books. If the securities lose money, you leave them on the Fed’s lap and the public eats the loss. But if they make money, you take them back, cash them in and repay the funds you borrowed from the Fed. “Remember that crazy guy in the commercials who ran around covered in dollar bills shouting, ‘The government is giving out free money!’ ” says Black. “As crazy as he was, this is making it real.”
read the full article here
I got a call from the cops today. There were times in my life when that wasn’t a good thing and ordinarily I wouldn’t be so … elated? I hung up the phone smiling.
The SEC Enforcement Division called me because I had filled out a form online about 60 days ago telling them I knew something about the securitization of real estate which might be helpful in their investigations. Apparently I was intriguing enough yet vague enough to warrant a real live person.
There is an image amongst certain circles that government workers are fat, lazy, stupid and motivated only by a pension. One can become that way because our normal daily experience is with low life low levels who are fat, lazy, stupid and motivated only by a pension.
I assure you, though, that is not the case when you get up to the higher GS levels. Granted, there will always be a level of incompetence at all levels, but I can tell you from firsthand experience that there are times when you know you dealing with smart, competent, albeit highly controlled agents. The by the book control mentality is what gives them the aura of ineptness. This gal had the feel of someone who knew how the reins of her power rested in her hands and was real comfortable with it. It was as if The Postman had finally arrived.
“We’d given up on you.”
“Don’t give up on Uncle Sam just yet” was her tired reply. I could almost hear a wry grin on her face. Jack Ryan to the rescue.
It took a bit as the realization set in that there was a woman on the other end of the phone with the power of the SEC behind her calling me for follow up information. Once I got over a short silence, I asked how I could help.
“You contacted me.”
Where to start? There is so much. So, I started at the end, the place I have been studying for so long but haven’t yet begun to write about and in relaying this conversation with the SEC Enforcement Division, I relay it to you.
After a certain amount of time studying the other side, you come to realize that what you are dealing with is a computer database. The database runs the whole show. A computer database sets the final assignment and price of a house moments before sale on the courthouse steps, a computer database sets in motion all of the paperwork which leads to the courthouse steps, a computer database trades the mortgage backed certificates in the shadow banking system while you were current, a computer database arranged for all the pieces of your mortgage to come together all at the same time so you could sign off on the security instrument which also had been prepared in advance by a computer database.
It’s time to take another look at what is really going on. It isn’t people using computers to make their jobs easier, it is people tending a machine giving it the inputs it needs so the software can complete its job. The software’s job was to originate a mortgage, securitize a mortgage, trade a mortgage based security on the shadow market, trade derivatives off the mortgage security on the shadow market, start default and foreclosure proceedings on mortgages, set the price of the real asset on the courthouse steps at the same time making the final assignment according to the needs of a bond on Wall St. all the while hiding behind the cloak of MERS secrecy.
It’s a machine, and if you can determine the machine’s control mechanism, you can divine intent. The controlling software is often patented as allowed under the State Street decision. If it is patented, the logic has to be on file at the USPTO which is an open source.
The people you are talking to were merely tending a machine. They all have plausible deniability. No one is culpable. Look at the machine, not the people tending it. The machine will show the intent of the people who designed it.
That’s what I told her.
Then I told her that all of the originating banks and their affiliates all the way down to the storefront in your hometown were running the same software. Countrywide called it CLUES. You should call it Mindbox (www.mindbox.com). Everyone was running the same machine. Citi, JP Morgan, Wells, Morgan Stanley, everyone. They still are. It is called Mindbox.
I stopped talking. She was quiet.
“I see what you mean,” she said. “I’ve never looked at it that way before.”
There was another silence.
We agreed she would write up her report on the call and she asked if I would be willing to add a couple of paragraphs in addendum to her report. I said yes. I wrote up essentially what is above and added that there is a whole sub-group of Americans who have been studying this subject for quite a while who would probably be interested in helping and that there isn’t much which happened which we aren’t privy to. Why reinvent the wheel?
I hope they pick up this angle about examining the software which controlled all the processes. This is the point of view which came flying over the transom some four – nearly five months ago. Come to find out that in the 90’s there was a HUGE push to automate all of the mortgage banking processes so they could shed jobs and overhead. Let the database do the things the database can do. Put all of this information to work for you. Be more efficient~!
It ran the wheels off the wagon if you want to know the truth. But another piece of the truth is you need to quit looking for a person to blame, someone who can be frog marched. The system was built so there is no one person. Everyone did their part attending the machine, the database, so the software could accomplish what the designers wanted it to do – from origination through securitization to foreclosure sale.
It’s a huge story. It really does cover the whole thing. I hope to be the one who gets to tell it. There is even a villain, couple of them really. Is there enough to make them do the perp walk? I don’t know. That is for others to determine. Perhaps the SEC Enforcement Division will come to see the things I see and will go look at the software …see if they can divine intent.
I wager they can … and, if they are allowed, they will.
If they aren’t allowed, it doesn’t matter. I’ll finish what I started.
Chink In The Armor … The Cops Come Calling … SEC Hears About Mortgage Securitization Software
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