Archive for the ‘Department of Justice’ Category
The simple fact of the matter is that we have now degenerated from a society based on the Rule of Law to one that is based on stealing whatever is not nailed down and half of what is, use the guns that government has to suppress the “little people”, and do your level damndest best to take their guns lest they shoot you — which, incidentally, is exactly what a looter both deserves and under the law is entitled to receive.
Money laundering by large international banks has reached epidemic proportions, and U.S. authorities are supposedly looking into Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Governor Jerome Powell, on behalf of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, recently testified to Congress on the issue, and he sounded serious. But international criminals and terrorists needn’t worry. This is window dressing: Complicit bankers have nothing to fear from the U.S. justice system.
To be on the safe side, though, miscreants should be sure to use a really large global bank for all their money-laundering needs.
There may be fines, but the largest financial companies are unlikely to face criminal actions or meaningful sanctions. The Department of Justice has decided that these banks are too big to prosecute to the full extent of the law, though why this also gets employees and executives off the hook remains a mystery. And the Federal Reserve refuses to rescind bank licenses, undermining the credibility, legitimacy and stability of the financial system.
The Federal Reserve, Simon, has ignored its legal mandate for 100 years and gotten away with it. Remember this?
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy’s long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.
2% 10 year Treasuries are not moderate interest rates.
And 2% inflation does not constitute stable prices.
2% inflation means that over a working man’s life (45 years, 20 -> 65) you need 2.44 units of currency to buy at 65 what you needed at 20.
Stable? Like hell.
That’s a willful and intentional violation of the law, flouted in the face of Congress and the American people with each and every Fed meeting and set of testimony before Congress.
The Fed is not interested in the law and if they are not compelled to hold within the boundaries of a single paragraph that defines their goals in the very enabling statute that created The Fed itself then should it be a surprise that the very same Fed intentionally ignores institutions that violate money-laundering statutes and even those that violate consent decrees and deferred prosecution agreements?
The bottom line is that until there is prosecution and people start going to prison nobody will care, because there is no penalty that is meaningful — fines are immediately shifted onto “the little people.”
What we need is prison, and where it needs to start is with the clown-car brigade at the FOMC and its chairSatan.
The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has issued a report on the “London Whale” trades and JP Morgan detailing what it titles “A case history of derivatives risks and abuses.”
I could go through the entire report (and have read it) and detail each and every point of abuse and intentional obfuscation, but it’s not necessary to do so.
The key point take from this report, and the hearing that will be held today, is singular:
The conduct detailed therein is a criminal federal offense. So says Sarbanes-Oxley, a law passed after myriad false statements made by corporate executives in the 1990s left investors with big losses and the only retribution available was through civil suit for various alleged torts, including the collapse of both Worldcom and Enron.
Congress responded with a law that requires the CEO of a public company to certify that the financial reports issued by the company be truthful in all material respects and imposes criminal penalties for false statements.
This report, and the hearing to be held today, leave me with only one question: Where are the damned indictments and why should I or anyone else obey the law if our government will not prosecute behavior that it facially and clearly documents has breached these requirements?
Let me remind those in Congress and elsewhere who are commenting on this, including Cramer right now on CNBS claiming that there was “nothing criminal” — and are in doing so willfully ignoring SarbBox, which makes such conduct explicit crimes:
When there is no justice available through the courts there comes a point where the people will resolve the problem. It will be far messier and much less fair, but at its core it happens because those who are charged with meting out justice have refused to do so.
When that happens, and it will, I will charge the outcome against every media pundit who is claiming that there were “no crimes” along with every politician who has echoed that sentiment rather than demanding immediate and vigorous prosecution.
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder’s stunning admission that it was difficult to prosecute large banks because of the potential economic impact may be a turning point of the drive to break them up.
It’s not stunning at all.
It is, however, an admission of what we have known for years.
And it’s something that the Congress and Administration had better fix – right now.
The Rule of Law works and guides a just society only because it applies to everyone.
Nobody gets to rape, rob, pillage or murder. If you do, no matter who you are, you face the same punishment, the same process, the same sentence.
We all know there are disparities in the process and always have been. But there’s a difference between the foibles of mankind — everyone has their bias, and there is no such thing as a human process that is flawless – and intentional, designed-in or willful refusal to prosecute certain people for acts that land others in prison.
The latter is the defining action of a dictatorship.
A dictatorship can only exist by declaring war upon the people. When a certain subset of the population is given license to pillage or worse that is the very definition of “diktat” from which the term “dictatorship” comes.
Fast and Furious, incidentally, falls into this category as well.
This is an extraordinarily dangerous state of affairs and must not be permitted to continue. The government and its actors have lost all moral and ethical appeal to fair play and the rule of law — by exempting certain people they have declared both themselves and those they exempted beyond the protections that exist in a civilized society.
I doubt Eric Holder realizes what happened in that hearing room or how clearly he rang the bell, but there is now a gauntlet before both the Administration and Congress that they have laid at their own feet. Coupled with Rand Paul’s filibuster over one simple question — the murder of non-belligerent Americans on American soil without due process of law, without charge, without trial, we have a truly historical pair of events — and unfortunately they’re not the sort of historical events you wish to witness.
This is in fact arguably the most-serious Constitutional Crisis that has occurred in decades, although it is not yet ripe and likely won’t be for some time.
That it will ripen and then rot, however, if left unaddressed is a matter of historical fact and certainty.
I pray for our nation; this is not what I wanted to hear today.
In yet another limp-wristed attempt at law enforcement, the Department of inJustice, just declared that the massive nation-wide robosigning fraud is now ‘settled.’ Lender Processing Services agreed to pay $35 million to settle a federal criminal investigation into foreclosure fraud, the Justice Department said on Friday. Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) is a leading provider of mortgage and consumer loan processing services, mortgage settlement services, default solutions and loan performance analytics, as well as solutions for the real estate industry, capital markets investors and government offices.
The settlement resolves allegations over LPS’s involvement in what the government called, “a six-year scheme to prepare and file more than 1 million fraudulently signed and notarized mortgage documents in property recorders’ offices nationwide from 2003 to 2009.” This practice became widely known as robosigning.
The the settlement follows a guilty plea last November by Lorraine Brown, the former chief executive of the company’s now-closed DocX unit, to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud over the scheme. Apparently, Ms. Brown is being held up as the token criminal, despite literally hundreds of people being involved. I’m sure Bernie Madoff knows how she feels. She’s in jail while the actual creators and designers of this elaborate scheme continue to live their lives uninterrupted.
Prior to DocX’s closure in 2010, LPS had handled more than half of the nation’s foreclosures. There were literally thousands of people who lost their homes due to forged and fraudulent documents. What’s in some ways worse, is that there are still thousands of people in the country who are residing in homes where the loans for which they obtained funding are fraudulent. This calls into question ownership and legitimacy of their title! While the DOJ in it’s infinite wisdom calls this matter ‘settled,’ it most certainly is NOT for all of these people, some of whom may yet not even know they were victims. To all those people who in the future will find out that their title may be compromised, sorry, you’re out of luck too.
Lender Processing Services entered into a two-year non-prosecution agreement that requires it to meet certain conditions, including cooperating in federal investigations, and alerting the government to any abuses in mortgage or foreclosure documentation services at the company. Apparently, as long as they promise to police themselves, all will be forgiven. Foxes in charge of hen houses comes to mind. In what world are criminals trusted to do right by their victims? I guess only in DOJ’s little fraudulent world.
The biggest fraud being perpetrated here wasn’t done by Lender Processing Services, it’s the one being perpetrated by the Department of Justice on the American people. Fraud is a crime. A felony, to be exact. The DOJ has just told the country that certain special groups of people don’t get prosecuted for felonies, no matter how large or how widespread. YOU, dear American Citizen, are not in that special group. It is quite clear that the DOJ will not……
How long will the American people stand for this brand of ‘justice?’
It just never ends.
So the Justice Department has sued S&P claiming that they issued knowingly-false ratings on various structured products that they knew were going to blow up.
There is one glaring problem - the supposed “injured party” is the issuer!
That’s right folks — the claim is apparently that Citibank (among others) created crap, asked S&P to rate it, they did, and then they bought their own crap and were injured by it.
But you see, in this fairy-tale land of the SEC, the creator of the crap didn’t know it was crap, even though in in the instant case that Citibank’s former risk officer testified under oath that in 2006 60% of their loans were defective — and 80% were defective in 2007.
This was the Chief Risk Officer and his assessment of whether the loans were “authentic” (as represented) or whether they were chock full of lies and material misrepresentations.
How can you sue when you knowingly buy something that your own people intentionally created in a bogus manner and which you thus knew was crap, irrespective of what someone else said? How could you rely on someone’s outside opinion when you know the facts and do not need to rely on opinions at all?
There’s no basis for this lawsuit. There are a crazy number of reasons that people should be sued and prosecuted, but this isn’t one of them. If I create rat poison and then having done so, eat it, it’s my own damn fault if I die as a consequence.
What was going on here is that BAC and Citibank (among others) were intentionally defrauding everyone in sight — including the regulators. By taking crap loans (which they owned) and packaging them into securities that they then bought a “AAA” label forthey were improving their capital ratios since the risk was made to magically disappear.
Citibank wasn’t a victim of anything — they were the protagonist and the entity committing the offense! The entity playing the games here was the bank itself, not the ratings agency. They knowingly took crap and packaged it, then bought the packaged crap they solicited the bogus ratings on for the purpose of improving their apparent capital and thus making the firm look stronger than it really was, and all of this was intended to (and did) result in bonuses for executives and stock price advances — until it blew up in their face.
Rather than prosecute the bad guys Eric Holder now chases after someone who went along because they were paid rather than busting the entity that orchestrated the entire mess in the first place.
This is yet another political farce intended to protect the guilty.
We had to reread this DOJ statement on today’s RBS wristslap twice, as the hypocrisy was literally mind-blowing: “As we have done with Barclays and UBS, we are today holding RBS accountable for a stunning abuse of trust,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “The bank has admitted to manipulating one of the cornerstone benchmark interest rates in our global financial system, and its Japanese subsidiary has agreed to plead guilty to felony wire fraud. The department’s ongoing investigation has now yielded two guilty pleas by significant financial institutions. These are extraordinary results, and our investigation is far from finished. Our message is clear: no financial institution is above the law.”
We have two questions: i) how is it that Lanny Breuer, the man who was unmasked by the recent humiliating show “Untouchables” as the DOJ mastermind behind not bringing one single criminal case against bankers for fear of “ripple effects” when pursuing justice against TBTF banks still employed by the US government and still on the record after reportedly announcing his resignation two weeks ago? And ii) how does he, of all people, have the gall to even mention “stunning abuse of trust” when his entire public-service career can be summarized as such?