Tag Archives: Investment banks

Look Back

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

Looking back

you have to look back

to learn

looking back

over the Obama stimulus

guess what? it worked,

looking back ,

over 8 years of Clinton prosperity

then the Banking mess the republicans left

“I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry…..” Prez. C. says

Why did the prosperity end? Trickle down republican policies?

looking back over the Iraq and Afgahnistan wars

Suicide rates up 80 percent for returning soldiers

Too many tours- too much money spent on weapons- not enough on soldiers

we must look back

see the mistakes made

look back and learn.

___________________

www.abcnews.com

The study, an analysis of data from the Army Behavioral Health Integrated Data Environment, shows a striking 80 percent increase in suicides among Army personnel between 2004 and 2008. The rise parallels increasing rates of depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions in soldiers, the study said.

The high number of suicides are “unprecedented in over 30 years of U.S. Army records,” according to the authors of the study, which was published Wednesday in the journal Injury Prevention. Based on the data and the timing of the increase in suicide rates, the authors calculated that about 40 percent of the Army’s suicides in 2008 could be associated with the U.S. military escalation in Iraq.

“This study does not show that U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan cause suicide,” said Dr. Michelle Chervak, one of the study’s authors, a senior epidemiologist at the U.S. Army Public Health Command. “This study does suggest that an Army engaged in prolonged combat operations is a population under stress, and that mental health conditions and suicide can be expected to increase under these circumstances.”

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Money Well Spent?
What Really Happened to the Trillion-dollar Stimulus Plan

by Michael Grabell

Money Well Spent?

 

Book Summary

Traces the evolution of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 while offering insight into its fiercely partisan supporters and detractors, explaining how the money was spent and what will be the most likely outcome.

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Step Two, Reenact Glass-Steagall, Banking Rule And Toughten It As Well.

 

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

Reenact the Glass- Steagall Act of 1933 that President Roosevelt put in place during the depression and that was repealed in 1999. ( banking rule )

The article below describes in concise detail the mechanisms the Glass- Steagall act provided, to control  the investment and lending  practices of banks, 

___________________________________

From, Which Idiot Decided To Repeal Glass-Steagall? www.voices.yahoo.com 

By: selise Sunday February 22, 2009 7:28 pm
 

Note: In a previous diary on OTC Derivatives (Which Idiot Decided Not to Regulate Credit Default Swaps?) we looked at the legislative history of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. Today’s topic is the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the repeal of Glass-Steagall—a part of the deregulation story of how our banks got “too big to fail.” For additional details and reference links see my Financial Regulation Timeline.

From Stiglitz’s 2003 book, The Roaring Nineties (typos are mine):

For more than half a century, commercial banking, which takes deposits from households and firm and makes conventional loans, had been separated from investment banking, which helps firms issue new bonds and shares. The same company could not lend money and also sell securities, in other words. The Glass-Steagall Act, which barred this, was one of the reforms put in place by the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, in response to the wave of bank failures that had followed the Great Crash of 1929. But the ideas behind Glass-Steagall went back even further, to Teddy Roosevelt and his efforts to break up the big trusts, the large firms that wielded such economic power. TR and the Progressives of the early twentieth century were alarmed not only about the concentration of economic power but about its impact on the political process. When enterprises become too big, and interconnections too tight, there is a risk that the quality of economic decisions deteriorates, and the “too big to fail” problem rears its ugly head. Expecting to be bailed out of trouble, managers become emboldened to take risks that they might otherwise shun. In the Great Depression, when many banks were on the ropes, it was, in effect, the public that bore the risk, while the bank got the reward. Wen banks failed, the taxpayers paid the price through publicly funded bailouts.

The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 addressed a very real problem. Investment banks push stocks, and if a company whose stock they have pushed needs cash, it becomes very tempting to make the loan. The U.S. system worked in part because under Glass-Steagall the banks provided a source of independent judgments on the creditworthiness of businesses. When a “full-service” bank makes most of its money by selling equities and bonds or arranging “deals,” issuing loans becomes almost ancillary—a sideline.

With Glass-Steagall, the United States rejected the course followed by other nations, such as Japan and Germany, that did not separate commercial and investment banking—I believe to our evident benefit. But American banks themselves saw Glass-Steagall as reducing their opportunities for making profits and not surprisingly began to insist that the rules separating commercial and investment banking had become passé. In an age of free-floating capital and giant multi-national companies, they argued, banks had to be integrated, to make advantage of what are called “economies of scope”—the benefits that businesses can reap by working in many different areas at once. Global competition was too intense for bank concentration to be a serious worry (though in fact, many borrowers, especially small and medium-siaze firms, have access only to a few potential lenders), and Glass-Steagall supposedly put American banks at a disadvantage.

In the mid-nineties, the banks mounted a concerted campaign to have Glass-Steagall repealed. The conditions were favorable. Prosperity made the notion of bank failure seem very remote (though the S&L crisis of the eighties ought to have been a caution).

Full article at site listed above.

The argument is that the act would not have prevented the recession but it would have slowed it down made recognition of what was happening clearer and provided a structure within which banks could be forced to comply.

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Foreclosures Are The Number One Economic Drain On The Recovery In US Today

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

Blizzards of gizzards

watching

lounge lizards

lounging scrounging

for pieces of leases

on foreclosed homes

a lost tome

left behind

after the merciless grind

into the ground

of a once home sweet home

empty quiet

these houses dot my neighborhood

one was crushed into the mud, by the powers that be

every morning I would see on my walk

a kindly old man

sitting looking out from his porch

as the sun came up

now he is gone

and so is his

home sweet home.

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True story /observation. BHC

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Foreclosure Crisis Rears its Ugly Head Again: Foreclosure Defense Firm Reports Increase in Foreclosure Filings in First Quarter, as Banks Return to Aggressive Tactics

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

 

New York, NY (PRWEB) April 01, 2012

Like a monster in a horror movie that rises from the dead, the foreclosure crisis has returned to inflict even greater financial and emotional anguish upon American homeowners in virtually every state. According to foreclosure defense website StopForeclosureForms.com, there was a substantial increase in new foreclosure filings during the first quarter of 2012. The recent settlement of the rob-signing settlement, in which the banks got off remarkably easy for mishandling tens of thousands of mortgages, suggest that the trend of increased foreclosure filings will continue.

The increase in foreclosure filings is particularly severe in certain states. January foreclosure activity increased by more than 30 percent in several states, including Indiana, New Hampshire and New Jersey. Nationwide, the average increase was approximately 3%. Surprisingly, Ohio, which was one of the states most devastated by the foreclosure crisis, actually reported a decrease.

According to foreclosure defense expert Marc Rapaport, “it is abundantly clear that 2012 is going to be a year in which the banks return to aggressive foreclosure tactics. The robo-signing scandal involve egregiously unlawful and dishonest behavior. Nonetheless, the banks escaped with little more than a slap on the wrist. The result of that settlement is already emerging: more foreclosures.”

Rapaport’s website, StopForeclosureForms.com, is reporting that a record number of Americans are downloading foreclosure defense forms. According to Rapaport, the site is experiencing “a dramatic increase in the number of people downloading nearly every type of legal form to stop foreclosure, including answers to foreclosure complaints and motions to stop foreclosure sales.” According to Rapaport, residents of many hard hit states are now keenly aware that by downloading foreclosure defense forms, they can significantly delay, and sometimes stop, the process of foreclosure. Rapaport states that “people now know that they can download forms to stop foreclosure, and file their papers with their local court, without hiring expensive lawyers. The cat is out of the bag on foreclosure defense: it can be done, even without a lawyer.”

The ability of homeowners to fight back may be one of the few bright lights on the horizon as the foreclosure crisis revs up.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/4/prweb9356720.htm

 
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According to the United States Conference of Mayors,[5] the main cause ( of homeless persons ) is the lack of affordable housing.
___________________________________________________
Why are we ( as citizens) allowing this rate of foreclosures to continue?
Contact your representatives with your feelings on this issue!

www.congress.org

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Below from www.newsworks.org

 

Protesters call on Philadelphia sheriff to stop sale of foreclosed properties
 

March 6, 2012

By Tom MacDonald

Housing activists staged a protest Tuesday during the Philadelphia sheriff’s sale of foreclosed properties, calling for a halt of such sales in the city.  

About two dozen protesters came to the sheriff’s sale, saying banks should not be so quick to foreclose on homeowners during these tough economic times. 

Anne Gemmell of the group Fight for Philly admits the protest is merely symbolic.

“What choice do we have, when we have a governor in the State House that passes a budget literally attacking thousands of families, attacking their schools, attacking their medical care, attacking their housing?” she said.

Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic Campaign says those facing foreclosure should not give up.

“We encourage other families that don’t have a place to live to reach out to us and we will put you into a house that’s just sitting there vacant,” she said.

Undersheriff Joe Vignola says the office is following court orders on foreclosure sales.

“Unless the court orders us otherwise, we are compelled to go forward with this month’s sheriff sale,” Vignola said.

The protesters say they will continue to occupy the foreclosed homes until they are evicted.

 

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POEM – An Inconvenient Truth For The Policymakers At Investment Banks

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

Push us out of our houses

push us out of the park

Push

push

push

what you hear is the squishing of

the middle class

by

investment bank policies

re-adjust?

trust us

we will do all we can—

so many on the street

finally more on the street, than  behind closed doors

push

push

now we push back

like,

Adams

Franklin

Jefferson

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

 

And you can’t do that if you have no place to live

Push

push

push

the sound you hear is,

the squishing of the middle class.

Push back.

______________________________

Dedicated to all the Occupy Wall Street Protesters

 

 

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New Bill Proposed to Help Homeowners With Foreclosure, Senator Al Franken (It Takes A Comedienne To Get The Job Done!)

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

Senator Al Franken has proposed a new bill that would help homeowners navigate the foreclosure process with the focus on saving  homes from foreclosure.  The tenets are listed below,

 

FROM – The Huffington Post, www.huffingtonpost.com

Here’s a summary of the bill from Franken’s office:

When homeowners think that their mortgage servicer is breaking HAMP’s rules, has lost their paperwork, or has otherwise done something wrong, it’s very hard to figure out where to turn. They can call their servicer–but that often is a dead end. They can call the official hotline for homeowners at risk of foreclosure–but that only gets them to housing counselors who are working on a government contract and have no real authority to fix the problem or withhold servicer incentives. Homeowners who use their own lawyers or housing counselors to help them navigate HAMP often fare no better–lawyers report stories of contacting regulators about problems with the HAMP program, only to be told, “If the servicer says this is correct, it must be correct.”
SUMMARY

This amendment would address this problem, creating an Office of the Homeowner Advocate (OHA) modeled after the successful Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at IRS. OHA would be funded from money that is available for the costs of administering the HAMP program, but is not otherwise committed. OHA would:

* Have three primary functions:
o To assist homeowners, housing counselors, and housing lawyers in resolving problems with the HAMP program
o To identify areas (both individual and systemic) where homeowners, housing counselors, and housing lawyers are having problems in dealing with the HAMP program
o To identify possible administrative and legislative changes to HAMP
* Have an independent director, appointed by the Secretary of Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. This director would have a background as an advocate for homeowners and have experience dealing with mortgage servicers. The director cannot have worked for a servicer or for the Treasury Department within the past four years.
* The Director of OHA will be available to testify in front of the Senate Banking Committee and House Committee on Financial Services at least four times a year, or at any time at the request of the Chairs of either committee, and will issue a formal report to Congress once a year.
* Staff designated by the Director would have the authority, on a case-by-case basis, to withhold incentives from servicers or require repayment of previously paid incentives.
* While a person is appealing their case through OHA, homes may not go to foreclosure sale until the OHA process is finished or 60 days have passed, whichever is shorter.

 

Banks foreclosed on 2.8 million homes in 2009, and the first quarter has already seen 932,000 filings — a 16 percent increase from the foreclosure pace at the beginning of last year.

Franken’s amendment would give homeowners someone to call when they’re having trouble with the bank servicing their mortgage. The homeowner advocate would be modeled on the well-regarded taxpayer’s advocate office within the IRS.

“What happens is that one of the problems is that the servicers or representatives who talk to people on the phone don’t seem to be expert as they might be. That’s sort of the problem that this is addressing,” he said. “Or they’re told you’re too late, or this form didn’t come in, or that, or we didn’t get this thing. Of course the person did send that thing. So there’s just a lot of people reporting kind of frustrating interactions with the servicers’ representatives.”

Franken said he’s heard too many stories of avoidable foreclosures. “That’s a disaster. That’s a tragedy. Someone’s home is their home. Each one of these foreclosures is a tragedy.”

 

This is a great idea  – Do your own research then let your congress person know how you feel.

 

www.congress.org

 

PEACE

Note:

Huffington post excerpts from article by Arthur DelaneyAl Franken Fighting For Homeowners’ Advocate “

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Big Investment Banks Say ” Leave Our Derivative Products Alone.” Congress Says ” Not So Fast.”

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

Congress is working on the financial reform bill, the big investment banks –

( I always try to say big investment banks because it is those banks that are too large to fail that make their money on trading and derivative products who caused the meltdown the smaller community banks mostly provide financial services to the public)

want the derivative products to remain in the shadow banking system where transactions are not always made publicly,

From www.nytimes.com below,

” The financial legislation proposed by the Obama administration and passed by the House would require most derivatives to trade on public exchanges, in the belief that a transparent marketplace will be safer and cheaper.”

Congress also wants the inexpensive money that is lent to banks be used in majority for lending to the public,

“Then the chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee, Senator Blanche Lincoln, Democrat of Arkansas, dropped a bombshell in April, introducing language that would require banks to choose between trading in derivatives and remaining under federal protection.

The government’s umbrella, including deposit insurance, allows banks to raise money at lower cost than other financial institutions. Mrs. Lincoln said the bill would help to ensure that banks use that cheap money for traditional activities like lending.”

 

Banking leaders stated that the reform  Senator Lincoln proposed was “irresponsible” and displayed a basic ignorance of the financial industry,

“Banking executives were caught flat-footed by Mrs. Lincoln’s provision, and many are still seething. One senior executive at a major financial institution, speaking on condition of anonymity so he could talk frankly, said the idea was “irresponsible” and the details revealed a basic ignorance about the financial industry.”

 

Let’s think about that,

those same banking executives said that the derivatives were too complicated to explain when the meltdown occurred within their banks…

so maybe it is they who do not understand the derivative products ( they created)

OR  how the financial system works –

the same system that they claim to be experts in.

 

Mr. Daniel F.C. Crowley, a partner at the K&L Gates Law firm and industry lobbyist suggested,

“These swaps have become standard bank products. The proper response would be to recognize that the markets have evolved and there’s been innovation and they need to be regulated by bank regulators rather than pretending that they’re not integral to the system,” said Daniel F. C. Crowley, a partner at the K&L Gates law firm and an industry lobbyist.

 

So do your own research and contact congress with your views.

 

Peace

 

www.congress.org

 

note: excerpts from  www.nytimes.com, business section

Article -” Banks Lobbying Against Derivatives Trading Ban “

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM and ERIC LICHTBLAU
Published: May 9, 2010

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Jesus, Greece and The Big Investment Banks – Let’s Take A Look!

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “

 

Fact: Banks are lent money at 1% interest

Question: Is it then ethical to refuse to lend that money back to the public at a reasonable rate? Say 12% ( for all not just the wealthy)

Fact: Jesus had a reason for throwing the money lenders out of the temple ( now I am talking about the human side of Jesus, hey he was a great guy with a lot of great ideas, a companero)

Question: Would Greece be in such trouble if they could have money lent to them at a reasonable rate?

Fact; The BIG banks had to be bailed out because they control 69% of the gross national product meaning, if they were allowed to fail, ie go out of business a year or so ago, the USA would have gone out of business as well. ( they screwed up now Greece and the rest of ua are paying for their financial mistakes because even today they still refuse to take the hit ( lose money through accepting responsibility by readjusting all the predatory mortgage products they sold in the form of bundled derivatives.)

They knew the ponzi like schemes would fall one day, they just wanted to make sure it did not fall on them… as attested to in the recent investigations in the Senate financial reform committee headed by Senator Dodd and Senator Shelby.

This predatory lending climate continues as the effects of residual foreclosures cover the globe, the banks are making more money in fees through foreclosure than they would by readjusting the derivative mortgage products they sold. 

 Back to Jesus – looking at his actions as an emblem of an age old problem GREED – today CORPORATE GREED.

From Wikipedia below

In this episode, Jesus is stated to have visited the Temple in Jerusalem, Herod’s Temple, at which the courtyard is described as being filled with livestock and the tables of the money changers, who changed the standard Greek and Roman money for Jewish and Tyrian money, which were the only coinage that could be used in Temple ceremonies. Creating a whip from some cords, “he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. But he said to those who sold doves, “Get these out of here! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”[Jn

 

In a nutshell he is discussing how and when is it ethical to make a profit. To make money.  How far should the people who have power over the masses  be allowed to use that power?

When it causes a system to breakdown that then puts pressure and suffering over a worldwide population?

 

These are the questions we need to ask now and find ways to end this cycle of abuse.

As I see it ,

1.  An immediate moratorium on foreclosures – The banks then will have to clean up their mess.

2. At the same time BUST THEM ( the big banks) DOWN. 

 

Peace

and start talking to your representatives in the congress, WE DO HAVE THE POWER – it is the power of all our voices joined together.

 www.congress.org

 

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