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.



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.”


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Reenact the Glass- Steagall Act of 1933 that President Roosevelt put in place during the depression and that was repealed in 1999.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


Filed under Economy

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

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “


Blizzards of gizzards


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.


True story /observation. BHC


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

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!



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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Filed under Economy, Fat Cat Skinny Cat Musings

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




what you hear is the squishing of

the middle class


investment bank policies


trust us

we will do all we can—

so many on the street

finally more on the street, than  behind closed doors



now we push back





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




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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Filed under Economy

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.”

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.






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

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Filed under Foreclosures, Uncategorized

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.






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

Article -” Banks Lobbying Against Derivatives Trading Ban “

Published: May 9, 2010

1 Comment

Filed under Economy

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. 



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



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US National Foreclosure Rates Surge Highest Monthly Total Since 2005

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “ 


Below is information from Realty Trac concerning the foreclosure rate across the United States, approximately 940,000 foreclosures took place in the first quarter of 2010.  They mention that it appears that lenders are finally starting to make a dent their backlog of distressed properties and that foreclosure prevention programs have slowed down the normal processing time to reach foreclosure. 

This is not good enough, a moratorium nationwide on all foreclosures ( for 6 months) is needed… then the banks who were involved in promoting predatory mortgage lending practices – 

will have time to re-evaluate each foreclosure request and, 

the mortgage owners will have the time to make a complaint to the consumer protection agency or congress concerning the unfair lending practices i.e. loan shark- like mortgage contracts. 

This will help the economy by keeping citizens in their homes where they have a better chance to recoup from a job loss or the reduction of their financial holdings. 

A moratorium on foreclosures will hurt only the banks who were involved in promoting the high risk and questionable financial products sold to the public. 

So call and write your congress person today. 



By RealtyTrac Staff   

New Quarterly Records for Scheduled Auctions and Bank Repossessions
All Foreclosure Types Spike in March, Which Posts Highest Monthly Total for Report

IRVINE, Calif. – April 15, 2010 — RealtyTrac® (realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report™ for Q1 2010, which shows that foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 932,234 properties in the first quarter, a 7 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 16 percent increase from the first quarter of 2009. One in every 138 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter.  

Foreclosure filings were reported on 367,056 properties in March, an increase of nearly 19 percent from the previous month, an increase of nearly 8 percent from March 2009 and the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.   

“Foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2010 followed a very similar pattern to what we saw in the first quarter of 2009: a shallow trough in January and February followed by a substantial spike in March,” said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “One difference, however, is that the increases were more tilted toward the final stage of foreclosure, with REOs increasing 9 percent on a quarterly basis in the first quarter of 2010 compared to a 13 percent quarterly decrease in REOs in the first quarter of 2009.  

“This subtle shift in the numbers pushed REOs to the highest quarterly total we’ve ever seen in our report and may be further evidence that lenders are starting to make a dent in the backlog of distressed inventory that has built up over the last year as foreclosure prevention programs and processing delays slowed down the normal foreclosure timeline.”  




Banks Resist Plans to Reduce Mortgage Balances
April 15, 2010, New York Times

In a rebuff to the Obama administration, two big banks on Tuesday drew a line in the sand on cutting the mortgage balances of beleaguered homeowners, saying that the tool would be applied sparingly.

( When the banks needed a bailout from the taxpayers the money was not “applied sparingly” so why are the banks not stepping up to the plate for citizens caught in the debacle they created?)



Filed under Economy, Foreclosures

Poem -” Banks That Tank”

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “




Banks that simply refuse to re-adjust

to lend some trust

on the general populace,

They need to be busted down to size (2-4% of GNP)

landing a big surprise

when they realize

it ain’t a sin

to take it on the chin

and re-adjust ( some mortgages) before we bust!

 Pinata –

What is a piñata?:

A piñata is a figure, usually made from a clay pot covered with paper mache and decorated in bright colors, with candy and fruit inside. At parties piñatas are suspended from a rope and children, usually blind-folded, take turns hitting it with a stick until it breaks and the candy falls out onto the ground and the children rush to collect it. Breaking the piñata is a fun activity at Mexican parties.

From About.com




Filed under Poetry

Poem – ” Foreclosure “

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog “




Foreclosure, foreclosure,

one in 45 across the nation,

Foreclosure, foreclosure,

the Big banks thrive and hoard their cash,

a secret little stash,

it was meant to lend,

but they refuse to bend,

so when those big bad banks retire,

they can aspire,

to a life of less than dire – floating down a river in a inflated golden tire…

Foreclosure, foreclosure,

one in 45 across the nation.



US Foreclosure Rate 2010

January 14, 2010 by Josh Groesbeck  
Filed under


During 2009, almost 3 million homeowners receive a minimum of one foreclosure filing.  This is a new record.

It is reported by Realty Trac, that 1 in every 45 which is 2.8 million households were in default in 2009.  What does 2010 hold for the foreclosure market.

I think that the US foreclosure rate in 2010 is going to move up.  Let me tell you why.

us-foreclosure-rate-2010Look at the chart to the left.  You can see that all of the foreclosure trends are still moving up.

I have talked to a lot of homeowners that may not be behind in their payments, but they have lost a ton of equity and now are upside down and there are more and more people that are just walking away from homes that have lost money.

From Boise Idaho area website www.homeswithjosh.com

also check www.realtytrac.com  for current info on Foreclosure rates in the US.


Filed under Economy, Poetry

Wednesday Night Photo Grouping For The Workers Of The World

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog”




Images from Google  

This post is dedicated to,

Crystal Lee Jordon who was the inspiration for the Movie ” Norma Rae”.  Her book is titled ” A Woman Of Inheritance”   She died in 2009.

From Wikipedia,

Crystal Lee Jordan (née Pulley; December 31, 1940 – September 11, 2009)[1], also known as Crystal Lee Sutton, was an American union organizer and advocate who gained fame during the early 1970s. She was fired from her job at the J.P. Stevens plant in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina for trying to unionize its employees. She was earning $2.65 an hour folding towels. The poor working conditions she and her fellow employees suffered compelled her to join forces with Eli Zivkovich, a union organizer, and attempt to unionize the J.P. Stevens employees. “Management and others treated me as if I had leprosy”, she stated.

She received threats and was finally fired from her job. But before she left, she took one final stand, filmed verbatim in the 1979 film Norma Rae.

“I took a piece of cardboard and wrote the word UNION on it in big letters, got up on my work table, and slowly turned it around. The workers started cutting their machines off and giving me the victory sign. All of a sudden the plant was very quiet…”[

 Jordan was physically removed from the plant by police, but the result of her actions was staggering. The Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union won the right to represent the workers at the plant on August 28, 1974. Jordan later became a paid organizer for the ACTWU.



“Norma Rae ” the film, says something that was never said before so distinctly and will never be said again.  It is the definitive statement on why unions matter.




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Moratorium on Foreclosures Will Boost Economy

” A Pale Green Mermaid Blog”


A one year moratorium on foreclosures will stimulate the economy as well as any stimulus plan.

The question is which came first, the economic slump or a nationwide wave of foreclosures.  Looking at my own neighborhood,  as I do when I walk everyday for 45 minutes, it was the foreclosures that started 2 years before the bailout of the banks.

With the foreclosures  mounting came business closings and states not having enough money to pay for services provided to the public. (which began additional foreclosures due to job loss)


There was an expert on NPR early in the bank crisis who stated that the amount of the derivative financial products (that were kept afloat by predatory loan practices- credit card type mortgages) numbered not in the millions, not in the billions but the trillions.

As President Obama said on 60 minutes last Sunday ” The banks caused this problem…”, and now this blog is requesting that the banks clean up and be accountable for the Ponzi scheme -like financial products they traded. (which are based on selling predatory mortgage loans to the public)


While they are doing this, and taking financial responsibility for the errors -( a criminal investigation should also be set in place  to investigate the steps in creating aforementioned products),

A one year moratorium should be imposed, while the banks move through this process,

1. It will stabilize drain on taxes for state services

2. Stop business’ from closing due to population shifts caused by foreclosures

3. Keep families and individuals in their homes ( The general public should not be paying for the mistakes of a few fat cats at the top of the banking system)


So write your congress person, start petitions, I believe with a public outcry that a foreclosure moratorium is possible.  ( Citibank just put a 30 day moratorium on their foreclosure process and they are to be commended but we , the public ,can not wait  for all banks to do the right thing.)

 A year-long moratorium on foreclosures is a win/ win situation, a win for the economy and a win for the economic engine, the bottom 2/3 rd’s of the population- the place where the majority of all new jobs are created.











Filed under Economy

Saturday Night Flash Story “Micro – Moo”

“A Pale Green Mermaid  With Irridescent Scales And White Feathered Wings  Blog




Theresa  pressed the final disconnect on her five way conference call.  She sipped the recently delivered mocha-lime frappe.

“Miss Upland.”

Turning she saw Featherstone.  Leland Featherstone.  The big cheese.  The boss of bosses.  She stared at him with her mouth agape.

” Wipe that froth off your lips Miss Upland.  I want to talk to you in my office.  Now!”  He turned knocking over a freshly alphabetized  set of files.

Theresa gazed at his departing figure and decided to take another sip making sure just a fluff of froth remained on her lip.  She stood up, straightened her satin plum suit and walked slowly to Mr. Featherstone’s green office door.

Mr. Featherstone’s office was located at the end of a yellow hallway where, periodically, red overhead light fixtures cascaded pools of pale mauve fluorescent light.  Her orange fake snakeskin boots clicked their way, Armageddon like , to her destiny.  Walking swiftly she tripped, rip went the edge of her skirt which had attached itself to the wall – her body continued its tumultuous trajectory, finally slamming against Mr. Featherstone’s office door.

The door made a small creak,then drifted open.  Theresa peered around the corner as she pulled up the netting of her fuchsia colored fishnet stockings.

Mr. Featherstone glanced back at her.  She straightened her skirt  and focused her discombobulation.

” You really need to fix that loose piece of tile ,” she said staring at the well polished gleaming floor.

” Close the door Miss Upland, and try not to cause anymore destruction.”

Theresa pulled the gold knob snapping the door behind her.  Mr. Featherstone absentmindedly gestured to the purple chair opposite his grey desk.

” As you know Miss Upland.”

” Ms. Upland, if you please.” 

” Let’s not start that again… now, there has been some, how shall I say this…”

” Please be frank Mr Featherstone,”  said Theresa still adjusting  her homemade couture.

“Allright, Mr. Shaumbaum believes you have been pilfering Micro- moos.”

” Micro- who?”  Theresa said moving uncomfortably in her chair.

” Micro- moos.”  Mr Feathertone said abruptly.

”  You are going to have to be clearer – please, relate to me the whole allegation.”

”  Mr. Shaumbaum has let me know we have a deficit, a rather large one of Micro-moos…the creamer packets…in the staff kitchen.”  He blurted.

” Oh.”

”  He has made an allegation and I must respond.  Now, we cannot let this fester, first a moo then a…”

”  But Mr. Featherstone, I don’t even  use Micro-moos as you call them, I send out for my…”

” Now Miss Upland, an accusation has been officially and as I said, made by a credible source and I as supervisor must respond.  So you are, as of today, on restricted access to the Micro-moo container – until – we see if the drain continues.”

” But…”

”  Dismissed Miss Upland.”

She reminded herself of her new motto, “Do not fight stupid fights”, so she shrugged her shoulders and said.  ” I reiterate I am Micro-moo free.”

Mr Featherstone waved her off.

She closed the door behind her mumbling, ”  The indignities that one must endure to earn a paltry paycheck.”  She was determined not to allow this Micro-moo gate incident  to cast a cloud over what was otherwise a minimally annoying day.

She clicked back down the hallway.

“Pssst…Theresa…Pssst.”   The office door of Henrietta Bogel, executive assistant, was halfway open.  A hand gestured for Theresa to come inside.  The beckoning finger clutched in its palm a cluster of Micro-moos.

She stopped, looking side to side, thinking – I don’t want to get further involved in this Micro-moo gate, but she was intrigued.   She straightened her jacket and walked inside.

It was Henrietta attached to those Micro-moos.  ” Shhhh. ”  Henrietta said, pressing her face inches from Theresa’s chin.  ”  They suspect you?  Good, by the time they figure out what is happening I’ll be in South America.”

”  Henrietta what is all of this about you don’t even drink coffee, if I remember correctly.”

” Forget that, It is superfluous, don’t you understand – don’t you see?”

” Henrietta…”

” It is the principal of the thing.  I’ve been here for thirty years yet , after my retirement party I received a notice – I wasn’t even told in person. ”  Henrietta opened the drawer of her desk file cabinet and tossed the creamers in.  Theresa watched as she struggled to close the drawer, jamming the edges of the moos behind the metal plate, quickly she sealed the drawer with tape.

” So you are the one…”  Theresa held the side of her forehead.

” Clam up Upland, and listen.  I will be getting eighty percent of my pension – eighty percent.”

” But Henrietta, how are non dairy creamers involved in this?”

”  I am going to drive Featherstone crazy.  I have two weeks left.  I am striking back.  No, I say no Micro-moos will be available for Featherstone’s morning cup of java, not while I am still here.”  Henrietta thrust her freckled finger in the air.  ” Power to the…”

Theresa slinked around Henrietta and quickly exited.

As she walked down the hallway she thought about life, death and the meaning of Micro-moos.






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Filed under Art, Flash Story

If the Banks Are Too Big To Fail: Let’s Bust Some Trusts

“A Pale Green Mermaid Blog”


If the banks that caused this crisis by selling and making a profit  on flawed mortgage backed investments products are too big to fail, as President Obama has said, perhaps it is time to break up some of these banking monopolies (i.e. trusts).

Trusts are large corporate entities that end up having too much control over the market. (see below).  

Certainly the fact that the bad decisions that the big investment banks and insurers made, have the market careening downward  – while we (the general public) wait for  them, to clean up the mess proves that these corporations have far too much leverage in the market.

The only reason that the government is afraid to lay the law down to these corporations is that the products created,  need  the perpetrator excuse me, the creator of the product to untangle and neutralize their effect on the market.

It is time to bust some trusts!  No one in a democracy should have the power/opportunity to devastate the national/global markets.


Write congress and request that a thorough investigation be made into how the current conglomerations of financial institutions effected the  crisis we are in.




Note: Trust-busting is any government activity designed to break up trusts or monopolies. Theodore Roosevelt is the U.S. president most associated with dissolving trusts. However, William Howard Taft signed twice as much trust-busting legislation during his presidency.

Trusts were large business entities that largely succeeded in controlling a market, essentially becoming a monopoly. The term became common in the late 19th century, when a system of trusts controlled much of the economy of the United States. In 1898, President William McKinley launched the “saw-busting” era when he appointed the U.S. Industrial Commission on Trusts, which interrogated Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Charles M. Schwab, and other industrial titans. The report of the Industrial Commission was seized upon by Theodore Roosevelt, who became known as a “Trust-Regulator,” dissolving 44 trusts during his two terms as president. The “Trust Buster” name is probably more suited for Roosevelt’s successor, William Howard Taft, who brought an end to 90 trusts in one term. Although Taft may have done more to control the trusts while in office, Roosevelt retains the nickname because he was the pioneer of trust-busting.    From Wikipedia


Filed under Economy, Mortgage crisis

Protect Yourself From Predatory Lending, Here Are A Few Tips!

“A Pale Green MermaidBlog”

Since the government is in transition and the banks are not necessarily acting in a fair manner educate yourself to protect yourself!

Common Abuses:
Seven Signs of Predatory Lending

from www.responsiblelending.org

Predatory mortgage lending involves a wide array of abusive practices. Here are brief descriptions of some of the most common.

  1. Excessive Fees
  2. Abusive Prepayment Penalties
  3. Kickbacks to Brokers (Yield Spread Premiums)
  4. Loan Flipping
  5. Unnecessary Products
  6. Mandatory Arbitration
  7. Steering & Targeting

Excessive fees

Points and fees are costs not directly reflected in interest rates. Because these costs can be financed, they are easy to disguise or downplay. On competitive loans, fees below 1% of the loan amount are typical. On predatory loans, fees totaling more than 5% of the loan amount are common.

Abusive prepayment penalties

Borrowers with higher-interest subprime loans have a strong incentive to refinance as soon as their credit improves. However, up to 80% of all subprime mortgages carry a prepayment penalty — a fee for paying off a loan early. An abusive prepayment penalty typically is effective more than three years and/or costs more than six months’ interest. In the prime market, only about 2% of home loans carry prepayment penalties of any length.
>> More about prepayment penalties…

Kickbacks to brokers (yield spread premiums)

When brokers deliver a loan with an inflated interest rate (i.e., higher than the rate acceptable to the lender), the lender often pays a “yield spread premium” — a kickback for making the loan more costly to the borrower.
>> More about yield spread premiums…

Loan flipping

A lender “flips” a borrower by refinancing a loan to generate fee income without providing any net tangible benefit to the borrower. Flipping can quickly drain borrower equity and increase monthly payments — sometimes on homes that had previously been owned free of debt.

Unnecessary products

Sometimes borrowers may pay more than necessary because lenders sell and finance unnecessary insurance or other products along with the loan.

Mandatory arbitration

Some loan contracts require “mandatory arbitration,” meaning that the borrowers are not allowed to seek legal remedies in a court if they find that their home is threatened by loans with illegal or abusive terms. Mandatory arbitration makes it much less likely that borrowers will receive fair and appropriate remedies in cases of wrongdoing.
>> More about mandatory arbitration…

Steering & Targeting

Predatory lenders may steer borrowers into subprime mortgages, even when the borrowers could qualify for a mainstream loan.Vulnerable borrowers may be subjected to aggressive sales tactics and sometimes outright fraud. Fannie Mae has estimated that up to half of borrowers with subprime mortgages could have qualified for loans with better terms.

According to a government study, over half (51%) of refinance mortgages in predominantly African-American neighborhoods are subprime loans, compared to only 9% of refinances in predominantly white neighborhoods.


Loan Closing Checklist     From  www.Seattle.gov

Before Signing Day

  • Contact the Escrow Agent and request copies of your completed documents at least 1 day before your appointment to sign your loan papers.
  • Visit a local housing counselor, attorney or a trusted family member or friend to review all documents. Make sure you understand all the terms of the loan.
  • Check your Promissory Note:
    • Is the interest rate correct?
    • What is the term of the loan (30 years, 20 years or 15 years)?
    • Is there a Prepayment Penalty? Is there a Balloon Payment? If you are unsure of the impact of these features, talk to a lawyer or non-profit housing agency.
    • If your loan is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), you should receive an ARM disclosure or Rider. Review this document. Make sure you understand how often your rate can increase, how much your payment can increase when the rate goes up, and what the maximum interest rate and the maximum monthly payment are.
  • Review your HUD-1 Settlement Statement:
    • Verify all fees. Be sure each fee on the HUD-1 also appears on the Good Faith Estimate. There should be no surprises at this late stage. If the fees are substantially different, do not sign any documents unless you agree with the new terms.
  • If you are refinancing, what is the check amount you will receive? Is it the amount that you were expecting? All debts that you planned to pay off should be listed, along with the amounts that will be mailed to creditors.
  • If a broker is involved, is he charging anything other than a broker fee? (For example, is he also charging a processing fee, an underwriting fee, or other kind of fee that you were unaware of?)
  • Is there a yield spread premium (YSP)*? Be sure to ask your escrow agent even if you don’t see one. YSP’s sometimes are hard to spot on the HUD-1.

    * Yield Spread Premiums are fees that lenders pay to mortgage brokers when they sell you a higher interest rate. Do you see a YSP on your HUD-1 settlement statement? If so, you may not be receiving the lowest interest rate that was available to you.

At the Signing Appointment

Check the figures on the Promissory Note and the HUD-1 that you are about to sign. Do they match the documents you received earlier from the Escrow Agent? If any terms are different, do not sign unless you agree with these new terms.

Before you leave your Signing Appointment

Be sure you receive copies of each of the following signed documents upon leaving the signing appointment:

  • Note
  • Deed of Trust
  • Estimated HUD-1 Settlement Statement. (You should receive your final HUD-1 a day or two after your loan closes)
  • Truth in Lending Disclosure
  • Servicing Disclosure
  • Insurance Disclosure (If you purchased any insurance products from the lender);
  • *3-Day Right to Cancel (For refinance or equity loans only).

*Remember: You have 3 days to change your mind after you sign your loan documents for a refinance or equity loan. If you decide you do not want the loan within this 3-day “recission” period, you can simply walk away. Just give a signed copy of the “Notice to Cancel” to your lender. You can find this document among your closing papers.

Within 1 week of signing your loan documents, you should receive a final HUD-1 Settlement Statement in the mail. If you do not receive this information, contact your escrow agent immediately. This document is your official accounting of all monies paid into escrow and distributed.

Be sure to request a copy of the following items from your lender:

  • Your credit report
  • Your property appraisal

All these documents make up your Personal Loan File. Keep these together with all other items relating to your new loan in a safe place.



Filed under Economy, Mortgage crisis