From The Market Ticker Karl Denninger
THE seminal question for this year – coming into the mid-term elections – is exactly that.
Have you had it?
Are you tired of being bent over the table with 29.9% credit card interest rates while these big banks borrow at zero from The Fed and use that money to speculate in the markets?
Are you tired of “too big to fail” – better stated as heads we (the banksters) win, tails you (the taxpayer) lose?
Are you enraged beyond words with the fact that this economic mess was not an accident – it was an intentional act of willful blindness and perhaps even fraud?
Do you feel helpless to do anything about the fact that Government has willfully and intentionally refused to both clean up the mess and prevent it from happening again due to the presence of huge lobbying interests in Washington DC – paid for by the very same banksters who nearly destroyed this nation?
Do you realize that we have fixed nothing – the bad loans are still there, they are still bad, that millions of Americans have lost their jobs, that the economy is not actually recovering (despite what they say) and that without resolving the actual problems odds are that within a few years, and perhaps within a few months, we will face another crash – this one likely bad enough to destroy our economy and perhaps our government?
Let’s look at the facts.
- The testimony being put before the FCIC – the investigatory panel charged with looking into how the housing and foreclosure mess came about, and how our economy was stripped clean by the vultures that infest the banking business in this nation is a matter of record. I, and others, have been documenting this for more than two years. READ THE MISSION STATEMENT AND TESTIMONY OF PEOPLE LIKE MIKE MAYO.
- THE FBI has been warning of an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud since 2004. The banks knew this. Indeed, in 2004 their lobbyists convinced The Bush Administration to SUE to prevent state regulators from protecting YOU, THE CONSUMER, from predatory and unfair loans.
- Since 2006 there have been published stories that stated income loans were laced through-and-through with fraud:
One lender recently compared 100 stated-income loans with the borrowers’ tax returns and found that only 10 of the borrowers were telling the truth about their wages, according to Mortgage Asset Research Institute, a division of data firm ChoicePoint Inc. (September 2006)
The Wall Street and large commercial banks did not include these disclosures in their offering circulars for securitized debt.
Wall Street entities knew they were at risk but bought “protection” (CDS, or “credit default swaps”) from firms who they knew or should have known could not pay, including but not limited to AIG. This “allowed” them to consider assets they knew or should have known were rife with fraud as “money good”.
Wall Street and “big lender” loan programs in the housing market during the years 2000-2007 all “assumed” that house prices would rise forever at a rate higher than inflation. The key point is that even if they had, which is mathematically impossible, it doesn’t change the fact that the borrower, that is you the citizen, still was going to lose their house when they reached the limit of their borrowing capacity. The bank’s only concern was designing a program that they would be protected by – not whether it was suitable for you nor whether you would have (or continue to have) a home.
None of this was a “mistake” or an “accident”. It was not an “unforseen event.”
Government agencies were aware of and sounded the alarm as early as 2004. Brooksley Born, chair of a federal regulatory agency (the CFTC) raised hell on complex derivatives (“CDS” and similar instruments) in 1999. She was attacked by everyone in the banking industry including Alan Greenspan and literally run out of town. She was right.
The banking and Wall Street institutions, through a combination of the above, “made” billions of profits that never really existed. They then paid that money – money that didn’t actually exist AND NEVER WOULD – out in bonuses, dividends and stock price appreciation.