Tuesday, March 25, 2008

AWOL Bush an acessory to predatory lending - a crime

newsviewsnolose@yahoogroups.com on behalf of dick.mcmanus
How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Home buyers/ Consumers
February 14, 2008 (In 2003) Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national crisis. This threat was so clear that as New York attorney general, I (Eliot Spitzer) joined with colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill the void left by the federal government. Individually, and together, state attorneys general of both parties brought litigation or entered into settlements with many subprime lenders that were engaged in predatory lending practices. Several state legislatures, including New York's, enacted laws aimed at curbing such practices.

What did the Bush administration do in response?

Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.
In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government's actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.
In fact, when my (Eliot Spitzer - NY State AG) office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.
Predatory lending practices: some were misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to consumers' ability to repay, making loans with deceptive "teaser" rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks.
While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an `escort' $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush's new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.
Spitzer not only took on Countrywide, he took on their predatory enablers in the investment banking community. Behind Countrywide was the Mother Shark, its funder and now owner, Bank of America. Others joined the sharkfest: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup's Citibank made mortgage usury their major profit centers. They did this through a bit of financial legerdemain called "securitization."

s stock was down 50%, and Citigroup was off 38%, not pleasing to the Gulf sheiks who now control its biggest share blocks.

Then, on Wednesday of this week, the unthinkable happened. Carlyle Capital went bankrupt. Who? That's Carlyle as in Carlyle Group. James Baker, Senior Counsel. Notable partners, former and past: George Bush, the Bin Laden family and more dictators, potentates, pirates and presidents than you can count.
NOTE: When are we going to impeach this SOB.
Paulson's Gift to His Bankster Buddies
By Mike Whitney

March 20, 2008

Presently, the banks are hoarding
cash to cover the losses on their mortgage-backed investments and to
shore up their skimpy capital reserves. As a result, consumer
spending is sluggish and GDP is beginning to shrink.

The Fed's cover story is that
this infusion will enable the banks to resume lending to 'get the
economy moving again.'But the banks are using the money to bet
against the dollar. They are borrowing from the Fed at a low interest
rate, and buying foreign euro-denominated bonds yielding a higher
interest rate -- and in the process, making a currency gain as the
euro rises against dollar-denominated assets. The Fed thus is
subsidizing capital flight, exacerbating inflation by making the price
of imports (headed by oil and other raw materials) more expensive.
These commodities are not more expensive to European buyers, but only
to buyers paying in depreciated dollars."

The banksters are "buying foreign euro-denominated bonds" during an
economic crisis in America? Whoa. Now there's an interesting take on

The Fed's strategy has even failed to lower mortgage rates which are
pinned to the 30-year Treasury and which has actually gone up since
Bernanke began slashing rates. This inability to pass on the Fed's
rate cuts to potential mortgage applicants ensures that the housing
meltdown will continue unabated well into 2009 and, perhaps, 2010.

No wonder so many people believe that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury are
merely an extension of the banking establishment. The Bear bailout
proves it.
Today, in just about any part of the world, the system of monopoly capital prevails. Large corporations, large retail companies, and concentrated financial capital are its hallmarks. As a consequence of monopoly capital, deflation, even when made so severe as to become hyperdeflation, will not result in falling prices. Prices will keep rising, albeit at a moderate pace. In this context, the prices of public services (transportation, medical fees, municipal rates, etc.) are actually increased to raise revenues for budgetary purposes. The national government's budget has to be austere, with little or no deficit, especially in matters not related to capitalist interests, such as social security expenditures—thus a deflation policy is officially dictated by the need to pay the external debt. Meanwhile, on the very same austerity principle, a wage freeze is imposed upon workers. Wage earners now lose, because their wages are frozen while prices grow slowly and social services are curtailed. Therefore, hyperdeflation does not imply a dramatic fall in prices but rather a collapse of real demand, production, and employment.

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