Daily Archives: October 14, 2012

“Foreclosure File Reviewer” positions at Bank of America reflect a question of fairness of the Foreclosure Review

From Propublica on Truthout:

Two months later, the OCC released the contract between Bank of America and Promontory. The 118-page document received little notice, but it clearly spells out that Promontory will make its decision only after reviewing the bank’s own analysis of each homeowner’s claim.

When a homeowner sends in a complaint about the way Bank of America handled his or her foreclosure, the contract states, the bank “will process the complaint and provide the complaint, supporting resolution documentation, report of its findings, and proposed resolution to Promontory for independent review and decision concerning the complaint at issue.” Promontory, the contract continues, will then review the “complaints and claims, together with [Bank of America’s] recommended resolution and supporting documentation, and provide a decision on the complaint.”

Job ads posted in the fall of 2011 for “Foreclosure File Reviewer” positions at Bank of America reflect this scope of work. Among the job duties listed in one ad were “Complete Claim Review and perform Harm Evaluation according to Promontory/OCC definitions”; “If there was financial injury, determine the amount”; and “Perform final determination of Harm.” The ads were posted by staffing companies, but the bank confirmed to ProPublica it was the ultimate employer.

JPMorgan CEO Dimon wanted to be part of Obama’s team, but was left out in the cold with Goldman Sachs

Wall Street’s reality-distortion field is nothing if not internally consistent. Earlier today, I discussed Goldman Sach’s feelings about being left out of the regulatory process:

From the Wall Street Journal:

Resentments against the White House began, said senior Goldman executives, because the firm thought it would be consulted when the Obama administration began crafting regulations in response to the financial crisis. They weren’t.

After publishing that post, I finally found the time to read William Cohan and Bethany Mclean’s epic profile of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. The language describing his bruised ego is spookily similar:

At President Obama’s inauguration, Dimon said to Obama and to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, “Tell me what you need. I’ll send people down here. I’ll do anything,” says one D.C. hand. “Jamie walked into 2009 with the view that he was on the team.” He wasn’t.

Read on from The Salon.

lol. But, cheer up  Jamie. Bernie Madoff wasn’t asked either nor asked to write the rules.

Bankers association chief says unit will look at whether a board could restore confidence after mis-selling and Libor scandals

A high-level taskforce to examine whether the creation of a banking standards board can restore confidence in bankers after mis-selling scandals and the Libor rigging affair has been set up by the industry.

With its ethics already being investigated by a committee led by MP Andrew Tryie, the major banks want to appear to be on the “front foot” in efforts to repair their battered image.

Anthony Browne, the new chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), said a taskforce had been set up to look at the merits of a banking standards board — an idea promoted by Barclays in its submission to Tyrie’s commission.

“There have been a lot of discussions about setting up a banking standards board to uphold ethical standards,” said Browne. “We are now actively taking this forward.”

Browne joined the BBA last month from Morgan Stanley and has also had spells as a journalist (including at the Observer) and as an adviser to the London mayor, Boris Johnson.

“It has got to be credible. There is no point doing this if it seems like a white wash,” he said ahead of the BBA’s annual conference on Wednesday which politicians, regulators and top bankers are all expected to attend.

Read on.

Arthur Allen Email: CEO Of ASG Software Solutions Asks Workers To Vote For Mitt Romney

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes reported today on another CEO — Arthur Allen of ASG Software Solutions — who said in an email to his employees that they’d only have themselves to blame if they lose their jobs if Obama wins. The email reads, in part:

Many of you have been with ASG for over 5, 10, 15, and even 20 years. As you know, together, we have been able to keep ASG an independent company while still growing our revenues and customers. But I can tell you, if the US re-elects President Obama, our chances of staying independent are slim to none. I am already heavily involved in considering options that make our independence go away, and with that all of our lives would change forever. I believe that a new President and administration would give US citizens and the world the renewed confidence and optimism we all need to get the global economies started again, and give ASG a chance to stay independent. If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come. […]

I am asking you to give us one more chance to stay independent by voting in a new President and administration on November 6th. Even then, we still might not be able to remain independent, but it will at least give us a chance. If we don’t, that chance goes away.

This is another CEO who is asking workers to vote for another Presidential candidate and if you vote for Obama,  their jobs are at risk. The question is can employers ask workers who to vote for? Well, thanks to Citizens United decision, businesses can now legally pressure workers on political issues. I still call it voter intimidation.

Update: Surprise, surprise. Koch Industries tell workers to vote Republican to avoid higher gas prices. Like I said voter intimidation. Folks, you have to freedom in this country to vote for whomever you feel that will serve you.

Politicians vs. Statesmen or Stateswomen

It should be mandatory for Congress to read Founding Fathers philosophies.

James Madison

If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one. …”

With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

Thomas Jefferson:

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

Alexander Hamilton:

If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare… The powers of Congress would subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America.

John Adams:

The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.

James Madison:

As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.

If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.

It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot well be separated.

There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

George Washington:

No taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant.

The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, ’till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People is sacredly obligatory upon all.

[W]e ought to deprecate the hazard attending ardent and susceptible minds, from being too strongly, and too early prepossessed in favor of other political systems, before they are capable of appreciating their own.

Benjamin Franklin:

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

No nation was ever ruined by trade, even seemingly the most disadvantageous.

House Committee Requests Documents from NY Fed on Libor

  • FBN’s Charlie Gasparino on the NY Fed’s plan to release documents related to its response to the Libor scandal.

Check out the video. Click here.