Daily Archives: March 11, 2014


Ocwen Financial Corp. SHAREHOLDER ALERT: The Law Firm of Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Launches an Investigation into Possible Breaches of Fiduciary Duty by the Board of Directors of Ocwen Financial Corp.

Ocwen Financial Corp. SHAREHOLDER ALERT: The Law Firm of Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Launches an Investigation into Possible Breaches of Fiduciary Duty by the Board of Directors of Ocwen Financial Corp.

Levi & Korsinsky, LLP is investigating Ocwen Financial Corp. (NYSE: OCN) in connection with possible claims of breaches of fiduciary duty.


Wells Fargo launching into brand journalism with ‘Wells Fargo Stories’

Wells Fargo launching into brand journalism with ‘Wells Fargo Stories’

Hoping to connect with its customers beyond debits and credits, Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) on Tuesday unveiled a new self-published online magazine calledWells Fargo Stories.

Using an emerging tactic known as brand journalism, San Francisco-based Wells is using the website to promote interesting stories about its employees, its customers and the communities in which it conducts business. The site resembles a feature magazine, with photos, videos and articles about Wells Fargo. 

The site launched with a  blog post from Chief Executive John Stumpf.


Mark Carney: FX allegations more serious than Libor scandal

Mark Carney: FX allegations more serious than Libor scandal

Mark Carney has admitted that the allegations over foreign exchange rate fixing are “as serious as Libor, if not more so” but has fiercely denied that the Bank of England was warned about them eight years ago.

The Governor of the Bank of England told MPs that ensuring the probity of foreign exchange rates is “incredibly important” for the $3 trillion (£1.8 trillion) currency market, 40pc of which is traded in London. He added that investigating the allegations was “fundamentally important” for the Bank of England itself.

Mr Carney revealed that the Bank is about to appoint a new Deputy Governor responsible for markets and banking. The first task of the new director, to be revealed next week, will be to “conduct a root-and-branch review of how [the Bank] conducts market intelligence”, Mr Carney said. It will be the fourth deputy governor – a record for the Bank, which managed with just one between 1694 and 1998.


Deutsche Bank’s Claims Against FDIC Are Moot

Deutsche Bank’s Claims Against FDIC Are Moot

(CN) – Deutsche Bank cannot sue the FDIC over the billions it claims it lost when IndyMac collapsed in 2008, because there’s no money left to recover, the 9th Circuit ruled Tuesday.
     “[W]e agree with the district court that Deutsche Bank’s third-tier unsecured claims are prudentially moot because Deutsche Bank cannot recoup any sums owed from an insolvent IndyMac,” the three-judge panel in Pasadena ruled.
     Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. claims to have been the trustee for more than 240 mortgage-backed security trusts created by IndyMac Bank, one of the largest banks to fail in the subprime mortgage crisis.
     After a run on IndyMac by panicked depositors, the Office of Thrift Supervision closed IndyMac on July 11, 2008, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation temporarily assumed operations.
     Another federal savings bank, OneWest Bank, was formed to buy IndyMac’s assets and liabilities.
     Deutsche Bank claimed that when the FDIC sold certain IndyMac assets and rights to OneWest for $13.9 billion, it omitted some key risks, including “any repurchase obligations for breaches of loan level representations, any indemnities relating to origination activities or securities law or any seller indemnity.”
     In other words, the FDIC allegedly tried to sell – and thus reap the benefits of – the trusts’ pooling and servicing agreements “without assuming and assigning (or otherwise performing) the related obligations.” (Parentheses in original.)
     Deutsche Bank also accused the FDIC of breaching several representations and warranties, and of failing to comply with the trusts’ governing agreements when servicing the mortgages.
     The bank claims the FDIC’s actions caused $6 billion to $8 billion in damages to the trusts and trustee.
     Under federal law, Deutsche Bank’s claims would take a back seat to the claims of IndyMac’s creditors. But Deutsche Bank argued that because the FDIC had exceeded its authority by splitting the trusts’ governing agreements and transferring the servicing rights without its consent, its claims were not subject to the usual hierarchy.


Sens. Reach Deal To Wind Down Fannie, Freddie

Sens. Reach Deal To Wind Down Fannie, Freddie

Law360, Washington (March 11, 2014, 2:09 PM ET) — The two ranking members of the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee announced Tuesday they have reached an agreement to wind down and eventually shutter Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, part of a sweeping deal to overhaul the housing finance system.


General Motors Company : Federal prosecutors in New York open criminal probe of GM

General Motors Company : Federal prosecutors in New York open criminal probe of GM

Federal prosecutors in New York are examining whether General Motors is criminally liable for failing to properly disclose problems with some of its vehicles that were linked to 13 deaths and led to a recall last month, according to a source familiar with the investigation.


No, Americans Are Not All To Blame for the Financial Crisis: Exposing the big lie of the post-crash economy

No, Americans Are Not All To Blame for the Financial Crisis: Exposing the big lie of the post-crash economy


mong my favorite anecdotes of the mortgage-industry decadence that preceded the global financial crisis is the one about Ameriquest’s wind machine. A motivational tool for managers, it made its appearance in the late ’90s at an executive conference at Las Vegas’s MGM Grand Hotel, where the future subprime leader hooked up a powerful fan to a plastic tent. Inside, exuberant branch managers jumped around amid a cascade of cash, allowed to keep as many swirling bills as they could grab.

That was how it went at mortgage-firm retreats: Here, a money-grabbing contest; there, a round of ritual chanting—“The power of yes! The power of yes!”—at a 2004 Washington Mutual gathering that was like the high ceremony of some bizarre money cult. Before long such incentivizing was part of the daily culture, if not official policy. Countrywide, for example, had a marketing program called the “High-Speed Swim Lane” that linked the bonuses of sales reps working in football-field-sized call centers to the volume of loans they originated. Compressing the programs initials—and cutting to the chase—employees nicknamed it “The Hustle.”

Mere excess was never enough for these companies. Though we’re all aware, by now, of the crookedness that infected the mortgage business last decade, the particulars are still striking. Did you know, for instance, that WMC Mortgage Corporation, owned by General Electric, hired former strippers and an ex-porn actress to entice brokers into selling their mortgages, according to a report by the Center for Public Integrity? Or that Wells Fargo gave its mortgage stars all-expense-paid vacations to Cancun and the Bahamas and treated them to private performances by Aerosmith, the Eagles, and Elton John? Or that New Century sent top loan sales reps to Porsche driving school?

The upshot is clear enough: With Wall Street’s demand for mortgages unending and some loan producers managing to book up to 70 loans per day, the system didn’t just crash. It was brought down.

But we’ve also been made to understand that subprime lenders and their Wall Street funders didn’t act alone. Instead, they were aided by the avarice of the American people, who were not victims of the crash so much as accomplices in it. Respondents to a Rasmussen poll done during the throes of the crisis overwhelmingly blamed “individuals who borrowed more than they could afford” (54 percent) over Wall Street (25 percent). To this day, the view is widespread and bipartisan: Main Street was an essential cause of the meltdown. The enemy was us.

Could a Wall Street firm be your landlord?

In cities like Atlanta, Phoenix and Las Vegas, Wall Street is moving into the rental market for single family homes, a new trend that is raising concerns among housing advocates. Josh Barro, David Cay Johnston, Laura Gottesdiener, Dorian Warren and Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., join to discuss.






Guess who cashed the biggest paycheck at Bank of America (Hint: It’s not Brian Moynihan)

Guess who cashed the biggest paycheck at Bank of America (Hint: It’s not Brian Moynihan)

Brian Moynihan stands to earn $14 million from his efforts leading Bank of AmericaCorp. in 2013. 

But his New York-based co-chief operating officer, Thomas Montag, who leads the bank’s commercial banking and Wall Street businesses, stands to make $15.5 million. 

Charlotte-based BofA disclosed the numbers after the market closed Friday when it filed its  2014 proxy statement. Shareholders get to participate in a non-binding advisory “Say-on-Pay” referendum as part of the annual meeting May 7 in Charlotte. 

Montag’s pay package exceeded Moynihan’s thanks to a $5.8 million cash bonus, in addition to a $1 million base salary and various stock awards that pay over time and are contingent upon future performance. The board of directors, in the filing, says Montag’s pay is justified by his presiding over improved revenue, risk management and maintaining the bank’s No. 2 ranking for global investment banking. 

Moynihan did not receive a cash bonus. Instead, his pay is awarded in a $1.5 million salary and various stock awards payable over time.




I am concerned however, that S. 1369 may unintentionally go beyond legitimate concerns about protecting the integrity of state regulation of insurance. As drafted, S. 1369 would provide a wholesale carve-out from common sense protections contained in the Section 171 of Dodd-Frank, also known as the Collins’ amendment, for insurance conglomerates, including their banking and derivatives activities. This would give insurance giants a significant competitive advantage over banking organizations engaged in the same activities, and leave the door open to the kinds of highly leveraged risk-taking which contributed to the 2008 crisis. We should not forget that in 2008 AIG was also an insurance company, which took excessive risks in its non-state regulated affiliates.