Daily Archives: October 24, 2014

GM Financial Subprime Auto Loans Face Review in Florida

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is reviewing General Motors Co. (GM)’s lending arm to determine whether she has jurisdiction to join a widening investigation into its subprime auto-loan underwriting practices.

GM Financial, which specializes in loans to people with spotty credit, has disclosed that attorneys general of states it didn’t identify and other government offices are demanding documents on its business of making car loans and pooling them into bonds that are sold to investors.

Read on.

California company imported Indian workers, paid them $1.21 an hour

LA Times:

Eight workers from India were paid as little as $1.21 an hour by a tech company in Fremont, Calif., over several months in late 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, as reported by the Associated Press.
As a result the company, Electronics for Imaging, which specializes in printing technology, agreed to pay $43,000 in back wages and government penalties. Electronics for Imaging, or EFI, said in a prepared statement that it “unintentionally overlooked” U.S. labor law and has “taken steps to ensure that this type of administrative error does not reoccur.”

The workers were transferred from Bangalore, India, to help the company move into a new headquarters building. They logged as many as 122 hours a week without overtime with some earning as little as $1.21 an hour. California’s minimum wage at the time was $8 an hour.

ECB Set to Fail 25 Banks in Review, Draft Document Shows

Twenty-five lenders in the European Central Bank’s euro-area bank health check are set to fail the regulator’s Comprehensive Assessment, according to a draft communique of the final results, seen by Bloomberg News.

One-hundred-and-five banks are shown passing the review, according to the draft statement. Of the lenders that failed, about 10 will still face capital shortfalls they need to plug, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. That figure is likely to change as talks continue before the final results are published Oct. 26, said the person.

The two-part review forms one pillar of the ECB’s effort to rekindle confidence in the euro zone after half a decade of financial turmoil. ECB President Mario Draghi has said banks need to fail to prove the losses of the past have been dealt with. After two previous European stress tests didn’t reveal problems at lenders that later failed, the ECB has staked its reputation on getting this exercise right.

“The numbers are consistent with our expectations,” said Alberto Gallo, head of European macro-credit research at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc in London. “It’s too early to say the exercise is credible. The key will be to see how much stress the strong banks will take, and how many of them will pass by a narrow margin.” He expects 11 banks will need to plug capital gaps after measures already taken this year.

Read on.

Why Spain’s Poor Fear Goldman Sachs

Madrid, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Last year Madrid’s city and regional governments sold almost 5,000 rent-controlled flats to private equity investors including Goldman Sachs and Blackstone. At the time, the tenants were told their rental conditions would remain the same.

But as old contracts expire, dozens of people have received demands for higher rent, been told their rents will increase dramatically, been threatened with eviction or moved out to escape the insecurity. Thousands of Spain’s poor now depend for their homes on the generosity of private equity.

Jamila Bouzelmat is one of them.

The mother of six lives in a four-bedroom flat on the outskirts of the Spanish capital that was bought jointly by Goldman and a Spanish firm. The 44-year-old said that until March her family paid 58 euros ($73) a month in rent out of her husband’s 500-euro unemployment benefit. In April, her bank statement shows, her new landlords suddenly took 436 euros from her bank account.

She discovered the payment when she tried to pay an electricity bill.

“We went to take money out and there wasn’t a cent left in the bank,” she said, her 18-month-old daughter playing at her feet. She got charity hand-outs to feed her children, aged between 18 months and 19 years, and now lives in fear of the rent bill. Goldman declined to comment.

In the buildings sold to the funds, Reuters has spoken to more than 40 households who face similar difficulties. They include some of Madrid’s most vulnerable people: an unemployed single mother of five with a severely disabled daughter, for example, and an HIV patient with one lung. Both faced evictions that were temporarily halted at the last minute.

There is no suggestion the buyers have acted illegally. Having bought around 15 percent of Madrid’s publicly held social housing, the new owners are simply exercising their right to charge commercial rents once reduced rents that tenants have paid expire.

Read on.

Banker Suicides Return: DSK’s Hedge Fund Partner Jumps From 23rd Floor Apartment

These stories are totally ignored by the media…


Bloomberg reports that Thierry Leyne, the French-Israeli entrepreneur who last year started an investment firm with former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has died. He was 48.

Leyne died yesterday in Tel Aviv, according to his assistant at the firm, who asked not to be identified. Le Figaro newspaper reported that he committed suicide.

Last year, Leyne joined Strauss-Kahn in establishing the Paris-traded firm Leyne, Strauss-Kahn & Partners after the former IMF head bought a 20 percent stake to help develop the investment-banking franchise of Leyne’s company, Luxembourg-based Anatevka SA. Leyne had taken Anatevka public in March 2013 before joining forces with Strauss-Kahn, commonly referred to in France as DSK.

The new partnership — usually called LSK & Partners by using both men’s initials — was part of Strauss-Kahn’s efforts to rebuild his post-IMF life after he was charged in 2011 of criminal sex, attempted rape, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and the forcible touching of a chambermaid at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan. Strauss-Kahn denied the charges, which were later dropped. He settled the maid’s lawsuit in 2012.

And NYTimes adds,

Mr. Leyne, 48, jumped off the 23rd floor of one of the Yoo towers, a prestigious residential complex, according to Israeli officials.

Leyne’s Background:

Leyne, who resided in Tel Aviv, built his career as a financier in France, Israel and Luxembourg. He founded the investment firm Assya Capital in 1994 and listed it on Euronext in Paris in 2001. Leyne merged the business with Global Equities Capital Markets in 2010 to provide financial advice and private banking to clients in eastern Europe, Le Figaro reported.

Anatevka, which had a market value of 50 million euros ($63 million) when Strauss-Kahn purchased his stake, controlled the merged entity, known as Assya Compagnie Financiere, offering asset management, brokerage, corporate finance and capital investment. Anatevka had a staff of about 100 people in six countries — Luxembourg, Belgium, Monaco, Israel, Switzerland and Romania — in September 2013.

In 1996, Leyne founded the company Axfin, one of the first independent investment firms in France, according to the website of Assya Capital. Axfin listed on the Paris stock exchange in 1999 before it was bought by Nuremberg, Germany-based Consors Discount Broker AG. Leyne was the supervisory board chairman of Consors France until the end of 2002.

Leyne was born in September 1965, according to French public records. He held French and Israeli citizenship, Figaro said. He had an engineering degree from the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, his LinkedIn profile shows.

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This is the 16th financial services executive death this year…

1 – William Broeksmit, 58-year-old former senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG, was found dead in his home after an apparent suicide in South Kensington in central London, on January 26th.

2 – Karl Slym, 51 year old Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym, was found dead on the fourth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok on January 27th.

3 – Gabriel Magee, a 39-year-old JP Morgan employee, died after falling from the roof of the JP Morgan European headquarters in London on January 27th.

4 – Mike Dueker, 50-year-old chief economist of a US investment bank was found dead close to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State.

5 – Richard Talley, the 57 year old founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was found dead earlier this month after apparently shooting himself with a nail gun.

6 – Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG, also died last month, however the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown.

7 – Ryan Henry Crane, a 37 year old executive at JP Morgan died in an alleged suicide just a few weeks ago.  No details have been released about his death aside from this small obituary announcement at the Stamford Daily Voice.

8 – Li Junjie, 33-year-old banker in Hong Kong jumped from the JP Morgan HQ in Hong Kong this week.

9 – James Stuart Jr, Former National Bank of Commerce CEO, found dead in Scottsdale, Ariz., the morning of Feb. 19. A family spokesman did not say whatcaused the death

10 – Edmund (Eddie) Reilly, 47, a trader at Midtown’s Vertical Group, commited suicide by jumping in front of LIRR train

11 – Kenneth Bellando, 28, a trader at Levy Capital, formerly investment banking analyst at JPMorgan, jumped to his death from his 6th floor East Side apartment.

12 – Jan Peter Schmittmann, 57, the former CEO of Dutch bank ABN Amro found dead at home near Amsterdam with wife and daughter.

13 – Li Jianhua, 49, the director of China’s Banking Regulatory Commission died of a sudden heart attack

14 – Lydia _____, 52 – jumped to her suicide from the 14th floor of Bred-Banque Populaire in Paris

15 – Julian Knott, 45 – killed wife and self with a shotgun in Jefferson Township, New Jersey

16 – Thierry Leyne, 48 – jumped from 23rd floor apartment in Tel Aviv.

Bank of America’s dark secrets unwind southern author’s life

A November 20th foreclosure ruling could decide TJ Fisher’s fate ahead of $70M jury trial vs. the bank. 

Bank of America’s ongoing alleged “bad faith” delay tactics and discovery stonewall in author TJ Fisher’s explosive $70 million lawsuit against the bank have stretched the case into four years. Now flat broke and $27 million in debt, former-millionaire Fisher faces the possibility of no roof over her head before a jury finally has the opportunity to pass judgment on the Too Big To Fail banking titan. The bank’s Motion for Continuance postponed the author’s hard-won August 18, 2014 jury trial against the financial giant. The headliner case remains off the jury trial docket. Now the bank foreclosure of Fisher’s ocean block home got slotted into the court calendar before her pivotal eye-pop saga of how Wall Street banking royalty broke all the rules to create an American horror story. Judge Catherine M. Brunson is assigned to both intertwined cases.

Ex-Baltimore Raven’s football player Michael McCrary’s 2007 $60 million lawsuit and subsequent Maryland default judgment of $33.3 million against Fisher goes to the heart of Fisher’s suit against Bank of America (NYSE:BAC). Fisher’s head-spin tale spans 15 courts between New Orleans and Palm Beach to rest with a 15th Judicial Circuit of Florida grand finale.

Judge Brunson is the longtime presiding judge in Fisher’s drawn-out battle against the bank and the judge who granted the jury trial continuance in the Fisher vs. Bank of America court proceedings. She is also now the adjudicator on the non-jury foreclosure case. Judge Brunson was assigned to hear Fisher’s foreclosure case by judicial rotation.

Fisher’s weird “movie of the week” sweeping legal and financial drama with McCrary began with Hurricane Katrina and 2006 core bank-rule-breaking limited liability company transactions between the bank’s Palm Beach Branch Manager and Vice President Peter Kafouros and Fisher’s spouse. The bank’s complicity in a conversion of funds is undisputed. The bank settled McCrary’s lawsuit against them in 2011, two months after Fisher hit the megabank with a negligence lawsuit for opening an undocumented account that allowed converted funds to funnel through her life.

In the wake of Fisher’s attorney Patrick W. Maraist, Esq. unearthing 100,000 pages of undisclosed relevant bank documents in her main case against the bank — key material yet to be produced in contempt of Judge Brunson’s court order to open records — Fisher fears the bank may never face a jury. “Bank of America obstructs discovery to stall and string the timeline into infinity. They have the money, might and influence to do it, to crush people and break them financially. The November foreclosure bench trial ahead of the jury trial against the bank jeopardizes my case,” Fisher says.

The flip-flop of court-calendar scheduling favors Big Banking. Resilient Fisher, who has lost everything, is still fighting. Her court pleadings lay out how Bank of America misconduct triggered a hornet’s next of litigation that imploded her life, setting in motion her inescapable plunge from a wealthy woman to penniless.

The unbelievable yet real-life Technicolor saga of Fisher’s smashed socialite storybook life boomerangs between the frayed fringes of a fantastical Southern gothic unraveling—no novelist could pen—and a carnivalesque-themed “Desperate Housewife” reality show. Fisher previously split her time between a Bourbon Street French Quarter residence and her longtime Palm Beach home and drove a big pink ‘59 Cadillac convertible.

If Fisher is foreclosed upon and forced into bankruptcy and her ultimate David vs. Goliath winning streak of negative rulings against Bank of America forfeited, a six-panel jury may never deliberate the evidence and consequential fallout of banking wrongdoing.

– See more at: http://www.prnewschannel.com/2014/10/23/bank-of-americas-dark-secrets-unwind-southern-authors-life/#sthash.GDhEuMCL.dpuf

Family: Suntrust Bank is ‘heartless’ for foreclosing on dead woman’s home


The family of a murdered woman is calling a local bank “heartless” after the bank filed foreclosure on the dead woman’s home.

“I’ve had so many things ripped away from me,” said Stacey White.

Her sister, Bridgette Holt, was murdered by her ex-husband, who later took his own life in midtown Atlanta in November 2013. Holt was on her way into work when she was killed.

“We offered to pay, they don’t want it, it is too late,” White said about the home.

White said the family believed Bridgette Holt’s Hampton home was paid off upon her death, but to be sure they told the bank to forward all correspondence to a new address.

“Not saying that they didn’t do their job and send out the paperwork, they sent it to the wrong place,” said White, who added it is not clear how the bank got the wrong address.

“The first thing I knew about the house going into foreclosure was the letter from the attorney, not from SunTrust,” White said.

According to paperwork from the bank’s attorney, they have until Nov. 1 to get out of the home.

“Honestly, I just feel that SunTrust is very coldhearted and heartless. They know the situation, we are not asking them to give us anything, we are willing to pay for it,” White said.

Read on.