Daily Archives: August 21, 2015

Community group Common Ground protests Nationstar, NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks owner Wes Edens

Community group Common Ground gathered in front of a foreclosed Sherman Park house Tuesday to publicly criticize Nationstar Mortgage and Bucks owner Wes Edens.

Common Ground said the deteriorating house, located at 2441-43 N. 44th St., was sold by Nationstar in February to Odell Barnes of South Carolina after the group asked to take ownership and rehabilitate it. Nationstar spokesman John Hoffman said Nationstar tried to donate the house to Common Ground in January but the group rejected the offer after months of negotiations.

After giving a speech, Common Ground picked up trash from inside the house, which endured two fires in the past months, put the trash in boxes and delivered it to Edens’ Schlitz Park office. Common Ground said Edens owns Nationstar, while Hoffman said Edens is chairman of the board of directors.

Read on.

And indeed Edens is on the board for Nationstar. Click here. And interesting enough Nationstar is controlled by Fortress Investment Group. And who owns Fortress Investment Group? Wes Edens. Click here and here.

Feds bust Wells Fargo, SunTrust and PNC bank employees in tax refund scam

Federal investigators have indicted several Atlanta bank employees in a tax refund fraud scheme in which they filed more than 2,000 fraudulent tax returns in an effort to pocket more than $2 million in fraudulent tax refunds.

What’s more, the feds say, the fraudulent tax returns were filed using personally identifying information belonging primarily to elderly retirees and children aged 10 and younger.

Read on.

Donald Trump explains all, American banking system, Dodd-Frank, and not make corporations pay their taxes


How do you view the state of the American banking system?

We’re having a huge problem, again. You know you look at the junk. You know all the junk that’s floating all over the place. You look at some of this Internet stuff that’s floating all over. We’re in a bubble again, okay. It’s not – and I’ll tell you the problem with the banks, if you’re really rich, like with me, if I want to borrow money I can buy all the money I want. But if there’s a young Donald Trump that needs some money to do a couple of really good deals can’t get it because the regulators are making it absolutely impossible for the banks to loan money.

Do you want to repeal Dodd Frank and similar financial regulation reforms passed by President Obama?

Well Dodd Frank is probably not a very good thing. There are aspects of it you could leave. But generally speaking Dodd Frank stifles business. It just totally stifles business.

I’ll tell you another subject that I’m going to start talking about because nobody talks about it. Corporate inversion, where companies are going over to other places. You know it used to be they moved from New York to Florida, they moved from New Jersey to…Pfizer is talking about moving to Ireland. Or someplace else. We’re talking about Pfizer. Do you know how big that is? It would wipe out New Jersey. I mean that is a massive Merck.

They have $2.5 trillion sitting out of the country that they can’t get back because they don’t want to pay the tax. Nor would I. Everybody agrees that shouldn’t happen. We should let them back in. Everybody. Even if you paid nothing it would be a good deal. Because they’ll take that money then and use it for other things.

But they’ll pay something. Ten percent, they’ll pay something. Every Republican, every Democrat for years they have all agreed … They all agree. So now what’s happening is companies are moving out to get their money. And they’re moving out because they’ll pay lower taxes. That’s a huge problem.

Ed DeMarco: Kill Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

DeMarco shares his thoughts in an opinion piece in theWall Street Journal entitled “Put Fannie and Freddie Out of Taxpayers’ Misery.”

Here’s DeMarco, in his own words:

Seven years later, fundamental problems with the system—especially the roles of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—remain unreformed. If today’s presidential candidates want to engage in a policy debate that affects the lives of nearly all Americans, this is it.

The good news is that broad consensus exists on two core changes that could be implemented now:

First, taxpayers shouldn’t be left holding the bag for mortgage defaults. Instead, private capital needs to be brought back into this system. In 2013 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) began the process of shifting mortgage credit risk from taxpayers to private markets. The agency directed Fannie and Freddie to sell some portion of the mortgage credit risk they assume when they issue mortgage-backed securities.

These transactions disperse mortgage credit risk among a broad array of investors who knowingly and willingly take on this risk and its rewards. This builds liquidity in the market and reduces systemic and taxpayer risk. Market demand for these deals has been strong and new approaches to selling credit risk keep emerging, thereby broadening the range of market participants.

Congress should pass legislation making sure that within four years all securitizations involve enough risk transfer so that taxpayers are left with credit risk only in catastrophic circumstances. Lawmakers can then decide whether to stop there, as in some current legislative proposals, or move the remaining risk away from taxpayers.

Second, housing-finance reforms being developed under the FHFA’s direction should accommodate firms beyond Fannie and Freddie. One reason for the conservatorships in 2008 was that the country lacked a viable secondary market without them. The common securitization platform introduced by FHFA in 2012 will fix that by creating the operational infrastructure for other firms to issue mortgage-backed securities equivalent to Fannie and Freddie’s. That will enable Congress to end the conservatorships and replace the Fannie-Freddie model.

Read on.

Turning tragedy around: Murdered Realtor’s son urges more safety

A year ago next month, the search for Beverly Carter, the Arkansas Realtor who had been missing since Sept. 25, 2014, ended tragically when her body was found in a shallow grave about 25 miles north of Little Rock.

She was kidnapped while showing a home.

Arron Lewis, of Jacksonville, was arrested and stands charged with Carter’s murder. He faces the death penalty.

Now 11 months later, one of Carter’s sons is making it a mission to teach Realtors and real estate agents just how critical taking safety precautions is.

Little Rock’s THV11 has the story.

In a room full of members of the Little Rock Realtors Association on Thursday morning, her son, Carl Carter Jr., spoke candidly about his mother’s death.

“Imagine how scared you would be to be carried from the home you were showing five minutes ago and being tossed into the trunk of a car,” said Carl Carter, Jr.

Since the murder of Beverly Carter last September, Carl Carter Jr. has reached out to the real estate community across the country urging them to make safety a higher priority in the business.

After Carter’s death, a number of programs were created to provide extra security measures to real estate agents. Safe Harbor is an app that allows clients to meet with realtors in a safe location. The Beverly Carter Safety Certified Offices program provides stickers for firms that take a pledge to keep their employees safe.

“It’s been a rough year, full of ups and downs, but the realtor community has been so receptive to making changes,” said Carl Carter, Jr.

Carl Carter, Jr. is making a big change for himself, as well. He has decided to follow in his late mother’s footsteps and pursue his own real estate license.

Read on.

Panicking banks ban mobile phones, swearing and even emojis in bid to avoid repeat of Libor humiliation – but new rules could drive traders away because they ‘stop the job being fun’

  • Investment banks have been hit by Libor and foreign exchange scandals
  • Traders’ chats show culture of joking about ripping off clients
  • Now most major banks have banned mobiles from the trading floor and increased surveillance of emails and instant messages
  • Some bankers have left the industry saying ‘this job used to be fun’ 

City bankers have been banned from using their phones at work, swearing in emails and talking to their rivals as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on their behaviour in the wake of recent scandals sweeping the industry, it has emerged.

Institutions desperate to clean up their act after being fined millions for Libor fraud and currency rigging have imposed tough new rules on employees’ behaviour in the office, MailOnline can reveal.

Investment banks have had their reputations damaged by evidence that traders were conniving to make profits by rigging key benchmarks – often losing their clients money in the process.

But measures intended to rescue the industry’s image could backfire by driving skilled workers away from banking – with many veterans lamenting that they no longer enjoy their jobs.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3194053/How-banks-banned-phones-swearing-emojis-Libor-scandal.html#ixzz3jQdhU7xh

First banker, not from the big banks, to be convicted for bailout scam gets 2 years

A one-time small community bank president who became the first person convicted of trying to rip off the federal bailout program has been sentenced in New York to 2 1/2 years in prison.

A federal judge sentenced Charles Antonucci on Thursday.

The judge says the 64-year-old Fishkill resident’s cooperation in the case was insufficient to avoid spending time in prison. She calls his crimes “enormous” and adds the only motivation seemed to be greed.

Read on.

Barclays Investors Win Class Cert. In Libor-Rigging Suit

Law360, New York (August 20, 2015, 8:40 PM ET) — Barclays PLC investors are entitled to class certification in their suit against the bank over losses allegedly caused by London Interbank Offered Rate manipulation, a New York federal judge ruled on Thursday, finding that the plaintiffs did not have to demonstrate price impact through an event study at this stage.

(Credit: AP) U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin said that the investors have shown enough evidence that Barclays stock traded in an efficient market, rejecting the bank’s contention that the plaintiffs’ market efficiency expert John D….

Source: Law360

And more from 4Traders. Click here.

Kentucky town becomes first since Detroit to declare bankruptcy

A small Kentucky town is about to join a rather unfortunate club by becoming one of the few municipalities to file for bankruptcy protection.

According to a Bloomberg report, Hillview, Kentucky, filed for bankruptcy this week, becoming the first municipality to file for bankruptcy since Detroit famously did in 2013.

From the Bloomberg report:

Hillview, which faced legal damages it couldn’t afford, is only the third Chapter 9 filing this year, following an Oklahoma hospital and a special district in California.

According to the Bloomberg report, the issue that caused the town of 8,000 to declare bankruptcy was contract dispute with a local company, Truck America Training, over a land sale.

Again, from Bloomberg:

In February, Standard & Poor’s lowered its rating to junk after the city unsuccessfully appealed a court ruling ordering it to pay $11.4 million in damages to the company.

Hillview estimated its liabilities as high as $100 million and assets as high as $10 million, according to the filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Louisville. Truck America is the city’s largest unsecured creditor.

Source: Bloomberg