Daily Archives: April 22, 2016

Singer Prince blasted Wall Street, Freddie Gray’s death, enslavement, Warner Bros…

Alternet:

Here are some of Prince’s most political, and historic, moments.

“Ol’ Skool Company”

In March 2009, during the throes of the Great Recession, Prince premiered the song “Ol’ Skool Company” on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

“The fat cats on Wall Street, they got a bailout. Think it was AIG,” Prince sang in the single, referring to the insurance company American International Group Inc., which was bailed out by the government amid an enormous scandal, with a hefty price tag of $182 billion tax dollars.

“Everybody’s talking about hard times, like it just started yesterday,” he says in the studio recording of the song.

People I know they have been struggling, at least it seems that way. Fat cats on Wall Street, they got a bailout, while somebody else got to wait.”

“$700 billion but my old neighborhood, ain’t nothing changed but the date.”

In the past year, with the meteoric rise of self-declared democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, who has harshly criticized Wall Street and its role in the 2008 to 2009 economic crisis, these kinds of comments may not seem surprising. But Prince’s remarks predated even the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement.

Wall Street’s Problem Isn’t Too Big to Fail. It’s Too Big to Nail.

Start with having the IRS auditing the banks for possible violation for REMICs. 

Start seizing top bankers’ wealth when they take too many risks, and you’ll fix things fast.

April 22, 2016

 

The main problem with Wall Street isn’t that, as Bernie Sanders says, the banks are too big to fail. It is that the bankers who run them are too big to nail—to be held financially and personally liable for the bad or corrupt decisions they make. This is now, sadly, documented history. The heart of the subprime mortgage mania—the real reason it could go on for so many years, nearly sinking the world economy in the end—was that no one was really held responsible for any of his or her bad decisions. Ever.

Bank executives weren’t held responsible during the bubble as it was building, when banks stopped caring about their own mortgage lending standards because the bankers knew all those bad loans would be bundled into securities that could be sold around the world, thus relieving the bankers’ firms of liability (though many banks also fecklessly kept substantial amounts on their books). Executives weren’t held responsible during the crash, when they were bailed out by the federal government and barely had to promise any change of behavior in return. And they weren’t held responsible long afterwards, when the Justice Department and the SEC failed to convict (and barely put on trial) a single senior executive, or even to send any to the poorhouse by levying fines and penalties. No personal accountability whatsoever, from start to finish; on the contrary, bankers, traders and executives were rewarded for their reckless behavior with big bonuses. Is there any better recipe for encouraging more greed, mania and irresponsibility by Wall Street—no matter how big the bank you’re working at is?

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/04/wall-street-too-big-to-fail-too-big-to-nail-213841#ixzz46alGdEXe

Former LIBOR Trader Banned and Censured by UK Conduct Regulator

Lexology:

United Kingdom April 21 2016

On April 12, 2016, the FCA announced that it had banned former LIBOR trader Paul White from performing any financial regulated activity and publicly censured him. The FCA found that Mr. White was “knowingly concerned” in RBS’s breach of the principle requiring firms to observe proper standards of market conduct and that he lacked the requisite fitness and propriety required of a person responsible for benchmark submissions. Mr. White was the Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc LIBOR submitter at the Royal Bank of Scotland between March 8, 2007 and November 24, 2010. During that time Mr. White received requests from RBS JPY and CHF derivatives traders and external JPY derivatives traders requesting submissions that would benefit their trading positions and took those requests into account when submitting the RBS JPY and CHF LIBOR rates to the British Bankers Association (the former administrator of LIBOR). The FCA issued a warning notice to Mr. White in 2014 but its proceedings were suspended pending the Serious Fraud Office’s criminal investigation into individuals who had formerly been employed at RBS. The SFO announced in early March this year that it was closing its FX LIBOR investigation on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to bring a prosecution.

The FCA’s Final Notice is available at: http://www.fca.org.uk/static/documents/final-notices/paul-white.pdf 

Journalists will not share Panama Papers with Justice Department

The media group that coordinated the Panama Papers investigation into offshore companies said on Thursday it would not participate in a criminal probe by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, wrote to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists seeking additional information from the group to aid his investigation into tax avoidance claims, the Guardian reported on Tuesday.

The group on Thursday told prosecutors in Bharara’s office that it would not release unpublished data to them.

Read on.

Trump Institute Fired Veteran For ‘Absences’ After He Was Deployed To Afghanistan

Senior Master Sgt. Richard Wright was terminated days after he returned from a 2007 deployment.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has been vocal about the need to take care of U.S. veterans. He’s said that if elected, he’ll “put our service men and women on a path to success as they leave active duty.”

But that’s not what the Trump Institute, a get-rich-quick real estate seminar, did for Richard Wright, a senior master sergeant in the Air Force reserves who worked for the company in 2006 and 2007. Wright was deployed to Afghanistan in the spring of 2007. When he came home to his job, the Trump Institute fired him. “All of your absences,” Wright’s boss at the Trump Institute told him, had forced the company to “reevaluate your position with the Trump Institute.” It is a violation of federal law to penalize an employee for absences caused by military service.

When Wright accepted a job at the Trump Institute in December 2006, he thought he’d be working directly with Trump.

“Having a chance to work with him was a dream come true,” Wright, now 48, said of Trump in an email to The Huffington Post.

Dozens of former customers of the Trump Institute and Trump University, a real estate instruction program, have also described being told that Donald Trump was personally overseeing the programs that bore his name, and that instructors were “hand-picked by Mr. Trump.” Judging from the information on the Trump Institute’s (now defunct) website, it’s easy to see why:

THE TRUMP INSTITUTE

It was only after Wright started the job that he realized Trump had little to do with the day-to-day operations of the Trump Institute.

Read on.

New York county legislator, former city official among victims of mortgage fraud conspiracy

Unbelievable…

Own mortgage company allegedly defrauded by lawyer, broker, appraiser, Realtor

A mortgage company owned by a New York country legislator and a former Syracuse city auditor is among the alleged victims of a mortgage fraud conspiracy that involved a lawyer, a mortgage broker, a real estate appraiser, and a Realtor working together to defraud lenders out of more than $4 million.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, a federal grand jury handed down a 24-count indictment charging Gregory Gibbons, a mortgage broker; Julio Rodriguez, a real estate appraiser; Laurence Savedoff, a lawyer; and Tina Brown, a Realtor, with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud affecting financial institutions, wire and mail fraud affecting financial institutions, and bank fraud.

The group, all of New York City, is accused of perpetrating a scheme where they allegedly inflated the true income, asset and employment information of borrowers in an effort to obtain mortgages on behalf of those borrowers.

According to the U.S. Attorney, to secure a loan, the group would allegedly submit, falsified employment documents that included, in some cases, phony income, assets, and places of employment.

Read on.

Not-so-close call: Bankers face stricter pay rules

Small, work-from-home loan originators at some credit unions dodged the latest regulatory attempt to force them them to open commercial offices.

Wall Street bankers, however, aren’t as lucky.

According to Nathaniel Popper writing for the New York Times’ Dealbook, the other side of those same regulations mean the Too-Big-to-Fail banks on Wall Street, and the bankers who work there, face stricter pay rules.

Think of the new rule this way:

Small credit union loan officers: 1

Wall Street fat-cat Banksters: 0

At least that’s how it’s playing out in the press.

See related coverage tone and feel:

Huff Po: The Feds Are Finally Cracking Down On Wall Street Bonuses

Business Insider: Wall Street pay has crashed, and now things are getting worse

[And my personal favorite, because of the stock photo] New York Magazine: Wall Street Executives Won’t Get Bonuses for Crashing the Financial System Anymore

Read on.