Daily Archives: July 14, 2016

Americans want presidential candidates to talk about affordable housing

About 76% of Americans who are likely to vote in the 2016 presidential election say they are more likely to support candidates who make housing affordability a focus of their campaigns and a priority in government, according to a national public opinion poll by Make Room, a nationwide campaign giving voice to American renters.

Almost all Democrats, about 92%, say they would support a presidential candidate who make affordable housing a priority, and about 78% Independents said the same. While Republican numbers were much lower, still a majority at 55% said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who made affordable housing a priority.

Likely voters not only want to see affordable housing on the candidates’ platforms, but also consider the issue to be an important factor in their voting decisions. About 60% of likely voters say that housing is a key issue to them in this voting season.

Read on.

Trump picks Mike Pence as Vice President

This is Gov. Mike Pence’s stance on economic and social issues…


Update 2:


Update: It appears Trump is not too excited about his big announcement tomorrow having been leaked.


* * *

While probably not much of a surprise to those who have been closely following the republican vice presidential race, moments ago Roll Call reported, citing a source, that Trump will pick Indiana governor Mike Pence as his vice president.

From the source:

Donald Trump is planning to announce that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is his choice for his vice presidential running mate, according to a Republican with direct knowledge of the decision.
As Trump narrowed in on his choice of Pence, the two men spent time at both Trump’s golf resort in New Jersey in early July and at the Indiana governor’s mansion this week.

In addition to testing the men’s chemistry together, Trump was reportedly impressed with Pence’s calm demeanor, his experience on Capitol Hill and as a governor, and Pence’s potential to assist Trump in governing, should the ticket win in November.

The announcement will be made publicly at an event at Trump Tower at 11 a.m. Friday morning.


In addition to Pence, Trump has considered former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Army Gen. Michael Flynn for the No. 2 spot on his ticket. Some contenders, including Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Joni Ernst of Iowa, took themselves out of the running.

And here is the people who will be speaking at the  Republican National Convention next week. Read The Full Lineup Here…

Bear Stearns securities fraud suit revisited

MANHATTAN — The Second Circuit on Thursday affirmed dismissal of a time-barred securities fraud suit by SRM Global Master Fund Limited Partnership against Bear Stearns, which collapsed in 2008 and settled class-action claims years ago.

Source: Courthouse News

Here is the court document. Click here.

Homeowners: From $150 HOA fee to foreclosure

Hillsborough County homeowners are battling their HOA in a foreclosure fight, but one missed payment could cost the family their home.

“Because of $150, we’re going to lose a $300,000 home,” says homeowner Tina Lopez.

The Riverview family is taking on the Rivercrest Community Association, who just sold the home at auction.  The Lopez family claims they didn’t have any warning.  Now, the HOA fight could leave the family homeless.

“This is our life.  This is our family,” says Tina Lopez.

The Lopez family has called their Rivercrest neighborhood home since 2005, when they bought if for around $270,000.

The HOA put a foreclosure lien on the house and recently sold it at auction for $19,000. The family’s cut: $14,000.

“You have a company that comes in and says let’s just take your house away.  It’s not right.  There’s no compassion.  It’s not morally right,” says Tina Lopez.

Read on.

Senators Schatz, Warren, Feinstein want FTC investigation of AirBnb, short-term rental industry

Three Democratic Senators are concerned about the impact of short-term home rental companies like AirBnb, HomeAway, VRBO, and Flipkey on communities’ housing markets and want the Federal Trade Commission to investigate.

In a letter sent Wednesday to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass; and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif; state that they are especially concerned that short-term rentals are not only making housing more expensive in certain communities, but also making it harder to buy a house in the first place.

“We are concerned that short-term rentals may be exacerbating housing shortages and driving up the cost of housing in our communities,” the Democrats write in their letter.

My Few Minutes of Fame – A PBS Miniseries on Business Ethics

There’s a new documentary in the works in which I had the opportunity to participate just last week.
The three part series, tentatively titled Gray Areas, is in production by WNET, which is the flagship public station of the New York City tri-state area, WNET, the most watched public television  channel in the country. I was honored as they have a reputation for being one of the most respected and innovative PBS stations. Plus, notice I said the New York City tri-state area, home to Wall Street! Which means more attention and more eyes on the perpetrators of some of the most massive fraud we’ve yet experienced in this country.
Gray Areas will use case studies to explore important and serious ethical questions that businesses are faced with today. Mary Ann Rotondi, the award winning producer contactedAdam Waytz, assistant professor of management at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, after reading an article summarizing the Kellogg business caseabout Sherry Hunt’s and my experience at Citigroup, “How Citibank’s Culture Allowed Corruption to Thrive“.  The case won Waytz, and Vasilia Kilibarda, also at Northwestern, an international award for the “Outstanding Case Study on Anti-Corruption,” given by the United Nations Compact Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) and Giving Voice to Values (GVV) presented at the North American Case Research Association (NACRA) conference. The Kellogg case, which is currently used in business schools around the world, was referenced in a prior post.
Ms. Rotondi plans on including commentaries from prominent ethics professors from some of our best business schools in an effort to help further the need for an on-going conversation about ethics, responsibility and character (or lack thereof) in the work place. She believes that many of us face and have faced situations similar to mine and Sherry’s at Citigroup.

Mr. Robot season 2: Unmask, FSociety, big corporations


Art imitate life… Here is an excerpt of premiere of the second season Mr. Robot, “unm4sk.”

Who is E Corp?

E Corp, known to Elliot by the derogatory name Evil Corp, is one of the largest multi-national conglomerates in the world. Among their enterprises, they manufacture computers, phones, and tablets, and maintain a banking and consumer credit division. According to Mr. Robot, the company owns 70% of the global consumer credit industry, which is whyfsociety has targeted them, and why Mr. Robot recruited Elliot to help them hack into their network.

And fsociety?

fsociety is the name of a hacker group based in Coney Island, New York, led by the mysterious Mr. Robot. Its name is a play on both the derelict amusement park building in which it has its headquarters, and their message: “fuck society.”

Here is some of spoiler Wednesday’s episodes of Mr. Robot second season from For The Win:


The hack is over, but Darlene has realized that nothing at all has changed. The government is bailing out Evil Corp (more on that to come), people are still spending money. It’s cash instead of credit cards, but they still spend — what else do they know how to do?

It’s hard to free people who have no interest in being freed. The remaining members of fsociety are content to pull off meaningless stunts, removing the balls from the bull on Wall St. (That’ll show ’em!) Darlene soldiers on, using her power over the others to try to keep the war alive … even if using that power over them is anathema to the very leaderless society she’s supposedly pursuing. (“You sound like George W. Bush,” an fsociety member says to her.)

After taking over the Evil Corp cheif attorney’s house using her very smart home against her, they launch a plan — they will threaten to bring down Evil Corp again, unless an executive gives them $5.9 million in cash.

The new CTO volunteers, and lugs the duffel bags with him to the designated spot. There, a messenger boy brings him an fsociety mask and some gasoline, and he’s instructed to burn it all. He does so, the burning cash twinkling, reflecting in his dismayed eyes, as Phil Collins’ Take Me Home plays ever so softly in the background.

There’s a fire that’s been burning
Right outside my door
I can’t see but I feel it
And it helps to keep me warm

Those are the words to the song, and it’s a beautiful moment, the crowd gathered around, the cash burning to nothing. We cut to Darlene in the crowd, and her face is hard to read. She accomplished something, again, but as she walks away, you can’t help but think: What, exactly?


Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price, dealing with the fallout of the cash fire fiasco, heads to Washington, D.C. to deal with the government, who isn’t bailing him out as fast as he’d like. Like something out of a Bernie Sanders fever dream, Price bullies the government stiffs, mocking them and chastising them like children.

When they suggest he resign in order for them to save face to their constituents, he looks upon them with disgust.

People are idiots, but they need to believe in something. They need to believe in him. “Every day when that market bell rings, we con them into believing in something.” He is the one that gives these people this confidence, the confidence to keep spending. The message is clear enough (Esmail has never been one for subtlety): The finance world is nothing but confidence men, convincing us morons that we all need to keep giving them our money and remaining enslaved to consumerism.

The government has no chance of fighting it. They bend to his power. He is admitting outright he is a fraud, but he’s the American Fraud, and they can do nothing to stop him. He tells one to wipe his face in disgust, and storms out. The man wipes his face.


Ex-Staffer Alleges Trump Misused Funds, Set Up Fake Company

Oh, oh.. Bad timing for Trump…

Huffington Post:

Sam Nunberg, in a legal answer to a $10 million lawsuit claiming Nunberg violated a confidentiality agreement, said Trump may have illegally funneled corporate money into the campaign, and created a fictitious company that was listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Nunberg was fired from Trump’s presidential campaign last summer, after it was revealed that he had posted racist messages on Facebook. Trump’s lawsuit against him, made public on Wednesday, claims Nunberg in May told the New York Post about a public screaming match between two top Trump staffers: campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, and Trump’s then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Nunberg vehemently denies leaking the story.


At the time of the argument between Hicks and Lewandowski, Nunberg hadn’t been involved with Trump’s campaign for more than 10 months.

Nunberg says in his answer to the lawsuit that the Trump campaign illegally created a fictitious company, called Trump 2012 PCA. The company is listed as a plaintiff in the suit against Nunberg, along with Trump’s formal campaign.

ACLU: Foreclosure process violates Fair Housing Act

African Americans in Wayne County are suffering from a tax foreclosure crisis more severe than any this region has seen since the Great Depression. But unlike during the Great Depression, the homeowners today are at risk of losing their homes for taxes they never should have been required to pay in the first place.

This week, the ACLU of Michigan, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Covington law firm filed a lawsuit to prevent tens of thousands of homeowners from losing their homes to illegal tax foreclosures. We hope this lawsuit — filed against the Wayne County Treasurer and the City of Detroit — will keep people in their homes, prevent the blight that occurs following foreclosure and stabilize the neighborhoods and lives of countless residents.

The tax foreclosure crisis threatening black homeowners stems from two major causes. First, Detroit has failed to follow state law requiring the city to base the property taxes on the true cash value of the home. Second, the city has made it nearly impossible for poor people to obtain a “poverty exemption.”

Read on.

Judge sues foreclosure defendant who filed $2.4 million “criminal complaint” against him

Last year, Judge Thomas Minkoff issued an order that a house owned by Leslie and Martin Armstrong be auctioned at a foreclosure sale.

That order sparked a legal saga that saw Mrs. Armstrong filing a “criminal complaint” against Minkoff, his legal staff, Wells Fargo and its attorney that alleges they deprived her of her constitutional rights. Mrs. Armstrong alleges that they civil value of the 242 counts in her complaint add up to $2.4 million that she’s owed. Minkoff is a civil court judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit for Pasco and Pinellas Counties.

In the latest chapter, Minkoff, who is represented by sAttorney General Pam Bondi’s office, filed suit Friday alleging that the criminal complaint is full of false representations. He’s asking the court have them expunged from the record and that an injunction be issued preventing Mrs. Armstrong from filing any more “false documents.”

Neither Minkoff nor Mrs. Armstrong could be reached for comment. But the court documents tell the story.

Read on.