Daily Archives: August 4, 2016

Investment banking firm Goldman Sachs tried to help keep youthful offenders from returning to jail by funding a Scientology-based program that forced teen inmates to accept total blame for their problems.

About 1 million inmates have participated in the experimental program, called Moral Reconation Therapy, which is promoted by the U.S. government — but doesn’t actually work, reported Vice.

MRT is a popular treatment program in drug courts and jails throughout the nation, and it’s based on the underlying theory that convicted criminals and drug abusers have “low moral reasoning,” according to a 2007 review by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Goldman Sachs spent $1.2 million to implement MRT at Rikers Island through a “social impact bond,” and inmates were exposed to outdated and humiliating conditions on top of their incarceration — which data shows greatly increases the risk of recidivism.

“No one involved even seemed to consider what it would be like to get beaten by guards at night—as has been widely documented at Rikers — while getting told each day that their own disobedience is the real problem,” wrote Maia Szalavitz for Vice.

The program was introduced in the 1980s by academics Greg Little and Ken Robinson, who based MRT on theories of moral development that originated with psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg.

Read on.

Wasserman Schultz denounces DNC email questioning Bernie Sanders’ faith

Oh please.. Too little too late, Debbie. The damage has been done.. You and your staffer just got caught…

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston took responsibility Thursday for the leaked emails that eventually led to her resignation as Democratic National Committee chairwoman, saying “the buck stops with me.”

She also denounced an email by her former party staff questioning Bernie Sanders’ religious beliefs as “unacceptable” and “outrageous.”

During her first local public appearance since resigning on the eve of last week’s national convention, Wasserman Schultz denied the DNC was attempting to thwart Sanders’ bid for president against nominee Hillary Clinton. She spoke at a briefing Thursday in Wynwood that Gov. Rick Scott, touring the neighborhood due to Zika, had with Congressional leaders.

“We followed the rules according to the DNC, primaries and caucuses were run according to state law,” Wasserman Schultz said. “At the end of the day, who the DNC chair was, I could not allow to be a distraction.”

Judge fines foreclosure law firm $1.8 million for bogus billings

Hopp Law Firm found to have over-charged consumers for title policies

A Denver judge has fined one of the city’s prolific foreclosure attorneys $1.8 million for running a scheme in which thousands of consumers facing the loss of their homes were charged for title insurance policies that did not exist.

Robert Hopp Jr. and his now-defunct law firm billed customers fighting foreclosure for policies that were never issued and inflated the cost of the few that were, the Colorado Attorney General’s office argued in a seven-day trial.

The verdict handed down last week by Denver District Judge Shelley Gilman is the latest in a number of cases the state filed in 2013 against lawyers that specialized in foreclosures and allegedly padded their bills for costs that were ultimately borne by consumers losing their homes, the banks foreclosing on them and taxpayers whose federal insurance agencies covered the costs.

Read on.

JPMorgan Says Libor Probes Ended in U.S., U.K. After EU Penalty

Another crime escaped by the banksters. I am not surprised by this since we haven’t heard anything on DOJ’s probes into LIBOR against the banks…

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said U.S. and U.K. authorities ended probes into its activities involving Libor and other benchmark rates without issuing fines, allowing the American bank to escape the scandal lightly compared to other firms.

The U.S. Justice Department told the bank in June that it closed an inquiry into the rate-fixing scheme, and other probes by the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Canadian Competition Bureau were also ended without action, the New York-based firm said Wednesday in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Read on.

JPMorgan, FDIC, Deutsche Bank near settlement in WaMu mortgage suit

From the filing:

Proceedings related to Washington Mutual’s failure are pending before theUnited States District Court for the District of Columbia and include a lawsuit brought by Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, initially against the FDIC and amended to include JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. as a defendant, asserting an estimated $6 billion to $10 billion in damages based upon alleged breaches of certain representations and warranties given by certain Washington Mutual affiliates in connection with mortgage securitization agreements.

CFPB publishes 900-page final rule on mortgage servicing

NAFCU pushes back against new rule’s “unintended consequences”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized new regulations Thursday that it says will ensure homeowners and struggling borrowers are treated fairly by mortgage servicers.

The final mortgage servicing rule will require servicers to provide certain borrowers with foreclosure protections more than once over the life of the loan, clarifies borrower protections when the servicing of a loan is transferred and provides loan information to borrowers in bankruptcy.

“The Consumer Bureau is committed to ensuring that homeowners and struggling borrowers are treated fairly by mortgage servicers and that no one is wrongly foreclosed upon,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

“These updates to the rule will give greater protections to mortgage borrowers, particularly surviving family members and other successors in interest, who often are especially vulnerable,” Cordray said.

Read on.

What Really Caused the 2008 Financial Crisis?

In a recent post, I mentioned the McCuistion Television Program, six part series on the financial crisis that I and several of our Bank Whistleblowers United team, (Michael Winston, William Black and I), participated in.
Michael and I, along with Rashad Abdel-Khalik, PhD:  Professor of International Accounting at the University of Illinois and  C.R. “Rusty” Cloutier: MidSouth Bancorp, Inc, Founding President and CEO, joined host Dennis McCuistion in the third in the series which justrecently aired, part two, of “What Really Caused the 2008 Financial Crisis?”
Our fellow panelists had diverse experiences and viewpoints. However we were in agreement on several key points including that the crisis was caused by more than just lowered underwriting standards. In fact, while that was a contributor, it was also a convenient excuse. The seven largest banks involved, the Too Big To Fail, committed fraud, and walked away. 
Michael addressed the lack of accountability in a reference to the “balance of consequences” – people do what they are rewarded for, not what they are punished for. He asked, “But what if the incentive system rewards you for doing the wrong thing and punishes you for doing the right thing?” And that’s what happened.