Daily Archives: August 12, 2016

Housing official in Silicon Valley pens scathing resignation because she can’t afford to live there

Housing is so expensive in Palo Alto, California that its own housing official can no longer afford to live there and is resigning.

“After many years of trying to make it work in Palo Alto, my husband and I cannot see a way to stay in Palo Alto and raise a family here,” wrote Kate Vershov Downing onNewCo Shift.

The Bay Area has suffered from an affordable housing crisis, as rent costs in San Francisco increase with demand. A similar report out in May shows that demand is trickling down south into the peninsula and Silicon Valley.

“The median price paid for a new or existing home or condo in the nine-county region reached $700,000 in May,” a 6.3 percent increase since May 2015.

“Time and again, I’ve seen dozens of people come to both Commission meetings and Council meetings asking [the] Council to make housing its top priority,” Downing wrote. She then accused the City Council of charting “a course for the next 15 years of this city’s development which substantially continues the same job-housing imbalance this community has been suffering from for some time now.”

Due to high-paying tech jobs in the region, most renters and homeowners are willing to pay more for housing. Downing’s husband is a software engineer while she works as an attorney. If they aren’t even able to afford to live in Palo Alto, “then all of our teachers, first responders, and service workers are in dire straits.”

The problem is so severe a nonprofit organization was started in Oakland to help teachers who can’t afford housing in the area.

Read on.

WSJ: Ex-Bank of America lawyer lost job over relationship with Fannie CEO

So that’s why Former Fifth Third chief legal officer Heather Russell lost her job according to an article that I read. Click here. 

Fifth Third Bancorp last month fired its general counsel, a former lawyer for Bank of America, because she was having a romantic relationship with the CEO of mortgage giant Fannie Mae, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

The relationship was with Tim Mayopoulos, himself a former general counsel for Charlotte-based Bank of America who was named Fannie’s CEO in 2012.

Last month, Fifth Third confirmed Heather Russell was no longer with the bank, which she joined in September, because of a “personal matter.” At the time, Fifth Third said the matter represented a conflict of interest but declined to elaborate.

Congressional leaders were briefed a year ago on hacking of Democrats: Sources

U.S. intelligence officials told top congressional leaders a year ago that Russian hackers were attacking the Democratic Party, three sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday, but the lawmakers were unable to tell the targets about the hacking because the information was so secret.

The disclosure of the Top Secret information would have revealed that U.S. intelligence agencies were continuing to monitor the hacking, as well as the sensitive intelligence sources and the methods they were using to do it.

The material was marked with additional restrictions and assigned a unique codeword, limiting access to a small number of officials who needed to know that U.S. spy agencies had concluded that two Russian intelligence agencies or their proxies were targeting the Democratic National Committee, the central organizing body of the Democratic Party.

Read on.

Clinton Says She’ll Move Beyond Dodd-Frank’s Bank Rules

Law360, New York (August 11, 2016, 3:51 PM ET) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday said that she intends to tighten financial regulations if she wins the presidential election in November even as she hopes to roll back red tape in order to spur lending by community banks and credit unions.

While Hillary Clinton’s speech focused on issues like taxes, international trade, reducing child care costs and boosting the power of labor unions, the former senator from New York also blasted Donald Trump for saying that he intended to roll back the reforms…

Source: Law360

Fannie Mae selling off more than $1 billion in non-performing loans

Fannie Mae announced earlier this week that it plans to sell more than $1 billion in non-performing loans as it continues its effort to rid its portfolio of deeply delinquent loans.

The sale will be conducted with five different pools of non-performing loans. One of the pools is a Community Impact Pool, which are smaller pools of loans that are marketed to encourage participation by smaller investors, non-profit organizations, and minority- and women-owned businesses.

The smaller pool of loans is also geographically focused and high occupancy, Fannie Mae said. According to Fannie Mae, the smaller pool consists of 120 loans, focused in the Miami, Florida area, totaling $20.7 million in unpaid principal balance.

The four of larger pools total approximately 6,900 loans and carry a total unpaid principal balance of $1.08 billion.

Read on.

Are Regulations Killing Our Economy?

The fourth of a six part series airing on the McCuistion Television Program, which has been focused on the 2008 financial crisis, “Have Dodd- Frank and Other Regulations Been Effective?” (watch it here), featured my  Bank Whistleblowers United colleague, William K. Black.
William, a white collar criminologist and former financial regulator as well as the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One, was joined by: George A. Selgin, PhD: Director of the Cato Institutes’ Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Georgia and C.K. Lee, a former bank regulator, now Managing Director,  Investment Banking, Commerce Street Capital. Jeb Hensarling (R- TX):Chair of the House Financial Services Committee gave his views via a prior taped interview.
The diverse comments were unanimously not in agreement. Yet each one believes to some extent that regulations and the way they are enforced have set up a tyranny in our financial system which favors the big banks at the expense of community banks which are crippled with the cost of regulations. As Representative Hensarling emphasized, Dodd-Frank and other regulations are imposing huge costs on banking because of their complexity and volume.