Daily Archives: September 16, 2016

Elizabeth Warren Asks Newly Chatty FBI Director to Explain Why DOJ Didn’t Prosecute Banksters

That’s the question that we all have been asking since 2008…

LIKE A LOT OF other Americans, Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to know why the Department of Justice hasn’t criminally prosecuted any of the major players responsible for the 2008 financial crisis.

On Thursday, Warren released two highly provocative letters demanding some explanations. One is to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, requesting a review of how federal law enforcement managed to whiff on all 11 substantive criminal referrals submitted by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC), a panel set up to examine the causes of the 2008 meltdown.

The other is to FBI Director James Comey, asking him to release all FBI investigations and deliberations related to those referrals. The FBI typically doesn’t release investigative details about cases that the DOJ chooses not to pursue, but Warren pointed out that in releasing information about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in July, Comey had pretty much shattered that precedent and set a new one.

“You explained these actions by noting your view that ‘the American people deserve those details in a case of intense public interest,’” Warren wrote to Comey. “If Secretary Clinton’s email server was of sufficient ‘interest’ to establish a new FBI standard of transparency, then surely the criminal prosecution of those responsible for the 2008 financial crisis should be subject to the same level of transparency.”

In other words, if Comey can spend hours relating FBI decision-making about State Department emails, he can do the same for the activity that made millions jobless and homeless.

The FCIC’s criminal referrals, which were sent to the Justice Department in October 2010, have never been made public. But Warren’s staff reviewed thousands of other documents released in March by the National Archives, including hearings and testimony, witness interviews, internal deliberations, and memoranda, and found descriptions and records of them.

They detail potential violations of securities laws by 14 different financial institutions: most of America’s largest banks — Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual (now part of JPMorgan), and Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America) — along with foreign banking giants UBS, Credit Suisse, and Société Generale, auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers, credit rating agency Moody’s, insurance company AIG, and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Read on.

U.S. lawmakers ask Wells about taking back bonuses linked to scam case

Five Democratic U.S. Senators have asked Wells Fargo if it plans to take back bonuses and other compensation to executives linked to the 2 million phony bank accounts that employees created to meet sales quotas.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other regulators announced last week that they had reached a $185 million settlement with the bank over the scam.

“…We write to ask whether the Board of Directors will invoke Wells Fargo’s clawback authority to recover any of the compensation the company has provided to its senior executives, including Carrie Tolstedt, the former senior executive vice president of community banking,” they wrote in a letter dated Thursday and released on Friday.

Read on.

DOJ mortgage settlement with Deutsche Bank to cost $14B?

While an official settlement is not yet public, it’s rumored that the U.S. Justice Department proposed that Deutsche Bank AG pay $14 billion to settle a case that dates back to the financial crisis, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

According to an the article by Aruna Viswanatha, Jenny Strasburg and Eyk Henning:

The U.S. Justice Department proposed that Deutsche Bank AG pay $14 billion to settle a set of high-profile mortgage-securities probes stemming from the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the matter, a number that would rank among the largest of what other banks have paid to resolve similar claims and is well above what investors have been expecting.

However, nothing is set in stone yet.

Read on.

Embattled Nevada housing agencies respond to allegations of wasted millions

A recent bombshell report from a federal watchdog suggested that the agency in charge of Nevada’s portion of the government’s Hardest Hit Fund wasted $8.2 million that should have funded the program’s administration costs, while at the same time, drastically cutting the number of struggling homeowners admitted to the program.

Now, the agency in question and the agency that oversees it are responding to those charges, and claiming that the amount of wasted money is far less than the watchdog suggests – $8 million less, to be exact.

Read on.

There Aren’t Any Hallmark Cards for Whistleblowers… Yet!

Well National Whistleblower Appreciation Day came and went July 30th, without much fanfare or appreciation from most.
Still, the fact that there is such a designated day is a step in the right direction. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore), and their bipartisan  Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus led the charge  and the U.S. Senate passed the resolution on July 7th, “to honor whistleblowers for the critical role they play in protecting the country against fraud and misconduct.”
Interestingly, July 30th was chosen because on that date in 1778, the first whistleblower law was “inked.”