Monthly Archives: February 2017

Protesters urge Sammamish City Council to divest from Wells Fargo

Protesters from Sammamish and the greater Seattle area flooded Sammamish City Hall on Tuesday urging City Council members to divest the city’s money from its banker, Wells Fargo, due to the bank investing in the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Roughly 30 protesters were in attendance, with nine addressing the council over the course of a half hour. While individual protesters spoke, those in the audience held up signs that read “Divest,” “Water is life” and “No DAPL.”

Read on.

Ocwen SEC filing reveals details of CFPB mortgage servicing investigation

During a call with investors to discuss the company’s fourth-quarter earnings, Ocwen Financial CEO Ron Faris said resolving the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s investigation into the company’s mortgage servicing practices is a top priority in 2017.

In Ocwen’s third-quarter 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company revealed that it could be facing a fine and/or other disciplinary action from the CFPB.

Read on.

Bar Complaint Filed Against Kellyanne Conway for False Statements to Media

Read the misconduct complaint sent by law professors against White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway
A group of law professors have filed a misconduct complaint against White House Counsel Kellyanne Conway to the D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

The Wall Street Merry-Go-Round Revolves Again!

Well, while many of us notice, and many of us care, our opinions matter not! President Trump continues to astound citizens with his about-face on Wall Street, now welcoming them with open arms and he’s filling the White House with former TBTF executives and those who defend them.
The revolving door which exists in government and on Wall Street, where the government sends key individuals to government; they serve in the Department of Justice, the Treasury,  the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),  about which I’ve commented many times, just goes on. They serve in a government position knowing that their real reward is coming full circle – they come back home to Wall Street or serving Wall Street via the law firms which pander to them and reap huge financial rewards. Many of us believe that these golden parachutes open the door to placing even more financial insiders in government who in turn are then more favorable to their former Wall Street bosses.
Regards,
Richard

City of Alameda moves to divest from Wells Fargo

ALAMEDA — The city of Alameda has taken the first steps toward divesting more than $36 million from its accounts at Wells Fargo over the bank’s involvement with the Dakota Access pipeline and the bank’s history of controversial practices.

The City Council voted unanimously early Wednesday morning to immediately refrain from investing in the bank’s securities and told city officials to begin the process of securing a new bank.

Along with the Dakota Access pipeline, the council’s actions are a response to last year’s scandal in which regulators found that the San Francisco-based bank set up accounts for consumers without their knowledge to meet sales goals, which led to $185 million in fines and the firing of at least 5,300 employees.

“If there is bad behavior and we do nothing about it, then we are passively condoning it,” said Vice Mayor Malia Vella, who, along with Councilman Jim Oddie, put the city’s involvement with Wells Fargo on the council’s agenda.

Read on.

Not that it matters now, but here are the EPA Chief Scott Pruitt emails.

  • Center for Media and Democracy released 7,564 pages of e-mails
  • Organization sued to get documents from Oklahoma state

Newly installed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt closely coordinated with major oil and gas companies, refiners and groups linked to the billionaire Koch brothers to combat environmental regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general, according to thousands of pages of e-mails released Wednesday.

The documents, released under court order to the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit watchdog, follow a pitched battle over whether Pruitt should lead the Environmental Protection Agency, culminating in a narrow 52-46 vote Friday to confirm him.

Overall, the 7,564 pages of e-mails the center published online reveal a chummy relationship between Pruitt and an array of companies, including oil and gas producers active in Oklahoma. Officials at Devon Energy Corp.,Koch Industries Inc., the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and others at times counseled Pruitt on the best strategies for combating environmental regulations meant to protect the air and water — rules he is now tasked with overseeing as the EPA administrator.

Correspondence discussing talking points and arranging meetings on those policy matters are sprinkled with personal touches. For instance, Devon Energy representatives gave staff members in Pruitt’s office tips on the best Oklahoma City restaurants; one staff member asked for help taking her children to the top of Devon Tower. Other e-mails invited Pruitt staff to happy hours with an employee of the Oklahoma-based natural gas transporters Access Midstream Partners LP, which was later acquired by pipeline operator Williams Cos.

EPA Chief Woos Staff Skeptical of Tilt to Pro-Energy Mission

Read on.

Hedge Funds Can’t Sue Over Investments in Fannie and Freddie

Hedge funds largely failed in their legal challenge to the U.S. government’s capture of billions of dollars in profits generated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after their bailout, sending shares of the mortgage guarantors plunging.

Perry Capital LLC, the Fairholme Funds and other big investors lost a bid to overturn a judge’s ruling that said they can’t sue the government over the dividend change. The change known as the “net-worth sweep” forced the companies to send almost all their profits to the U.S. Treasury, leaving shareholders with nothing. The companies have been under government control since being bailed out during the 2008 financial crisis.

The funds may still be able to pursue some contract-based claims.

Read on.