Tag: crisis

The mortgage crisis in a nutshell

| April 23, 2012 | 2 Replies
The mortgage crisis in a nutshell

I invite you to view a brand new 54-minute video (embedded below) titled “Mortgage Crisis in a Nutshell.” The presenter is John Campbell, a St. Louis attorney and educator. I work with John at the Simon Law Firm in St. Louis, Missouri. We gained much of our experience in this area of law by litigating numerous suits for mortgage fraud on behalf of homeowners, both individual suits and class actions. Also on behalf of homeowners, we’ve defended many unlawful detainer suits (attempts to evict homeowners). We’ve both become passionate about this work as a result of witnessing firsthand that many homeowners have been victimized by unscrupulous and unrepentant banks.

In this 53-minute video John presents the main aspects of the mortgage crisis that has devastated the U.S. housing market and the economy. Our goal is empower all who seek to better understand what went wrong with the American mortgage system. As you will see when you click on the above link, this video can be watched in chapters:

I. The Big Picture and its Many Parts (:55)
II. Banks Flood the Market with Subprime Mortgages (3:54)
III. Banks, Securitize their Mortgages (10:05)
IV. Banks Cry for a Bailout (13:57)
V. Wall Street Malfeasance (16:54)
VI. Foreclosures, Robo-Signing, Trustees and Conflicts of Interest (18:20)
VII. MERS (“Mortgage Electronic Registration System) (33:45)
VIII. The Mortgage System Used to Work (43:42)
IX. Credits and Further Readings (52:43)

We created this video because we were frustrated by the fact that it is difficult to find websites and other materials describing the modern mortgage system in terms that are accessible to both lawyers and non-lawyers. As a result, many of our friends and acquaintances (those outside of the mortgage law community) don’t understand the inter-relationships among subprime loans, ratings of mortgage-backed securities, MERS, the bailout and robo-signing.

The failure to understand these things is making it easy for the entities that caused this crisis to conduct business as usual. Because this system is so difficult to understand, too many people think the crisis was entirely caused by “irresponsible borrowers.” The result is that our national dialogue is obsessed with the alleged need for less regulation instead of discussing how to change the system to make sure this never again happens.

We’ve used simple terms and basic drawings in order to make an opaque system understandable. Though it is undoubtedly slanted toward our perspective as attorneys who represent homeowners, we’ve worked hard to keep it factual and fair-minded.

We ask only one thing in return for the link to this video. To the extent that you find it helpful to your understanding of the mortgage crisis, please consider forwarding this link to anyone else you know who would benefit from viewing it. Our aim is to spread this video widely through email, list serves, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, websites other social media.

We certainly invite comments, both at DI and at YouTube. If this video works for you (or if it doesn’t), please let us know. Thank you.

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William Black’s five fatal flaws of finance

| October 12, 2009 | 10 Replies
William Black’s five fatal flaws of finance

William Black is a white-collar criminologist who has written a compelling account of how the bloated parasitic financial sector is ruining America in his recent post at Huffpo. These are Black’s five “fatal flaws” of finance:

1. The financial sector harms the real economy. Even when not in crisis, the financial sector harms the real economy. First, it is vastly too large.

2. The financial sector produces recurrent, intensifying economic crises here and abroad.

3. The financial sector’s predation is so extraordinary that it now drives the upper one percent of our nation’s income distribution and has driven much of the increase in our grotesque income inequality.

4. The financial sector’s predation and its leading role in committing and aiding and abetting accounting control fraud combine to: A) Corrupt financial elites and professionals, and B) Spur a rise in Social Darwinism in an attempt to justify the elites’ power and wealth.

5. The CEOs of the largest financial firms are so powerful that they pose a critical risk to the financial sector, the real economy, and our democracy.

The Solution: Fix the real economy, if you can find it. “The real economy came off the rails at least three decades ago for the great majority of Americans.”

I was highly impressed with William Black after seeing him interviewed by Bill Moyers. And now, after reading this detailed by accessible analysis, I’m even more impressed. We can’t begin to fix the economy unless we begin to implement basic principles we can actually understand. Fixing the real economy and making sure that finance is merely the servant of the real economy are clearly steps one and two, for each of the reasons listed by Black.

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Bank Regulator William K. Black: The best way to rob a bank is to own one.

| April 6, 2009 | 12 Replies
Bank Regulator William K. Black: The best way to rob a bank is to own one.

I’ve often had the thought that our massive meltdown could be figured out if we could only recruit some intelligent and well-motivated people to gather and analyze the evidence. But who would those people be? Who could serve as the template the type of character we seek out in such people?

Too bad we don’t have 1,000 people like William K. Black. Black is the former senior regulator who cracked down on financial institutions during the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, pointing fingers at five congressmen including John McCain. Black went about his work with such vigor that he even drew a death threat from Charles Keating.

Have you ever gotten excited listening to anyone talking about the economy? In this breath-taking interview with Bill Moyers, Black offers his own carefully studied analysis regarding the “bailout.” This is not the intentionally abstruse financial jargon that you usually hear when pundits discuss the meltdown. The theme of the Black’s interview is this: “The best way to rob a bank is to own one,” which is also the title to a book he wrote in 2005. Black teaches economics and law at the University of Missouri — Kansas City (UMKC). He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007.

This video is required viewing for anyone who is convinced that we are not getting the straight scoop from the corporate media or from our government.

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Housing Crisis

| August 22, 2008 | Reply
Housing Crisis

Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News Re-printed with Permission

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Citizens act like dysfunctional children when kept ignorant of “natural consequences.”

| June 20, 2008 | 4 Replies
Citizens act like dysfunctional children when kept ignorant of “natural consequences.”

In 1964, Rudolph Dreikurs wrote a child psychology book that is still considered a classic by child psychologist: Children: the Challenge. Dreikurs argued that using punishments to change behavior is inefficient. No amount of punishment will bring about lasting submission. Confused and bewildered parents mistakenly hope that punishment will eventually bring results, without realizing that […]

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Mr. Bodman, the energy-wasteful United States is part of the “world.”

| June 7, 2008 | Reply
Mr. Bodman, the energy-wasteful United States is part of the “world.”

The Bush Administration will do anything rather than admit its own faults. The U.S. is awash in wasteful cars, SUV, suburban sprawl and energy wasteful architecture. It would seen that the oil crisis is substantially the fault of the United States. That’s not the message the U.S. recently delivered to the “world,” however: Samuel Bodman […]

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