Tag: law

Anecdotes of Mortgage Fraud

Anecdotes of Mortgage Fraud

Appraisers are pursuing class action suits against banks, asserting they were blacklisted if they refused to engage in fraudulent appraisals. The problem is that if they win, they are then subject to suit by homeowners (who are losing their homes) since they overpaid, and got mortgage loans that were far too high relative to “fundamentals”.

Obama Administration propaganda on prosecuting elite financial frauds

Obama Administration propaganda on prosecuting elite financial frauds

The Obama administration’s record of prosecuting elite financial frauds is worse than the Bush administration’s record, which is a very large statement. Neither administration has prosecuted any elite CEO for the epidemic of mortgage fraud that drove the ongoing crisis. This contrasts with over 1,000 elite felony convictions arising from the S&L debacle. The ongoing crisis caused losses more than 70 times greater than the S&L debacle and the amount of elite fraud driving this crisis is also vastly greater than during the S&L debacle.

Playing Chicken And Rooster With Hungary

Playing Chicken And Rooster With Hungary

Tension surrounding the application of a series of so-called “unorthodox policies” by Hungary’s Fidesz government has certainly been rising in recent days. While Washington has been reasonably quiet as government emissary Tamas Fellegi meets with top IMF officials, Brussels has seen a veritable avalanche of official statements and policy initiatives. Despite constant rumours that an agreement with the IMF is near, I find it pretty implausible that any deal can be reached without some kind of EU assent. At the present time this assent is unlikely to be forthcoming, and indeed the ”ante” has been pushed up and up.

The SEC’s Day in Court

The SEC’s Day in Court

Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the United States District Courts of the Southern District of New York struck a blow against the Securities and Exchange Commission and in support of the “public interest.” The Securities and Exchange Commission had asked the Court to approve a Consent Judgment between Citigroup and the S.E.C. Judge Rakoff (cutting to the chase) wrote he could not do so.

The relevant articles of the Lisbon Treaty for the sovereign debt crisis

The relevant articles of the Lisbon Treaty for the sovereign debt crisis

Since everyone is talking about sovereign deficits, austerity and the ECB’s duties and legal limitations, let’s go straight to the Lisbon Treaty text. Below are the most relevant parts of the Lisbon Treaty governing how the EU is supposed to operate legally (Title VIII – Economic and monetary policy, Chapter 1 – Economic policy (Articles 120-126) and Articles 127, 130 pertaining to the ECB). I have underlined the parts that pertain most clearly to ECB intervention in the sovereign bond market.

The sole comment I would make is that the EU has already invoked article 122b to bail out Greece, Portugal and Ireland and it is now buying sovereign debt in secondary markets despite Article 125. How much further can or will the EU go to “decide measures appropriate to the economic situation… if a Member State is in difficulties or is seriously threatened with severe difficulties caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control”?

You tell me. That’s what this crisis is all about.

The Euro Clears One Political Hurdle

The Euro Clears One Political Hurdle

Markets continued to be dominated by the EZ sovereign debt crisis and the uncertainty surrounding key political events this month, which are likely to shape the market response in the months ahead. Of the key political events that take place in the EZ this month, today’s ruling by the German Constitutional Court on Greece/EFSF was a big one. In effect, the German Court ruled this morning on a constitutional complaint filed by a group centered on MP Gauweiler with regard to the country’s participation in bailout of other EZ members. Parties in Germany’s ruling coalition, for example, sought to obtain greater Parliamentary involvement in decisions involving the EFSF. The Court ruled in favor of the EFSF, rejecting the law suits against rescue packages. This is not too much of a surprise, but nevertheless the decision brings more clarity to the situation at hand and has provided a modicum of support for the euro as it teeters ahead of key support levels near $1.40.