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Thanks NC Readers! Tom Miller Says No Mortgage Deal Imminent

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Readers no doubt saw both on this site and elsewhere that the Obama Administration was cranking the heat up on the mortgage settlements talks, and was apparently planning to go ahead with the Federal regulators inking a pact, on the assumption they’d get enough state attorneys general to provide at least a modest fig leaf. The assumption also seemed to be that the Administration could enlist Congressmen to pressure some of the current and rumored dissident Democrat AGs to fold and join the Obama camp.

That effort appears to have gotten such a large repudiation today, when the settlement terms were presented in Chicago to Democratic AGs and discussed over the phone with the Republican AGs that Tom Miller who is leading the attorney general negotiations has done a major climbdown:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2012

STATEMENT FROM ATTORNEY GENERAL TOM MILLER

(CHICAGO, Illinois) State Attorneys General from both parties, along with our federal partners, are today discussing the details of the progress we have made so far in settlement negotiations, including the terms we must still resolve. We have not yet reached an agreement with the nation’s five largest servicers, and we won’t reach a settlement any time this week.

What is intriguing here is the Miller camp claim (effectively) that there never had been a deal on the table. That contradicts the story in the Financial Times last week and a report I had gotten from an investor with good contacts on the Republican side. Since Miller has repeatedly played fast and loose with the truth, I’m not sure I believe the message implied here, that they are still moving forward on a deal, just more slowly than they had messaged, as opposed to a deal on the table came unglued and they need to regroup in a more serious way.

We will hopefully get more intelligence (or maybe just better attempts at disinformation) but I read this as an indication the deal agreed between the Federal regulators and the biggest servicers somehow came unglued. Possibilities include: someone exposed a definitional/drafting flaw (the Feds thought it meant one thing and the banks thought it meant another); someone (one of the banks?) retraded the deal; the Administration has assumed it could rely on a certain minimum number of AGs to fall in line and they regarded that minimum number as essential, and the pow wow today exposed that they are below that level.

Regardless, this is positive news, since it vindicates the courageous attorneys general who are pressing forward with investigations and prosecutions rather than trying to cover up pervasive fraud by servicers. Thanks so much to NC readers for your calls to attorneys general. You helped play a role in telling the Administration that the public will not support coverups when enforcement and reform are what is really needed.

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102 comments

  1. aletheia33

    yves, thanks so much for posting the latest update on this issue, i was seeing that obama wanted to announce this deal in the state of the union and was very worried.

    FWIW to share with readers, i received this email today from my state’s assistant ABG in response to my letter to our AG on the weekend:

    “Thank you for your letter concerning the negotiations between the state offices of attorney general (including our office) and the federal government, on the one hand, and the major national banks and servicers, on the other. Although the proposed settlement terms are not public while the negotiations continue, I can tell you that the negotiating AGs have been working to achieve a significant resolution for consumers on a number of important issues relating to mortgage foreclosures and servicing, including robo-signing and the inappropriate handling of loan modification applications, while preserving other claims for the government and individuals.

    We will take your views into account in reviewing the settlement documents when they are completed and in deciding whether it is in the interest of Vermonters to sign on.”

    i responded today as follows:

    “I much appreciate your kind answer to my letter, and the commitment you articulate in it of your office to some kind of significant resolution, whatever its signifiance may turn out to be, and the preservation at least of some other claims, whatever these might turn out to be, for the government and individuals.

    In response to your report back to me, i have a couple of simple questions that i hope you can answer.

    Why has no actual investigating yet been undertaken by the 50-state AG “investigation”? (Or if any has, can you let me know that this is the case, and if possible, what such investigating so far has consisted of?)

    Does your office intend, possibly and conceivably, to sign on to any settlement without any investigation of the alleged mortgage abuses having been carried out on behalf of the 50 state AGs?

    Is there any possiblity or likelihood of your office–as the AGs of Delaware, Nevada, and several other states are doing–undertaking or collaborating in any investigation outside the agency of the remaining members of the 50-state AG group who have not dropped out?

    I can see how the first question might be a little tricky to answer, but as the second two are simple yes or no ones, I respectfully request from you direct answers to them.

    With my deep thanks for all that you do and for taking the time to consider this,”

  2. heehaw

    OMG, do you really think that NC made the least but of difference in all of this? Such hilarity. This is even funnier than casting Elizabeth Warren as some sort of “Tribune of the Middle Class”.

    Suzy-q, your female narcissism is showing.

    You can bet that there is not one person in power in the whole wild world that pays attention to NC.

    What a pack of overgrown, self-important adolescents.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Out of curiosity, where do the important adults in your world get their information?

      What source is better on this issue?

      1. ebear

        There’s only one important adult in his world: Mom, who worries that he spends too much time on the internet.

    2. Pearl

      Well, actually, Heehaw….

      Perhaps President Obama does not have Naked Capitalism bookmarked on his laptop–but there are folks who have access to and influence on insiders at the White House who do read Naked Capitalism.

      There are only a handful of excellent econ and finance blogs out there on the internetz–Naked Capitalism is definitely one of them.

      When Yves Smith freaked out about our POTUS signing the Notarization Act in October of 2010–it got vetoed within hours of said freaking out!

      Underestimate at your own peril the influence of well-respected, intelligent, reliable, and time-tested finance and econ bloggers. (And their readers. ;-))

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Pearl, by now they don’t dare to ignore NC, Yves Smith and her sphere of influence. We have become a force to be reckoned with.

    3. scraping_by

      While the powers that be (and want to be more) may not take NC as significant, they would certainly take silence as very significant.

      The 1% is frightened of each and any opposition. Justifiably. Their power rests on several scams, but they are just scams. If the marks catch on, whether the great mass they feed upon or the small layer of verbal and physical bullies who protect them, it’s all over. It’s just a question of how long a downward slope.

      The logic of totalitarianism is that only total control is enough.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        scraping_by, they ignore Lincoln’s words: “You can’t fool all of the People all of the time.” You are correct, *totalitarianism* works only in totality.

          1. Historicaecon

            Hmmm… Right, that’s why all our Ivy-League educated (mea culpa) elites have been such fonts of wisdom over the years. Fool me twice… won’t get fooled another time.

    4. 2laneIA

      Yves seems to attract a particularly misogynistic species of troll. Some men are just threatened by mega-smart women, and need to use diminutives like “Suzy-Q” to try to infantilize them in their own glorious minds. Digby has the same problem.

      Give it up, dude. Yves has forgotten more about the topics she covers than you will ever know, which is why she is widely read and cited. Use the Google thingy and see for yourself how influential she is. Then read here and learn something, and don’t write any more stupid comments. Thanks.

    5. Eric L. Prentis

      NC victories are a struggle, but that much sweeter when they occur. Congratulations to all who called Attorneys General to have banksters held accountable for mortgage fraud. I hope President Obama chokes on this.

    6. Eric L. Prentis

      Heehaw is obviously a shill for the 1% financial elite. We have Wall Street banksters running scared, time to redouble our efforts.

    7. Yves Smith Post author

      You can’t read, can you? Or did you know you were straw manning? The vehemence of your comment says not.

      I thanked NC readers for making calls and said their efforts played a part. And calls to AGs do have more impact than calls to Congresscritters simply because AGs get far fewer constituent messages.

      Better trolls, please. You seem pretty desperate to attack this site. I’ve noticed a huge uptick in the number of trolls. I assume this is an election year phenomenon, but it is still tiresome.

      1. scraping_by

        Dear hostess – If you don’t welcome their hatred, may we?

        I’ve noticed the replies to trolls on this site tend to bring out ideas and viewpoints kept silent in the American media world. Truth against truthiness, analysis of the flat ignorance of their slogans, facts against their factoids, they round out your posts with the rich strains of reality to drown out the propaganda mumble.

        And it’s fun to call bullshit.

        Think of your trolls as the sand that brings forth the pearls.

        1. ohmyheck

          That was a nicely-worded way of expressing it, sir. For me, the trolls have brought out the outstanding and amazing wit and humor of NC commenters.

          Jeez youze guys are funny!

        2. Turkle

          I must say, Naked Capitalism readers seem pretty alert and aware of the trolls, and are generally quick to shut them down. Surprisingly so. Which is a testament to the community here and a commitment to a certain level of discourse.

          Yves, I notice that you seem to get much more frustrated by those who don’t quite get the facts than the obvious trolls. Like those who keep harping on about whether mortgages were bundled into multiple securities, rather than the issues you’ve consistently identified as problems, to take one recent example. Attention fellow-travelers: do the homework!

      2. Pwelder

        Back in the day there were many newspapers who could support reporting that really got into the nuts and bolts of a niche specialty. I can remember shelling out for a snail-mail subscription to the Baltimore Sun for a for a time in the early ’70′s, because part of my job was keeping up with doings in the maritime industry.

        Yves on the megabank/mortgage story is a present-day counterpart of the Sun’s Ms. Bentley, except that you get to read her for free. (Don’t forget to show up for the next fund-raiser.)

        There are still some good reporters here and there, but in general the overall quality of journalism on subjects I know anything about is going downhill fast. The blogs are important – as witness the obvious for-hire trolling – and need to be supported.

    8. AJ

      You might be surprised which federal and state agencies and legislative offices distribute NC pieces as part of their daily news surveys. This blog is read in a lot of places that matter.

    9. chris m

      “What a pack of overgrown, self-important adolescents.”

      …who you obvioucly can’t wait to read every day. Thanks for taking the time to comment. If what you say is true- which obviously even you don’t beleieve or you wouldn’t be trolling here- then why bother?

      …not sure what that’overgrown’ crack is intended to convey. so, i ate a lot of cookies during the holidays. you still get schooled every time you read this site, regardless of my girth.

  3. ohmyheck

    I’ve read a couple of comments elsewhere, that since Tom Miller’s public comment, the White House might be scrambling to re-write the SOTU speech for tomorrow night.

  4. Jane Doe

    What about the Statute of Limitations? Did anyone find out whether they are doing all of this to run the clock down, or, did the banks agree to a tolling of the SOL?

    1. ajax

      I have a question about the prosecutorial powers
      of State AGs: they can prosecute common law
      criminal cases, and cases covered under the
      Statutes of their own State (of the Union);
      but can they also prosecute criminal cases
      involving violations of Federal Statutes
      (the U.S.C., United States Code) ?

    2. Walter Wit Man

      The banks have signed tolling agreements with the AGs (stopping the statue of limitations from running) while they negotiate, is my understanding. However, this will not stop the clock running on criminal charges.

      In California it is 4 years for criminal fraud. I think the feds is 5 years or so (maybe 7), but I would have to check. For civil fraud it is 3 years in CA

      One exception may be defrauding the government, which has much longer statue of limitations (like 10 or 20 years or so, if I remember correctly). So a future prosecutor could conceivably go after that angle (the government buying fraudulent securities via Fannie, Freddie, etc.).

      But a prosecutor would be in a much better position having all the arrows in her quiver.

  5. Wendy

    Great to hear. I called Schneiderman’s office (NY AG) to encourage him to continue investigation and stay out of any “deal,” but they didn’t tell me anything substantive, only that they would e-mail me updates of any change. Very glad to read it here first.

  6. Splashoil

    In WA, I called my AG Rob Mckenna’s office. I left a lengthy message until I ran out of time. He is attempting a run for governor and his opponent Democrat Jay Inslee sees through this settlement and the lack of investigation. Jay seems to be an exception and has not yet pulled any punches on Holder’s “Inside Job.”

    1. ohmyheck

      That is an outrageous sell-out of a deal. Completely unacceptable. $25 billion? I hope that article is just testing the waters, and the result is “waves” of derision.

      1. Ms G

        Are we missing something or is this just the press release that White House had “ready to go” and someone at VOA mistakenly clicked the “publish” button??

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Is this for real, or is it a joke? If for real (and WHY announced on Voice of America?), then:

      REVEAL ALL NAMES of those who colluded with Obama and those who did not.

      Shall Chris HEDGES continue with his good works? Chris Hedges, please file suit against the AG’s who colluded with the Obama Administration and the Banks to COVER UP the crimes and the extent of the crimes, and possible to destroy evidence of the crimes.

      Let’s see a list of NAMES, together with DNA links, and potential/actual conflicts of interest leading to AG complicity with the Obama Administration. How much were they paid off for their complicity, or how were they threatened if they did not collude–i.e., how might they have been bribed or extorted in exchange for a settlement, SO THAT criminal hides were *saved* and so that President Oreobama can brag about this *settlement* in his State of the Union speech tomorrow night?

      This is “murder most foul” of the real economy of We the People.

  7. Ms G

    Thank you Yves for aiming klieg lights at this issue and for the portal that made it easy to do something about it.

    Unsure this has any meaning at all, but NYDN tonight has first story I have ever seen on the issue. This is a kind of “trickle down” process I could believe in.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      OK, I am going to hector you. You all need lessons in how to read media.

      This is NOT a WaPo story, this is an Associated Press story. As Lambert points out, it is as of 2:15 PM. The Miller announcement (and remember, Miller is the nominal lead negotiator, but he’s say nothing without the blessing of someone in the Administration) is as of 5:23 PM.

      All the stories you are citing contra Miller is dated AP news.

      And Miller is a PRINCIPAL, at the table, speaking in an official capacity. Please go back and read his press release.

      1. Ms G

        just as an FYI — the VOA story at link provided in comment above did not disclose AP (or anyone) as source, though story appears to be the early (apparently mis-released) story.

        1. Ms G

          Garble correction:

          Just as an FYI — the VOA story at link provided in comment above did not disclose AP (or anyone) as source, though story appears to be the early (apparently mis-released) AP story.

      2. YankeeFrank

        Yes, yes I do need lessons in how to read media. I was confused by the timing, but also by the strange fact that the story sounded so certain — “its been sent to the AGs for approval!!” Wtf is the AP smoking here? Talk about premature capitulation. Or really lame propaganda (well maybe not so lame as it worked on me :).

  8. Lambert Strether

    Dayen posted on Miller at 2:55PM,

    The WaPo story was posted at 5:40PM, but it’s from an AP story at 2:15PM, that is, before Miller’s statement.

    So while I’d welcome definitive news that somebody’s finally driven a stake into the heart of this thing, it looks to me like Miller’s statement is controlling.

    Clearly, however, Pravda’s editors had the skids greased to “report” the deal. How’d that happen, I wonder?

    1. ajax

      I might suggest entertaining the pure fiction idea
      that “we” are agents working for ALIA,
      a/k/a/ the Atlantis and Lemuria Intelligence
      Agency. DIRALIA, the Director of ALIA, (she) just
      suggested that “we” do traffic analysis of
      news and propaganda spreading in real-time over
      the networks of member nations of the UN, the
      United Nations, in a recent Top-Confidential
      e-briefing …

  9. Mark P.

    Unfortunately — and unsurprisingly — this is still very much in play. The banks have too much to lose and the administration is pushing hard for this settlement. See forex –

    HUD secretary: Mortgage settlement deal “very close”

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/story/2012-01-18/mortgage-settlement/52653382/1

    That’s from 4 hours back.

    ‘States review $25B mortgage settlement offer’

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/story/2012-01-23/landmark-mortgage-settlement/52757250/1

    And that from 40 minutes ago.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Did you see the source for USA Today? It’s wire news from AP, not original reporting. Everyone is running the dated AP story. Miller’s press release is later and the MSM seems awfully slow to pick up on it.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        YVES, isn’t this a revelation about how the “media” work in USA!USA!???

        Somebody should give a blow-by-blow report in sequence of “media releases” t show what a MACHINE for propaganda the “mass media” are, especially when they are just *certain* that the FIX IS IN. What an expose this would be.

    2. Lambert Strether

      Of the two USA Today stories, the “four hours back” story is the same story that went over the wires before Miller’s press release. And the second story is “Updated 4d 8h ago.” It’s about an announcement to a meeting of the nation’s mayors.

      So I’d regard the Miller press release as still controlling.

      And I’d be interested in the sourcing on CBS. Looks like a lot of editors — who control story placement — thought this was a done deal. For a reason I would like very much to know.

        1. Procopius

          Maybe a “suggestion” from the publisher? I’ve wondered for a few years now why all I see are complaints about the reporters. Now it’s certainly true that many reporters are pretty bad, it’s not the reporters who decide what gets printed. The editors do. The editors decide what parts of what a reporter wrote will be included, and they decide what stories will be covered at all. And on top of that, I remember from the days of the Free Speech Movement, “Freedom of the press belongs to he who owns the printing press.”

  10. Eugene Villarreal

    I pray all this is true but, I saw the 6:30p.m.(EST)CBS news with Scott Pelley that announced a settlement with the major banks(?)on the private label foreclosures and didn’t include Freddie or Fannie foreclosures.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      So believe Scott Pelley rather than a PRESS RELEASE from the lead negotiator for the AGs, and a pretty embarrassing press release at that?

      It looks like they scripted his story for the evening news and someone at CBS failed to update it. Whoops!

      Everyone was way too confident this deal was done and a wheel fell off somewhere today. And it appears Team Obama was caught on the back foot because they aren’t out with a pretty spin on this development. The official messaging is way behind events.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        YVES, this is how the “news” of Twin Tower attacks worked: with a sequence of live reports including real and canned stories, leading to YouTube RECORDS of disparity between *reality and fiction* — which resulted in suspicion that “9/11 was an Inside Job”. This has been given credence by the Architects and Physicists for 9/11 Truth on YouTube.

        YVES, you and your NC troops are MAKING HISTORY on the fly!

      2. Eugene Villarreal

        My first words were “I pray this is true.” It wouldn’t be the first time Tom Miller backtracked.

        1. aletheia33

          moi aussi. tom miller says there will be no agreement this week. why should i believe him? i noticed how ready i was to believe him, in the short instant before i remembered his dramatic, memorable tune change back at the beginning. if “they” wanted to make it happen before the end of this week, i doubt our tom would be standing in the front of the pack saying “i gave my word in the press release this wouldn’t happen, so i can’t go along with this now.”

          so i am still holding my breath.

  11. Nancy

    I called AG Coakley’s office this afternoon to thank her for standing firm. I asked the head of constituent services if an agreement can be completed without all 50 AGs and what happens to Coakley’s lawsuit if the banksters are given immunity; she didn’t know. She said there would be a press release after the SOTU if an agreement was announced.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Whoa, this is just a post on a press release. And Dave Dayen has been all over this story too, he may have been out with this first.

  12. Aaron Layman

    Thanks for your diligence Yves! I called my AG here in Texas and wrote several articles covering the subject on my blog. (even had a few mentioned in the Houston Chronicle)

    I’m tired of reading about government corruption and crony capitalism. Our AG’s should be standing up for the rule of law and protecting citizens. The sooner we put some of these Wall Street crooks behind bars, the sooner we’ll see a sustainable recovery for housing.

    1. Because

      Sorry, but that isn’t going to see a “substainable” housing recovery. The next bull in RE won’t begin to the 20′s at the earliest.

  13. thebewilderness

    That’s gonna happen when you keep reporting the same gossip over and over as news. I’ve lost count of how many times this deal has been declared done.

    1. scraping_by

      There’s a species called “push” news where the idea is “pushed” to the public. Think of the “push” survey, where a sweet-voiced little something on the telephone asks if you’re voting against someone because of some moral failing you’d never heard of. Until the survey.

      The settlement keeps getting “pushed” to the public. It never seems to catch on. Is there someone calling bullshit?

  14. Tom Parsons

    HEY HEY HOORAY FOR YVES AND NC!!! And thanks to the readers who helped.

    We have just been saved (at least for awhile) from something like the Challenger disaster. Remember when Reagan wanted to announce the launch in his SOTU and managers decided over engineers’ objections to just take the chance and go ahead? What if those engineers had had today’s internet to make their case?

    1. Lambert Strether

      From 30,000 feet, let’s remember that we’re looking at an elite that managed to gin up a war (Iraq) on fake evidence, that orchestrated the largest upward transfer of wealth in world history (the bailouts), and, oh, lot of other stuff, like destroying the Fourth Amendment by giving retroactive immunity to the telcos for warrantless surveillance (FISA), and that Obama played a key role in the last two events.

      So, if Obama and his owners can’t figure out a way to make the foreclosure fraud problem go away, that doesn’t mean it’s a small problem. It means it’s a very big one.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You should still call and make her staff uncomfortable. They might as well know that voters care.

      But I hate to say it, it would probably take the right 5×7 glossies.

  15. keepon

    Obama,Geithner, Holder, Bernanker, DeMarco, Donovan, Miller, Walsh, the Regulators, the 50 States’ AGs (less a few) LOBBYING !! CONGRESS to WIN VOTEs in FAVOR of CRIMINAL ACTs BY the (poor) Big Banks without just REPARATION for their crimes??!! Sworn, ALL, to PROTECT and DEFEND the American People AGAINST ALL ENEMIES FOREIGN and DOMESTIC??!!

    Instead of making the Big Banks pay, THEY ALL STAND UNITED to TORCH THIS GENERATION, our CHILDREN, and THEIR CHILDREN?

    Such an act is of the same fabric as the Liars Loans and the Origination Fraud. These are the 1%ers who find it ‘maybe immoral, but not illegal’ to robo-sign the Peoples’ Homes over to themselves on fraudulent papers.

    America needs no enemies. They are our government.

    God Bless the United States of America and all of its children.

    1. aletheia33

      your hard work G man to get this story done clearly has borne very useful fruit. it’s very heartening to see what so few people, really, can do when they put their minds to it.

      the reality is, just to reiterate what a smart soul pointed out earlier (i forget who), TPTB are listening to us, far more than we may realize. and why would they want to spy on us if they did not fear us? and yes, once the mark wakes up to the con, the con is over.

      so getting the truth out to as many individuals as possible is key to owning our future, since once one individual gets hold of the truth and forms a desire to act on that knowledge–as many do, because the truth is so patently outrageous as to make right-minded people angry when they learn it–that one individual, activated, can exercise a phenomenal power.

      put that person together with the person he/she lassos in because he/she wants company in the effort, and that power multiplies by way more than just 2. human beans are built this way–we’re programmed to socialize our projects and try to find others to do them with us. so the actions of each one of us will continue to snowball.

      until the white house, congress, and the nyc financial district (wherever it truly is located–midtown?) are flattened by a gigantic white bombs that freeze them in place until we come around to sort them out. we can even shoot these huge snow blobs of consolidated power like missiles and target the offshore investment havens of the international 1%. they’ll be surprised by how cold it can get in those places!

      (sorry, got a little carried away)

      1. aletheia33

        the earlier poster i refer to here was scraping by, whose trenchant comment got imprinted on my brain (at least for awhile). thanks scraping!

  16. Clive

    Hey Yves, this just dropped into my inbox like a ton of coal going down the shute from that august journal American Banker:

    Morning Scan
    The news you need from the major dailies
    (Clive: oh yeah, really ???)

    By Marc Hochstein, with contributions from Katherine Kane.

    Updated every business day, circa 9 a.m. ET. To receive by email, click here. Links may require registration/subscription. To view Morning Scan on AmericanBanker.com, click here.

    Receiving Wide Coverage …
    Deal or No Deal? There was brief speculation Monday that President Obama would announce a settlement of government probes into foreclosure abuses in his State of the Union address tonight. Those hopes (or fears, for some consumer advocates) were dashed when Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, the leader of the multistate task force negotiating with the top five mortgage servicers, went out of his way to say there would be no deal reached this week. For the skeptical consumer advocates, that’s just as well; they “fear the pending settlement would allow banks to pay only a fraction of what is warranted and escape legal culpability for a wide range of abuses that have yet to be fully investigated,” according to the Post. An additional objection is that the banks reportedly would be allowed to earn “credits” toward the $25 billion settlement amount by writing down first mortgages they service for investors, but would not have to swallow losses on the second mortgages the banks themselves own. “This reverses the contractual hierarchy that junior lienholders take losses before senior lenders. So this deal amounts to a transfer from pension funds and other fixed income investors to the banks, at the Administration’s instigation,” writes “Naked Capitalism” blogger Yves Smith, who rarely makes a point she doesn’t feel the need to italicize. And yes, those “credits” mean the industry isn’t necessarily going to pay the whole $25 billion out of pocket; the cash portion might be as small as a fifth of the total. On Monday administration officials pitched the tentative terms reached with the servicers to all the states’ attorneys general. A handful of AGs, including California’s Kamala Harris, remain wary of potentially giving away the store. Anonymice tell the Journal that the timetable for a deal is now early February. Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Naked Capitalism, Financial Times

    (I’ve got the original email if you’re not on that list of lucky recipients / subscribers)

    “… Yves Smith, who rarely makes a point she doesn’t feel the need to italicize”

    Outrageous, coming from them. At least they gave you a credit rather than the usual rip-off without source statement you normally suffer.

    I think you should blow a loud raspberry at their Pulitzer prize longshot Hochstein !

    1. aletheia33

      i think it’s funny that their on-the-fly attempt here to besmirch yves a bit is so lame. i doubt they mean any real harm by it. and obviously they know they can’t really try to mess with her too much, it would be too dangerous for them. after all, they are quoting her and giving her blog exposure: because they have to. she knows and speaks truth that no one else will.

      1. Up the Ante

        The passage clive quoted did not read as besmirching, nor did it read as stupidity or laziness as some other stated above you.

        1. aletheia33

          @ up the ante, to clarify:

          hochstein et al. wrote: “Yves Smith, who rarely makes a point she doesn’t feel the need to italicize”

          you didn’t read this as what i called it, an “attempt to besmirch yves a bit”?

          the meaning i intended, following Webster’s, is as follows:
          “besmirch”: to sully –>
          “sully”: to defile –>
          “defile”: to dishonor –>
          “dishonor:” (b) to bring shame on.

          another line of meaning, following the same source, is as follows”
          “besmirch”: to soil –>
          “soil”: to blacken or taint (as a person’s reputation) by word or deed.

          if this is not sufficient clarification for you, could you please explain why you disagree with my characterization of the passage quoted and say what meaning/import you attribute to it?

          1. Up the Ante

            When referencing her analysis and not disagreeing with it, verifying it, the besmirching would be so cursory as to be vanishing.

            Kind of wordy, but there it is.

          2. aletheia33

            @up the ante,
            thank you, this is actually quite helpful. i see your point. clive found it “outrageous,” but i imagine it didn’t bother yves anywhere near as much as it bothered me–after all, it’s just a worn-out misogynistic trope for “silly female,” and she’s way beyond letting anything so genuinely silly as that ruffle a single feather.

  17. kravitz

    Next question – when will the mainstream media report on the lineage between Eric Holder and MERS. I’m guessing some of the AGs who want to sue the banks understand Obama’s AG technically Cannot Do anything like that because of Covington.

  18. really?

    Monies, ill gotten gains scammed from stolen Americans’ foreclosed homes

    Priorities:
    1st to mega million dollar bonuses to reward the thieves
    2nd to campaign funds (Obama, Romney…Newt takes his as consulting fees FM)
    3rd Advertising to woo/anesthetize the masses with empty promises

    American People? Sorry. Well ran dry. We could use your pension funds tho.

    Why do I persist in finding suggestions like ‘no penalty to the crooks’ ‘use your pension funds’and ‘rent the stolen homes to immigrants who can pay’ too dePRAVED to even gain utterance, let alone raise as viable propositions in abandonment of your fellow Americans?

  19. Abe Huang

    Whether you like it or not, the settlement deal will go through. The economy needs stability and this will never occur with future litigation clouding the lending horizon.

    1. Procopius

      You may very well be right, but I would rephrase your reasoning. Rather than “the economy needs stability,” I would say “the 0.1% like stability and don’t like being held liable for their crimes.”

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