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Settlement Breakdown by State Plus Other Official Propaganda

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A little birdie sent me some settlement details. You can see how much little your state got, as well as whether your state bothered rewriting the official PR:

Settlement Swiss Cheese Release

Settlement Graphic

State Settlement Amounts

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160 comments

  1. jsmith

    This is f*cking disgusting and criminal.

    I’d love to know what the original deal the banks gave Obama – $10 billion? $5billion? – before they realized that there might be limits to the American publics credulity.

    Oh wait:

    Election 2000
    9/11
    Anthrax attacks
    P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act
    Afghan war
    Iraq War
    Election 2004
    Patrick Tillman
    Jessica Lynch
    Shoe Bomber
    Underwear Bomber
    Mortgage/financial crisis
    Gulf Oil Spill
    Fukushima
    EU debt crisis

    And any of the other anomalies of justice and/or common sense I omitted – and there are many.

    Ten years into the overt fashioning of reality to protect the fascist dons of our corrupt system and still the propaganda system is largely successful in lulling “good” people to sleep at night.

    1. Jill

      jsmith,

      I thought this poll would add to what you said. “By Scott Wilson and Jon Cohen,

      The sharpest edges of President Obama’s counterterrorism policy, including the use of drone aircraft to kill suspected terrorists abroad and keeping open the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, have broad public support, including from the left wing of the Democratic Party.

      A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that Obama, who campaigned on a pledge to close the brig in Cuba and to change national security policies he criticized as inconsistent with U.S. law and values, has little to fear politically for failing to live up to all of those promises.”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-gears-up-for-2012-campaign/2011/06/28/gIQAaKR2CI_gallery.html

      The fact that people support policies that are completely antithetical to justice is a function of lack of information, sophisticated propaganda and the failure to have consistent ethical values on the part of US citizens.

      1. Winston

        You need to add that it is also a byproduct of the apparent incapacity for critical thought and reasoning of the vast majority, a fundamental flaw that makes them so susceptible to the propaganda. I find that so many contrarian bloggers are, like me, former technology professionals. The scientific process develops the capacity for critical thought and analysis, thereby allowing one to very easily see through propaganda which in the US is typically characterized by lies of omission (one side of the story) rather than by outright lies.

        1. Carla

          Winston, I am very interested to know which nationalities you consider immune to being fooled by propraganda… currently or historically.

          1. Nathanael

            Nationalities?!?

            Those trained in critical thinking are substantially resistant to dishonest propaganda. Those not trained in critical thinking usually fall for it.

            Simple as that.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Jill, *policy* is bought for profit to *investors* in tiers. Think: Private Prison System modeled on the Angola Penitentiary Plantation system of the *Gret Stet* of Louisiana (yes, Anglola was originally a plantation) as four-fer:

        1. profits to *investors* from these systems modeled on the Angola Plantation Prison system derive from such as dividends, but mostly from stock price jack-up for profit, compounded by options and derivatives plays,

        2. profits from *investment* in the *sole provider* supply chain of goods and services to the system, manipulated for maximum profits as above;

        2. profits from the *income stream* derived from products made by indentured prisoners;

        3. bonus feature: Black men and other *undesirables* are locked in a dungeon for long or for life, far away from investor property.

        Is this not a PERVERSE AND MALIGN DESIGN created by Wall Street and embraced by Boomers et al?

        This is *America* in the wrong hands.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Sorry about the numbering in the list Jil, just fix it in your head.

          (Another night of sleep deprivation. Wonder why?) “Many a mile to go before I sleep” forever.

      3. nonclassical

        SOTUS speech BEGAN with the LIE that “…there are no longer Americans in Iraq”..this is more of the same…Americans are SICK of being LIED TO…

      4. Nathanael

        Obama has little to fear politically because there is nobody seriously running against him. (Republicans don’t count, for obvious reasons.)

        How did he prevent anyone from running against him? Good question. In any case, it’s very bad news for the American governmental system. When people perceive no options at the ballot box, and when the existing rulers are unacceptable (and people do realize that they are, in ever-increasing numbers), people will find other methods of regime change.

        Hopefully it will go better here than in Syria. (By the way, Assad is doomed in Syria. The only questions are how much blood will be shed before he is ousted, and who will replace him.)

  2. Lambert Strether

    OMFG, look at the weasel wording in the press release:

    “This agreement is very significant in how it addresses the fraud that these banks committed against many homeowners across our state,” said ___.“ This agreement not only provides much needed relief to (STATE) [Ha ha, fill in the blank!!!] borrowers, but it also puts a stop to many of the bad [criminal] behaviors that contributed to the mortgage mess in our state and across the country.”

    And then there’s “fraud that these banks committed.” So if it’s fraud (against whom?!) then why is nobody going to jail?

    UPDATE Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot. Banksters never go to jail. A banana republic like ours has a two-tier system of justice, and banksters have impunity for all crimes. Unlike you, peasants. My bad, seriously.

    1. Another Gordon

      that mas my immediate reaction too. Fraud admitted in black and white … but so what? These are BANKSTERS! Above the law – they are the law.

    2. keepon

      Bet that’s SHAUN DONOVAN speaking, as if the weight of the words could lend morality to the act. Yup. That’s Shaun. He thinks he’s a value add to the team. Poor guy. So brain dead he never realized they kept him around because he would do or say anything they told him to. Did he deliver Ms. Harris her bribe yet? Sounds like it’d be perfectly legal with this crew since the law is not the law. Am I catching on yet?

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “This agreement IS very significant in how it ADDRESSES the fraud” — let’s not call them *weasel words*, which does them too much honor.

      This statement is a lie. The Obama Administration is complicit in these frauds, an accessory after the fact. Bring RICO!

      1. nonclassical

        bushbama, knowing full well of Bush-Cheney war crimes, is also legally (international law-NO statute of limitations) criminally participating in those war
        crimes for NOT doing accountability…

        but as we all by now (perhaps) know, bushbama had deal with bushcheney to NOT do accountability-”look ahead”, not behind..(WikiLeaks documented)

  3. Jill

    “Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.”
    Frederick Douglass

    1. Ray Phenicie

      The whole quote applies in so many ways to today’s situation:

      If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must pay for all they get. If we ever get free from all the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and, if needs be, by our lives, and the lives of others.

      The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters

  4. Francois T

    Dick Durbin was right: “Banks own the place!”

    God do I hate this administration! Everything is driven by PR and instant political calculus, health care reform being the only saving grace, believe it or not.

    What is so striking is the refusal to admit a simple set of obvious truths. As Cythia Kouril wrote:

    The housing market is not going to recover any time soon and the court system will be permanently corrupted by forged and perjurious documents.

    This settlement is an incredible breach of the social contract between the government and the governed.

    On top of everything else, nobody seems to think it’s going to be helpful to the recovery of the housing market, help the economy, or do anything except bail out the banks, again.

    1. harposox

      Dig a little deeper into the health care “reform.” It’s also a massive corporate handout disguised as populism.

      1. Carla

        “Dig a little deeper into the health care “reform.” It’s also a massive corporate handout disguised as populism.”

        No kidding. And what it definitely ISN’T, is health care, in ANY form.

        From the moment doctors advocating Medicare for All were arrested for demanding a seat at the health care deform table, I knew that any hope for this political system was as dead as an uninsured diabetic.

        1. Nathanael

          So what shall we replace the political system with?

          I think we need a solid base of local elected governments to start with, personally. (In Michigan, those governments should already be fighting the authoritarian state government, which has attempted to dissolve local elected governments.)

    2. kravitz

      Bank of America and PNC have offices directly across from Treasury, which itself is just outside The White House gate. As a reminder.

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Dick Durbin said this, plaintively, as the C-Span camera caught the moment, in December 2005, trying to tell We the People the fact that our MCs are constrained to become Agents of a Foreign Power: the .01% Global Monopoly Finance MilitaryIndustrialSecurity Pharma Cartel–submission to whose extortion is enforced by the Official AGENCY of the President as Commander in Chief, from very Office.

      Cry TREASON! Bring “The Tyrannicide Brief” against Barack Obama to start, then to all former Presidents and their Cabinet members back to Nixon.

      LucyLulu, do you get my drift?

      *Clan Robertson*

    4. nonclassical

      stats out last week show the housing sector headed for more foreclosure-decline for the next 15 QUARTERS…

  5. David L.

    Yves,

    You’ve done impeccible research, diligence and persevered to the bitter end. Who could ask for more (from a Karma Yogini)?

    But, are you happy?
    Or, are you attached to the outcome?

    Obviously, someone with pure intent wants to shape the world
    according to their vision. It’s their dream. It’s a good dream.

    But Life is a one room school-house. There’s many people with different dreams. Clearly the ones with ‘Unenlightened Self-Interest’ predominate (ask Bill McKibben).

    Are your suffering because the outcome didn’t meet your expectations? Then you will suffer.

    If you want to move beyond the ‘Grade B Movie of Existence’,
    you must act impeccibly but also be unattached to the results. Happiness is within.

    -Dave

      1. securecare

        Yes they would, bodhisattva

        “…A bodhisattva is one who has a determination to free sentient beings from samsara and its cycle of death, rebirth and suffering….”

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          securecare, that’s a cop-out in an ACTIVE world. This is a dream of the passive who shun involvement with fellow humans while they reflect on their moral superiority. Tell it to the troops.

          “That’s O.K. for some people
          For some hum drum people
          “Not me.” (Mama Rose; “Gypsy”)

          Yves is We the People’s Champion in the crisis our founders imagined.

          Tell it, YVES! And keep the following poem in mind:

          “I AM A VERBAL HEAVYWEIGHT”

          I am a verbal heavyweight.
          I can knock you flat in the first with time to spare.
          I am the ChamPEEEN!

          Now I don’t want to hurt you child,
          But I’ve got the Golden Gloves.
          Put your dukes down, Baby, you are way outclassed.

          (Copyright 1975-2011 by Nova Bernard)

          YVES, as you see, my poetry doesn’t fit the mold. I am an iconoclast. Feel free to sing it.

        2. Jill

          securecare,

          No, No, No–all that concern and compassion crap is so over! Today’s enlightened get someone else to do all the selfless service!!!

          Today’s yogi is navel gazing, working on their me time!!! This is what accounts for their complete unconcern for others in the face of so much suffering! );

      2. Valissa

        Sure they would. Different spiritual traditions have different ideas about action in the world, but it is generally considered important.

        Some serve with their anger, and their anger acts as a beacon of righteousness to lead the ignorant to some form of knowledge/enlightenment. Others serve in peace and calmness. That tends to be the Buddhist & Taoist Way. Yet others serve through art, music, literature, etc. There is no one right way to serve the Greater Good (Gods/ethics), despite various individuals or groups insistence.

        Personally I used to be more angry but found it drained me, so I’m better off on the path of peace and inner calm. That is/was my choice and my life has been greatly imporved by it, but I do not expect others to choose similarly. Some get energized by their anger and it focusses their minds on the task and drives their productivity so they can accomplish great things. I think the important thing is to know what’s the best strategy for oneself, and stay aware that others may operate very differently. Dissing those who choose differently from you doesn’t really serve anything and is rather petty, IMO.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Valissa, but wasn’t the *first shot* meant to be a *calming lesson* to a woman on the rampage against fraud and hypocrisy? I don’t buy it within this frame.

          1. Valissa

            Ah “the first shot”… is this conversation a battle? “I don’t buy it” Is this conversation a business deal? (btw, this is meant as friendly teasing). Honestly I don’t know exactly what David L was trying to say to Yves. He appeared to be both praising her and encouraging her to be less caught up in the drama. I’m guessing David L is simply “talking his spiritual book” because he doesn’t choose to get caught up in the political melodrama, and he respects and likes Yves and thinks she would be happier if she made a similar choice. Perhaps it has not occurred to him that Yves is happy inside her well directed anger.

          1. aletheia33

            seconded. voice of sanity and source of helpful knowledge in the area under discussion. thank you valissa.

        2. propertius

          Sure they would. Different spiritual traditions have different ideas about action in the world, but it is generally considered important.

          My people are all about the smiting.

          1. CaitlinO

            My people are all about the getting even. As Daddy used to say “What good is a grudge if you can’t hold it?”

            I want to get even. I want the banks hurt, beat, dead. I want a government in place that will for FOR us not AGAINST us. I have no idea right now how to get those things but I’m beginning to conclude that the non-violent path has to be ruled out.

          2. Skippy

            @aet,

            That’s the rub isn’t it, thought couched in arm chair axioms and from how many century’s ago, of coarse its self evident or is that bias confirmation.

            Skippy… can’t keep them separated…eh.

          3. Valissa

            ROTFLMAO… [oh my goddess, I'm glad I didn't have any food or drink in my hand when I read that...] I think my Viking ancestors would have agreed with you ;)

            I’m curious as to what types of weaponry your tradition prefers for the sacred smiting.

      3. aletheia33

        work that extends in its influence and power far beyond what can immediately be seen.

        this is the fate of all great teachers such as yves. the fruits of such people’s labors are often invisible and ripen far in the future. and they are immense.

        this corrupt settlement, now signed, is the end of one story but the beginning of another. energy has been tied up in the long, long wait for this day’s denouement. where that energy will go now, no one can track or completely control. so we shall see.

        here’s to righteous pissedness!

        by the way, so-called enlightened people do get angry. and the great goddess durga fights relentlessly and wreaks a great punishment on those who abuse the weak, while never losing her sense of humor or composure. sound familiar?

      4. David L.

        Different Spiritual Traditions have different approaches to a fight of ‘Good against Evil’.

        In the Bhagavad Gita, on the Battlefield of Kurekshetra,
        Krishna tells Arjuna (who becomes weak-kneed and despondent),
        his duty is to ‘Kill’. Gandhi followed the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita (METAPHORICALLY not literally) and freed India from British Rule.

        If you’re interested read this translation:
        http://www.amazon.com/Bhagavad-Gita-Song-God-Swami-Prabhavananda/dp/0451528441/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328883437&sr=8-1

        The I Ching in Hexagram #43 states:

        “Even if only one inferior man is occupying a ruling position in a city, he is
        able to oppress superior men. Even a single passion still lurking in the heart
        has power to obscure reason. Passion and reason cannot exist side by side-
        therefore fight without quarter is necessary if the good is to prevail.

        In a resolute struggle of the good against evil, there are, however, definite
        rules that must not be disregarded, if it is to succeed. First, resolution must be
        based on a union of strength and friendliness. Second, a compromise with
        evil is not possible; evil must under all circumstances be openly discredited.
        Nor must our own passions and shortcomings be glossed over. Third, the
        struggle must not be carried on directly by force. If evil is branded, it thinks of
        weapons, and if we do it the favor of fighting against it blow for blow, we lose
        in the end because thus we ourselves get entangled in hatred and passion.
        Therefore it is important to begin at home, to be on guard in our own persons
        against the faults we have branded. In this way, finding no opponent, the
        sharp edges of the weapons of evil becomes dulled. For the same reasons we
        should not combat our own faults directly. As long as we wrestle with them,
        they continue victorious. Finally, the best way to fight evil is to make
        energetic progress in the good.”

        Buddhists in the Enlightenment Cycle are trying to shift their Awareness beyond Duality. The see that Life is a one room schoolhouse of Dreams and first, choose good Karma dreams, then finally, they learn out how to leave the Theatre of Dreams.

        The soft forms of Martial Arts (E.g. – Tai Chi, Kung Fu and Aikido ALL calm the Mind before fighting.) The hard forms (e.g. Karate, Tae Kwando, Hopkido, etc.) harness agression.

        In Tibetan Buddhism there are 108 Dieties. There are more wrathful deities then peaceful ones.
        (E.g. forty-two peaceful and fifty-eight wrathful deities)

        The Art of War focuses on Strategy, etc.

        The Book of Five Rings …

        Here are my points:
        1) anger burns up energy. It’s inefficient and people can use it to trip you up,
        2) In Life, choose the path and approach that will make you Happy. You can’t always win every battle, but you can be Happy!
        3) if you choose to be happy and actually figure out how (each person has to sovlve this puzzle for themselves), then you are more likely to win!

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          DavidL, then the correct word is *passionate* Yves, not *angry*. Is it not fair to say that Yves is passionate about justice, passionately opposed to fraud and lies?

    1. Foppe

      Yes, people suffer because they care about things. Yet people who don’t “allow themselves to suffer”, generally only care about themselves. And Buddhists are the most pompous narcissists in the world.

      1. Jimbo

        Yes Foppe, The Dalai Lama is all about narcissism. Obviously he’s in it for himself. What pomposity!

        1. Foppe

          Oh, give me a break. The Dalai Lama has/is a ceremonial and political position akin to the pope’s; it has very little to do with (in fact it is probably antithetical to) reaching “enlightenment”/buddhahood. (Though I am insufficiently familiar with the various strands of Buddhism to know how the Tibetan variety relates to the others.) Whereas the guy I was responding to is talking about an entirely more self-absorbed notion of “learning to let go”.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      David L, tell it to the troops, from the Lazy Boy.

      “We’re mad as hell and we’re NOT gonna take this any more.”

      YVES is Tom Paine.

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      DavidL, most of the *aware* go through our yoga and Upanishad phase “nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita” (Dante)–at age 30-35, then move on.

      My age is twice that now, I SEE clearly, and I choose to ACT decisively against Tyranny within our once Constitutional Government, the Tyranny of the Agents of an Absolute Dictatorship by the Global Fourth Reich, a-building since the 60′s in spades. This is the moment for our rejection of the same, which our founders foresaw, and for which they prepared We the People to ACT to re-assert for ourselves, our Government of/by/for the People, from now going forward.

      I dare say that Americans who participated in the first American Revolution were saying, as we say now:

      “We’re mad as hell and we’re NOT gonna take this anymore!”

      I don’t know about you, but Yves and I were NOT born to serve corrupt kings.

  6. Tyzão

    laughable — i wonder if the banks will will Robosign the release for the AG’s as well, I hear in FL forgery is actual legal anyways, so whats the difference

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Forgery is NOT legal, and whoever said so in FL is a crook who ought to be disbarred, if a lawyer/Judge. Bring RICO!

  7. Sufferin' Succotash

    It was either the sweetheart deal or the banksters would tank the economy nine months before Election Day. And Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 79 years old.
    It’s all contemptible, or to put it another way, fucked up and bullshit.
    But look on the bright side. It’ll take only about 30 years to create a situation where our socalled political leaders don’t have to knuckle under like this.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Our country is being run by a Global Organized Crime Syndicate, a Global Monopoly Finance Cartel, and our *elected* officials are their Agents of this Foreign Power, by free choice or by forced choice.

      When American Grunts learn *American Finance* on the quick, watch out.

      1. securecare

        When the war has shifted to the financial battleground, 3rd Generation Warfare tools are a waste of resources, a “dead end” at many levels. Of course the opposition would LOVE that sort of behavior; beware that trap.

        I “speak” as one who once wore the uniform and carried weapons.

        Understand ?

        1. Skippy

          Ah… National Security or do you mean Protection Racket for certain private business identity’s.

          Skippy… clarify please.

          1. Skippy

            Amends, meant for your comment bellow.

            “Clearly no one here recognizes this for what it is, a National Security issue.

            That is correct, a National Security issue since one of the major pillars of National Security is National Economic Security which has, as a foundation, Banking System Security.

            Any action not in accordance with Banking System Security, National Economic Security and hense National Security as a whole would be an impeachable offense.”

            Skippy… Clean air act, Citizens united, Free trade, et al, its all a play on desire.

    2. securecare

      Clearly no one here recognizes this for what it is, a National Security issue.

      That is correct, a National Security issue since one of the major pillars of National Security is National Economic Security which has, as a foundation, Banking System Security.

      Any action not in accordance with Banking System Security, National Economic Security and hense National Security as a whole would be an impeachable offense.

      Get it yet ?

      And in your state of anger don’t confuse my understanding of the logic behind this with agreement or support for such logic. There is no such connection.

      Understand ?

      Attacking the messenger is not productive.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        securecare, will you write Obama’s speech so he can tell this to us explitly, including why We the People are footing the bill for Banker Bonuses after the fact of TARP?

        Would you care to explain it all for us, Chapter and Verse?

        1. securecare

          Would you care to explain it all for us, Chapter and Verse?

          I just did, maybe you should reread it and think.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            You gave us the propaganda, you explained nothing. Would you like to explain why you’re promulgating *keep status quo* propaganda at NC?

      2. Foppe

        Yes, we’re familiar with TBTF. We’re also familiar with the fact that TPTB do not wish to prosecute for fraud. We however also think that this is pointless, because none of the underlying issues is being fixed; which is why we are teed off. Because we’re somewhat more inclined towards something Bill Black wrote a while ago, “fiat justitia ruat caelum“. (This because we think it has a better chance of discouraging future criminals.)

        1. securecare

          We however also think that this is pointless, because none of the underlying issues is being fixed

          Pay attention clueless one, none of the controlling parties gives a flying f**k what you or any like minded people think.

          Until you wake up to that fact the con will continue and the Constitution is just words on paper until you people get off you a** and act (nothing here should be interpreted to suggest any use of destructive action). Whining don’t get it.

          Understand ?

          1. Rex

            How about sharing your 5-step plan (or whatever you have figured out).

            And what’s with all the condescending rhetorical questions…
            Get it?
            Understand?

            [Answer: No, not really.]

          2. securecare

            How about sharing…whatever you have figured out

            hmmm, maybe you should actually read what I have written and then THINK

            [Answer: No, not really.]

            Obviously

            One can begin by ceasing concious cultivation of ignorance and switch to conscious cultivation of knowledge.

            Valissa seems to understand quite well.

            Any action not in accordance with Banking System Security, National Economic Security and hense National Security as a whole would be an impeachable offense.

            Even a grasshopper would understand.

      3. Valissa

        Clearly no one here recognizes this for what it is, a National Security issue.

        What a great frame… that makes sense on so many levels. I have been thinking along the lines of Wall Street owning the government in some ways, but hadn’t taken it to the next step of associating that with our country’s sense of security. That’s a very perceptive insight, thanks!

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Actually, the Power has been saying this for awhile. That’s why I called the condescending lesson re *National Security* blanket over banker malfeasance propaganda.

  8. MIWill

    It’s a little raw right now. Once the Obama knob polishers (such as Drum, Klein, Sullivan, DailyKos) reveal to us how to think, well, it’s going to be ok. You’ll see.

  9. Sean DeVries

    I was hoping against hope that this wouldn’t happen. I was in the San Francisco City Hall yesterday, speaking with some contacts in the County Recorder’s office about getting a law passed that would have a similar effect as the laws passed in NY and NV, when the person I am speaking with mentions that there is something big coming down the pipe legislatively. Guess this was it…
    What do we do now? Every week there is another example of the rights of the people getting trampled on…
    Today, in addition to this mortgage fiasco, we have new FAA regulations being signed by Obama that will make it easier for unmanned drones to be flown, by the military, over US soil. Wrap in our recent detention changes and hoowhee! are we in for a ride for the next few years.
    I am in law school right now, but seriously, what is the point? If there is going to be such a blatant favoritism in the court system, how can justice ever exist within such a construct?
    This news did not make for a good morning…

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Sean, how could this NOT happen. This is a cauldron of toxic waste coming to the boil.

    2. aletheia33

      justice will exist within you, if you choose to carry it. it is possible. not an easy path to walk, but what’s the alternative?

    3. Nathanael

      Forget law school; the time of the lawyers is coming to an end.

      Personally, I’ll miss it.

      We’re getting to the point where drones will be readily available to citizens, not just to governments and corporations. It’s gonna be getting interesting, in a bad way. I think organized nonviolence will be the successful tactic.

  10. ECON

    The failure to have justice to be done and perceived as so only shows the depth of corruption at all levels as ever been witnessed in a country of such horrible paradoxes…such as a Constitution and Courts that has failed…government owned by the banksters…and a president preparing the domestic areas for military encroachment……

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Don’t talk troll. Our Constitution has not YET failed. And why should it? It was written precisely to serve We the People at times like these.

      1. Carla

        Yes, LeonovaBalletRusse, as skippy indicates, Constitution-worship is yet another religion. At the Constitutional Convention, the following were not represented: slaves, indentured servants, women, and men who did not own property. Together, these accounted for roughly 3/4 of the population at the time. They had no say, they had no vote, and it’s unlikely that the framers (landed gentlemen all) ever thought they would.

      2. Nathanael

        The Constitution has most certainly failed.

        It could be fixed, with suitable amendments.

        It failed once before, leading to the Civil War, and was fixed with the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. (Ratifying those amendments was a requirement for the rebel states to be allowed back into the Union — a somewhat irregular procedure, which shows that the old Constitution had failed.)

    2. skippy

      @LBS,

      Lets keep the facts straight. The constitution was written b[u]y and for property owners.

      Skippy… Property of any kind, asset value equals voice amplitude at the table, Citizens United is a reaffirmation of this ideology.

  11. MRCG

    Have they addressed which loans will receive principal reductions (those on the banks’ books vs. those loans securitized & sold to investors)?

    How does will this affect investor losses?

  12. kravitz

    Eric Schneiderman’s Press Release is online.

    A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN SECURES $136 MILLION FOR STRUGGLING NEW YORK HOMEOWNERS IN MORTGAGE SERVICING SETTLEMENT
    http://www.ag.ny.gov/media_center/2012/feb/feb09a_12.html

    “Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today a $136 million settlement for New York with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses, the most per “underwater” borrower of any state in the nation, and the fourth highest dollar amount nationwide as part of the federal-state settlement.”

    “Among the critical legal claims Attorney General Schneiderman fought for, and successfully preserved in today’s settlement are:
    • All criminal claims.
    • All claims based on mortgage securitization misconduct, under securities fraud statutes, including New York’s Martin Act, and other sources of law. This includes securitization claims based on servicing, foreclosure or origination-related facts.
    • All claims directly against the private national mortgage electronic registry system known as MERS, as well as claims against financial institutions for the use of MERS in the Attorney General’s recently filed lawsuit over a wide range of deceptive and fraudulent practices in New York.
    • All claims for violations of fair lending lawsthat relate to discriminatory practices in loan origination.
    • All tax claims, including any claim that the failure to transfer mortgage loans to the securitization trusts or other conduct violated tax rules.
    • All claims by counties for lost mortgage recording fees; and
    • All claims and defenses held by private and third parties, including those held by individual mortgage loan borrowers.”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      kravits, thanks for the info. I wonder how the People rising in New York will take this.

    2. craazyman

      All that seems reasonably good.

      I’m not a professional here so I’m easily duped.

      The bank payouts are pocket pennies on the dollar. But it looks like the S-Man landed a few punches for the good guys, or is that just more spin to fool people like me — who’ll never really understand any of this anyway.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The Feds have said how hard it is to bring criminal cases, meaning they have no intention of filing any, and the states have gone only after small fry.

        No one is gonna file tax claims, it would blow up all the MBS and the INVESTORS would have to pay. The IRS has already made clear it will not go there.

        The statue of limitations has pretty much expired on Martin Act claims. I think that’s true on fair housing claims too.

        The state AGs can’t waive the rights of private parties, so the last point is BS.

        You were saying?

        1. Nathanael

          If the state AGs actually bothered to file criminal charges, that would mean something. Otherwise, this all means nothing….

          What *are* the statutes of limitations for the Martin Act? There were criminal *originations* at least as late at 2008 (and probably later), so it would be an awfully short statute of limitations to have expired ALREADY!

    3. spacecabooie

      So, shouldn’t we be now seeing the main battle brigades in NY, CA, NV, etc, bringing on the attack ?

      Cough, cough …

    4. CaitlinO

      Unless I’m mis-reading the table Yves provided above, CA snagged $16.5B so how the eff does Schneiderman think it’s worth bragging about a $100M odd?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Oreobama played both ends against the middle: CA and NY got the best they could get, all AG’s got money into their slush funds, and to the People: FU.

  13. LarryTOregon

    Wasn’t Citi fined big a couple years ago under the “new” legal term “Inadvertent Fraud”? The serious voices at NC knew the Obama settlement would probably prevail. The efforts to present the FACTs and LOGIC,(legal and otherwise), opposing the settlement, are no less important. Yves et al. you are valiant warriors and I thank you all for shedding light on the fraud that surrounds us.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      There is no such thing as *Inadvertent Fraud*. This is a lie that shows INTENT to defraud and “get away with it.” This is *prep work* for the *sure thing* to come.

  14. Publius

    I wonder if any of the fools in the Administration realize this is going to lead to more defaults and lower house prices?

    1. Nathanael

      Worse than that (for the banksters), this will lead to more Move Your Money actions, more private lawsuits, and more anti-foreclosure direct action.

      1. nonclassical

        Listening this week to Malcolm’s rediscovered Brown University speech, we should reflect upon the accuracy of his description of this sort of criminality..

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Correction of typo: NOT “Malcom” but Malcolm–which gives me the opportunity to ask if someone can provide the link to the recent Brown University discovery.

    1. Nathanael

      Who gave attorney generals the power to grant indulgences to commit crimes?

      I don’t recall that being in the common law. Grand juries can indict for this stuff, period, regardless of settlements, right?

    1. Ron

      Most distress sales including Short Sales are not bank owned but Bank serviced. MBS holders such as pension funds etc are the ones taking the hit so how will these non bank owned but bank serviced short sales be counted? The other issue is 2nd and 3rd’s,?

      1. nonclassical

        Ron,

        An Yves post covered this last week…”2nd mortgages-investors”…seems banks
        are poised to take this $$$$, THEN foreclose as well…more piracy. That was my
        perception of some content…

        1. R Foreman

          So if banks violate terms of this settlement, does that mean the states aren’t required to uphold their end either ? That would be nice if states could threaten to unleash lawsuits if banks don’t play nice. These banks appear to be liable for significant monetary harm caused to a great many people.

  15. Bravo

    Clearly the settlement relies on the assumption that the public will never understand the significance of allowing banks to write down their second liens on a pari passu basis with that of the first liens held by investors in MBS (pension plans et al). With GSE first liens exempt from such writedowns, the government has established a double standard….it’s OK to take from MBS investors in order to minimize bank losses, but not OK to take from taxpayers (GSE first liens). That is the key economic component of Big Bank Bailout II.

    1. Nathanael

      Permitting additional defrauding of investors is not going to be good for the US investment market. Big money will continue to go Anywhere But Here.

  16. abelenkpe

    Banks admit to fraud, have to fork over billions of dollars and refinance underwater mortgages helping a handful of homeowners? We shouldn’t help those with underwater mortgages? They should suck it up and live under the yoke of their bad decisions? Or is it not enough blood from the banks?

    1. Jimbo

      The banks get a free pass on the greatest fraud crimes in history. There is no blood from the banks; they are getting off with the usual wrist slap. What is this settlement costing them? 1/10 of what they distributed in bonuses in 2009-2010.

    2. nonclassical

      “abel” or not…

      banks have committed CRIMES. The reason they can’t LEGALLY foreclose, is they don’t have title-deed…the reason behind this circumstance is convoluted
      and varied, but partially due to utilization of MERS to falsify registration of properties..also a product of breaking mortgages into tranches and combining
      with other form of paper debt, then their own “raters” rating MBS falsely…

      One focus I haven’t seen addressed here-what do deregulated “investment banks” DO with MBS? What do they WANT them for? For what reason did they want more and more?

      Bush Treasury Secretary Paulson himself went to SEC in 2003 to DEREGULATE LEVERAGE…

      soooo, how did this relate to MBS, and banks continued desire for more and more….?

      This part of the story relates to collusion=speculation in commodities and derivatives markets..

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Right, same kind of *deal* as TARP for We the People.

      ‘THE SHOCK DOCTRINE” continues until morale improves.

  17. Kevin Egan

    If this newest, deepest betrayal has you dangerously depressed, then DO NOT, I repeat NOT allow yourself to hear the statements of Obama and Holder explaining why this settlement is a victory for the common people against the dastardly mortgage bankers.

    If they start to come on the radio or TV, plug your ears immediately and RUN into the other room!

    Save your strength for the battles to come. And thank you, Yves, for the gift of your righteous contempt for this culmination of all you’ve been warning against.

    1. kravitz

      It would not surprise me to see rates of depression and worse increase, directly related to this ruling.

      1. R Foreman

        The problem is they never fixed what caused the collapse in the first place, so just giving away homes to bankers is not going to solve the downturn.

        If they really want people to buy this property inventory, they need to give away bailouts and high-paying jobs to the real economy workers.

        When growth is dependent on volume of new lending, you won’t get any growth if people can’t take on new debt. They either have to change the monetary system so that growth is defined in a different way, or they must increase everybody’s salary by 80% so we can plunge into another orgy of debt. I’m surprised Obama the brain hasn’t figured this out. He’s just not as smart as many would believe.

  18. mOOOOOO

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

    — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness

    Declaration of Independence

      1. aet

        It says “form of Government”, not simply “government”: this contemplates constitutional amendment, not simply a change in the party in power.

        (so what amendment do you propose?)

        And the phrase is “organizing its powers”; not “exercising its powers”: again, this is about Constitutional, not Legislative, changes.

        All you guys REALLY need is a better bunch in Congress – not a Constitutional amendment or ANY alteration of your “form of Government”!

        1. Skippy

          Concur. People problem ( ideology ) is the first order of business but, the electorate is too befuddled at the moment.

          Skippy… A birds nest in a casting reel… is more fun to untangle.

        2. Carla

          “All you guys REALLY need is a better bunch in Congress – not a Constitutional amendment or ANY alteration of your “form of Government”!

          Utterly mistaken. It’s impossible to get a better bunch in Congress, in the Supreme Court, in the Executive branch and even in the executive suites, because THE SYSTEM IS NOT BROKEN, IT’S FIXED.

        3. Nathanael

          Here’s the amendments I propose:
          (1) Single-house Parliament (with prime minister running the government) elected on a party-proportional basis (party list), minimum threshold for representation 5%, with the government required to accept any party onto the ballot, no filing fees permitted.
          (2) Paper ballots hand counted in public for all elections.
          (3) Private prosecution made a constitutional right.
          (4) Judges to serve 14 year terms.
          (5) Free access to the Internet guaranteed by law for all citizens, the government to be required to spend whatever money it takes to do so. (Trying to bypass the corporate media control.)
          (6) Internet censorship of any form, including for purported copyright or patent or trademark or libel or national security reasons, punishable by death, no commutations allowed. (Yeah, this is a bit extreme; I’m not sure how best to stop the government and large corporations from censoring the internet.)

  19. Jao

    For all the outcry in this forum against this settlement, I have not yet heard any detailed reason that it is so bad. I’m not trolling here. I seriously just want to know: what are the reasons this is such a bad settlement? Is it just the dollar amount? Or something else?

    I come here looking for heavyweight analysis, not RedState-intelligence-level yapping.

    1. aet

      Yeah…AFAIK this isn’t a “global cap”, or limit, on the total damages which may be found to be payable by a future Court, that is, found payable by bad Banks to those private aggrieved parties filing an otherwise valid claim or action; nor does this deal give immunity against any legal actions which may be brought by those private people or entities who may have claims – this only settles things between the Governments and those Banks, not the private actors who may have claims.

      And afaik, this doesn’t give any anybody immunity from any criminal prosecutions, either.

      Of course, I could be entirely wrong about these things!

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      I’ve provided that in numerous posts on this topic, including one filed in the early AM BEFORE the official launch per the docs above. The headline on it was awfully clear. Do you need to be spoon fed?

  20. charles sereno

    I’d guess that Yves is not interested in canonization…but possibly labeled as “incorrigible?”

  21. Bruce

    “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
    ― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
    ― Alexis de Tocqueville

    1. aet

      Does it “always”, now?

      Rather a sweeping and absolute generalization, coming from a man himself cold in his grave before the first shots of the US Civil War were fired!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_toqueville

      And precisely which examples of democracy had Toqueville to study as his subjects and examples, in the 1840s and 1850s, to justify and ground that generalization?

      1. aet

        Oh, maybe he derived this “truth” about all democracies everywhere ….a priori!

        Derived from the basic principles of his faith, perhaps.

        1. Skippy

          @aet,

          That’s the rub isn’t it, thought couched in arm chair axioms and from how many century’s ago, of coarse its self evident or is that bias confirmation.

          Skippy… can’t keep them separated…eh.

  22. George Osbourne

    It’s hilarious how little investigation has really been done by the AGs, but it’s also hilarious how little investigation has been done by news outlets and bloggers. Everyone seems to get their information from small groups of dedicated activists who bother to look at the publicly available documents. Even in MO, they’re still citing Linda Green when there are hundreds of other names used in the same unlawful way. It’s as if they can’t be bothered to investigate. Utter laziness.

    On the settlement itself, consider this: if the banks had to pay in full for the damage they caused, they would effectively have to break up and declare bankruptcy. The Democratic thought on this is that is not in the best interest of the country’s national security which for a large part depends on America’s continued economic dominance.

    Like it or not, the banks can’t afford to clean up their own mess unless the government is willing to restructure the entire global financial system and rewrite the rulebook on American power.

    Remind me again, is there an American political party that supports an economic policy other than sustained deregulation and blind adherence to neoliberal ideology? What about that Rent-Is-Too-Damn-High guy?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You have absolutely NO idea how much work had been done by the people in the trenches. April Charney sends out multiple cases on a daily basis showing bank abuses. Lisa Epstein had gone through tens of thousands of documents, including investor reports, and has encyclopediac knowledge of where the bodies are buried. Michael Olenick has the best mortgage database outbase out there. Lynn Szymoniak has also done a great deal of heavy lifting. And you are dead wrong about blogs. 4ClosureFraud, MandelmanMatters, Subprime Shakeout, Fraud Digest, Foreclosure Hamlet, the academic blog Credit Slips, and Abigail Field’s Realty Check are only a partial list of the blogs providing granular coverage.

      You’ve just said you are lazy and don’t know who has done what on this beat. You have no business talking about work not done when you are the one who can’t be bothered to do a basic investigation.

    2. Carla

      “Remind me again, is there an American political party that supports an economic policy other than sustained deregulation and blind adherence to neoliberal ideology?”

      What this country needs is a SECOND party! Or a Velvet Revolution.

    3. Nathanael

      The megabanks need to be broken up and declare bankruptcy. That’s what you do to INSOLVENT BANKS. (They’re already insolvent, even before they pay for their crimes.)

      Current government policy is to give these psychopathic criminal CEOs piles of free money in hopes that the banks they are running/looting will become solvent. This is ridiculously immoral, and it’s really stupid, and really unfair — but worse: This won’t even work, because the psychopathic CEOs will just take the money for themselves.

      This isn’t ending until the megabanks are declared out of business. The criminal government is clearly under their thumb, so that’s only going to happen through a mass investor/depositor run on them.

      However, that bank run is guaranteed to happen, because the megabanks have been making heroic efforts to appear extremely untrustworthy, unsafe, and unreliable, and after a while people will just stop being willing to deal with them.

      Next step: expect the megabanks to push for legislation requiring governments, pension funds, businesses, and large investors to deposit money in the megabanks whether they want to or not.

    4. Nathanael

      By the way, unless the criminal banks are shut down, America’s economic dominance is OVER, and its national security is very much at risk.

      The US is just lucky that the European megabanks are ALSO big criminals, the Japanese megabanks are untrustworthy and opaque, and even the Swiss banks were acting shady — while the Chinese banks are agents of a government which is happy to change the rules under you, and unrepentant about it.

      If there were a clear competitor country where the rule of law and the financial system both worked, money and real investment would be pouring that way unstoppably.

  23. sleeper

    So now the apologists are in the loop.

    Here’s the problem with the settlement -

    It gives the criminals who forged documents pertaining to real estate transactions a free pass. These criminals include LPS, MERS, various and sundry foreclosure mills, etc.

    So this means that no one is sure who owns what property. And not knowing means that sale of that property or transfer of that property is impossible to do in a legal fashion.

    Not to mention the auxiliary impact on the securitized paper. So that bundle of REITs or mortgage paper in your IRA or 401 K – no one knows for sure if it is toxic paper or gilt edged bonds.

    The criminals who papered this thing together get off scott free.

    And don’t try this at home since professional criminals are the only ones with the skills and connections to make it work.

  24. Conscience of a Conservative

    Laurie Goodman @ Amherst has also noticed the huge conflicts of interest the servicers now have and how the banks can use investor dollars to satisfy their obligations under this accord. Like charging the patient extra to pay for a medical malpractice…

  25. CaitlinO

    It’s very early days on this, of course, but comments on various news and blog sites seem to be falling out into two camps:

    1. The settlement sucks. It’s way too low given the magnitude of crimes committed by banks.

    2. The settlement sucks. People who bought too much house and lost it are going to get $2000 checks while ‘responsible borrowers’ and renters get squat.

    Doesn’t look at this point like the big PR win Obama might have hoped for. But probably that goal was secondary to the jump in Wall Street re-election contributions he’s hoping for.

  26. mOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Though in all war there be usually a complication of force
    and damage, and the aggressor seldom fails to harm the estate, when he uses force against the persons of those he makes war upon; yet it is the use of force only that puts a man into the state of war: for whether by force he begins the injury, or else having quietly, and by fraud, done
    the injury, he refuses to make reparation, and by force maintains it, (which is the same thing, as at first to have done it by force) it is the unjust use of force that makes the war: for he that breaks open my house, and violently turns me out of doors; or having peaceably got in, by force
    keeps me out, does in effect the same thing; supposing we are in such a state, that we have no common judge on earth, whom I may appeal to, and to whom we are both obliged to submit: for of such I am now speaking. It is the unjust use of force then, that puts a man into the state of war
    with another; and thereby he that is guilty of it makes a forfeiture of his life: for quitting reason, which is the rule given between man and man, and using force, the way of beasts, he becomes liable to be destroyed by him he uses force against, as any savage ravenous beast, that is dangerous to his being.

    John Locke

  27. mOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    There is therefore, secondly, another way whereby
    governments are dissolved, and that is, when the legislative, or the prince, either of them, act contrary to their trust. First, The legislative acts against the trust reposed in them, when they endeavour to invade the property of the subject, and to make themselves, or any part of the community, masters, or arbitrary disposers of the lives, liberties, or fortunes of the people.

    John Locke

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