VOICE Demands Immelt, GE, Bank of America, JP Morgan Address Foreclosure Crisis

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Daniel Pennell, a systems expert who has testified before the Virginia House of Representatives on MERS, sent this video compilation from VOICE, a large interfaith group here in the state of Virginia that works for the betterment of local communities. He asks:

Although these stories are from Manassas, they could be from any of hundreds or thousands of communities across the United States. If you find it as disturbing and powerful as I did then please share it broadly.

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  1. F. Beard

    “Modify our loans!”

    If 97% of our money supply is so-called “credit” then only 3% of the debt in this country is morally valid. The rest is counterfeit.

    Banks loan us our own stolen purchasing power for interest that does not even exist in aggregate. We’re being conned.

  2. Phil Perspective

    Good luck! The only way for things to change is to make Immelt, Dimon and Co. personally uncomfortable. That means direct action at company HQ. That means disrupting GE factories. That means staging sit-ins and takeovers of J.P. Morgan’s Wall Street building.

  3. Shankara

    Q: How does one go about modifying fraud?
    A: With more fraud.

    When will the people awaken to the fact that these securitized loans are all void ab initio? The banks are simply Ponzi schemers, working with the the governments complicit approval.

    What do we want?

    The banks to meet their fate.

    When do we want it?


  4. pezhead9000

    For the gangsters, by the gangsters, and of the gangsters

    March 2011:
    “President Obama still believes GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt should lead his jobs council, even while the company profits from the very practice the president has said he opposes, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday”

  5. Ralph Aguila

    These banks can’t modify what they don’t own. They are mere “servicers”. Let the banks prove that they or the asset-backed trust that they supposedly represent have the original note and all the paperwork was properly done, including the chain-of-title.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This is not a valid justification. Investors favor meaning principal mods over foreclosures. The servicers are maximizing their fees (they get paid to foreclose, and not to mod) and hiding behind the excuse of that investors might sue them. In fact, recent investigations showed servicers don’t even bother checking the pooling and servicing agreement to see whether its ability to mod is restricted by it or not (it varies by deal).

      1. Pro Bankster

        I dunno, but for some reason you’ve always assumed that the “horse is out of the barn”. Once a borrower signed,… la di da.

        The contracts are somehow made of granite? Aside from the fact that many would have been illegal less than a decade before? Some investors want foreclosures, which do-nothing/produce nothings are you referring to?

        1. Pro Bankster

          Additionally, who else even thought about “PSAs” when they went to buy a house? We’re they ‘supposed’ to? A majority of what is referred to as contracts are an exercise in deceit.

  6. Blurtman

    Obama comments on the heads of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan: “I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen,” Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system.”

    1. sgt_doom


      Who owns GE, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase?

      And why doesn’t anyone ever appear to know the answer?

      About that Ryan clown in congress from Wisconsin, where that Gov. Wanker resides, they are espousing the exact same Wall Street-shill beliefs as held by Obama’s various appointees to his administration:

      Larry Summers (gone but not forgotten), Diana Farrell (perhaps gone, best forgotten), Fuhrman, etc., etc., etc.

      So what’s the diff?

      But seriously, having been immersed in forensic economics for the past decade, the answer of ownership is the most important one — for then and only then can we really connect all those obvious dots.

      1. taunger

        the identity of the board is probably more important than the identity of the owners, especially in large publicly traded companies like that. the board of director’s identities should be readily available. have at it.

  7. Dave of Maryland

    None of the banksters, nor their supporters in Congress, seem to have the slightest qualms about the growing backlash.

    It was said that Marie Antoinette, even after she & her family had been arrested & confined to the Tuileries, was not terribly concerned for her fate. She thought matters would blow over.

    PS: That famous funeral march that Ludwig wrote? That was in memory of Marie. A dozen years later it still hadn’t “blown over”. From the final rumble of the drums (the guillotine itself), first you hear the echo of her head bouncing, then her son’s head, bouncing, and then the total shock that Vienna felt upon hearing the news. Which brings the movement to a crushing close. Marie was the youngest sister of Vienna’s reigning monarch, and, yes, at the premiere, every person in Vienna knew exactly what the music meant.

    I wonder if any of the banksters will meet a similar fate. I wonder if, a dozen years later, we will care that they did.

      1. Dave of Maryland

        Symphony no. 3, in E-flat major, op. 55, the “Eroica”, of 1805. The funeral march is the second movement.

        The story of its naming comes from Ferdinand Ries, in 1838, many years later. Ries said he had seen a dedication sheet for the symphony with “Napoleon” at the top and “Beethoven” at the bottom with nothing in between. Upon hearing that Napoleon had crowned himself emperor, Beethoven ripped the sheet in two. Ries is the only source for this story, which you may read in his posthumously published Biographical Notes.

          1. Dave of Maryland

            Another note, if you like.

            The opening theme of the funeral movement is the sound a man makes as he involuntarily bursts into tears. Suck in your breath until you burst out & you will find it matches exactly. Beethoven is not quite the composer we think.

    1. Arab Kabobs

      Call Jennie Forehand and ask her to give back the money she received from car dealers – thnks

    2. Nathanael

      And frankly, Marie wasn’t a bad sort. If you read her letters, she was brought up by her parents to be a responsible monarch who helped the poor. She TRIED to do this for her first several years, was absolutely stymied by the evil court of Versailles, and finally gave up and decided to live in a fantasy world rather than try to change the demented elites.

      The fact is that people like Marie Antoinette will get swept up in the executions when people like King Louis and his advisors get justly executed. Once revolution becomes inevitable, there are always injustices which happen in the course of getting long-delayed justice.

      Which is why I’d much rather have the criminals arrested and imprisoned now, under a court system which can distinguish the well-meaning Marie from the malicious King Louis. But the kleptocrats are making sure the courts don’t work, and leaving little option….

  8. Pompeii

    Pissed off people in a police state are not a good combination. Financial corporations are waging a war of attrition, but without bullets. A ominous warning is the systemic indifference Government+Banking have had, and are continuing to have, to widespread catastrophe.

  9. WallStreet

    These idiots are half the reason we are in this mess in the first place. And now they want money back because they can’t make good on their obligations? Well I want a refund of some of the rent I paid waiting for the housing bubble to pop, but I know I’m not gonna get it. Grow up and stop asking for handouts you losers.

    1. F. Beard

      Well I want a refund of some of the rent I paid waiting for the housing bubble to pop, but I know I’m not gonna get it. WallStreet

      Actually, you should be reimbursed for the suppressed interest rates on your savings the banking system has caused you.

      Grow up and stop asking for handouts you losers. WallStreet

      Borrowers deserve a bailout too.

      The banks traditionally pit savers against borrowers. Don’t be a chump and fall for that strategy. Demand a bailout of the ENTIRE population so that savers can be compensated too.

      1. Richard

        Now that’s something I can get behind – policy that helps the distressed mortgage owner and doesn’t punish savers, paid-off homeowners, and those who rent.

        The only problem is that the elites have already had their paws on the cash. Now they can claim that deficits are so high we can’t spend any more.

    2. Daniel Pennell

      Well WallStreet…

      Get a grip.

      The banks took big bets and they cannot cover the losses.

      Despite your vehement opinion, the banks have proven they are blatently incompetent and are reaping the rewards of incompetent businesses.

      I would point out that the OWNERS of the properties are the borrowers. All the BANK ownes is a piece of paper that says that if the borrower does not pay that they can make a claim to the property. Seems to me that is is on the bank to maintain that silly piece of paper.

      I’m sorry that you feel the process we have of requiring that any entity that wishes to put in a claim on a property should have to prove standing and the legitimacy of the claim to be be inconvenient but it is the system we have and one I support as both ethical and sensible.

      What you seek is an expediant solution to an immediate business problem at the cost of sacrificing our established due process and property laws with thier 300+ years of success behind them.

      You are a child behaving childishly in search of a sad and short sighted self interest. Your position is both immoral and counter to our long term best intersts.

  10. Jamie Dugan

    It has become all to apparent that in today’s Washington, Wall Street environment that being a bumbling criminal idiot, will only get you a “strongly” worded reprimand and, quite possibly, a promotion, as well as handouts.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBacteria

      My resume has only 3 words (in addition to my contact info): “bumbling criminal idiot”

      I’m getting deluged with job offers. I turned down seven 7 figure offers from Wall Street banks this morning before breakfast.

  11. Old Steve (formerly Steve)

    Father Creedon (in the video) was a young priest in my parish after he was ordained. He is a nice man.

    But he is an unlikely radical, believe me. I’m a little surprised to see him in the video.

    People are really pissed. I grew up in Virginia. People there are inherently a pretty conservative group. The anger level is building, because this is a question of fundamental justice.

    I’ve worked on Wall Street my whole career. I believe in free markets. But finance exists to serve people, not to dupe them or rob them. This whole mortgage mess makes me sick.

    It just amazes me that Obama doesn’t address this issue, if only out of self-interest. He cannot win re-election if house prices do not stabilize.

    1. Mark P.

      @ Old Steve –

      Obama can rely on the Republicans to cast him as the lesser of two evils, unfortunately.

      If it’s any consolation, there’s a line of thinking that contends that democracies invariably produce and place hustling mediocrities and incompetents in top political positions till the shit hits the fan as in situations like the Great Depression and World War II, whereupon the mediocre incompetents fall aside and the superior likes of FDR, Truman and Eisenhower* emerge.

      Pretty to think that those competent leaders are potentially out there, of course. Also, another possibility when the shit hits the fan could very well be the emergence of the all-American fascist demagogue — the equivalent of the kind of political saviors the Germans and Italians got pre-WWII.

      * You’re possibly old enough to recall the Eisenhower administration personally, and much popular thinking then and now stereotypes the man and the era as stodgy and regressive. When one looks beneath Ike’s facade and examines his historical record in any detail, however, he starts looking sly and wise compared to what we’ve mostly had since.)

  12. Hampton Debt Collectors

    Virginia is the State that elected alleged Bible beaters to the Gov. and AG. The AG seems caught up in Christian activism from time to time. The hicks in the poorer neighborhoods are very pissed, they’ve lost their jobs, houses. I’d suggest predominately more latinos were victims to Bank fraud than other demographics. It’s a shame everyone can be a part of the Military Industrial Complex with the top secret paycheck, and the endless funding, and every other possible advantage that is hereby bestowed on just a few, not the many.

    The volk, of course, aren’t dumb. The retributive spirit is always close at hand. At the urging of our Government, for example, the people were warned of “muslims” or “terrorists” over the past decade of relentless propaganda.
    Meanwhile, the old crimes of loan sharking, fraud and theft were picked up, dusted off and deregulated. While we are bombing over there, we sure as hell are bombing right here in the USA.

  13. sgt_doom

    The Great Conspiracy

    After Louis Brandeis’ wrote the brilliant Other People’s Money and How the Bankers Use It, paving the way for the eventual legislation known as the New Deal, the power elites focused on a concentrated effort to hide and obscure their wealth and ownership through an ever-expanding network of holding companies, foundations, trusts, and evolving with the addition of offshore finance centers and tax havens in the 1960s.

    We have been exposed to countless low-ball estimates of the trillion dollars or so hidden offshore, and various low-ball estimates of monies lost to infinite tax avoidance and tax evasion schemes but really, nobody knows the accurate numbers.

    And why is that? Because they’ve structured it to be legal to hide ownership and wealth, and illegal to uncover that ownership.

    This was by design, it didn’t “just happen” – it wasn’t the result of “unintended consequences.”

    And, with the establishment of their financial-intelligence-complex during World War II, i.e., the creation of the intelligence framework, ostensibly for national security purposes, but having nothing to do with such, instead for wealth acquisition and control through financial and global intelligence interception and manipulation, they greatly facilitated their goals.

    Those parties involved with this, of course, were members of the Rockefeller family, Averell Harriman, the Mellon family, Robert Lovett, the Dulles brothers, Richard Bissell (whose brilliance and achievements are still relatively unknown) and Frank Wisner, Sr.

    The end result has been wildly successful!
    Today, almost no American alive knows the ownership of anything!

    One is reminded of the article by a “business journalist” at the Arizona Business Journal some years back who erroneously reported an obscure REIT had purchased the then largest private equity firm in the world, the Blackstone Group. (The reverse, of course, had taken place; the Blackstone Group had purchased the REIT.)

    Similarly, a few years back, the Puget Sound Business Journal listed a small company (4 employees) as the largest employer in Washington state! Evidently the lack of fact verification not only exists at the Washington Post and the New York Times, but equally among the “business journalists” – truly a shocker.
    No wonder those business journals fail to mention that the world’s largest hedge funds are owned by the top banks. Now why is that shrouded in mystery?

    The standard reply to who owns this bank, or that oil company, or this pharmaceutical corporation, is always the same: the shareholders, or occasionally, it is a “privately held corporation.”

    Who owns JP Morgan Chase? Morgan Stanley? Goldman Sachs? ExxonMobil? BP? Bank of America? Citigroup?

    Of equal importance, who really are the richest families in North America? These questions are not only crucial but highly interrelated.

    Yes, there is that Forbes list of the richest, researched from public information sources, but of relatively little value when so much of the wealth and ownership is hidden!

    Let us start with Bank of America. From an examination of public information sources, one finds that a number of other banks and hedge funds constitute the majority of shareholders of B of A. Of course, a number of other banks and institutions are the majority shareholders of each of those individual banks who make up the majority shareholders of Bank of America: a never ending ownership puzzle!

    And who owns BP? The largest shareholder of record is Blackrock, supposedly the largest asset management firm (hedge fund) around. And the largest chunk of Blackrock is owned by Merrill Lynch, who in turn is owned by Bank of America.

    Blackrock is also the majority shareholder of Monsanto. So now we have BP and Monsanto tracking back to Bank of America, whose ownership no one is really certain of?

    We are certain that NationsBank Corporation bought out Bank of America some years back, after Bank of America had given an unsecured $1.4 billion loan to the hedge fund, D.E. Shaw, for Russian bonds which then defaulted and D.E. Shaw was unable to repay Bank of America, leaving B of A highly vulnerable for the takeover by NationsBank Corporation, which then took on the name of Bank of America after the buyout.

    We also know that Larry Summers, Jeffrey Sachs and friends, were advising the Russians during this period, and that years later, while Larry Summers was an advisor to Obama during the presidential campaign, D.E. Shaw paid Summers substantial fees for his financial advice.

    A peculiar choice, given that Russian bond default? One wonders who is behind D.E. Shaw?

    External analysis, utilizing pattern analysis and link analysis algorithms, indicates that the three richest fortunes in North America are the Rockefeller, Morgan and Mellon families, yet this differs completely with the popular story today.

    Examination of empirical data further indicates that the majority ownership of JP Morgan Chase is divided among the Rockefeller family and Morgan family (try and find out who the Morgan family is today!), while majority ownership of Morgan Stanley falls to the Morgan family, Citigroup’s ownership falls to the Rockefeller family. (Yes, we realize a Saudi sheik is the largest shareholder on record of Citigroup stock.)

    The ownership of Bank of America appears to be Mellon money, but this is only extrapolated conjecture and hasn’t yet been verified.

    Further examination indicates that the top banks, oil companies, pharmaceuticals and weapons makers (defense contractors) are owned by the same concentrated senior capital pools.

    And yet, this is opposite to the popular mythology that fabulous fortunes are dissipated, handed over to foundations to be doled out to the ungrateful masses.
    A convenient mythology which ignores those taxes evaded by hiding wealth in those foundations which also conveniently hides the ownership of the banks, oil companies, pharmaceutical corporations and weapons makers through the blocks of stocks and bonds controlled within these foundations.

    With over 50,000 foundations in North America, controlling billions and trillions of wealth, it is a wonder we don’t live in a modern day paradise?

    So who owns ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs and the others?

    The time, effort and resources to track down the ownership today are stupendous, but one hopes those questions are eventually answered.

    And then, perhaps, we shall find out who really owns America?

    1. rps

      Banks no longer hold the mortgage notes, the government owned (we the people) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the holders. The banks part in the monthly transaction is to “service” the loan as in they get a piece of the pie for being the middle man with zero investment, responsiblity, or risk, just profit. The government does not need private TBTF bank accountants to service the government owned mortgage notes.

      And another valid point why are federally subsidized students loans making a 6.9% profit? Government is not in the business of producing a profit at the expense of its citizens. In fact why are student loans at a higher interest rate than mortgages? Doesn’t public subsidies of education makes us better citizens? Isn’t an educated populace the goal forward to the progressive evolution of society? A government that is profit driven is no longer stewards of the commonwealth nor guardians of the public welfare of the people by the people they serve. Rather an internal coupe has usurped the operations of the three branches and the public held offices of government. Government currently serves as the arm of domestic and foreign private enterprise. The good news is that private industries cannot survive without the taxpayer trough.

      Last point, why can’t citizens walk up to the Fed discount window and receive a 0% interest loan as banks and other “private” entities are doing? An inquiring mind wants to know……

    2. Nathanael

      Forget “ownership”: pay attention to *control*.

      It’s really very simple at big “publicly owned” companies. The Board and the CEO control the company; and the CEO controls at least some of the board members, so usually the CEO controls the company outright. In actual practice, it’s as simple as that.

      Occasionally 5% stockholders have influence too, but usually they have board seats.

  14. MichaelC

    The heartbreaking thing to me when I watch this is that they’re seeking relief from the second tier winners in the scam. They’re guaranteed to continue to lose,since the gov’t needs to protect the banks, while the real winners have already gotten paid, and there’s no one putting any pressure on them.

    The homeowners anger is misdirected, the true villains have already gotten away with it. The debtors are pawns once again, this time in a grand political bargain with the banks. The gov’t decided in ’08 that borrowers will pay, either individually through foreclosure costs, or collectively through taxation to fund the bailout.

    Clawbacks through the judical process would be the most equitable solution. Imagine if every short winner in Abacus , for example, disgorged his gains, then every mtge in that pool could be reset to true mkt value, and every mortgagee could potentially retain their home and pay for the true mkt value. Auto modification.

    Sad, Sad Sad. The gov’t guaranteed the short’s profits, via the bank bailouts, and borrower ire is diverted exclusively to the banks.

    But the govt bailed out the shorts, not the ‘banks’. The banks were merely the corrupt intermediaries. Any preacher worth his salt should be able to call out the true villain.

    Moynihan’s bonus is a pittance compared to the real dollars the ‘funded your loan and shorted your house ” thieves walked away with. The preacher should be screaming , Paulson, et al, stole your future and destroyed this neighborhood, not Jamie Dimon, or Moynihan so much, They only stole their commission on your suffering.

    I’d love to see a saavy preacher trap Paulson and a distressed homeowner denied a mod in the same room,(Michael Moore, where are you?) to introduce the borrower to their true nemesis.

    Let Paulson and our Magnetar pals (and Geithner) explain to the borrower why a modification must be denied to preserve those prescient gains.

  15. Nathanael

    Honestly, the shorts aren’t the “real” winners. The banking CEOs are.

    The shorts gambled, and they won against other gamblers, the “longs”. Whatever. Who decided to get into the gambling market gambling with houses in the first place? Jamie Dimon, Moynihan, etc.

    The banks went bust gambling, and then got bailed out. But the banking CEOs collected their multimillion dollar salaries, win or lose.

    Paulson would have been happy if banks had done modifications; it’s no skin off his back, the “investor value” of the CDOs still drops, he still makes money going short. It’s the banks, on the “long” side, who must pretend that the loans are worth full value (so as to not admit their insolvency) and who therefore have incentive to refuse modifications.

    Unfortunately, most proposals involve getting money back from the banking corporations, not from the actual *humans* who run the banking corporations. Those CEOs need to go to prison. It really was Jamie Dimon and Moynihan who destroyed the neighborhood.

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