Showing posts with label financial crisis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label financial crisis. Show all posts

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Real Superpredators

The Real Superpredators

SachsRecently, the Department of Justice announced that Goldman Sachs “agreed to Pay More than $5 Billion in Connection with Its Sale of Residential Mortgage Backed Securities.” Close scrutiny reveals that Goldman will actually pay, for a number of reasons, $0.

Goldman’s Track Record:

We note that:

On April 28, 2003, Goldman Sachs was found to have aided and abetted efforts to defraud investors.

On September 4, 2003, Goldman Sachs admitted that it had misused material, nonpublic information that the US Treasury would suspend issuance of the 30-year bond.

On April 28, 2003, Goldman Sachs was found to have "issued research reports that were not based on principles of fair dealing and good faith .. contained exaggerated or unwarranted claims.. and/or contained opinions for which there were no reasonable bases ". .

On January 25, 2005, "the Securities and Exchange Commission announced settled civil injunctive actions against Goldman, Sachs & Co. relating to the firms' allocations of stock to institutional customers in initial public offerings (IPOs) underwritten by the firms during 1999 and 2000 ".

On July 15, 2010, “the SEC announced that Goldman paid $550 million to settle SEC charges that Goldman misled investors in a subprime mortgage product just as the U.S. housing market was starting to collapse.”

Our Track Record:
On July 3, 1993, we wrote to US Securities and Exchange Commissioner (SEC) Mary Schapiro to notify the Commission about the "Nigerian letter scam."

We designed the first mortgage security backed by home mortgage loans to low and moderate income persons and originated by minority-owned institutions. (See: Security Backed Exclusively by Minority Loans, The American Banker Newspaper. Friday, December 2, 1994.)
We opposed the elimination of Glass-Steagall, a law that separated commercial from investment banks. The removal of this law contributed to the financial crisis, as we warned it would on September 23, 1998.

On June 15, 2000,we testified before the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE’s) of the U.S. House of Representatives and suggested that GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac be subject to a Social Audit. Had the GSE’s been subject to this audit, certain flaws in their operation, including ethical shortcomings, would have been revealed earlier, in a better market in which to make corrections.

In 2001, we participated in the first wide scale home mortgage loan modification project. The Minneapolis-based effort helped 50 families victimized by predatory lending practices.

On December 22, 2003, we warned US regulators that statistical models he created using the proprietary Fully Adjusted Return® Methodology signaled the probability of system-wide economic and market failure.

In 2005, we served as an expert witness in a case that sought to hold Credit Suisse First Boston, Fairbanks/SPS, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, US National Bank Association, and other parties legally responsible for supporting and facilitating fraudulent subprime lending market activities. Had this single case been successful, we believe the credit crisis would have been less severe.

On December 22, 2005, we issued a strongly worded warning that system-wide economic and market failure was a growing possibility in a meeting at the SEC with Ms. Elaine M. Hartmann of the Division of Market Regulation.

On February 6, 2006, we again warned regulators that statistical models created using the proprietary Fully Adjusted Return® Methodology confirmed that system-wide economic and market failure was a growing possibility. We stated that: Without meaningful reform there is a small, but significant and growing, risk that our (market) system will simply cease functioning.”

On December 9, 2013, we filed a "Friend of the Court" brief in the United States District Court, Central District of California in an action that the U.S. Department of Justice brought against McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., and Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC.

Why This Deal Matters

This deal has ramifications well beyond the parties to the case. It protects the monetary interest of a narrow set of mainly white persons, short-circuits the justice process, fails to protect the interests of both DOJ and the general public, does little to protect victims of other financial crimes, and damages the country's long-term economic prospects.

Without an admission of guilt, transaction costs — in the broad economic sense of the costs of participating in a market — will increase in financial markets.

This deal continues a pattern of ineffective financial institution regulation and enforcement that is contrary to the public interest. It furthers the legal double standard that Black Lives Matters protesters highlighted when they castigated former President Bill Clinton for Hillary Clinton’s 1996 comments that some black youth were "superpredators."

The financial crisis shows the real superpredators were firms with names like Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Wells Fargo. The fact that many of these superpredators also damaged and destroyed themselves (as superpredators have a tendency to do) is beside the point. Responsible enforcement would have prevented them from also damaging the global economy.

Given their record, Goldman’s license to do business should have been suspended (at the very least.) Clearly, they have compromised both New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the DOJ.

This deserves federal judicial review.

http://www.tnj.com/news/business/real-superpredators

Friday, November 2, 2012

Unemployment at 7.9%. We'll stand by our number..

According to the Washington Post,

"Businesses picked up their pace of hiring in October and the unemployment rate rose as more people started looking for work, according to new government data that offer a glimmer of optimism for the long-ailing job market on the eve of the presidential election.

Employers reported adding 171,000 jobs in October, beating both analysts’ expectations (125,000 jobs added) and September’s job creation (a revised 148,000). The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent, up from 7.8 percent, but the reason behind the uptick also points to an improved job market. Some 578,000 more Americans counted themselves as part of the labor force, and only 410,000 more people reported having a job. In one particularly welcome sign, the proportion of the population reporting that they had a job rose one-tenth of a percent to 58.8 percent."

We forecast a 7.7% rate. We'll stand by our number. As is often the case, the Fully Adjusted Return (TM) methodology is early. We have been early before. (On December 22, 2003 and February 6, 2006, we warned the S.E.C. and other regulators that statistical models created by the firm using the Fully Adjusted Return (TM) Methodology signaled the probability of system-wide economic and market failure).

Expect a 7.7% unemployment rate in November or December, even with the storm...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Adam Smith on the Current Financial Crisis

While there is much wrong with Mr. Smith's work, he did, in The Wealth of Nations, note the following:
"To promote the little interest of one little order of men in one country, it hurts the interest of all other orders of men in that country, and of all men in all other countries."

The result of policies favoring "one little order of men (Wall Street, in the current crisis)" gives rise to what Smith calls "a high rate of profit."
"But besides all the bad effects to the country in general, which have already been mentioned as necessarily resulting from a high rate of profit; there is one more fatal, perhaps, than all of these put together, but which, if we may judge from experience, is inseparably connected with it. The high rate of profit seems everywhere to destroy that parsimony which in other circumstances is natural to the character of the merchant. When profits are high, that sober virtue seems superfluous, and expensive luxury to suit better the affluence of his situation. But the owners of the great mercantile capitals are necessarily the leaders and conductors of the whole industry of every nation, and their example has a much greater influence upon the manner of the whole industrious part of it than that of any other order of men. If his employer is attentive and parsimonious, the workman is very likely to be so too; but if the master is dissolute and disorderly, the servant who shapes his work according to the pattern which his master prescribes to him, will shape his life too according to the example which he sets him.

It is thus that the single advantage which the monopoly procures to a single order of men, is in many different ways hurtful to the general interests of the country."