Tag: CDO

How To Lose a Slam Dunk

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

What was should have been an open and shut case against a mid-level executive with Citibank over the banks’s sale of risky collateralized debt obligations (CDO) somehow was lost by Security and Exchange Commission lawyers.

The Securities and Exchange Commission had accused Brian Stoker, a former midlevel Citigroup executive, with negligence related to his role in creating exotic mortgage securities known as collateralized debt obligations, or C.D.O.’s. In a lawsuit filed last October, the government said that Mr. Stoker, who prepared sales materials for C.D.O.’s, knew or should have known that he was misleading investors by not disclosing that Citigroup helped select the underlying mortgage securities in the C.D.O. and then placed a large bet against it.

The jury rejected the S.E.C.’s case, concluding that Mr. Stoker was not liable under the securities laws. In addition to handing up its verdict, the jury also issued an unusual statement.

This verdict should not deter the S.E.C. from investigating the financial industry, to review current regulations and modify existing regulations as necessary,” said the jury’s statement, which was read aloud in the courtroom by Judge Jed S. Rakoff, who presided over the two-week trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan.

Citibank has already entered an agreement to pay $285 million to settle a civil suit filed by the SEC about the CDO’s. As part of the agreement, Citibank would not have to admit to any wrong doing. Judge Rakoff has rejected that deal and told the parties to prepare for a trial. That ruling is being appealed.

Mr. Stoker’s lawyer depicted him as a “scapregoat” who was merely doing what he was told. Stoker knew full well that the CDO’s were very risky but failed to warn investors who lost over a billion dollars, but he was following instruction from the higher ups. Seriously? The Nuremberg defense is now acceptable?

As Yves Smith observes the SEC showed abject incompetence in prosecuting Stoker:

The SEC’s performance in the case at issue, SEC v. Stoker, was such a total fail that the odds are high that any motivated member of the top half of the NC readership would have done a better job of arguing this case pro se than the SEC did. Even though this case was argued before a jury (ooh, scary! They might go into My Eyes Glaze Over mode on CDO details), the basic issues were simple. The CDO squared that Citigroup director Brian Stoker marketed to investors was presented as having its assets selected by an independent asset manager. This is crucial. Just as investors in mutual funds understand they are hiring a fund management firm, and they compete on track records, so to were managed CDOs sold on the notion that the managers were serving the interests of the investors. And this is particularly important for CDOs, since the fact that the final asset list is made available shortly before closing makes it pretty much impossible for investors to evaluate a CDO on their own even if they had the skills and motivation. [..]

So what did the SEC’s strategy appear to be? This seems to have been a parallel to the approach in the Goldman suit against Goldman’s Fabrice Tourre: to target an non-executive and get him to roll the higher ups. But Tourre and Stoker were both enough made men to be willing to fight. Stoker had a $2.2 million guarantee for 2007. Guys like that do not want to lose their access to the industry meal ticket.

So what was Stoker’s defense? That he was being scapegoated, and Citi should really be on trial. Huh? In prosecutions, whether other parties are being charged is irrelevant. The question at hand is: did the party on trial engage in the conduct in question or not? Saying, “I was only the car driver in the robbery, I didn’t enter the convenience store” does not get you off of being an accessory to a crime. It’s pretty bloomin’ obvious that Stoker misrepresented the deal to investors. He had held securities industry licenses; he knew what the standards were.

It’s fairly obvious from day one of this entire case against Citibank that the SEC was trying very hard to let them off the hook. It is past time that the SEC was staffed with people who are more willing to regulate the banks and up hold the law. I have some heavy doubts that will ever happen under this administration or any other, now or in the future.

Grayson Untangles the Web of Fraud in the ‘Foreclosure Mills’

Citigroup, Ally Sued for Racketeering Over Database

Bloomberg

By Margaret Cronin Fisk and Thom Weidlich – Oct 4, 2010

Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. units were sued by homeowners in Kentucky for allegedly conspiring with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. to falsely foreclose on loans.

The lawsuit, filed as a civil-racketeering class action on behalf of all Kentucky homeowners facing foreclosure, also names as a defendant Reston, Virginia-based MERS, the company that handles mortgage transfers among member banks. The suit claims that through MERS the banks are foreclosing on homes even when they don’t hold titles to the properties.

[…]

The homeowners claim the defendants filed or caused to be filed mortgages with forged signatures, filed foreclosure actions months before they acquired any legal interest in the properties and falsely claimed to own notes executed with mortgages.

Forgery is No Joke.

Neither is being evicted, by Banks who ‘really don’t own’ your Home.

Citibank fails to prove Mortgage Ownership, in Foreclosure Suit

Thank goodness.  It couldn’t have happen a day too soon.

NBC Nightly News (03-09-09) Tent Cities of Homeless Springing Up In Bad Times



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F94f_Ycsjs

Tent City, USA



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Senate Subcommittee: The Role of Credit Rating Agencies

I saw Krugman on the TVeee over the Weekend. Something he said, made me think the Goldman Email Gate, was a big Mis-Direction.

So I decided to follow up on that hunch; I took to the Intertubes, and began to follow his trail of breadcrumbs …

Berating the Raters

By Paul Krugman, NYTimes — April 25, 2010

No, the e-mail messages you should be focusing on are the ones from employees at the credit rating agencies, which bestowed AAA ratings on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of dubious assets, nearly all of which have since turned out to be toxic waste. And no, that’s not hyperbole: acquisto viagra online rischi of AAA-rated subprime-mortgage-backed securities issued in 2006, 93 percent – 93 percent! – have now http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=generic-propecia-results been downgraded to junk status.

What those e-mails reveal is a deeply corrupt system. And it’s a system that financial reform, as currently proposed, wouldn’t fix.

With Derivatives, you can Bet on anything — Even the Weather!

levitra senza ricetta Lombardia Introduction To Weather Derivatives

by Felix Carabello, Associate Director, Environmental Products, Chicago Mercantile Exchange

here Weather: Risky Business

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=viagra-generico-50-mg-italia-pagamento-online-a-Napoli It is estimated that nearly 20% of the U.S. economy is directly affected by the weather, and that the profitability and revenues of virtually every industry – agriculture, energy, entertainment, construction, travel and others – depend to a great extent on the vagaries of temperature. […]

In a 1998 testimony to Congress, former commerce secretary William Daley stated, “Weather is not just an environmental issue; before then buy soft viagra without prescription it is a major economic factor. At least $1 trillion of our economy is weather-sensitive.”

[…]

If there were only some way, to “Hedge that Bet” — against the ever present risk of Foul Weather.

No Worries http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=does-propecia-pills-cause-genetic-disorders Where there’s a Market Risk, there’s always a Wall Street Way!

Obligations of Debt — Collateralized

How does your Obligation to make your Mortgage Payments, turn into some unseen Investor’s “Income Stream”?

Easy — thanks to Derivatives and CDO’s (Collateralized Debt Obligation).

For the mere Price of Admission, those unseen Investor’s get to divvy up your Mortgage Payments, among themselves — long as they “promise to pay off” that Debt, WHEN, for whatever reason, you are no longer able to make those Obligatory Payments …

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=acquistare-levitra-contrassegno Piece of Cake!

Geesh … WHAT could ever go wrong with this picture?

Mortgage Fraud — just another Scheme of the Shadow Bankers

Bill Gross, head of PIMCO, is credited with coining the term “Shadow Banking System”. A few years ago he warned about its reckless behavior and how they could wreck the Economy.

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=does-brand-propecia-cause-acne Bill Gross Calls it “Shadow Banking System”

Bill Bonner, The Daily Reckoning Australia — Jan 22, 2008

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=vardenafil-originale-pagamento-online Banks recognize that not all their loans will be repaid. They operate on margins of safety, with reserves set aside for when things go wrong. But in the worlds of swaps, hedge funds and derivatives…slick operators can invest billions with no margins of safetyand no reserves. The result, Gross says, could be catastrophic.

Turns out this blunt-speaking Mutual Fund Manager — WAS Right!

Top Ten Reasons: NOT to Trust Wall Street

also posted on dkos

Wall Street is sick. And its illness is Unchecked Greed. … The bug is call OPM.

Their fever has risen so dangerously high, that the Wizards of Wall Street, the Captains of Industry, for the most part see your assets as their “playing chips”.

Your Money, is their Bread and Butter.

Exploiting and Levering OPM (Other People’s Money) is the key to their  Extreme Wealth.

This contagion on Wall Street has reached such a point, that one of those “Captains of Industry” has been speaking out against it.  He has been working to “right the ship” of speculative, reckless investing, using our OPM, as the collateral.

Jack C. Bogle, founder and CEO of the Vanguard Group, is one of those “old school” investors — you know, that we should beinvesting in a better future“, NOT just a “better bank account“.

Jack has listed the symptoms of this wide spread illness — NOW if only we could find some “Doctors” wise enough to quarantine the Damage …

The Damage unregulated greed has done … before they try to “go for broke” AGAIN …

 

DeFazio: Sacrifice 2 Jobs to get back Millions of Jobs for Americans

Pete DeFazio Slams Tim Geithner & Larry Summers  (TheYoungTurks)



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Is it finally Time to Bail Out — MAIN Street ?

Wall Street HAS gotten all their Trillion Dollar Bail Out $$$$$$$$$$$$$

AND so far NOT much of it has Trickled Down to Main Street — Where it’s Most Needed!

Something ‘s got to give — and Soon!

Before Small Town America, (and Metro-America) rolls up the welcome mat, and fades into history.

Elizabeth Warren: Lobbying on behalf of the American People

We have been told that Wall Street Investment firms are “Too big to Fail” — But that does NOT Mean they are “Too Big for Accountability”!

The Question boils down to,

Who Does the Congress Represent anyways

The American People, or the Global Bankers (and their Lobbyists) ?

And Will the People bother to care about Wall Street Regulation this time around?

Since I’m assuming we will, here’s some essential background on the Wall Street Meltdown mess:

Credit Default Swap (CDS)

What Does Credit Default Swap (CDS) Mean?

A swap designed to transfer the credit exposure of fixed income products between parties.

http://www.investopedia.com/te…

CDS’s are an easy way to transfer Credit Risk — Check!

Rachel Maddow breaks down Wall Street Deregulation into these simple Frames …

Way back in March of 2009, Rachel explained the “Highway Robbery” which happened on Wall Street, using a few simple word-pictures. (ie. simple Frames).  These perhaps deserve a quick review …

Rachel Maddow – Cops and Robbers

Link to Rachel’s very humorous  Clip

Great Framing Rachel! … I love it, when Progressive Talkers, make learning FUN! The simpler the Word-Pictures, the better the Frame!

“Is our childrens learning?” as George W. used to ask.  

Could be, … Maybe we just needed to “Turn the Page” …

With Friends in the Treasury — Bankers don’t need NO Accountability

Elizabeth Warren was appointed chair of a newly created Congressional Oversight Panel (COP), which is charged with keeping tabs on the $700 billion bailout of the financial sector – including Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).

Warren however, has had some “Trouble” getting straight forward answers … as she explained to the Boston Globe:

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