Administration Looking to Replace Ed DeMarco at FHFA – Could His Lawsuits Against Banks Be the Reason?

By: Monday December 10, 2012 11:06 am

The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House will finally nominate a successor to Ed DeMarco at the Federal Housing Finance Agency for the first time since January 2011, incredibly enough. The FHFA’s current director, Edward DeMarco, took the job more than three years ago in an “acting,” or interim, capacity. He has remained [...]

Banks Rake In Profits – Largely From Government Supports

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 3:37 pm

It goes without saying that you should not weep for the banking industry. In the years following a Great Recession they caused, they still manage to churn out record profits. This is the 13th straight quarterly rise in profits for financial institutions. The industry’s third-quarter earnings jumped 6.6% from the same period in 2011, to [...]

FHFA’s Christmastime Moral Relativism and the New New Housing Market

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 6:19 am

FHFA has situational ethics here. They rail against states with long foreclosure timelines, even increasing their guarantee fees. But when faced with headlines about foreclosures during Christmas, they become beneficent, and act to increase foreclosure timelines.

Maxine Waters Easily Attains Ranking Democratic Spot on House Financial Services

By: Tuesday December 4, 2012 3:17 pm

On both sides of the Capitol, there was news on the committee that holds oversight responsibilities over Wall Street today. In addition to Elizabeth Warren getting her spot on the Senate Banking Committee, Maxine Waters assumed the spot of ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee. Here’s her statement: I am deeply humbled to [...]

Short Sales Continue to Dominate Consumer Relief in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

By: Monday November 19, 2012 7:12 am

The second report from the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight has arrived, and it shows a continuation of one trend, tempered by the first batch of consumer relief in the form of actual principal reductions.

Yes, Banks Are Paying “Penalties” in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement With Other People’s Money

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 8:30 am

This one offers a bit of vindication. I cannot tell you how much grief I got from “official sources” over the clear reality that banks would be able to pay off their penalties in the foreclosure fraud settlement with investor money. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan flat-out said it, and then had to backtrack and obfuscate. [...]

Banks Face Competition From Retailers on Financial Transactions

By: Wednesday November 14, 2012 2:36 pm

After consolidating the financial sector rather than seeing it broken up over the last few years, Wall Street actually faces competition, in the form of big box retailers. On a recent shopping trip to Costco, Lilly Neubauer picked up paper towels, lentils, carrots — and a home mortgage. While Ms. Neubauer, 27, said she was [...]

Ring the Register: Another $15.4 Million for Disgraced ex-Citi CEO Vikram Pandit

By: Monday November 12, 2012 9:15 am

If anyone deserves a $6.7 million bonus, it’s the CEO who squandered 88% of his company’s stock value: Vikram Pandit isn’t getting a golden parachute, but he’s still not doing too badly. Citigroup said Friday that the former CEO, who resigned last month in a management shakeup, will receive an “incentive award” of $6.7 million [...]

Administration Housing Policy in a Second Term

By: Friday November 9, 2012 1:22 pm

Of all the thumbsuckers about the second-term Obama agenda I’ve read, the ones that reflect the least contact with reality concern Administration housing policy. It’s beyond clear that the first-term policy framework sought to protect banks and allocate losses from the collapse of the housing bubble elsewhere. That was the point behind HAMP, designed to [...]

Sham Foreclosure Reviews Major Cash Cows for Foreclosure Reviewers

By: Saturday November 3, 2012 9:26 am

Jeff Horwitz and Kate Berry have an excellent two-part series in American Banker on these “independent” foreclosure reviews. For background, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency put together these consent orders with 14 banks last year, separate from the foreclosure fraud settlement, and put together this review process. In theory, independent reviewers would [...]

The No Accountability for Bank Fraud Blues

By: Thursday November 1, 2012 7:45 am

I noted yesterday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission planned to fine Barclays Bank for its role in manipulating US energy markets. The fine came out and it was a record, a $470 million penalty. After the London market had closed, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced the scale of the fine – $435m, plus [...]

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