Banks Win Mortgage Settlement From Regulators

By: Tuesday January 8, 2013 6:32 am

In what can only be described as a slap to the face of victims of the housing crisis and an insult to even the vaguest notion of the rule of law, the banks responsible for the mortgage meltdown and subsequent financial crisis and recession have once again escaped justice. After criminal cases were dropped despite [...]

Happy Talk on Housing and Mortgages Masks Dangers

By: Wednesday May 23, 2012 11:37 am

Over the last several months, analysts have become invested in the narrative of a recovery in housing, hyping positive data and downplaying either negative data or the explanations that temper the good news (the large amounts of uncounted shadow inventory, for example). This pervasive talk feels a lot like the bubble years, only we’re now [...]

FBI Now Investigating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

By: Thursday December 22, 2011 6:14 am

The walls have closed in over the past couple weeks on mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The SEC charged former CEOs and executives at the companies with fraud. California Attorney General Kamala Harris sued them for imformation in a wide-ranging fraud investigation. And now we learn that the FBI is investigating them: At [...]

SEC Charges ex-Fannie, Freddie Executives With Securities Fraud

By: Friday December 16, 2011 9:35 am

Perhaps trying to make up for the smackdown they took at the hands of Judge Jed Rakoff, who accused them of letting big banks get off scot-free, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges against six former executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, including the CEO, accusing them of securities fraud. Federal regulators [...]

Buy Here Pay Here: The Subprime Auto Loan Scam

By: Wednesday November 2, 2011 8:55 am

More attention needs to be paid to the LA Times’ excellent series on subprime auto loans. The first installment concerned Buy Here Pay Here used car dealerships, and how they hook low-income borrowers into high-interest loans, then repossess the car when the loans go bad and resell the car to the next mark. This is [...]

S&P Still Rating Subprime Crap Triple-A

By: Wednesday August 31, 2011 1:33 pm

This is pretty funny. So Standard and Poor’s showed how rigidly they look at the bare facts when they downgraded US credit. Ten-year Treasury bonds have been dropping ever since. But S&P isn’t so concerned about every financial instrument that they are unwilling to dole out triple-A ratings on occasion. Like, for example, subprime mortgage [...]

The Return of Subprime Scamming

By: Wednesday July 13, 2011 12:29 pm

This seems like a brilliant idea from the folks who brought you the financial crisis: After years as the lending market’s undesirables, aspiring home buyers with less-than-stellar credit are being offered home loans again—with some of the same conditions and catches critics say tripped up subprime borrowers five years ago. According to analysts, a handful [...]

Sheila Bair: The Last Adult Left Washington

By: Monday July 11, 2011 7:35 am

Joe Nocera’s extended exit interview with Sheila Bair that appeared in the New York Times Magazine over the weekend was one of those moments where you realize that you’re actually not crazy, and there is a voice of sanity out in the universe. That it comes from a moderate Republican shows you just how far [...]

NY Fed: 2005 Bankruptcy Bill Led to Hundreds of Thousands of Unnecessary Foreclosures

By: Wednesday February 9, 2011 6:50 am

Three economists at the New York Federal Reserve have put out a paper laying the rise in foreclosures partially at the feet of the 2005 bankruptcy bill. Economists Donald P. Morgan, Benjamin Iverson, and Matthew Botsch find that the subprime foreclosure rate increased by 29,000 per quarter nationwide after the passage of the bill, which [...]

Prosecutions Against Corrupt MBS-Selling Banks Coming Soon?

By: Monday September 27, 2010 2:23 pm

I mentioned this field hearing in Sacramento last week, which looked closely at fraud and corruption at the heart of the housing market, but Gretchen Morgenstern and Shahien Nasiripour pored over it again and came to the same pretty troubling conclusion. Here’s Shahien’s hed: During a little-noticed hearing this week in Sacramento, Calif., a firm [...]

Bernanke: Don’t Blame Me for the Housing Bubble

By: Thursday September 2, 2010 8:51 am

Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke is appearing before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission today, and he mainly said in opening remarks that too big to fail must be solved. He believes the new resolution authority will provide the opportunity for regulators to wind down firms without taxpayer resources exposed. But that’s not nearly the most [...]

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