7/18/11 The AP and Reuters both have terrific stories on how the banks continue to robosign. Both articles make the important points that we’re talking about illegal, fraudulent practices, not just the mechanics of document signing; that the practices are industry wide; and that the issues go way beyond foreclosures.
Prosecuting Wall Street (or not)
NPR interviews Louise Story about a story she and Gretchen Morgenson wrote explaining the cultural shift in the Department of Justice that at least partially explains the failure to prosecute big bank executives.
The WSJ reports that some law firms are being disqualified from investigating mortgage servicers’ foreclosure failures because the firms are not independent. That’s good but trivial news. The big problem is that the servicers, not prosecutors or regulators, are doing the investigating. Forcing the banks to use independent law firms in a self-investigative process is like making a bad joke marginally funnier by improving its delivery.
The Galleon Case and Wall Street culture.
Using the insider trading investigation, trial and conviction of billionaire hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, The New Yorker’s George Packer describes a Wall Street completely unafraid of law enforcement and, as a result, the thorough corruption of the Executive Class’s professional stock traders
Mortgage Backed Securities Litigation
The amended complaint details just how fraudulent mortgage backed securitizations could be. Deutsche Bank allegedly securitized and sold to investors loans so bad Deutsche had sued the loan makers claiming they were too bad to securitize. Hat tip: Naked Capitalism
The Debt Ceiling
Nate Silver explains the political risks and of not doing a debt ceiling deal.
Talking Points Memo details the Republican presidential candidates’ stances on the debt ceiling fight. In sum: radically bad.
The Right Wing’s Willingness to Lie Big Exposed
Here’s the thorough deconstruction of the false argument Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are to blame for the financial meltdown. (By David Min on the blog The Big Picture.) The bottom line: The conservative defined “high risk loans” in absolutely unjustifiable ways to enable him to claim Fannie and Freddie made a lot of them. Hat tip: Paul Krugman
How Corporations Wield Power
How industry turns its policy wish-list into legislation via ProPublica.
Get to know the Koch brothers via Jane Mayer at the New Yorker.
See how Rupert Murdoch’s interests shape the coverage on Fox and other Murdoch properties except the WSJ. See Keith Olbermann report being blackmailed by Murdoch into taking a half time position for less than half pay.
Iowans protest against the governor, reports the New Bottom Line.