Obama Acknowledges Employment Will Top 10% – Experts Predict 11% Unemployment Throughout 2010

Fed mulls tweaks to economic revival programs

WASHINGTON – With signs the economy is improving but still fragile, Federal Reserve policymakers are considering whether some programs intended to drive down rates on mortgages and other consumer debt should be slowed down. (Is the Administration  reversing course here or are they just running out of money ..)

The nation’s unemployment rate — now at 9.4 percent — is expected to keep climbing into 2010. Acknowledging that the jobless rate is going to climb over 10 percent, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he’s not satisfied with the progress his administration has made on the economy.

Some analysts say the rate could rise as high as 11 percent by the next summer before it starts to decline. The highest rate since World War II was 10.8 percent at the end of 1982.

An index measuring chief executives‘ business expectations showed an improved outlook from last quarter‘s record low, but many still expect declines in sales, jobs and capital spending.

“We don’t see continued free fall,” Ivan G. Seidenberg, chairman of the Business Roundtable and CEO of Verizon Communications, said Tuesday. “But nobody’s ready to suggest they’re going to begin hiring.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090624/ap_on_bi_ge/us_fed_interest_rates

Remember Obama’s promise? His “stimulus package” was going to keep unemployment below 8%. Obama’s “stimulus” threw a few desperately needed crumbs to the unemployed – but who is really getting the trillions of taxpayer’s dollars the corrupt politicians are handing out ?

Thanks Regular Visitors – 5,000 Vistors A Day Adds Up – 1.5 Million Visitors Todate.

Thank you again.

When I started this blog last fall I didn’t expect 100 visitors a day, I guess I still don’t.

Let me say that I know this is still a small blog, a very small blog ….. but 5,000 visitors a day grows to 150,000 a month and now 10 months later – 1,500,000 visits (a million and half  visits).

I’m stunned.

In case your wondering, this is still a very small blog – the “Big Blogs” get as many visitors in a week as this site has had in 10 months. The mega blogs get that many visits in a day.

I really appreciate all of your comments, however, this blog is a hobby and not a job or a way of life for me.

This Blog isn’t even my favorite hobby.

I simply don’t have the time it would take to review and post more of the comments – my apology. Comments are posted in a semi random manner – provided the comments are on topic and not excessively vulgar.

I won’t be posting comments from the “professional bloggers” – those bloggers working for a fee to get out a poltical message – under the pretense of being members of the general pubic. They have been pretty easy to spot.

If you are regular, you know this site supplies links to my source materials. The “professionals bloggers” ignore the source documents and focus on personal attacks. For them it is all about “spin”, trying to obscure the facts. Unfortunately, I’d guess 2/3 of the comments I receive come from the professionals. When you receive 20 plus commenst, all with similar and unsubstantiated criticisms, using the same phrases and those comments are all received within a 5 minute time span – the activity is coordinated.

I’m sure you’ve seen the same activity at other sites.

In the not so distant past I posted an entry noting how disppointing Obama’s Mortgage Modification Program has been, quoting sources thusly, “The program was touted as intended to help 4 million homeowners”, however, the results todate are very disappointing as some number of mortgages “more than 10,000 but less than 50,000” have been modified in the first 4 months. I received over 120 responses, all received within 30 minutes of “posting”, all claiming, with very similar language, that I was “making the numbers up” while expressing their “unique opinions” on how successful the “program” had been. In fact the “links” in my “post” clearly proved the accuracy of the numbers. The claim that the program was intended to help 4 million mortgage holders was made by – you guessed correctly – Barack Obama, on the day he announced the program to cheers in Phoenix, Arizona. As it turns out more people attended the speech than have had their mortgages modified todate. The estimate that the program has fallen far short of expectations, helping  “more than 10,000 but less than 50,000”, a number far short of the 4 million targeted, came from – a press conference at The Obama White House, where the estimate was supplied by an Obama Staff Member.

It isn’t possible to receive 120 comments claiming the statistics used in the post, statistics which were supplied by the Obama Administration, are inaccurate, without some type of coordinated activity taking place.

I will make an effort to publish more of your comments in the future ….. Thanks again for visiting.

Countrywide Bank CEO Charged With Fraud – Mazilo’s Emails Reveal Complete Understanding Of Pending Mortgage Crisis & Its Causes

The following emails from Countrywide Bank CEO Angelo Mazilo, released as part of a report concerning the charges brought by the SEC against Mazilo, clearly show that Mazilo understood the causes of the current mortgage crisis before it occurred ……

Excerpts of E-Mails From Angelo Mozilo

Sept. 26, 2006 – following up a meeting with Sambol the previous day about the Pay-Option ARM loan portfolio:

We have no way, with any reasonable certainty, to assess the real risk of holding these loans on our balance sheet. The only history we can look to is that of World Savings however their portfolio was fundamentally different than ours in that their focus was equity and our focus is FICO (Credit Score). In my judgement [sic], as a long time lender, I would always trade off FICO for equity. The bottom line is that we are flying blind on how these loans will perform in a stressed environment of higher unemployment, reduced values and slowing home sales.

… pay options are currently mispriced in the secondary market, and that spread could disappear quickly if there is an foreseen [sic] headline event such as another lender getting into deep trouble with this product or
because of negative investor occurance [sic].

“timing is right” … to … “sell all newly originated pay options and beginrolling off the bank balance sheet, in an orderly manner, pay optionscurrently in their port[folio].”

April 17, 2006 – to Sambol concerning Countrywide’s subprime 80/20 loans:

In all my years in the business I have never seen a more toxic prduct [sic].

It’s not only subordinated to the first, but the first is subprime. Inaddition, the FICOs are below 600, below 500 and some below 400[.]

With real estate values coming down…the product will become increasingly worse. There has [sic] to be major changes in this program,including substantial increases in the minimum FICO. … Whether you consider the business milk or not, I am prepared to go without milk irrespective of the consequences to our production.

 

April 13, 2006 to Sambol, Sieracki, and others to address issues relating to the 100 percent subprime second business in light of the losses associated with the HSBC buyback:

Loans had been originated … “through our channels with disregard for process[and] compliance with guidelines.”

He “personally observed a serious lack of compliance within our origination system as it relates to documentation and generally a deterioration in the quality of loans originated versus the pricing of those loan [sic].”

“[i]n my conversations with Sambol he calls the 100% sub prime seconds as the ‘milk’ of the business. Frankly, I consider that product line to be the poison of ours.”

On March 28, 2006 – to Sambol and others:

Directed them to implement a series of corrective measures to “avoid the errors of both judgment and protocol that have led to the issues that we face today caused by the buybacks mandated by HSBC.” …

… The 100% loan-to-value subprime product is “the most dangerous product in existence and there can be nothing more toxic and therefore requires that no deviation from guidelines be permitted irrespective of the
circumstances.”

McAuleys World: At the insistence of Fannie Mae and The Federal Reserve these “toxic loans” continued for another 2 years after these emails, right up until the collapse of the financial system last fall. These very same loan products have been repackaged, renamed and continue to be marketed today.

You might note that at the same point in time that Mazilo prepared this email, Senator Chris Dodd was “accepting” “special treatment” in his loan processing with Countrywide Bank. Senator Dodd was one of a select few to belong to a group called the “FOAs” or “Friends Of Angelo”, referring, of course, to Angelo Mazilo.   

http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/countrywide-ceo-mozilo-charged-fraud/    

For more info on the “Friends of Angelo” watch this NBC report:

 If you want to understand the history of how the Federal Government “mandated” the creation of the “toxic mortgage products” discussed in Mazilo’s emails read these articles:

1) From The Boston Globe: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/09/28/franks_fingerprints_are_all_over_the_financial_fiasco/

2). Article by John Lott, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland. http://johnrlott.tripod.com/op-eds/FoxNewsMortgagesReg091808.html

Countrywide Bank CEO Mazilo Charged With Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Thursday it has filed civil-fraud charges against former Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo in what would be the highest-profile government legal action against a chief executive that has arisen so far from the financial crisis.

Mozilo was charged with “deliberately misleading investors about the significant credit risks being taken in efforts to build and maintain the company’s market share,” as well as with insider trading, according to the SEC.

Former Chief Operating Officer and President David Sambol and former Chief Financial Officer Eric Sieracki were also named by the SEC, which alleges that they “misled the market by falsely assuring investors that Countrywide was primarily a prime-quality mortgage lender that had avoided the excesses of its competitors.”

The SEC released emails in which Mozilo referred to certain mortgage products as “poison” and “toxic” at the same time Countrywide was making riskier and riskier moves with its lending operations.

“Countrywide portrayed itself as underwriting mainly prime-quality mortgages, using high underwriting standards. But concealed from shareholders was the true Countrywide, an increasingly reckless lender assuming greater and greater risk,” said SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami.

The SEC particularly criticized Countrywide’s use of so-called pay-option mortgages, which let borrowers pick their monthly payments levels even if those payments don’t cover the interest charges.

Also, Mozilo was widely criticized for selling some Countrywide stock for $140 million in profits by exercising 5.1 million options and selling the underlying shares — in 2006 and 2007, just as the mortgage market topped out — under a so-called executive sales plan, which was legal under federal securities rules.

Mozilo had modified the executive sales plan in late 2006 to accelerate his stock sales. Critics say he sped up them up because he was aware of problems at Countrywide.

Mozilo’s lawyer, David Siegel, said in a statement Thursday evening that “Mr. Mozilo acted properly and lawfully at all times as the CEO of Countrywide,” asserting that the stock “sales were entirely lawful, complied with applicable laws and regulations, and were made under the terms of a series of written sales plans which were reviewed and approved by responsible professionals.”

Siegel said the allegations that Mozilo knew about problems at Countrywide and didn’t disclose them was “demonstrably false.”

He reportedly added: “The lawsuit filed today by the S.E.C. does not reflect a balanced or fair consideration of the facts or the law.”

Walter Brown, an attorney for David Sambol, said the SEC “has no case” against his client. “This baseless complaint against Dave Sambol is the result of the tremendous political pressure the SEC is facing given its well-publicized enforcement failures,” Brown said. Brown is a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP.

Nicolas Morgan, an attorney for Eric Sieracki, said “the lawsuit that the SEC filed today against Mr. Sieracki is completely without merit.  Mr. Sieracki did not violate any securities laws and committed no fraud on anyone.”

Morgan continued, “Mr. Sieracki lost money just like all other investors in Countrywide stock when the credit markets seized up and real estate values declined.  He did not sell his Countrywide stock, rather he purchased  Countrywide stock during the time when the SEC wrongly alleges  Mr. Sieracki believed that Countrywide was withholding information from the market… We reject the allegations of the Complaint against Mr. Sieracki and we will defend the case vigorously.”

The SEC reportedly sent Mozilo a so-called Wells notice — a precursor to a civil lawsuit in an SEC investigation — several weeks ago. The Wells notice outlines to an individual or company what charges might be filed and gives a target a chance to respond. It must be approved by SEC commissioners.

Mozilo has been in some ways a poster child of the housing boom and bust. He kept a high profile as Countrywide turned into the nation’s top mortgage lender at the height of the housing boom in the middle part of the decade. He was often in the media, and was known for his deep tan and snazzy wardrobe.

But then, he became a lightning rod for criticism when the housing bubble burst, not only for the company’s loose underwriting rules but because of his high pay levels.

Bank of America (BAC: 13.2299, 0.3489, 2.71%) purchased Countrywide for $2.5 billion, a transaction which closed in July 2008. Not long after the transaction closed, BofA agreed to a settlement of nearly $9 billion with state attorneys general regarding Countrywide’s lending practices.

Mozilo reportedly stood to gain between $80 million and $115 million in severance on the sale, according to various analyses. In January of 2008, however, Mozilo had said he would give up $37.5 million of that severance amount.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/countrywide-ceo-mozilo-charged-fraud/

Is the “false recovery” faltering? “Rally’s fate hinges on Fed, home sales”, Yet, “unlikely that housing wealth will drive consumer spending in the next decade – Reuters/University of Michigan Survey

Rally’s fate hinges on Fed, home sales

By Caroline Valetkevitch Caroline Valetkevitch Fri Jun 19, 8:31 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Without further signs of life in the lackluster economy or hints from the Federal Reserve the outlook is improving, stocks’ three-month rally may run into more obstacles next week.

Investors will assess data on new and existing home sales that could point to whether the battered housing sector has bottomed. They will also keep an eye out for profit forecasts or warnings as the second quarter draws to a close.

“The kamikazes who ran the market up three months ago have now paused … I’m in a situation where I say, ‘prove it to me.’ I want to see a trend where it really is a little bit better,” said Cummins Catherwood, managing director at Boenning and Scattergood in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

All three major U.S. stock indexes ended the week lower, with weaker-than-expected regional manufacturing data on Monday giving the week a negative tone from the start. The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) fell 3 percent, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 (.SPX) index lost 2.7 percent and the Nasdaq (.IXIC) dropped 1.7 percent.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090620/bs_nm/us_column_stocks_outlook_1 

Housing Recovery Moving ‘Distressingly Slow’    By: Reuters | 19 Jun 2009 | 11:07 AM ET

A “distressingly slow” U.S. housing recovery, with inflation-adjusted home values expected to decline over the next five years, makes it unlikely that housing wealth will drive consumer spending in the next decade, a Reuters/University of Michigan survey found.

(The smart investment is in “Inflation Protected Securities” or “IPS”  not realestate.  The next wave of foreclosures will invlove a group of individuals who have “played by the rules” and have now been impacted by the growing depression and have lost their jobs or face reduced income for the 1st time in their lifes. The wave of foreclosures after this group will involve individuals currently being given “no down payment” mortgages (or mortgages involing up to a $15,000 Taxpayer paid, Government “gifted” downpayment) with Governmentally surpressed adjustbale rates. Within 24 months, as the rates reset, the majority of these loans will default, creating an additional wave of foreclosures).

Consumers are apt to maintain their renewed emphasis on savings and paring debt, Richard Curtin, director of the survey, said in a June home price update Friday.

Housing wealth changes have a lagged impact on spending, and the influence of declines seen in 2008 will depress growth in consumer spending in 2009 and 2010, the survey said.

“To be sure, refinancing has reduced the burden of mortgage payments, giving consumers more discretionary income, but the refinancing impact on spending will fade as mortgage rates increase,” Curtin said. “Moreover, conventional refinancing is largely limited to consumers whose home is worth about 20 percent more than their current outstanding mortgage.”

The pool of those homeowners is fast shrinking with each month that home prices sink. On average, home prices nationally have slumped by more than 32 percent from mid-2006 highs, based on Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller indexes.

Sixty percent of homeowners reported home price declines in the second quarter Reuters/University of Michigan surveys. The share of those reporting losses was greatest in the West, at 77 percent, and least in the South, at 51 percent.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/31444403

Allan Stanford, Biden Family Business Associate, Arrested In $8 Billion Dollar Ponzi Scheme

Billionaire Stanford to Appear in Federal Court

Texas billionaire R. Allen Stanford, chairman of the troubled Stanford Financial Group, is set to appear in federal court Friday on fraud charges after surrendering to FBI agents in Virginia the day before, officials said.

At least five individuals, including Stanford, have been arrested following a sweeping federal indictment over an alleged $8 billion Ponzi scheme, CNBC had learned. Stanford and the others are expected to appear before federal magistrates in three states Friday.

The Justice Department has scheduled a news conference at noon ET in Washington, and the Director of Enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission, Robert Khuzami, is also expected to attend. Sources tell CNBC that in addition to the new criminal charges, the SEC is to lodge new civil charges.

Late word has the SEC alleging that the CEO of Antigua’s financial regulatory body, LeRoy King, facilitated Stanford in the ponzi scheme.

Stanford, who built a small real estate business into a global banking empire and became one of America’s richest men, is in federal custody in Virginia. He was arrested within hours of his indictment Thursday in what authorities have called a “massive” $8 billion Ponzi scheme.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/31433679

But did you know that Stanford was a business associate of Vice President Biden’s Family?

Stanford had links to fund run by Bidens: report

(Reuters) – A fund of hedge funds run by two members of Vice President Joe Biden’s family was marketed exclusively by firms controlled by Texas financier Allen Stanford, charged by regulators with an $8 billion fraud, the Wall Street Journal said.

The $50 million fund was jointly branded between the Bidens’ Paradigm Global Advisors LLC and a Stanford Financial Group entity, and was known as the Paradigm Stanford Capital Management Core Alternative Fund, the paper said.

Stanford-related companies marketed the fund to investors and also invested about $2.7 million of their own money in the fund, the paper said, citing a lawyer for Paradigm.

Paradigm Global Advisors is owned through a holding company by the vice president’s son, Hunter, and Joe Biden’s brother, James, according to the paper. http://www.reuters.com/article/joeBiden/idUSBNG36866620090224

DO YOU THNK THE PROBLEM IS THE SEC DIDN’T HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO PREVENT THIS CRIMINAL CONDUCT OR DO YOU BELIEVE THE SEC GAVE STANFORD A PASS BECAUSE OF HIS CONNECTION TO NOW VICE PRESIDENT AND THEN SENATOR BIDEN’S FAMILY?

Obama puts critics of financial overhaul on notice! Just more of the same old ****. Video of “Regulators reporting to Congress”

Have you read this …….

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama said Saturday that current financial rules exploit consumers and he put critics of his proposed overhaul on notice: “While I’m not spoiling for a fight, I’m ready for one.”

Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address to defend his recent proposal, which is intended to prevent a repeat of the breakdown that has sent the U.S. economy reeling. But such major changes face a fight in Congress and opposition from some leaders in the banking and insurance industries.

In the address, Obama focused on a consumer watchdog office that he wants to set up.

“This is essential,” Obama said. “For this crisis may have started on Wall Street. But its impacts have been felt by ordinary Americans who rely on credit cards, home loans and other financial instruments. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090620/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_obama_consumers

It is generally agreed that the current financial crisis started in the mortgage industry and the primary entities responsible for the collapse were Fannie Mae and the Federal Reserve. Yes, the same Federal Reserve Obama wants to give more power too.

Do you know how many “Federal Regualtors” were employed to “over see” Fannie Mae in the last deacade?  Two hundred, full time regulators. Were they asleep at the wheel?  Heck No! They did their jobs and then were ignored by Congress when they reported the misdeeds they uncovered.

The video below is a sample of one group of regulators reporting to Congress on this very issue ……

Franklyn Raines – CEO of Fannie Mae, later entered into a plea deal on charges of cooking the book …..

Note that a question was asked in the video, “why should Congress trust OFEO?” (the Regulatory Agency) who both discovered and alerted Congress to the misdeeds  – The real question is can the people trust “politically motivated” Polticians who ignore the Regualtors who are already in place.  

What did the Congress suggest – changes in Fannie Mae?  Heck No. Listen to Congresswoman Maxine Waters – the Regulators were “to blame” for trying to stop Fannie Mae – yep tose are Rep. Waters word the Regulators were to balme for trying to Fannie from starting this crisis. Presented with evidence of the problem Barney Frank denies a problem existed – listen to his words above and listen to him later try to deny these very same words below …

Take this article, from the Boston Globe, as a uniquely honest example of reporting on the topic ….

 The Boston Globe

Frank’s fingerprints are all over the financial fiasco

 

‘THE PRIVATE SECTOR got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it.”

That’s Barney Frank’s story, and he’s sticking to it. As the Massachusetts Democrat has explained it in recent days, the current financial crisis is the spawn of the free market run amok, with the political class guilty only of failing to rein the capitalists in. The Wall Street meltdown was caused by “bad decisions that were made by people in the private sector,” Frank said; the country is in dire straits today “thanks to a conservative philosophy that says the market knows best.” And that philosophy goes “back to Ronald Reagan, when at his inauguration he said, ‘Government is not the answer to our problems; government is the problem.’ “

In fact, that isn’t what Reagan said. His actual words were: “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Were he president today, he would be saying much the same thing.

Because while the mortgage crisis convulsing Wall Street has its share of private-sector culprits — many of whom have been learning lately just how pitiless the private sector’s discipline can be — they weren’t the ones who “got us into this mess.” Barney Frank’s talking points notwithstanding, mortgage lenders didn’t wake up one fine day deciding to junk long-held standards of creditworthiness in order to make ill-advised loans to unqualified borrowers. It would be closer to the truth to say they woke up to find the government twisting their arms and demanding that they do so – or else.

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/09/28/franks_fingerprints_are_all_over_the_financial_fiasco/

For a history of the Federal Reserves’ active participation and the Feds “active regulatory activity” that started this mess see this article: http://johnrlott.tripod.com/op-eds/FoxNewsMortgagesReg091808.html

The last thing America needs is more regulation from the same people who “regulated” the colapse into being in the first place. Amercia needs to get the Politican out of our wallets and 401ks and let America get back to work. Higher taxes and additional, corrupt regulation, won’t create more jobs. It will mean a weaker economy.

Additional Regulation won’t work if Congress can ignore the Regulators who are already in place …… while they take cash from the regulated ……..

and using their offices to work sweetheart deals (Senator Chris Dodd and Countrywide Bank) with those being regulated ….

Before you respond that Fox News is biased – check out this report from NBC …

Angello Mazillo, CEO of Countrywide has been charged with fraud and insider trading …..

http://money.aol.com/article/sec-charging-ex-countrywide-ceo-mozilo/481893?bId=MoneyBoard&tId=mfida481893&bpId=%2F&sort=3&pg=4

We don’t need more regulations that the crooked Politicians refuse to enforce …. We need fewer crooked Politicians.

%d bloggers like this: