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Independent Review Finds Accusations Against Ocwen ‘Baseless’

Writing on Paper BHA year-long analysis of Ocwen Financial Corp.’s operations conducted by independent third-party global financial advisory firm Duff Phelps concluded that accusations from investors that Ocwen (as Master Servicer) failed to collect on $82 billion worth of RMBS Trusts were “baseless,” according to an announcement from Ocwen on Wednesday.

Duff Phelps conducted a review of two items: Gibbs Bruns’ Notice of Nonperformance filed on January 23, 2015, on behalf of institutional investors, and Ocwen’s consent orders with both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the New York Department of Financial Services.

The year-long analysis of Ocwen’s servicing operations, accounting, loan modifications, borrower compliance, and operations and governing practices involved examining thousands of servicing files, data points, and invoices, and a comprehensive review of Ocwen’s systems and records, according to Ocwen.

“We are pleased with the results of Duff Phelps’ year-long independent review. We continue to focus on servicing loans in the best interest of loan investors and on being a leader in helping homeowners,” said Ron Faris, President and CEO of Ocwen.

According to Ocwen, the Dunn Phelps investigation:

  • Did not find any evidence that Ocwen failed to account for PI payments to the Master Serviced trusts.
  • Did not find any evidence that Ocwen charged the Master Serviced Trusts for any undisclosed or ‘mysterious’ expenses.
  • Did not find evidence that Ocwen made negative NPV modifications in order to maximize servicing fees and prematurely recoup advances.
  • Did not find evidence that Ocwen engaged in modifications in order to prematurely recover advances at the time of modification.
  • Did not find evidence to conclude generally that Ocwen made extreme and imprudent modifications.
  • Found that Ocwen applied the Stop Advance Tag on loans consistently with Ocwen’s Stop Advance model and not with regard to whether or not the loan had been modified or whether the borrower defaulted immediately after modification.
  • Did not find evidence that Ocwen failed to comply with the SCRA requirements for borrowers on active military duty.
  • Did not find evidence sufficient to conclude generally that Ocwen engaged in deceptive, misleading, or inadequate practices with regard to newly boarded loans.
  • Did not find evidence sufficient to conclude generally that Ocwen improperly imposed lender-placed insurance.
  • Did not find evidence to conclude generally that the Master Serviced Trusts were charged higher fees in connection with sales of REO properties involving Hubzu auctions or REALHome brokers as opposed to traditional sales and/or unrelated brokers.

On January 23, 2015, shareholders with 25 percent of the voting rights in 119 residential mortgage-backed securities trusts with an original balance of $82 billion filed a formal Notice of Nonperformance against BNY Mellon, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, US Bank, and Wells Fargo, as Trustees, accusing Ocwen of failing to properly collect payments on the trusts. The investors claimed losses of more than $1 billion as a result.

In a public release, law firm Gibbs Bruns LLP said a “lengthy investigation and analysis by independent, highly qualified experts” turned up multiple instances of Ocwen’s failure to perform, including use of trust funds to pay borrower relief obligations through modifications on trust-owned mortgages; conflicts of interest with affiliate companies; failure to maintain adequate records and communications with borrowers; and “[e]ngaging in imprudent and wholly improper loan modification, advancing, and advance recovery practices;” among others.

Ocwen fired back a few days later, accusing the investors of pushing borrowers into foreclosure; Ocwen attorney Richard A. Jacobsen said that the Gibbs Bruns letter was “drafted in an inflammatory tone, with misleading content, and coordinated with media release so as to create wildy false impressions.”

In December 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered Ocwen to pay $2 billion for alleged servicing violations. Then in December 2014, Ocwen settled with the New York Department of Financial Services for $150 million after a two-plus year investigation by the New York DFS which found that Ocwen had sent backdated foreclosure notices to hundreds of borrowers. Ocwen blamed the erroneously dated material on computer errors.

Article source: http://www.dsnews.com/news/05-25-2016/143711

Why Dori supports Portland’s homeless bus ticket program

The City of Portland has started a pilot program that sends homeless individuals to other cities with one-way bus tickets. (Frank Deanardo, Flickr)

Portland has drawn quite a bit of attention with a new program that gives homeless people a one-way bus ticket off the streets and out of town. KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson loves the idea.

Related: Portland begins sending homeless people to other cities, including Seattle

“Maybe it’s time for us to start exporting some of our homeless,” Dori said. “That’s why I like this program. It’s not cruel if there’s somebody in another city who would take them in.”

“It may be time to consider how — instead of making this the magnet region in the country for homelessness — to export some of our homeless,” he said. “Especially if we can make a positive impact in their lives.”

Susan Salisbury works with the Oregon’s 211 program — in reference to the 211 number that residents can call to be connected to basic needs and services, including a bus ticket to another city.

“We get a lot of calls from homeless folks,” Salisbury said. “And we get a lot of calls from people who have either come here to look for a job or what they thought was a stable housing situation — the job didn’t pan out, the housing situation fell through.”

If a person has friends or family in another town who can take them in and provide them support, the program will provide them a bus ticket. Officials verify that people have support at the other end of the line before sending them along. The program follows up for up to three months after they send people away. And it’s not just for individuals. Salisbury said that the city often provides tickets for couples and family units.

“What we don’t want to see happen is people going here and back,” Salisbury said. “And we don’t want to be sending people into a situation that is no better than what they have now.”

While he sees how the structured plan can help people without a home, Dori still questions how effective it will be in the end.

“Are there enough family members and friends willing to take people in who have burned a lot of bridges?” he asked. “And will it be successful? Will they come up here and just be on the streets of Seattle when they used to be on the streets of Portland?”

Salisbury notes that Portland isn’t the first city to try such a program. Oregon 211 studies other cities doing the same thing, such as New York which has run its own bus ticket program since the early 1990s.

Article source: http://mynorthwest.com/299132/why-dori-supports-portlands-homeless-bus-ticket-program/

Homeowner Evicted for Not Paying HOA Dues: Can This Happen to You?

overdue HOA fee

Pictac/iStock.com

Who knew? Even if you pay your mortgage on time every month, your home can still be foreclosed on and sold from under your feet. That, at least, is what Triss McQuiston from Tomball, TX, learned recently when she was notified that she’d have to vacate her place. Why? It turns out she was evicted for not paying her HOA dues.

According to ABC13, McQuiston admits that she was guilty of procrastinating on paying her HOA fees to the Canyon Gate at Northpointe Owners Association in 2014 and 2015. Because she was opening a new business, her HOA bills slipped through the cracks, for a grand total of $1,800 in unpaid dues.

An attorney for the HOA claims that since March 2014, they’d sent McQuiston 12 notices by first-class certified mail to collect these assessments, warning her what would happen if she didn’t. When they received no response, they proceeded with the foreclosure, and sold the home at auction back in September.

Yet McQuiston argues that she’d received no warnings, and was made aware of her dire straits only when she received an eviction notice on her doorstep on May 20. She has since hired an attorney to help fight the case and remain in her home.

Please, Mr. Postman

Send me news, tips, and promos from realtor.com® and Move.

“I would never have thought in my wildest dreams that an HOA … would go to these lengths and they’d have this much power,” McQuiston told ABC13.

If this story has you viewing HOAs in a harsh (and terrifying) new light, we don’t blame you. And while the laws vary by state, it turns out that in most cases, HOAs really do have the power to foreclose on your home for unpaid dues, as do condo owners associations.

“Contrary to common perceptions, even if a person is current on a mortgage, the HOA or COA may foreclose,” says Bob Tankel, a Florida attorney specializing in HOA law. “What’s the moral of the story? Pay your assessments. These are not huge amounts. People apparently think that just because assessments are small there’s nothing bad that can happen. But that’s not true.”

To know specifically how your HOA or COA handles late payments, homeowners should “check the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions Restrictions (CCRs),” says David Reiss, research director at the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship at Brooklyn Law School. You should check not only what constitutes a late payment, but also how you’ll be penalized; additional fees could include late charges, fines, interest, as well as attorneys’ fees.

It’s also smart to check what rights and recourse you have in your state if you end up unable to pay these assessments. “Some states have enacted some procedural protections for homeowners,” says Reiss. “It’s worth figuring those out if you are not able to pay off your HOA right away.”

The bright side? Given HOA fees are fairly small compared with a mortgage, they should be fairly easy to manage with some belt-tightening. In fact, Tankel suggests, “Move payment of assessments to the top of the list of things to pay. If you can’t, you can cancel your high-speed internet or cable TV or stop eating out. None of those services are worth keeping if you can’t pay assessments.”

Take it from McQuiston, who could still stand to lose her home for a mere $1,800. She admits, “I had the money the whole time. That’s the sad part about it. I would have gladly taken care of it.”

Article source: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/evicted-for-not-paying-hoa-dues/

Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece

shutterstock_293602463

The economy, the people, the heart and soul of Greece have been demolished by a lower order of bureaucratic seizure that plagues the world. It is scorched-earth economic warfare, ordinarily referred to as neoliberalism.

The newest twist/manipulation in negotiations with Troika for Greece survival (demise) in order to provide the country with €86 billion of which 90% pays off debt, 10% to the state, demands Greece cut pensions (again), raise taxes (again), privatize state assets (for a song), and deregulate (squelch) labor. Inspirational?

The country has already unloaded state assets like ports and airports at bottom-feeder prices. Gee whiz, after essentially giving away prized state assets, which “define the Greek economy and define the people,” GDP is expected to grow. How?

For example, the sale of Port of Piraeus, one of the largest seaports in Europe and the world, has served as the port of Athens since ancient times. The sale, effective April 2016 to COSCO (Chinese company), is part of creditor demands to secure a third €86 billion bailout package. The sale goes against PM Tsipras’ pre-election promise not to privatize the country’s infrastructure. But, in milquetoast fashion, he knuckled under.

Athens also sold 14 regional airports to Fraport AG on a 40-year contract worth €1.23 billion. Monopolistic assets like ports and airports are sure-fire moneymakers… now to foreign interests.

Already, because of stringent austerity measures, Greece is hamstrung and thus because of a resultant shrinking budget, the country cannot alleviate pain in the streets, i.e., help its people. King Louis XVI of France (beheaded in 1793) had a similar problem 223 years ago. At the time, Parisians were starving in the streets, scrunched under the wheels of golden carriages.

John Kenneth Galbraith, one of America’s foremost economists, famously said, “All successful revolutions are the kicking in of a rotten door.” Today, his son carries his torch.

James Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen Jr. Chair in Government/Business Relations and Professor of Government, University of Texas speaking at the USC Global Leadership Summit April 30, 2016 addressed the Greece issue.

The final minutes of his speech succinctly sums up the fate of Greece at the hands of Troika, consisting of the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which launched a powerful supersonic heat-seeking missile, affectionately nicknamed “Troika Boy” boldly emblazoned in cursive on its warhead, successfully hitting its target dead-on, total destruction!

According to Professor Galbraith, “The decision taken at the European level was to attempt to destabilize and to defeat the government [Greece]. In the end, the government, in effect, defeated itself. It made a decision that it did not have the capacity to push a confrontation past a certain point. The Greek people took a different view. They were braver than their government. And, so came… the capitulation… to terms that were effectively dictated entirely outside of Greece.”

Paraphrasing Mr. Galbraith, the process is essentially (1) a debt collection, (2) a land grab, (3) foreclosure policy, and (4) a backbreaking “policy of taking as much as possible of the state’s assets.” As a consequence, the dictates of Troika rapidly bring on bankruptcy of businesses as well as many households into default followed by foreclosures. A Greek bailout?

In a nutshell, Troika’s missile launch brings “the dispossession of a European population from the ownership of capital assets,” or looked at another way, as between nation/states, an act of war.

Bottom line, the people are stripped of assets in lieu of paying debts from which they benefitted very little. The upshot, according to Mr. Galbraith, a spirit of rebellion is growing and spreading, likely beyond Greece to Portugal, Spain, and Italy.

“Since in Greece there is no longer a political outlet, it will become more unpleasant as the fires burn. That’s the price ultimately that both Greeks and Europeans will bear from accepting a set of policy recommendations dictated by economists, driven by ideology, utterly disconnected from the reality of what it takes to restore a viable economic and social entity” (Galbraith).

By all appearances, the Troika group is not clever enough to help Greece by any means other than slashing and burning and stomping on its lifeblood. Which brings to mind Chile in the 1970s under General Augusto Pinochet, dictator 1973-1990, a student of Milton Friedman and Henry Kissinger and of how neoliberal tendencies have been superlatively perfected over the ensuing decades. Troika’s 100-proof.

“There will be more resistance,” Galbraith warns. “It’s the only sensible thing. The Greek people are being maneuvered into a position where they cannot pay their mortgages, and they are being dispossessed from their homes. For what? For debts that were incurred under previous governments for completely useless things where the benefits went to German construction companies and French arms firms. The notion that this debt should be paid is absurd,” James K. Galbraith on Greece: Austerity Without Debt Relief, Defend Democracy Press, May 20, 2016

Galbraith believes a Greek default may still be likely, which will bring a stop to unsustainable austerity. Come to think about it, why not?

Article source: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/24/troika-heat-seeking-missile-destroys-greece/

Stop Foreclosure Option – Review All Possible Options First

Owning a home happens to be considered part of the American dream. However because of bad judgment, economic depressions or other unforeseen circumstances one may neglect to meet up with a number of scheduled month mortgage payments. When this happens too often the lending company will initiate foreclosure proceeding which might result in you losing the house.

At this time it is very important that you act promptly to save your house. However don’t result in the mistake of rushing to take the first option you think about. There are a variety of options available that will help you stop foreclosure. It is important that you simply consider first all possible options to discover the one good for you. What worked for a friend or colleague might not necessarily be the best for you.

For this reason it is usually advised to first speak with your lender and see which options they are prepared to provide you with. Is your lender willing and capable of giving you a low interest loan to pay for the missed payments? Will they agree to a modification from the mortgage loan terms to better fit your new circumstances? You will want to see an approved HUD counselor to see you on other options outside those presented because of your lender. The counselor can also help you analyze these options within the light of your own circumstances.

The ultimate decision on which option to take whether a home loan refinance, filling for bankruptcy, taking another loan, selling the property or other option lies with you. Nevertheless , you will be better able to decide only after first reviewing all the available alternatives. The goal is to save your home and make the least damage to your credit report without putting unrealistic financial strain on yourself.

Article source: https://www.thesequitur.com/stop-foreclosure-option-review-all-possible-options-first-2922249/

Why LV’s biggest industrial real estate developer is feeling confident

Oregon real estate magnate Jordan Schnitzer is one of the biggest landlords in Las Vegas, with millions of square feet of warehouses under his control.

He hasn’t built a local industrial project since the recession. But now, with the market heating up, Schnitzer is breaking ground again.

Schnitzer, owner of Portland-based Harsch Investment Properties, is expanding Henderson Commerce Center, an industrial park at Warms Springs and Eastgate roads, with a 240,000-square-foot building. No tenants are lined up yet.

Harsch Investment Properties Groundbreaking

Launch slideshow »

Harsch officials and others gathered at the expansion site Monday for a groundbreaking ceremony. As planned, the building would have 12 units, most of which would be around 20,000 square feet each.

The project is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Southern Nevada’s industrial market has gained speed the past few years with rising rents, shrinking vacancies and increased development. Many investors are starting construction — or at least planning to — without tenants in place first, figuring demand for space is strong enough that their buildings won’t sit empty for long, or at all.

Two years ago, the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, a business booster, released a report saying dozens of companies that considered moving to the valley picked other cities largely because of a dearth of big, available industrial properties. Today, however, more than a few real estate pros question whether developers are building too many such projects.

Schnitzer’s company owns and operates 23 million square feet of real estate in six Western states. According to VEGAS INC research, Harsch was the largest commercial-property landlord in the valley as of mid-2015 with more than 8 million square feet under ownership, mostly comprising industrial space. (The list did not include casino operators.)

Schnitzer and John Ramous, senior vice president and Las Vegas regional manager at Harsch, spoke about the market with VEGAS INC after the groundbreaking. Edited excerpts:

How long have you been planning this expansion?

Schnitzer: We’ve been planning this for 15 years. It was originally planned to be a couple of buildings, and when the recession hit, it was just put on hold.

Landlords around the valley lost tenants during the recession. At its best, what was your local portfolio’s vacancy rate, and what was it at the worst?

Schnitzer: We were about 94 percent occupied, and it dropped to 78 percent. This recession, not only did it increase the vacancy, the rents went down dramatically, too.

Did you lose any properties to foreclosure or through bankruptcy?

Schnitzer: No. In our 65 years, we’ve never had a default, never missed a dime to anybody.

What did you do to fill the empty space once the recession hit?

Ramous: One of the things that got us through it was looking for large tenants for short-term leases. In Henderson, we had a telecommunications company that took, at the peak, about 250,000 to 300,000 square feet on a month-to-month basis. That certainly helped us. It was a lower rent, month-to-month, so it served them very well, too.

Schnitzer: When the times get tough, you do whatever it takes to keep your existing tenants and try to attract new tenants. Remember, everybody else had vacancies, so there was huge competition. Businesses weren’t growing; they were shutting their doors and collapsing. You fight hard to survive.

How did Las Vegas compare to the other markets where you own properties?

Schnitzer: Vegas was hit worse. You had about 120,000 workers in the construction business, and that dropped to about 36,000 during the recession. Most other markets that we were in are much older areas — San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, San Diego. They all got hit really hard too, but Las Vegas just had significant weakness with its dependency on the construction industry.

Right now, there’s a lot of warehouse construction in the valley and even more being planned. Do you think there is too much development, and do you think there are too many speculative projects?

Ramous: A lot of the projects right now are big-box, so they’re not divisible even close to a project like this. They’re not going to divide it down to less than 100,000 square feet. But the cost of construction is extremely high for building this type of property and smaller — to build the walls and office spaces and the amenities Jordan puts in.

Schnitzer: When you’re building a big warehouse, you’re building four walls with a lot of air in between. Do I think the market’s going to get overbuilt with big-box? Yes. This is a business where you go through a recession, demand starts rising, a few gutsy people start building some properties, whether it’s apartments, retail, office, industrial, and other people say, ‘We should do it too,’ and it all goes right up the curve to get ready for another recession.

Is it easier or tougher to fill a building that’s divided into 10,000- or 20,000-square-foot spaces or an open, 150,000-square-foot building?

Schnitzer: It all depends upon the market. If the market’s strong, you’ll fill both; if the market’s not strong, then you struggle to fill either.

Ramous: Right now, there’s a lack of what we’re building. Maybe that will push rates a bit higher, but it’s limited.

How does Las Vegas compare to your other markets, in terms of the construction pipeline, rents, vacancies?

Schnitzer: It depends what kind of property type you’re talking about, but generally, all of the markets are extremely strong. Unemployment has gone down everywhere. There’s been a huge improvement.

Does it worry you that Las Vegas, even though its unemployment rate has come down a lot, still has one of the highest jobless rates of any large metro area in the country? Does that give you any cause for concern?

Schnitzer: Everything gives me cause for concern. When you stop being concerned, you get cocky and you get in trouble. I’ve been a strong believer in Las Vegas since the ‘90s, and I’m just as confident about its future growth now as I was then. At the same time, you learn from these recessions. This is a business where people expand like crazy, get in trouble, use third-party money, give a project back to the bank, and then they try to do it all over again. That’s not our strategy.

Article source: http://vegasinc.com/business/real-estate/2016/may/24/qa-why-las-vegas-biggest-industrial-real-estate-de/

Donald Trump in 2006: ‘I Sort of Hope’ the Housing Market Crashes

At least once a week for the past 11 months, Donald Trump has offered the public a new, lurid reason why he should never be president. The litany has become (perilously) familiar: He stigmatizes vulnerable minorities, advocates for war crimes, demeans the disabled, displays contempt for women as often as he blinks, encourages political violence, brags about the size of his penis on national television, contemplates nuking Europe, etc., etc.

But all of the rhetorical sewage that’s forever spewing from Trump’s gaffe hole has obscured a more mundane — but no less important — disqualification for the Oval Office: Trump has no intention of divesting himself from his corporate empire upon inauguration, despite the myriad conflicts of interest his businesses will inevitably produce.

On Thursday night, CNN unearthed a ten-year-old Trump quote that highlights the danger of electing a real-estate-mogul-in-chief:

Two years before the housing market collapsed in 2008 and millions of Americans lost their homes, Donald Trump said he was hoping for a crash.

“I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy,” Trump said in a 2006 audiobook from Trump University, answering a question about “gloomy predictions that the real estate market is heading for a spectacular crash.”

“If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know you can make a lot of money,” Trump went on to explain in an audio textbook from his con of a business school. “If you’re in a good cash position — which I’m in a good cash position today — then people like me would go in and buy like crazy.”

In 2o12, Mitt Romney placed his complex private-equity investments into a blind trust, to assure the public that their president would not be influenced by private financial incentives. Trump, by contrast, plans to cede control of his diverse holdings to his immediate family members, and the Donald has never been one to delegate — this is a billionaire who does his own publicity.

If President Trump decides he can’t trust the kids to watch the shop, there’s little anyone could do to stop him from effectively running his company and country at the same time. American law bars regular Executive-branch employees from participating “personally and substantially” in any government matter that could affect their own financial interests. But, incredibly, the president is exempted from that rule. According to CNBC, Trump would be within his legal rights to remain his company’s chief executive, even while serving as America’s commander-in-chief. At that point, the only thing that could restrain Trump from putting his financial interests ahead of the public good would be his own sense of shame.

In 2006, the Donald “sort of” hoped for a housing-market crash. What will President Trump sort of hope for in 2017?

Article source: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/05/trump-in-06-i-hope-the-housing-market-crashes.html

“It is happening again”: David Dayen on the epidemic of mortgage fraud and the rigged economy that sets it in motion

Earlier this week the New York Times featured a depressing story about homeless people living in the foreclosed and abandoned houses that still dot the landscape in Nevada, reminding everyone of that awful time just a few years ago when families all over the country lost their homes in what has become euphemistically known as “the housing crisis.” It was actually much more specific than that, it was an epidemic of criminal mortgage fraud and it devastated millions of people, many of whom have still not recovered.

My Salon colleague (and one-time blogging cohort) David Dayen has written a wonderful new book called “Chain of Title” about some amazing Americans down in Florida who were caught in the maw of this epic criminal conspiracy and bravely took on the system when no one else would do it. Faced with a morass of impenetrable documents and intractable officials they took matters into their own hands and uncovered the crime of the new century by becoming internet muckrakers, using crowd-sourcing and social media. And in the process of following their fascinating story, we learn the full scope of this massive crime which goes all the way from the Florida suburbs to the boardrooms of Wall Street.

I had a chance to ask Dayen some questions about the book this week.

Can you explain in plain English how the foreclosure fraud industry worked?

I’ve described the book as picking up where The Big Short left off. From that, we know that investment banks sucked up millions of mortgages from fly-by-night companies like Countrywide and Ameriquest, put them into trusts, and packaged them into bonds for sale to investors all over the world. Well, when they did that, they simply neglected to follow the steps that would legally transfer ownership between the originators, the investment banks, and the trustees. When the bubble collapsed and homeowners began to default, the trustees needed evidence that they actually owned these loans in order to foreclose. Just like if you wanted to sue someone for stealing your car, you would have to come up with some proof that you actually owned that car. And because the mortgage trustees didn’t have that evidence, they just decided to fake it.

They hired third-party companies (or sometimes mortgage servicing companies and “foreclosure mill” law firms did this in-house) to fabricate the necessary documents after the fact. Because they needed these documents by the millions, they prized speed over accuracy. So they would have multiple people sign the same person’s name to double the output, or sign on behalf of companies that were out of business, or backdate the documents, or whatever. They would forget to change the effective date (so the mortgage was transferred on the date 9/9/9999) or who received the transfer (lots of mortgages were transferred to “BOGUS ASSIGNEE,” a placeholder name one of these third-party document fabricators used). One company had a price menu: they would mock up whatever document you needed, including re-creating the entire mortgage file, for a nominal fee. So whatever the lawyers needed to get the foreclosure done, they would fabricate.

You covered the foreclosure crisis on a daily basis as it was unfolding. Did you have any idea of the scope of the problem in the beginning? Did anyone? 

I actually feel like I got to things a little late, once it was in full swing. The first wave of defaults began in 2006-2007. I didn’t really pay attention until late in 2008, when these “Bushvilles” started popping up across the country, these large homeless encampments made up of foreclosed homeowners. It was clear by that point that this was an enormous crisis, parallel to a recession that was likely to create a second wave of defaults for families who were paying their mortgages until someone lost a job.

The problem was that we thought a new administration would get in and recognize how the foreclosure overhang could drag down the economy for years. But they never made the necessary commitment. And when the banks were caught faking documents to force through the foreclosures, they didn’t take advantage of that opportunity either, to create a reasonable solution for everyone involved, which was all the subjects of my book wanted.

It seems there were a multitude of ethical lapses and laws broken. What, in your mind, was the most important precipitating factor? Or was it really just a perfect storm? A black swan?

What precipitated this was that the mortgage industry thought they could ignore a 300-year old system of property law. They considered it too costly and time-consuming to generate and store (and pay to publicly record) paper assignments for every single transfer. Never mind that it was the law. Never mind that having a well-established property records system, so you can buy and sell property with the confidence that nobody else has a claim on it, is what separates developed and under-developed nations. The industry didn’t want to pay for it, so they didn’t. And they dared everyone – homeowners, politicians, law enforcement – to stop them. And given what transpired, and how little accountability we ended up seeing for this, you have to acknowledge that the industry made the right bet.

And to be clear, ignoring property records law facilitated the securitization frenzy, led to the housing bubble, and drove the collapse. There wouldn’t have been a recession, at least not one that looked like this, if the banks had to follow the property laws.
I think what struck me most about this story was the fact that the foreclosure fraud these ordinary citizens uncovered was so crude and so sloppy. I could only conclude that the people involved knew there was nobody minding the store. That says a lot about Americans’ sense of ethics. How many people working in that industry do you think knew they were committing fraud and just didn’t care? 

At the low levels, what you heard a lot in depositions and interviews is that these people needed a job, they didn’t understand the complexities of foreclosure law at all, they were told that what they were doing was legal, and it was drummed into their heads that their employer could always find someone else if they had a crisis of conscience. What I call in the book the Great Foreclosure Machine survived on this intimidation of their own workers. It was a tough time for the economy and the ordinary $12/hour working stiff didn’t have any bargaining power. So people just went along. That probably says something worse about American workplaces than American ethics!

And needless to say, workers under pressure and threats don’t do the most exquisite job, which just made things worse.

Even at the higher levels, the managers of the document processors were under pressure to supply the false mortgage paper. The law firms were under pressure from their clients to close out the cases. Sure, there were a few assholes in the executive suites, who knew that 95 percent of foreclosure victims never contested their cases, and didn’t think anybody in government would ever challenge them. But we shouldn’t discount how tunnel vision on the part of the cogs of the Great Foreclosure Machine made the ethical quandaries disappear.

The only person convicted of foreclosure fraud was the CEO of DocX, a robo-signing firm. Can you explain how the rest of the mortgage servicers wriggled out of accountability for this? It was standard operating procedure, right?

Not only was she the only person convicted, she was convicted for duping the banks! The indictment said that Lorraine Brown directed the document fabrication “unbeknownst to DocX’s clients.” So she just invented the concept of faking documents! As if there was some expectation on the part of the industry that a third-party document processor could supply them with legitimate paperwork!

After the book was done, Lynn Szymoniak, one of my subjects and the woman whose complaint triggered the investigation that led to Brown’s conviction, got the results of a Freedom of Information Act request about that whole case from the Jacksonville FBI.

I’ve seen the documents, and I’m going to be writing about them. But suffice to say that was a serious investigation with a lot of agents involved, and if it were done properly, it could have gone up the chain to implicate every major bank in America. In fact the FBI was on the way to doing that in a couple respects. And then everything just stopped. Right around the time that the Justice Department got involved.

I also think that the conduct was so systemic, so routinized, that you would have had to prosecute pretty much every high-level figure in the industry. And nobody was willing to even conceive of that possibility.

How did you come upon Lisa Epstein, the oncology nurse who started the ball rolling when she discovered there were anomalies in her foreclosure documents? 

There’s a scene in the book after Lisa and her counterparts exposed foreclosure fraud, where they came to Washington for this meeting with a lot of political folks, journalists, activists, to try to figure out what to do next. I was at that meeting. I met Lisa, Michael, and Lynn there, in fact. And they became great sources of information. I read their websites every day for a few years probably. They just had a better knowledge of what was happening, better contacts on the ground, than anybody else. I couldn’t believe it was only three people, it seemed like you would need a team of assistants to pump out what they did on a daily basis.

What was it like finally meeting her and Michael Redman, the fellow victim she met online and the lawyer Lynn Szymoniak, the other two leading characters in your story? They are such interesting brave citizens. Did you get a sense of what it takes for ordinary people to rise to such an occasion? 

One thing that fascinates me about them is the nature of this obsession. Lisa described this time as like an intense romance. They really sacrificed everything going on in their lives – jobs, marriages, personal comfort – because they could not stop thinking about foreclosures, strategizing, providing support and comfort, and taking on the next challenge. And remember, they had no knowledge of foreclosures or real estate or finance when they started!

I think as bloggers, you and I have a sense of that obsession, of how you can’t let an hour go without another post. But this was much bigger than that, and it just took tremendous courage to go up against the most powerful institutions in America armed only with the truth.

Was the local press in Florida following the story as closely as you were? Was anyone?

Yes, actually. The locals in Florida got this faster than the national papers. Kim Miller at the Palm Beach Post wrote some great stuff using Lisa and Michael’s information. I think she won awards. One of the great unsung heroes was a journalist named Paola Iuspa-Abbott. She worked for the Daily Business Review, this little industry trade publication in Miami. Paola was from Argentina, and she remembered during the military dictatorship in the 1970s how the rule of law broke down, and she saw the Florida courts exhibiting the same tendency. But I couldn’t believe what she would get away with, because the main revenue for the Daily Business Review came from foreclosure law firms publishing notices of default in their classified section. Paola would get incontrovertible evidence and write these stories, and they would publish them. And the whole time, she was working for a paper kept alive by the foreclosure industry!

The story sets forth a real life example of crowd-sourcing, using the internet for local activism. Do you see this as a template for other forms of consumer activism going forward? 

I think it already has been. At the time of the book, 2009-2010, it was pretty new to have this collaborative, networked activism. It was the combination of the old blogosphere where everyone would link to and comment on each other’s stories, amplifying them to the public, and a distributed research project. And offline activism grew out of it. I think that’s the same model that gave us Occupy Wall Street, the low-wage worker Fight for $15, the Bernie Sanders campaign in some respects.

The foreclosure fraud movement was an early adopter that didn’t succeed the way its activists hoped. But I say in the book that movements in America crash onto shore like waves, each one a little bit further than the last. We should recognize what these people did because it informs so much of the movement-based culture happening today.

During the financial crisis the Wall Street story, government bailouts and executive bonuses were sexier stories and got a lot of coverage but this was one that directly affected six million mostly middle class working families and literally wiped out decades of wealth accumulation, particularly of people of color who had just gotten a leg up into the middle class. It’s an extremely compelling illustration, as your book shows, of how the abstraction of systemic corruption is relevant to average Americans. Why are you and a handful of other journalists the only ones who recognized this? 

This was a story that was mostly relegated to the business pages. I was covering it because I was working for a political website and living out in Los Angeles, and I wasn’t walking into Congress or out on the campaign trail every day, and it was how I could add value to my reporting, to sort of “own” a beat. But it took a lot of accumulation of knowledge, which the media didn’t want to invest in. There is one reporter in the story who tells Michael that it was just too complicated to explain to a daily newspaper audience, so she would have to pass on the story.

There are moments when I think that I shouldn’t have been able to write this book in 2016. This should have been common knowledge. Somebody should have gotten to this. And the fact that they didn’t represents a failure of the media to connect with a story so central to the lives of millions of people, one that probably has a better claim to explaining the anger and frustration people feel about a rigged economy than any of the other armchair explanations.

Are we safe from it happening again?

It is happening again. Every day in America people get kicked out of their homes from false documents. The government created a bunch of settlements with the mortgage companies, but central to most people’s conception a settlement is the notion that the settled misconduct stops. It never did. Nobody cleaned up the paper.

It’s going to take an entire cycle of getting mortgages originated in 2004, 2005, 2006 out of circulation to actually end this. After that, we do have new laws on what kind of mortgages get issued, and the private investors are thoroughly uninterested in buying private mortgage securities from banks. So the skepticism of the investors might save us. But those memories don’t always stay so long.

Just for fun, any thoughts on Trump Mortgage? You have to admit his timing was perfect … 2007.

I wrote about Trump Mortgage, actually. So did Lynn Szymoniak. When the first iteration of Trump Mortgage imploded, Trump licensed the name to a company called First Meridian, who originated loans that got sold up the chain to big banks, and then went through this exact same cycle of dodgy origination and securitization and foreclosure fraud. First Meridian got really mad at me for pointing this out. I guess the apples don’t fall far from the tree.

And of course Trump’s finance chair is Steven Mnuchin, one of the worst foreclosure operators of this entire period back when he was CEO of OneWest Bank. Activists sat on his lawn and threatened to move into his house unless he stopped a particularly egregious eviction. Mnuchin called in twenty police officers and a helicopter. So you know, Trump got the right guy for the job.

 

 

“Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud” by David Dayen, published by The New Press, is available now.
 
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Article source: http://www.salon.com/2016/05/19/it_is_happening_again_david_dayen_on_the_epidemic_of_mortgage_fraud_and_the_rigged_economy_that_sets_it_in_motion/

Sex Criminals: Robin Hood bank robbers who can stop time when they orgasm

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By Cory Doctorow

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Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s creator-owned comic Sex Criminals is a filthy, hilarious heist story about a couple who discover that they can stop time while orgasming, and keep it frozen until they become horny again — so they use their power to rob banks in order to rescue a library from foreclosure (naturally). The first two series of the comic are collected in Big Hard Sex Criminals, a fabulous hardcover whose plain pink wrapper comes off to make it look like you’re reading a book on DIY pet euthanasia.


The premise of stopping time is a well-worn one in science fiction, with a fairly even split between those who use their powers to commit daring robberies and those who use them to be creepy sexual predators. By making sexual arousal the origin of the protagonists’ powers — but also its downfall — Fraction and Zdarsky mostly take the latter motif off the table.

So we live the stories of Suzie, a librarian who is desperate to rescue her local library from a rapacious, foreclosing bank that wants to knock down the building and sell the lot to high-rise developers; and John, an actor whose confused sexual history got a lot weirder when he learned that he could freeze time every time he rubbed one out.

Zdarsky is a prolific, compulsive visual gag-maker, and the backgrounds and incidentals of Sex Criminals have more jokes than an average Mad Magazine parody; this sets the tone for the whole story: raunchy and bawdy, but not really porny (though porn naturally plays a big role in the lives of Suzie and John).

Naturally, Suzie and John’s crime spree attracts the attention of other time-stopping orgasmers, and plunges them into sex-conflict with orgasmic vigilantes who track down rogue time-freezers and neutralize them to keep the secret safe. The fuck-wars that follow are intensely logistical, though not exactly erotic: one adversary has the power to kegel herself into orgasm, a huge tactical advantage; but John and Suzie are well-practiced at attaining simultaneous orgasm, giving them the power to fight as a team while their adversaries are frozen in normal time.

Zdarsky and Fraction use all this lewd business to make some shrewd commentary on sex and shame, gender and the sex-trade, and the relationship of mental health and SSRIs to sex drive in a work-driven modern world.

In other words, Sex Criminals goes well beyond a crude gag and becomes a thoughtful — and still hilarious and sexy — story about health and dysfunction in sex and life. The omnibus edition of the first two series makes for a fantastic read, and will leave you panting and begging for more.

Big Hard Sex Criminals [Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky/Image Comics]

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Cory Doctorow

I write books. My latest are: a YA graphic novel called In Real Life (with Jen Wang); a nonfiction book about the arts and the Internet called Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age (with introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer) and a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it’s the sequel to Little Brother). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.

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JJ Abrams urges Paramount to drop its lawsuit over fan Star Trek movie

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Abrams directed the first two Star Trek reboot movies and is producing the third one for Paramount; he says he convinced the studio to drop its controversial lawsuit against Axanar, a crowdfunded fan-film (a suit that included a dubious claim about the copyrightability of the Klingon language) telling them that the lawsuit “wasn’t an appropriate […]

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Airbnb stealth-updates terms of service, says it’s not an insurer and requires binding arbitration

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The March 29 edition of Airbnb’s terms of service requires that people who rent out their homes acknowledge that despite the company’s widely advertised Host Protection Insurance program, “you understand and agree that Airbnb does not act as an insurer.”

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Oculus breaks promise, uses DRM to kill app that let you switch VR systems

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As recently as 5 months ago, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey was promising his customers that they could play the software they bought from the Oculus store on “whatever they want,” guaranteeing that the company wouldn’t shut down apps that let customers move their purchased software to non-Oculus hardware.

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Get unlimited access to over 3,000 tech training courses–now only $65

WordPress, JavaScript, Drupal, Joomla, SEO, HTML, CSS, PHP…if you’re looking to jump on to the web development career track, you’ve got a lot of learning to do. And those programs, platforms and disciplines and just a small portion of all the web technologies out there that play a factor in creating premium online sites and […]

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Trick out your smartphone with 3 essential phone accessories–up to 80% off

We all rely on our smartphones for pretty much everything these days. So pick up some essential accessories that’ll have your phone turning out high-quality digital images, checking whether you’re good to drive after a night out, or just maxing out your data storage options.Acesori 5 Piece Smartphone Camera Lens KitRegular Price: $50The DEAL: $9.99 […]

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Become a product manager with this complete course bundle

Contrary to popular belief, product managers aren’t just the employees who somehow get things done. Product managers receive special training to garner their particular skill sets, allowing their employers to trust that they can create great products to move their business forward.And did we mention that trained product management professionals make loads more than their non-certified colleagues?  Jump on board […]

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Article source: https://boingboing.net/2016/05/21/sex-criminals-robin-hood-bank.html

Trump Makes SCOTUS List, Goes After Bill Clinton Sexual Assault Allegations and Hillary Corruption Despite Warnings

RUSH: The New York Times, on Tuesday, warned Donald Trump. In an actual news story, the New York Times warned Donald Trump to steer clear of any of the Clinton scandals, don’t go anywhere near any of them.  Don’t go to Whitewater.  Don’t go to Lewinsky.  Don’t go to Bill Clinton’s affairs.  Don’t go anywhere near any of those Clinton scandals.  The Times trying to help Trump here by telling Trump that, if he does that, it will backfire on him.  That’s the New York Times trying to be helpful to Donald Trump. 

Patrick Healy, in the New York Times, says: “Donald Trump plans to throw Bill Clinton’s infidelities in Hillary Clinton’s face on live television during the presidential debates this fall, questioning whether she enabled his behavior and sought to discredit the women involved. Trump will try to hold her accountable for security lapses at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and for the death of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens there.

“And he intends to portray Hillary Clinton as fundamentally corrupt, invoking everything from her cattle futures trades in the late 1970s to the federal investigation into her email practices as secretary of state. … Another goal is to win over skeptical Republicans, since nothing unites the party quite like castigating the Clintons. … For Hillary Clinton, the coming battle is something of a paradox. She has decades of experience and qualifications, but it may not be merit that wins her the presidency — it may be how she handles the humiliations inflicted by Trump.

The story goes on to warn Trump that if he goes anywhere near any of these things, that it’ll backfire on him and it will probably irreparably harm his campaign.  That was yesterday morning in the New York Times.  So let’s go to the audio sound bites.  Last night on the Fox News Channel, Sean Hannity show, this exchange took place.

HANNITY:  What about what Clinton’s done?  How big an issue should that be in the campaign?  For example, I looked at the New York Times.  Are they gonna interview Juanita Broaddrick?  Are they gonna interview Paula Jones?  Are they gonna interview Kathleen Willey?  In one case it’s about exposure.  In another case it’s about groping and fondling and touching against a woman’s will.

TRUMP:  And rape.

HANNITY:  And rape.

TRUMP:  Big settlements, massive settlements.

HANNITY:  $850,000 to Paula Jones.

TRUMP:  And lots of other things.  And impeachment for lying.

HANNITY:  Smearing, besmirchment of women.

TRUMP:  He losing your law license.  He lost his law license, okay?  Couldn’t practice law.  And you don’t read about this on Clinton.

RUSH:  No, no.  So he went there, he mentioned the rape word, everybody knew it was gonna happen ’cause they leaked the details of the interview that Hannity had with Trump. But on the same day the New York Times warns Trump don’t go there, don’t do it, don’t go anywhere near the Clinton scandals.  Trump might be the first, I don’t know, the first Republican politician to ever bring up the charge by Juanita Broaddrick that Bill Clinton raped her. 

So he clearly didn’t listen to the New York Times.  Do you think the New York Times is trying to help Trump?  Do you think the New York Times was warning Trump to stay away from any of these scandals just to make sure that he didn’t shoot himself in the foot and damage his campaign?  You think the New York Times wanted Trump to avoid this so that he could maybe win the election against Mrs. Clinton?  We don’t think that, do we? 

So why would the New York Times advise Trump to stay away from these scandals on the basis it could backfire if they don’t want him to win?  If they want Trump to lose, then why are they trying to help him?  Well, they’re not, is the bottom line, not trying to help him.  This is the protective shield around the Clintons that the Drive-By Media has erected, defended, protected, since 1993, 1994.  And they are trying to intimidate Trump, maybe some of his supporters.  I don’t think they can intimidate Trump.  Maybe trying to intimidate some of his supporters to maybe talk to him and caution wiser counsel.  “Don’t go there, Mr. Trump.  It’s potential quicksand.  You don’t want to get stuck in there.” And Trump obviously has other plans. 

Trump put out his list of potential Supreme Court nominees, 11 names.  Snerdley, did you know one of the names on the list, what’s her name, Gloria Sykes?  I’m not sure of the first name.  She’s the wife of Charlie Sykes, the talk radio host in Milwaukee who led the conservative talk radio assault on Trump in Wisconsin.  So Trump has put his ex-wife on his list of 11 potential Supreme Court nominees. 

I’ve read a bunch of different conservative blogs on this.  In some of the conservative think tanks, you find some people upset that he didn’t pick from prominent judges and jurists that they would have picked.  From Ivy League schools, yeah.  But aside from a few people in think tanks, apparently across the conservative sphere out there, there was universal applause for this list that Trump put together, and it’s epitomized here by Dr. Krauthammer last night on Special Report with Bret Baier.

KRAUTHAMMER:  I think it’ll have a dramatic effect in doing that.  The one thing holding back people who’ve resisted supporting Trump, or at least the major thing, is the fear of what a Clinton presidency would do to the Supreme Court and how it would change it for a generation.  Now you get a list of 11 who are quite sterling, three of them clerked for Justice Thomas, two of them for Justice Scalia, the six federal judges all appointed by George W., which means they are conservative and they are relatively young.  So this is a future-looking list.

RUSH:  Dr. Krauthammer excited about the list.  Other conservatives, some at National Review, were as well.  As I say, some of the think tanks, I can’t think off the top of my head, but some think tanks were upset that some of the older jurists that they think are really good — Patrick Kavanagh is one.  But some of the jurists that they like actually have voted to sustain parts of Obamacare.  And so others in the conservative movement said it’s a good thing Trump did not — we don’t need anybody else on the court that thinks Obamacare is okay, no matter what else they are, we don’t need anybody else that thinks that. 

And they pointed out, as Dr. Krauthammer did here, that all these names on Trump’s list, they are young.  If they got on the court, they’d be there for decades, which is a factor given their lifetime appointment.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I got a Stack here of stuff on Trump and the R-word with Hannity last night on Clinton and so forth.  There’s actually a lot of people that have reacted to this in a number of ways.  In addition, you know, it might be worthwhile to remind people what Hillary has said about this, because Trump’s gonna be the only guy that will bring this up, too.  Nobody in the Drive-Bys gonna bring it up, and I don’t think anybody else in the Republican Party would lead with it.  They might add to it or affirm it after somebody like Trump does.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Roger Kimball, who is one of the founders of PJ Media, very, very highly approved of website here at the EIB Network, published a piece, I guess was yesterday on Clinton Cash, or it’s always worse than you think.  You know, Peter Schweizer has this book, wrote the book about Clinton Cash.  And it is meticulously researched and footnoted. And it’s why we all know who has donated to the Clinton Foundation, what foreign governments, what foreign entities, what foreign international corporations, what individuals, you know, the people who donated a sum total of over $100 million to Bill and Hillary and their foundation. 

originalAnd it’s Schweizer and his book that has researched and documented this and is able to conclude that these donations are occurring for one reason.  Many of them happened while Hillary was secretary of state and have continued since and have obviously been made, as I call it, on the come.  These are investments in a future Hillary presidency in which Bill would be involved.  These are people already purchasing policy preferences from the Clintons in advance.  That’s what Schweizer’s book documents and they made a movie out of this now.  I guess it’s a 60 minute documentary about it that’s gonna be airing sometime during the summer. 

And what Roger Kimball has done is taken this book and has taken it seriously and has written a piece that says it’s even worse than what Schweizer has come up with.  With the Clintons, it’s always worse than you think.  He writes this. 

“In his column for PJ Media, my friend Ron Radosh, the distinguished historian, outlines the case for believing that Hillary Clinton is the ‘lesser of two evils’ compared to Donald Trump. Ron says that he is ‘fully aware’ of Hillary’s liabilities, yet concludes: On foreign policy, there is more hope that [she] will take a course that asserts American leadership abroad.”

And this is where we distance ourselves because that’s absurd.  She’s bought and sold to every foreign power there is.  Hillary Clinton is going to be led around the nose by whoever it is that’s donated to her foundation. 

“Clinton Cash, the documentary film which I watched in previews yesterday –” this is Roger Kimball, “– is based on Schweizer’s book,” and it “provides a relentless and devastating portrait of brazen financial venality in exchange for political favors.

“I read through Clinton Cash quickly when it came out last May. This was no right-wing hit job … but rather a methodical and exhaustively sourced chronicle of how the Clintons parlayed Bill’s celebrity, Hillary’s position as secretary of State, and her possible future tenure as president of the United States into a veritable Niagara of cash.

“Eye-popping speaking fees for Bill — $250,000, $500,000, even $750,000 a pop — and millions upon millions directed to the Clinton Foundation and its offshoots. Where was the money coming from? Did they actually find his ‘wisdom’ that valuable? No. The money came from multinational corporations that needed a favor. Shady foreign financiers. Dubious state entities in Africa, Saudi Arabia, Russia, South America, and elsewhere.

“Are you worried about ‘money in politics’? Stop the car, get an extended-stay room, and take a long hard look at the Clintons’ operation for the last sixteen years.

The Associated Press estimated that their net worth when they left the White House in 2000 was zero. Now they are worth about $200 million.

“How did they do it? … The Clintons have perfected pay-to-play political influence peddling on a breathtaking scale. Reading Clinton Cash is a nauseating experience.

At the center of the book is not just a tale of private greed and venality. That is just business as usual in Washington (and elsewhere). No, what is downright scary is way the Clintons have been willing to trade away legitimate environmental concerns and even our national security for the sake,” of personal income. 

And there’s the details of the Canadian mining industry, major donors to the charitable endeavors of the Clintons, uranium being sold to our enemies with the Clintons acting as intermediaries to make it possible, collecting their commissions.  I mean, the details just go on and I’m not gonna bother you with all the details that many of you have already heard and know.  Not the point. 

The thing about the Clintons is that people never understood what Whitewater was about.  This is something that I bet befalls a lot of people.  Bill and Hillary Clinton combined were dirt poor compared to the people in their orbit, compared to the people they hung around. Clinton is from Arkansas. He didn’t have much, his mother didn’t have much, stepfather didn’t have much. Hillary Chicago, middle class, nothing special, but they go away to the Ivy League and they become educated, and they’re hanging around trust fund kids. 

Everybody they know is filthy rich with old money, old blue-blood, inherited wealth.  And they’re gonna inherit it themselves, and that’s why so many of them are able to go to work at TIME Magazine for $80,000 a year, ’cause it doesn’t matter what they earn because their inheritances are multi, multimillions, sometimes billions.  Bill and Hillary are hanging around all this, and it’s something that defines membership in this group, wealth is.  They don’t have any. 

And I’m convinced in the 1980s, people have forgotten this aspect of the eighties, but there were all kinds of people that were getting wealthy on real estate, any number of things.  Legitimate.  The economy was booming.  As liberal Democrats the Clintons were part of the group that believed all of that was shady, that nobody earned that kind of money legitimately.  Liberals never believe that merit earns that kind of money.  There’s gotta be some cheating, there has to be some chicanery, there has to be under-the-table deals, nothing is legitimate. 

originalThey never applaud and appreciate hard work as being a payoff because they don’t believe that’s how it happened with people.  They’re suspicious of it, as all liberals are.  That’s why the rich are always targets, particularly wealthy people who earn their money as opposed to inherit it, are targets, new money people.  And it’s thought to be luck, cheating, something ill-gotten, that kind of wealth. 

That’s what Whitewater was.  Whitewater was a scam. It was a get rich quick scam.  It had nothing to do with political power. It had to do with getting rich.  The Clintons have been obsessed.  That’s what the cattle futures deal was.  They have been lifelong ticked off at not having any money.  When Hillary says they left the White House broke, in her mind, they were.  They couldn’t hang around with their rich friends if their rich friends weren’t gonna pay for it.  That was humiliating, it was embarrassing. 

So Whitewater — and it didn’t pan out, but it was supposed to be a get-rich-quick scheme like the Clintons thought everybody else was doing in the eighties.  So that’s what they’ve set up here, and they have sought and they are obsessed with it.  Bill and Hillary Clinton, they’re classic phonies.  They sit up there as liberal Democrats and they decry wealth and they impugn it.  Remember they’ve got their daughter, Chelsea, out talking (imitating Chelsea), “You know, I tried to get interested in money, but, you know, I just couldn’t.  You know, I just.”  That’s all planned. 

Liberal Democrats, like the Kennedys, super wealthy people have to lie about it, don’t care about it, they’re not interested in it. “Raise taxes, go right ahead, I don’t think I’m paying enough.”  That’s all part of the scam to make their voters think that they don’t care about being wealthy, when that’s all they care about.  And the Clintons are proving that this is exactly what all of this has been about for them in addition to whatever political damage they can wreak havoc on the country in the process.  So they’re willing to sell anything to get this money.  And now they’ve got it, and they still won’t spend their own money. 

They’re still living off other people’s donations, other people’s money for everything.  And Chelsea is just as focused on it as either of them are. It’s a giant scam. And that’s what makes them, in Schweizer’s book, dangerous, what Roger Kimball’s writing about.  

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH:  Look, if you want to know what Whitewater was, in the simplest of terms, the Clintons and Jim McDougal sold retirement lots to the elderly and some middle-class families (they advertised in small, little newspapers), and then foreclosed on them if they missed a payment.  They could only miss one payment.  The fine print in the contract stated that the buyers didn’t own anything until they had made the final payment. That was after 30 years, in some cases. You know, it was a 30-year mortgage, and you don’t own it until you make the final payment. 

originalIf you miss one payment, the property reverts back to the Whitewater Development Corporation, essentially. So it was a foreclosure scam.  Of course, it didn’t work, in the sense of generating untold wealth for the Clintons, but that’s what it was designed to do.  When you bring Trump into this, I don’t see how anybody… You could read Schweizer’s book. He’s written two books on these people.  There’s no way you vote for Hillary Clinton.  I don’t care! You don’t want these two back in the White House under any circumstances.  When I see all these moderate Republicans and some of these libertarian financiers suggesting that they don’t want anybody, they want third party, that they just can’t vote for Trump, they’re looking this the wrong way. 

With Hillary, we don’t want the Clintons anywhere near this country’s leadership again!  We don’t want to even flirt with it. We don’t want any more of Obamaism, which they would bring.  I think if these people were using their heads, what they would do is start getting behind Trump now, like Nixon did Goldwater back in 1964. They would do whatever they could to ingratiate themselves to Trump.  And that way, they’d have influence with him.  You know, you show the boss how valuable you are.  Just work with the guy.  If you find him repugnant and repulsive, but he’s all you’ve got and you don’t like it, find a way to get close to him and maybe find some influence over him with full-throated support.

But that’s got to be preferable to the Clintons.  

Article source: http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2016/05/19/trump_makes_scotus_list_goes_after_bill_clinton_sexual_assault_allegations_and_hillary_corruption_despite_warnings