Sep 19 2012

The 1%…

Crossposted from DocuDharma

Who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled.

Breuer Admits That Economists Have Convinced Him Not to Indict Corporations

by emptywheel

Posted on September 14, 2012

I’ve become increasingly convinced that DOJ’s head of Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer is the rotting cancer at the heart of a thoroughly discredited DOJ. Which is why I’m not surprised to see this speech he gave at the NYC Bar Association selling the “benefits” of Deferred Prosecution Agreements.  (h/t Main Justice) He spends a lot of his speech claiming DPAs result in accountability.

But the real tell is when he confesses that he “sometimes-though … not always” let corporations off because a CEO or an economist scared him with threats of global markets failing if he held a corporation accountable by indicting it.

None of this is surprising, of course. It has long been clear that Breuer’s Criminal Division often bows to the scare tactics of Breuer’s once and future client base. (In his speech, he boasts about how well DPAs and NPAs have worked with Morgan Stanley and Barclays, respectively.)

It’s just so embarrassing that he went out in public and made this pathetic attempt to claim it all amounts to accountability.

Crony Capitalism, American Style

L. Randall Wray, EconoMonitor

September 16th, 2012

Our nation’s top cops freely admit that they have no interest in prosecuting criminal behavior perpetrated by our elite 1% at the top of our crony capitalism pyramid. As reported at Naked Capitalism, Lanny Breuer, head of the DOJ’s Criminal Division, practically brags about the absence of criminal convictions for all the fraud perpetrated over the past decade. He freely admits that when his department suspects a big bank of fraud, he calls in the bank’s team to provide a flashy presentation showing why it should not be investigated. The banksters make the argument that actually prosecuting fraudsters would be bad for crony capitalism, which of course scares the bejeebers out of Washington. So Breuer’s office then makes nice with the banksters, and they all go back to doing what they’ve been doing-moving all wealth to the cronies in the top 1%.

The Wall Street bank’s business model is fraud.

You all already understand that mortgage brokers and property appraisers were in cahoots-overvaluing property to justify out-sized mortgages. You know that brokers pushed “don’t ask, don’t tell” “Liar’s loans” to put borrowers into loans they could not afford, and that they doctored loan documents after borrowers had signed them to cover up the lender’s fraud. And you know that the Wall Street banks created MERS to evade proper recording of property records, effectively wiping out half a millennium of record keeping so that no one any longer knows who owns what.

(I)n fact, in many cases mortgages were never bundled into the securities. So it is not just a problem with the quality of the mortgages backing the securities. And it is not just a problem with the fact that the trustees lied about what was behind the securities. And it is not just a problem of splitting off the notes from the deeds. There is accumulating evidence that the only thing backing securities is an empty “paper bag“: mortgages were never actually securitized. The securities your pension fund might be holding were never worth a dime because they securitized air.

And many of these securitizations were supposed to be REMICs, which offer tax advantages but only if done properly. Guess what. One of the rules is that the mortgages must be put in the REMIC almost immediately. That rule was probably rarely followed; and of course if the mortgages were never put there at all, REMIC rules were certainly violated so the investors owe huge backtaxes. Wall Street’s response is to make a new “Wall Street Rule”: hey we all did it, and if the IRS pursues taxes and if we are pursued for fraud, then the whole system blows up. This is precisely the kind of line Breuer finds irresistibly logical, so you can bet his office won’t be going after the securitizers.

What I think is shocking is that a President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that they are ‘victims’, entitled to handouts, and don’t have to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their thefts and fraud.

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