The latest effort by Occupy Wall Street followers involves the occupation of homes in foreclosure. Those who are being evicted are often illegally pushed out of their homes with a practice called “robo-signing” which is an automated system of speeding up the foreclosure process but with little in the way of oversight or scrutiny of the process.
“In cities across the country, activists plan coordinated protests in what they call 'Occupy Our Homes.' They say they want to stop banks from foreclosing on properties where people are trying to make payments.”
Occupy DC clung to their wooden structure last night, ultimately losing the battle with Park police over the would-have-been meeting place and shelter. One of the activists basically fastened himself to the makeshift building until a cherry-picker arrived to pry him and five others loose. The entire scene was live-streamed and provided some great occupation moments. There were 31 arrests before it was over.
“After making more than a dozen arrests near the 8m tall, roofless hut, US Park Police deployed an armoured car and motorised lift to try to remove six demonstrators who had clung on limpet-like to the shelter.”
Photos of D.C. Removal:
Occupy DC statement after the raid:
Along with occupying foreclosed homes, other occupiers are planning to visit the belly of the beast (Washington, D.C.) next month. There is a plan here in Los Angeles to do the same, a group of erstwhile occupiers planning for a road trip that will make stops at other occupations along the way.
“Occupy movements from across the country, St. Louis included, are now heading to Washington D.C. St. Louis members will be joining thousands of protesters for Occupy's 'Take Back the Capitol' movement.”
Something tells me the Beltway folks aren't going to be thrilled with this idea.
Here's Miguel's video of the Dec. 3 march downtown:
Shah Gilani's newsletter provides some data on the actual amounts involved in the baillout.
“This is an issue that can unite the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. There are lawmakers in both parties who would change their votes now.”
$7.77 Trillion the actual number
“The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he 'wasn’t aware of the magnitude.' It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.”
Standing up to Wall Street. (Thanks, Your Honor):
“Judge Rakoff recently rendered a 15-page decision rejecting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) $285 million settlement with Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) over toxic mortgages, calling it 'neither reasonable, nor fair, nor adequate, nor in the public interest.'"
1. Morgan Stanley
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $107 billion, Sept. 29, 2008.
With worldwide financial markets in a meltdown mode, Morgan's apex of loans from U.S. Federal Reserve offerings came just two weeks after Lehman Brothers, its erstwhile competitor, had filed for the biggest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history (more on that in a moment).
2. Citigroup Inc.
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $99.5 billion, Jan. 20, 2009.
Talk about being money hungry. The first installment of money from the better-known Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) wasn't nearly enough to stop Citi's bleeding - which is why, in January 2009, Citi required a second infusion of bailout money. No surprise here ... that's also when Citi's Fed-facilities borrowing reached its apex.
3. Bank of America Corp.
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $91.4 billion, Feb. 26, 2009.
Like Citi, Bank of America was a TARP double-dipper. It also snapped up two companies - Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial Corp. - that, too, were borrowing billions from the U.S. central bank.
4. Royal Bank of Scotland Group
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $84.5 billion, Oct. 10, 2008.
At No. 4, the highest-ranking foreign bank on this list, RBS also got a hefty bit of support from its native United Kingdom government.
5. State Street Bank
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $77.8 billion, Oct. 1, 2008.
The old business adage tells us to cut out the middleman. But not State Street. In fact, Bloomberg News reports that State Street initially served as a middleman, tapping into the central bank's liquidity facilities to help money-market funds meet soaring redemption demands (collecting a fee for its trouble, of course) - but finally turned to the Fed for help, too.
6. UBS AG
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $77.2 billion, Nov. 28, 2008.
A double-dipper of sorts, too, European banking heavyweight UBS achieved this distinction by getting help from the Fed and also receiving a substantive aid package from the Swiss government.
7. Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $69 billion, Dec. 31, 2008.
Goldman Sachs execs may not have been celebrating on New Year's Eve, when its Fed loans hit their apex. That was also the close of the month that saw Goldman report its first quarterly loss since its 1999 IPO.
8. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $68.6 billion, Oct. 1, 2008.
Like BofA, JPMorgan used the crisis as a cover for a shopping spree. And like BofA, JPMorgan snapped up two other substantive central bank borrowers - Bear Stearns (which it had rescued a bit before this) and Washington Mutual (acquired after a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) seizure in September 2008).
9. Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB)
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $66 billion, Nov. 6, 2008.
It may have been Germany's biggest bank, but it was one of the U.S. central bank's biggest debtors: During the 439 days it held Fed liquidity money, Deutsche Bank maintained one of the largest average daily balances at $12.5 billion, according to Bloomberg News.
10. Barclays PLC
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $64.9 billion, Dec. 4, 2008.
Borrowing by the London-based Barclays topped out only a couple of months after a failed first attempt to buy out Lehman Brothers. No matter. That led to a killer deal that enabled Barclays to snap up some of the failed U.S. brokerage firm's sweetest assets.
11. Merrill Lynch
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $62.1 billion, Sept. 26, 2008.
By the time Merrill Lynch maxed out its central-bank borrowing, the "bullish-on-America" broker had given the nod to a buyout deal from Bank of America. Just a couple months later, the double-whammy of a gargantuan fourth-quarter loss coupled with the revelation of 11th-hour bonus payments to top execs ended the regime of then-CEO John Thain.
12. Credit Suisse Group
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $60.8 billion, Aug. 27, 2008.
Another example of U.S. taxpayer money at work as this Swiss bank got a big boost from central-bank bucks. As Forbes magazine most delicately stated: "Swiss bank ... was helped out by U.S. dollars. Credit Suisse had a sizable average daily balance of $13.3 billion - for the 386 days it was in hock to the Fed."
13. Dexla SA
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $58.5 billion, Dec. 31, 2008.
Another foreign bank that required U.S. rescue, this French-Belgium-Luxembourg bank didn't seem to learn its lesson: Dexia is once again under pressure - this time over its exposure to the European financial crisis.
14. Wachovia Corp.
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $50 billion, Oct. 9, 2008.
By the time Wachovia's central-bank borrowing hit its apex, it was the rope in a takeover tug of war that pitted Citi against Wells Fargo. Wells ultimately prevailed, and snapped up Wachovia.
15. Lehman Brothers Holdings
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $46 billion, Sept. 15, 2008.
Lehman's borrowing peaked on the same day that it filed for the biggest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history. The company, with more than $690 billion in assets, "became a victim, in effect the only true icon to fall in a tsunami that has befallen the credit markets," Manhattan Bankruptcy Judge James Peck said after a seven-hour bankruptcy hearing that was held exactly one week later.
16. Wells Fargo & Co.
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $45 billion Feb. 26, 2009.
Not surprisingly, Wells Fargo's borrowing apex was reached a couple of months after the already referenced buyout of Wachovia. Because it had to absorb the trashed assets of a stumbling Wachovia, Wells Fargo had to take a big hit to its earnings for the final quarter of that year.
17. Bear Stearns
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $30 billion, March 28, 2008.
The Fed couldn't do enough for Bear Stearns. Not only did the central bank lend money from its still-new liquidity program, it also helped broker the sale to JPMorgan at a bargain price. All the Fed had to do was assume $29 billion in lousy mortgage-backed assets in a facility dubbed "Maiden Lane" (because of the street that runs beside the New York Federal Reserve in Manhattan).
18. BNP Paribas SA
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $29.3 billion, April 18, 2008.
Yet another foreign bank - this one France's largest - BNP Paribas was in hock to the U.S. central bank for two years - a relationship that started in December 2007. And like Dexia, another foreign bank that required central bank rescue, BNP also failed to learn its lesson: Data from Barclay's Capital says BNP has the largest exposure to Greek debt of any French bank.
19. Hypo Real Estate Bank International AG
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $28.7 billion, Nov. 4, 2008.
Bloomberg News reports show that this German commercial lender was yet another "double-dipper:" It tapped into U.S. Fed loans through the New York-based unit of a banking subsidiary. Hypo also reaped billions in guarantees and emergency credit from its home government.
20. Fortis Bank
Borrowing at the Peak (Date): $26.3 billion, Feb. 26, 2009.
Until it was broken into pieces, nationalized and pieces of it sold to ... of all institutions ... BNP Paribas, the banking arm of Fortis also snagged billions from the governments of Belgium and Luxembourg.
So there they are. Now you know what happened to your retirement investments, the value of your home, your chances of getting a quality education, social services, and a financial system that rewards crooks while creating a growing population, a new class actually, of unemployed or indigent.