“Many homeowners were victimized by robosigning, but your more common victim of bank fraud during this time was an investor in MBS (mortgage-backed securities)-- maybe even another WallStreet entity like a hedge fund or a bond insurer, maybe a foreign trade union, maybe a state worker whose pension fund lost 40% of its value because it was sold bad bonds by a too-big-to-fail bank. And the hook that snared those victims was securitization.”
“'Despite continued low interest rates and better real GDP growth in the fourth quarter, home prices continue to fall,' David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices, said in a statement.”
In other words, everyone involved with the mortgage debacle of 2008 got screwed. Except of course for the bankers that were underwritten by the taxpayers, paid some nominal fines, and escaped prosecution as well. Everyone that got screwed by the banks is still paying for it, especially the homeowners and taxpayers that had the most to lose in terms of percentage of their life savings, and those that lost big in the MBS market include your local government and their pension funds which continue to be unfunded liabilities with a dismal chance of staying afloat because of their losses.
Not only did those pension funds lose income from their investments (which generally paid them between 8% and 14% in an average fiscal year), they also lost almost $500 billion in principal in 2008, their investment capital. Those losses will not manifest themselves until city, county and state governments are obligated to pay off on those pensions. Services have already been cut to meet payrolls, but the pensions are the big number that no one wants to think about. Or talk about.
The retirement funds in California include some of the worst as far as unfunded liabilities, much of it caused by your friendly neighborhood bankers that can now be found illegally foreclosing on their victims.
How much damage can these people do? You'll have to wait and find out, because the State of California for instance, will have to come up with hundreds of billions of dollars to pay their pension obligations on top of interest payments on a growing debt that exceeds $20 billion. Of course, we know that these state and local governments have no other way of generating revenue. Look out for falling municipalities.
Many municipalities have already fallen into an abyss of debt, on many occasions their failure caused by shady deals to finance debt glad-handed by banks offering their “services” which are nothing short of scams perpetrated by local officials with coaching and financing from the banksters. And home prices continue to fall.
(Reuters) - “Single-family home prices fell more than expected in November, highlighting the struggle for a sector yet to make a meaningful recovery, a closely watched survey showed on Tuesday.”
All of this will ultimately bankrupt the state and local governments without cuts over time, so it has been fascinating to watch the City of Los Angeles make such a big stink about the City Hall lawn; as replanting it will be the end of civilization. The city has bigger problems, like being on the hook for $58 million in penalties and fees if they exhibit any socially-conscious behavior and move their money out of their benefactors' vaults. To put it in perspective, this story about the complex, and expensive nature of contemporary governance.
“The civil rights actions claim that broken sidewalks and missing curb ramps violate the Americans With Disabilities Act. The city could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars.”
So if the City of Los Angeles ever comes up with a plan to fix the lawn, they still have a ton of trouble on the horizon, none of it caused by peaceful protesting. Maybe they will find a way to blame the Occupation Movement for the sidewalks as well. After all, we did do a lot of walking on those very same sidewalks and that added weight could have contributed to this problem.
(If you really want to know what's going on with the economy, and how the government and our friends in the banking sector are minding the store, have a look at the actual numbers):
Brave New Foundation: Broken system
Koch brothers 'philanthropy' is very profitable because it is directed primarily at political interests that have been the primary attack mechanisms for OWS adversaries. The Koch brothers are also one of the prime beneficiaries of the Keystone XL pipelines.
“The Koch brothers are doing whatever they can to avoid testifying in Congress, despite the fact that the Kochs informed the Canadian government of their 'direct and substantial' interest in the pipeline. Waxman has been trying to get answers from the Koch brothers since last spring, but the Kochs have not cooperated.”
“The Keystone XL pipeline is but another example of the Koch brothers use their wealth to advance policy that makes them richer. Their wealth enables them to write the script for politicians and others to follow.”
This video from Brave New Foundation explains:
'Koch brothers at heart of GOP power'
“Wichita-based Koch Industries and its employees formed the largest single oil and gas donor to members of the panel, ahead of giants like Exxon Mobil, contributing $279,500 to 22 of the committee's 31 Republicans, and $32,000 to five Democrats.”
Move to amend video: Russell Simmons, Dr. Chavis and Occupy the Dream
The sponsors of Occupy the Courts have produced a new video. Definitely worth a look:
Occupy the Dream continues to grow with the help of religious leaders in local communities that understand that the civil rights movement of the 60's was the genesis of the OWS movement. The demands that the mainstream press say are lacking have been articulated on many occasions by many involved with movement. Since there is no such thing as membership, and the group maintains its horizontal status, the process of articulation is carried out by people like the Rev. Graylan S. Hagler. No mystery about the message whatsoever, except for those not paying attention:
“Number one, we are asking for more Pell grants so that our young people might be able to compete and go to colleges and universities,' he said. 'Number two, we are asking for an immediate freezing on foreclosures.' The group is also seeking billions of dollars 'from Wall Street for economic development and for job training.'”
'Non-violent war against poverty'
Here's an extended version of the Occupy the Dream message. Of course, the mainstream media has largely ignored Occupy the Dream, typical of their lapdog behavior and preoccupation with the trivial. Tweet this video for the benefit of those that weren't aware of the recent demonstrations organized by Occupy the Dream due to lack of coverage. Thanks for the articulation assistance to Rev. Dr. Jamal Harris, Dave De Graw, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., Sgt. Shamar Thomas and Kevin Zeese.
Eugene Davidovich is still prowling DC, and once again he found his own story, conducting this interview on the street with former senator George Allen and billionaire Robert Day:
How did Isaac Asimov and William Shakespeare get dragged into this? Deflecting attention