• georgeofwashington commented on the diary post New York Times: Many Yemenis See Terror as Business Model, Not Ideology by Jim White.

    2010-11-04 08:55:31View | Delete

    Bingo. Notice how much money is being spent in the “strip search” scanners after the underwear bomber. The companies that made them were facing hard times because of public opposition; one guy with a brick of plastic explosives and business is booming! Not even that the people who run the companies are complicit, but if [...]

  • The irony is that the best thing they could do to reduce the debt is let the tax cuts expire. I think the deficit would be over in about four years (need to find that article.) The second best thing they could do would be to retroactivly undo Obama’s middle-class tax cuts, which were the biggest part of the stimulus.

  • The Republicans will do this. The more economic pain that the country feels, the better that they do at the polls.

    A portion of their base looks forward to an economic collapse — if anyone actually read Ann Rand’s books (the psychotic founder of the religion of Liberterianism) you would see that this is the goal. Total collapse and then the sheep baa out for the rich and smart industrialists to lead them.

    Another portion of their base looks forward to collapse because it means that Jesus will come soon. Some in the GOP already making noises about attacking China(!) which is intended to push the rapture-o-meter a few points further.

    Bohner wants collapse so that he can become President — all he has to do is get rid of President Obama and President Biden and then he gets to call the shots. (Free fake tans for everyone.)

    Collapse is not like a Mel Gibson movie, though – what it really means is years and years of pain and hardship that makes anyone complaining what we are going through now look like a whiny two-year-old. There are not rainbows and Unicorns (or Jesus) at the other side.

  • georgeofwashington commented on the blog post Late, Late Night FDL: Voices Carry

    2010-11-01 21:21:13View | Delete

    Speaking of promoting sanity, Newsweek is running a headline “Latest K.Y. polls show Rand Paul up after Aqua Buddah and Hippie head stomping.”


    So they are calling a serious assault on a political activist a “hippie head stomping?” Haha funny, stomp those damn liberal commie hippies, yuk yuk yuk.

    This is beyond the pale. This is not some little blogger, it is the mainstream meadia promoting violence against people of opposing political views. It is completely unacceptable.

  • Could it mean that there is a bias in the polling?


    I bet if you look at the demographics (which were not collected) you will also discover that Americans have become whiter, more evangelical, older, and have all moved to the South.

  • georgeofwashington commented on the diary post Obama Abandons Constitution; Picks, Chooses Laws for Faithful Execution by Jim White.

    2010-10-29 08:10:16View | Delete

    Sorry, but this type of hyperbole just turns me off from the “progressive movement.” DADT has been the law of the land for over a decade under three Presidents, and now President Obama is supposed to declare it unconstitutional? The irony here is rich. If you knew the slightest damn thing about the Constitution you [...]

  • You forget, though, that the mortgage backed securities are now a big part of our financial system, including “safe” investments like money market funds. It isn’t “capital vs families” it is families vs families. I assume that most of the readers have some money in the bank, and they might be a bit perturbed to watch their bank balances disappear in the same way that their 401(k) balances did. FDIC can only cover so much unless we bail it out as well, and we might not have the money for it — and FDIC only covers bank deposits. (There is a separate system for investments but I am wary of it for reasons that are too long to go into.)

    The banksters have already taken their overlarge share of the money and run with it. The $15 million yachts have already been bought. We are left with the other peons fighting for the scraps. Perhaps the ideal solution would be for the banksters to be declared a criminal orginization and have their assets seized — although in reality such moves would be the death of our currency.

  • georgeofwashington commented on the blog post Foreclosure Fraud Isn’t Mere Paperwork

    2010-10-25 10:31:19View | Delete

    If there is any lesson that we should take away from this mess and pass to our kids and grandkids it is to [b]stay the heck away from financial advisors[/b]. I used to think that my Grandfather was out of it for having CDs as his riskiest investments but I think there was something to it.

  • georgeofwashington commented on the blog post Foreclosure Fraud Isn’t Mere Paperwork

    2010-10-25 10:12:28View | Delete

    This is the kind of fraud that is pretty typical in a bubble. You have a fairly scarce asset (solvent people who pay off home mortgages) and a huge demand (investors looking for safe investements after a stock market meltdeown.) The greater the value and the scarcer the asset the more likly fraud is.

    I’m beginning to wonder (and this is a radical “socalist” idea) if we should even have private banks. Perhaps we don’t, anymore. Extreme capitalists such as Greenspan point to the tremendous amount of “value” and “innovation” created by private instututions but I think it is more a matter of “B.S.” and “fraud.”

  • georgeofwashington commented on the blog post Foreclosure Fraud Isn’t Mere Paperwork

    2010-10-25 09:56:22View | Delete

    I have found links to the MERS training documents. Given that the system was designed by EDS, the same people who have brought you several other noteworthy computer disasters (http://www.computing.co.uk/computing/news/2146441/eds-pay-hmrc-tax-credits-fiasco) I am in a frame of mind to be a bit skeptical of their database.

    Sometimes you can tell a lot from the reports that are generated. A few that caught my eye:

    UMINs Deleted from Transfer of Beneficial Rights (BH)U Lists all MINs that were transferred as a result of Option 1 batch processing where the MINs that also existed in an Option 2 batch were deleted from that Option 2 batch.

    This is a report to catch properties that were both sold to government agencies (like Fanny Mae) and to private investors. In a well-designed system this should not even be possible, so the mere existance of this report indicates serious data quality problems. (I’m a database guy and lets just say that I have been there…)

    UOrg ID to Agency ID Cross-Reference (BK)… The report is used by GNMA and other Agency investors to verify accurate Agency IDs have been loaded to MERS as well as to identify any missing Agency IDs for members selling beneficial rights to the Agencies.

    This one is self-explanatory. This indicates notes being sold to non-existent entities as when people make up numbers. If the number doesn’t exist the db can catch it, if the number happens to be real…? No halfway decent database system should allow garbage ids to be entered.

    Mortgage Loan Transfer Notices (BN) Lists MINs for which a Mortgage Loan Transfer Notice was generated.

    I include this to highlight that in the MERS system it is apparently optional for loan transfer notices to even be generated to the entities. In other words it is likely that there is no paper trail. I can’t tell from the training docs how common that was, but even a few missing transfers messes up the whole instrument. I think that some bond funds my have a good case for repurchase.

    You can find the source documents (for now!) at http://www.mersinc.org/files/filedownload.aspx?id=313&table=ProductFile

  • georgeofwashington commented on the blog post Foreclosure Fraud Isn’t Mere Paperwork

    2010-10-25 08:28:20View | Delete

    Thanks, this is good info and I learned something.

    One part that needs to be integrated is the claim made in legal documents that the MERS database system did not require assignments of mortgages to be registered, even in their own opaque, off-the-books database. Since there was no public registration of assignments I consider it likely that the same property is held by multiple funds.

    In other words it is like a gold fund that holds $1M in gold bars but sells $5M worth of obgligations. As long as most people don’t withdraw the funds everything is OK.

    Somewhere around %1 of all houses in the US are in forclosure (compared to about %.5 in recent times.) When so many of that small number of deals have horrific paperwork problems it indicates a much wider problem.

    However, while it may feel good to grab popcorn and cheer on the destruction of the financial industry it is not good news for anybody who happens to have money. The supposedly ultra-safe and conservative money market funds hold large amounts of mortgage-backed securities (at least the ones that I am in do; read the paperwork.) When these things lose money it means that the account that your employer uses to make payroll loses money. There will be less cheering, then.

  • Yup, one fact does not an opinion change when the blinkers are firmly attached.

    Ocala is the reason that BofA is in such a dodgy position right now. A lot of smaller players have felt handcuffs as well but your argument was that the big guys would get away scot-free. I’ll agree that a hell of a lot more need to do the perp walk, but it does take time to build a federal case.

    I’m looking forward to hearing the term “fugitive finacer” again.

  • So your loan is currently with Ally bank? If you have the money it might be worth spending a few hours with a real estate attorney. GMAC/Ally has known problems with their docs. If everything is fine then it shouldn’t cost much at all to make sure.

    If you have no documents actually naming your title insurance company then I would not delay but would call a real estate lawyer right now. A simple note from a lawyer might get them to cough up whatever documentation they have, otherwise it goes into the ignore pile.

  • Nonsense:


    Lee Bentley Farkas, 57, the former chairman of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. in Ocala, Fla., was arrested Tuesday night on a 16-count indictment charging him with bank, wire and securities fraud. It is one of the largest criminal cases to come from the mortgage meltdown.

    The arrest came after a 15-month investigation by a dozen federal agencies triggered by the mortgage company’s involvement in trying to secure $553 million for Alabama-based Colonial Bank from the government’s $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.

    Colonial never got the TARP money and failed in August in one of the more spectacular collapses stemming from the mortgage meltdown. Colonial, the remains of which were acquired by BB&T Corp., was one of the 50 largest banks in the country, with $25 billion in assets and $20 billion in deposits when it was seized.

    “The fraud alleged here is truly stunning in its scale and in its complexity,” said Assistant U.S. Atty. Gen. Lanny A. Breuer, flanked by members of the Obama administration’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

    I know it is good to be all cynical and stuff and you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.