Posts tagged “free market”

Bernie Sanders wants to break up the banks. Let’s help!

Senator Bernie Sanders: “too big to fail” = “too big to exist”

Take a moment and read the two (2) page Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act, about to be offered by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the United States Senate (PDF) and then read and sign the petition to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Don’t forget to tweet and facebook this as well. Unlike Saturday’s legislative abomination, this is something citizens of all stripes should be able to get behind.

Petition to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Too Big to Fail is Too Big to Exist

Financial institutions that are “too big to fail” played a major role in undermining the American economy and driving our country into a severe recession.

Financial institutions that are “too big to fail” put taxpayers on the hook for a $700 billion bailout and more than $2 trillion from the Federal Reserve in virtually zero interest loans.

Huge financial institutions have become so big that the four largest banks in America (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup) now issue one out of every two mortgages; two out of three credit cards; and hold $4 out of every $10 in bank deposits in the country.

Just five banks in America (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley) own a staggering 95% of the $290 trillion in derivatives held at commercial banks. Derivatives are risky side bets made by Wall Street gamblers that led to the $182 billion bailout of AIG, the $29 billion bailout that allowed JP Morgan Chase to acquire Bear Stearns, and the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

The concentration of ownership in the financial services industry has resulted in higher bank fees and interest rates that consumers are forced to pay for credit cards, mortgages and other financial products.

No single financial institution should be so large that its failure would cause catastrophic risk to millions of American jobs or to our nation’s economic well-being.

No single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure could send the world economy into crisis.

We believe it is time to break up the banks and insurance companies which are too big to fail.

We believe that passage of The Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act (PDF) is essential for a strong American economy and a secure future for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.

We urge the immediate enactment of the Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act, which directs the treasury secretary to compile a list of those financial institutions that are too big to fail in the next 90 days, and to break up these banks and insurance companies a year after the legislation is signed into law.Sign this petition!

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Kansas Supreme Court sets precedent; could prevent sixty million home foreclosures

My pride as a Kansan, though generally strong, is a hot and cold affair. For the first day of autumn, things are running hot!

In Landmark National Bank v. Kesler (full ruling), 2009 Kan. LEXIS 834, the Kansas Supreme Court held that a nominee company called MERS has no right or standing to bring an action for foreclosure. MERS is an acronym for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a private company that registers mortgages electronically and tracks changes in ownership. The significance of the holding is that if MERS has no standing to foreclose, then nobody has standing to foreclose – on 60 million mortgages.Ellen Brown
Author, Attorney

As attorney and homeowner advocate Neil Garfield said, the implications cannot be overstated here. What I love about this ruling is that it takes a seemingly indecipherable morass like the mortgage market of the last twentyish years and boils it down to the simplest of contract law principles. Garfield explains, “the splitting of the note and mortgage creates an immediate and fatal flaw in title.”

“The splitting of the note and mortgage creates an immediate & fatal flaw in title.”

Bam. Done. Case Closed. Thank you, Kansas Justice! Or as Matt Taibbi puts it, “It seems that a court has ruled that about half of the mortgage market has been run as a criminal enterprise for years, which would invalidate any potential foreclosure proceedings for about, oh, 60 million mortgages.”

Now, for those of you that want a bit more of the mucky-muck, I’ve got more detail from Ellen Brown after the jump and it is still quite digestible. Also, what does this mean for actual human beings, you ask?
Read the rest of this entry »

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Quotable: Neil Garfield

Neil Garfield on the Kansas Supreme Court Decision that blocks many foreclosures in the state of Kansas and sets precedent for the rest of the country:

This is one state, but it is likely to serve as the basis for most appellate opinions rendered on securitized loans. The tide has turned. The moral of the story is that those encumbrances (mortgages) don’t exist in most cases, the foreclosures were all fatally flawed, the people who have been chased out of their homes, still own those homes, and the parties seeking to enforce the note can do so only as unsecured creditors and only if they prove that they lent the money that funded the loan and only if they are willing to be subject to counterclaims, cross claims, affirmative defenses and defenses of the borrower relating to predatory lending, appraisal fraud, securities fraud, rescission under all available theories of law, damages, treble damages, punitive damages, exemplary damages and consequential economic damages.Neil Garfield
Attorney and Homeowner Advocate

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