EconoMonitor

Great Leap Forward

BREAKING NEWS: OCC AND FED Endorse Bank Fraud

The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the US Federal Reserve agreed today that for now and forever they would not hold banks accountable for illegal activities related to stealing homes from Americans. http://www.rianovosti.com/business/20130108/178635935/US_Foreclosure_Settlement_Angers_Wall.html

They made clear that the rule of law is no longer a rule of law in the United States.

The OCC had let the banksters create a patsy review panel,  Independent Foreclosure Review, tasked with examining foreclosure cases in 2009 and 2010 for instances of abuses, made up of banking insiders. They fully expected that the panel would be able to completely overlook all crimes perpetrated by top banksters.

Much to their surprise, the panel refused to play along, and found fraud everywhere they looked. However, the Fed and the OCC were able to work with the banksters to work out a deal that amounts to a tiny pat on the stubby little hands of the banksters–a mere $8.5 billion.

In a shocking attempt at humor, US Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said the deal would provide quicker relief for struggling homeowners; “Our new course of action will get more money to more people more quickly, and it will speed recovery in the nation’s housing markets”. No one laughed.

Dennis Kelleher, the head of Better Markets, a Washington-based nonprofit that lobbies for tighter regulation of the US financial industry demurred: “You or I would be in jail for a very long time if we filed a bunch of affidavits we knew were false”. He warned that the deal offered by the OCC and Fed ensured that the public would never find out the truth about all the illegal activities undertaken by the biggest banks: “That conduct is never going to see the light of day now. So once again the banks are going to be able to hide their illegal conduct, and apparently there is going to be almost no public disclosure of it.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said “I am deeply disappointed that the OCC and the Federal Reserve finalized this settlement and effectively terminated the Independent Foreclosure Review process before providing Congress answers to serious questions about how this settlement amount was determined, who these funds will go to, and what will happen to other families who were abused by these mortgage servicing companies but have not yet had their cases reviewed.”

The OCC and Fed said they would not have time to respond.

Our colleague and control fraud expert, Bill Black, said that the Fed and OCC ensure that: “The bottom line is: Fraud pays, and it pays big time.”

Banksters were heard laughing all the way to the bank.

***UPDATE: Excellent analysis in HuffPost: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/07/foreclosure-review-settlement-banks_n_2426437.html

Even worse than I thought. Not only have the Fed and OCC decided to forgive banksters for all crimes related to illegal home theft, they’ve also decided to allow the crooks to decide exactly how to dole out the pittance they agreed to pay in the settlement. So it wasn’t even a pat on the wrist. Oh, why not just throw a big party and pay ourselves bigger bonuses!

Note that a big part of the justification for throwing out the rule of law was that it was too costly for the banksters to look at the illegal foreclosures they’d done to ferret out the crimes. The banksters claimed it was taking them up to 8 hours to work through each mortgage they had improperly foreclosed. Experts say there is no way on earth it can take that long. So either the banksters were flat-out lying (boy that would be a first!) or the problem was that there were no docs and the banksters had to manufacture fake ones.

Imagine if we used the same “logic” in the case of petty bank robbers: oh it is just “too costly” to investigate the robbery and to build a case, so if the robber will just promise to spread some of his loot around the neighborhood to family and friends, we’ll let him walk.

But, as Bill Black says, the best way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.

 

5 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS: OCC AND FED Endorse Bank Fraud”

ronApril 12th, 2013 at 9:55 am

Heres to all you god fearing bankers, judges, comptrollers, congress, and all. THE PEOPLE ARE COMMING AND BOY ARE THEY PISSED!!

Mark AtkinsApril 30th, 2013 at 4:04 am

I can't even put into proper words how furious I am right now. How could the OCC and Federal Reserve practically allow fraud so blatantly like that?