DISCONNECT BETWEEN HIGH FINANCE, REALITY AND LAWSUITS

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF SETTLEMENTS, BUY-BACKS AND FEDERAL RESERVE BUYOUTS?

We hear these stories of settlements, purchases by the Fed, buybacks — but what they are buying and which mortgages are affected is never disclosed. Meanwhile the marketplace and the judicial system are functioning as though none of this activity was happening.
First of all it is never clear exactly what is being purchased. It does not appear as though the mortgages themselves have been purchased —  although that appears to be the claim when Fannie and Freddie are involved. If it is the mortgage bond that is being purchased or settled we don’t know whether all of the mortgage bonds issued by a particular alleged “asset pool” were purchased by the Federal Reserve or if they were the subject of a settlement with investors or regulatory authorities. We don’t know if the asset pool still exists. We don’t know how the money was applied and whether the bond receivable account was satisfied as to the asset pool or the investors.
 But we do know that each mortgage bond purports to convey an indivisible interest in the loans claimed by the asset pool, regardless of whether the loan actually made it into the pool or not. And we know that while the settlements are mostly proportional settlements in which less than 100 cents on the dollar was paid, the Federal Reserve is paying 100 cents on the dollar when the bond is sold. And to add to the complexity, we don’t know the terms of the settlement and whether the banks that are claiming to sell these worthless bonds to the Federal Reserve acquired any evidence of title to the bonds.
In the marketplace, banks are accepting payoffs on mortgages they sold. Then they are executing satisfactions of mortgages they don’t own — and never did own. And in court they are filing Foreclosures on the same mortgages and submitting credit bids on mortgages in which they lack ownership of any type of account receivable in which they fulfill the requirements of a definition of creditor who can submit a credit bid instead of cash. So the deed is issued on foreclosure without any sale having occurred because the property went to the credit bidder. And then the right to redeem  is further corrupted because nobody has bothered to require the production of documents showing the true balance of the receivable account (if there is one) after adjustments for receipt of loss mitigation payments.

UBS settles US mortgage lawsuit
http://www.news.com.au/business/breaking-news/ubs-settles-us-mortgage-lawsuit/story-e6frfkur-1226683410294

Bank Of America Calls Foreclosure Whistleblowers Liars
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/12/bank-of-america-foreclosure-whistleblower_n_3588374.html

PRACTICE HINT: DO NOT LEAD WITH QUIET TITLE. YOU CAN’T GET THERE ANYWAY UNTIL AFTER YOU PROVE YOUR CASE THAT THE FORECLOSURE WAS WRONGFULLY BROUGHT. LEAVE THE BURDEN ON THE BANK. Attorney Argues “Produce the Note” and Makes a Bad Situation Worse for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2013-07-17_AttorneyArguesProducetheNoteandMakesaBadSituationWorseforHomeown.html

OccupyHomes Rallies Around Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/17579-occupyhomes-rallies-around-citizens-facing-foreclosure

JPMorgan Chase Loses Foreclosure Case in Oregon Jury Trial
http://247wallst.com/housing/2013/07/19/jpmorgan-chase-loses-foreclosure-case-in-oregon-jury-trial/

Occupy Member Bratton Held on $250,000 Bail

In my judgment, based upon the scant facts and documents supplied to me this far, there is no doubt that Bratton DID own the property and probably still does if the law is applied properly.

I know of cases where probable cause was found for Murder and the bail was set less than that. The calls and emails keep coming in and I can’t say that I have a total picture of what was really going on here. But, based upon what I have the current story is this:

Bratton is one of the members of the Occupy movement. It may be true that the Occupy movement has been put on a watch list or even the terrorist list which might account for the high bail. I have not been able to confirm that. But it seems that some inference of that sort was used in getting bail set at a quarter of a million dollars. If so, the government is confusing (intentionally or otherwise) the Occupy movement which is a political movement within the system allowed and encouraged by the U.S. Government — with the sovereign citizen movement for which I have taken a lot of heat.

The sovereign citizen concept is a contradiction in terms. If you are a citizen you are subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which you are a citizen. If you are “sovereign” then you are announcing that you are outside the bounds of the rules, regulations and laws of government. It would seem to me that the use of the word “sovereign” might be tantamount to renouncing your citizenship and making you an alien, subject to the immigration and naturalization agencies of the Federal government, which is a Federal question, not a state question.

From what I understand, Bratton acted as a pro se fighter against an illegal taking of her property by U.S. Bank, who will probably disclaim knowledge of the event when the heat turns up on this news item. My experience is that where claims of securitization are involved and U.S. Bank is a key player, virtually everything is false, fabricated and illegal — including the notices of default, notices of sale, the “auction,” the “credit bid” and the deed issued upon “foreclosure” of the property based upon the alleged sale. Judges find this hard to believe but the facts are coming out as the tsunami of whistle-blowers has just started.

My opinion is that the deed issued on foreclosure is VOID (not voidable) if there was no consideration. Check with a lawyer in your jurisdiction before you act on that. If the party submitting the “credit bid” has no proof that they paid for the origination and/or acquisition of the loan, then all their actions constitute the same value as a “wild deed” which is customarily ignored by title examiners and title agents.

If in fact the situation goes to as far as establishing that no transaction occurred in which a purchase or funding of the loan occurred then fraud, utterance of a false instrument and the rest of the charges pending against Bratton now actually should be brought against U.S. Bank and the other parties that contributed to the plan leading to theft of Bratton’s title!?!

It is the latter situation that in my opinion is the dominant permeating fact pattern throughout the financial industry in which they put CLAIMS of securitization ahead of proof that it ever occurred — as a cover up for a racketeering scheme using a PONZI structure (new investments used to pay off old investors).

Based upon the facts and documents I have heard and seen Bratton went through the usual foreclosure fight where the Judge failed to apply the law properly and require proof of ownership the loan, mistakenly applying a presumption that is rebuttable, just as the Maryland Supreme Court did last week in a decision that will come back and haunt them. So needless to say she lost and the sale went forward with US bank submitting a credit bid on behalf of an asset pool that does not appear to exist in reality because it was never funded, and therefore was incapable of paying for the the funding of the origination of the loan nor the acquisition of the loan.

The usual fabricated papers were submitted and the usual untrue proffers by counsel apparently were present as well. So, like I have said on this blog, acting WITHIN THE SYSTEM, she went to the police showing them that she was alleging fraud, fabrication, forgery, and uttering an false instrument and recording it. The police refused to investigate saying it was a CIVIL MATTER.

So again, acting within the system, she went and filed a corrective deed in order to give legal notice to the world that the title was still in dispute. Meanwhile U.S. Bank allegedly sold the property to a third party who pay or may not have been a straw-man. The straw-man is attempting to get possession. Bratton is fighting it because the only basis for possession is not that she didn’t pay her rent, but because title changed from her to this third party.

Despite their refusal to investigate her claims as falling within the category of a civil matter, the police then arrested Bratton for filing in the public records a corrective deed. POOF! What was a civil matter suddenly turned into a serious criminal matter, alleging, apparently nearly word for word, the allegations Bratton made against U.S. Bank, which if true would mean that any deed FROM U.S. Bank would also be a wild deed conveying no interest in the property whatsoever.

The kicker is the bail that has been set: $250,000. While I am familiar with this tactic being used around the country to scare off the leaders in the fight, this is the first time I have ever seen bail set at level that effectively puts Bratton behind bars without any hope of release based solely on what appears to be a completely unfounded accusation of criminal intent.

There are some rumors that the reason bail was set so high was because there were inferences that Bratton was affiliated with a terrorist group — something I find hard to believe based upon the information I have received thus far. There is no evidence brought to my attention that could possibly be interpreted as coming within the scope of a definition of “terrorist.” If her accusations against U.S. Bank are true, the term terrorist would more aptly apply to U.S. Bank than anything Bratton did.

My view is that the failure of the police to investigate her claims on the basis of their determination that this was a matter to be resolved in the civil courts completely undermines even the semblance of probable cause. If the police could say that they DID investigate the claims of Bratton and found them to be without merit, THEN the technical violation MIGHT apply assuming the document she filed was completely without merit — i.e., that the content of the document was completely false.

My view is that without that investigation the best one could say about the police action in this case is that they were premature. The worst is that they were doing the bidding of the banks who have achieved a level of influence on law enforcement that is unprecedented in protecting themselves from prosecution for mass crimes against humanity AND bringing mortgage fraud and other criminal charges against those whom they are throwing under the bus or otherwise want to silence.

The police were wrong when they first told Bratton that this was a civil matter. The theft of millions of homes based upon false, fabricated, fraudulent documents corroborated by perjury and intentional misrepresentation to the court, is a big deal. It ripped open the fabric of our society and diminished respect for all three branches of government. Now that the police department has thrown its hat into the ring with this bogus criminal charge, it is time to force them politically to investigate the bank crimes (regardless of what assurances were given from the Bush and Obama administrations to the contrary).

Here is the Press RELEASE from the Bratton Camp:

PRESS RELEASE_Bratton Hearing 24June13

Occupy Protesters and Police Clash in Oakland

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Occupy Protesters and Police Clash in Oakland

By SARAH MASLIN NIR

See full story on New York Times

A march to take over a vacant building by members of the Occupy movement in Oakland, Calif., turned into a violent confrontation with the police on Saturday, leaving three officers injured and about 200 people arrested.

The clashes began just before 3 p.m. when protesters marched toward the vacant Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, the police said, and began to tear down construction barricades. Officers ordered the crowd to disperse when protesters “began destroying construction equipment and fencing,” the Oakland police said in a press release.

“Officers were pelted with bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares, the police said.” Officers responded with smoke, tear gas and beanbag projectiles. Twenty people were arrested.

Most of the arrests occurred in the evening, when large groups of people were corralled in front of the Downtown Oakland Y.M.C.A. on Broadway. At one point, one group of protesters broke into the City Hall building.

On a livestream broadcast on the Web site oakfosho.com, dozens of protesters could be seen sitting cross-legged in darkness on the street in front of the Y.M.C.A. Their hands appeared to be bound behind them, while police officers stood watch. Occasionally the protesters sang or cheered.

The events were part of a demonstration dubbed “Move-in Day,” a plan by protesters to move into the vacant convention center and use it as a commune-like command center, according to the Web site occupyoaklandmoveinday.org.

“We were going to set up a community center,” said Benjamin Phillips, 32, a member of the Occupy Oakland media team. “It would be a place where we could house people, feed people, do all the things that we have been doing.”

In an open letter to Mayor Jean Quan on the Move-in Day site, the group threatened actions like “blockading the airport indefinitely, occupying City Hall indefinitely” and “shutting down the Oakland ports.” Occupy protesters did briefly shut down the city’s busy port in November.

In a statement issued before the march, Ms. Quan said that “the residents of Oakland are wearying of the constant focus and cost to our city.” On Saturday night, she added: “Once again, a violent splinter group of the Occupy Movement is engaging in violent actions against Oakland. The Bay Area Occupy Movement has got to stop using Oakland as their playground.”

In a statement, city officials said the total number of arrests was estimated at 200.

Ms. Quan has spent her first term embattled by the Occupy movement, which installed itself in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in October. After initially embracing the protest, she ordered the encampment removed from the plaza.

After a series of violent episodes, including a clash in which a Marine veteran of Iraq suffered a fractured skull when struck by a projectile in a confrontation with the police, Ms. Quan relented and permitted the protesters to return to the plaza. But two weeks later, in response to fears of renewed violence, she ordered the plaza cleared again.

Mr. Phillips, who said he is a veteran of the United States Air Force, spoke Saturday night from his home on Grand Avenue where he had stopped to rinse tear-gas residue from his contact lenses. He described the scene in front of the Y.M.C.A. as “terrifying.”

“This is disgusting, because this is not the way that America is supposed to work,” he said. “You’re supposed to be able to have something like freedom to assemble and air your grievances,” he said.

“It’s bizarre,” he said of the police reaction. “It’s not something you expect to see in the United States, and we’ve seen it over and over in Oakland.”

 

 

SF Occupiers Turn Attention to Collusion Between Speculators and Banks

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EDITOR’S NOTE: I missed the timing, so this event already happened. But the SF Occupiers seem to be on the right track. They deserve our support and their efforts should be duplicated. My anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that the collusion between real estate speculators and Banks is pandemic especially at the level of eviction, but it has grown like fungus into the foreclosure process as well, setting time limits for completion of foreclosures that speculators want to buy.

These speculators are flipping homes fast so they don’t get caught in the title maze later, when the lawsuits over title chains becomes a flood.

The other dirty little secret that I have plenty of anecdotal evidence (but not enough to call it survey, in my opinion) is that there are dozens of instances, perhaps hundreds or even thousands, where the property value is dropped shortly before sale so that someone in the foreclosure mill, the trustee’s office, or the local real estate broker can pick up the property for a song. This is particularly gruesome where the homeowner offered modification for multiples of what the property eventually sold for.

All of this activity is fodder for bringing a TRO and lawsuit for failure to comply with HAMP. The proof is in the pudding. If the servicers were to “consider” the modification then they must show why they rejected a modification that would have provided three times the proceeds of foreclosure.

Judges are warmer to this idea than you might think. They like settlements and if one side has thwarted settlement by failing to even provide the investor with the data necessary to make a decision, they are in violation of HAMP and they are presenting an annoying set of facts to the Judge.

From OccupySF Housing Coalition

See Fogcityjournal.com

At noon on January 14th, at Mission and 16th Street, tenant and housing groups will team up with OccupySF to expose the collusion between real estate speculators and banks that threatens thousands of San Franciscans with eviction.

Despite months of negotiation and community input the people’s voices have been ignored. Targeting working class people for predatory equity scams, Ellis Act evictions, or immoral home loans can no longer be tolerated.

According to Ted Gullicksen of the SF Tenants Union,“It’s well known how big banks have unfairly evicted homeowners. Less well known is how banks evict renters by partnering with speculators to buy apartment buildings, evict all tenants to raise rents or sell the housing stock as condominiums.”

This Saturday the 14th, evicted tenants and foreclosed homeowners will tell their stories of the impact that bank’s greedy actions have had on them. Banks will be put on notice: You Will Be Held Accountable! Actions will culminate in a January 20th shutdown of San Francisco’s Financial District.

“We cannot allow banks and speculators to dictate who stays and who goes in our communities,” asserts Maria Zamudio, a tenant counselor and organizer at Causa Justa: Just Cause. “Foreclosures and evictions unbalance communities, jeopardize health and well-being, and leach wealth from neighborhoods. Housing is a human right. If banks and speculators continue to act as landlords, they must respect tenant protections that San Franciscans have struggled to achieve.”

The Coalition

Occupy SF Housing is a coalition which includes OccupySF, SF Tenants Union, Housing Rights Committee of SF, Causa Justa: Just Cause, Eviction Defense Collaborative, ACCE, Homes Not Jails, Occupy Bernal and other community groups and individuals. The coalition came together to stop banks from evicting tenants and homeowners through foreclosures or through their partnerships with real estate speculators.

OCCUPY UNDER ATTACK BY NYC POLICE AT THIS VERY MINUTE

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Occupy Wall Street is being raided by NYC police, and the 99% movement is asking for everyone’s help. From Occupy Wall Street on Twitter:

1:10am: Raid happening NOW at #libertysq MOBILIZE!

1:43am: Call #nypd at: 646-610-5000 and respectfully demand 1st amendment rights!!

1:47am: The whole world is watching! Watch here: livestream.com/occupynyc

I just called the number above, and it’s pretty busy. Good! it’s really important that people keep calling. Here are some other numbers.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg: 212-639-9675
NY Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390
NYPD 1st Precinct: 212-334-0611
NYPD 5th Precinct: 212-334-0711
NYPD 6th Precinct: 212-741-4811
NYPD 7th Precinct: 212-477-7311
NYPD 9th Precinct: 212-477-7811

You can also sign our petition to Mayor Bloomberg here — and tell your friends.

If you personally know any New York political leaders, please call them and ask them to take a stand against this outrage.

The people united will never be defeated.

In solidarity,

— Adam Green & the PCCC team

Nomi Prins: 10 Reasons Bank of America Is the Most Hated Bank in America

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Nomi Prins is a former investment banker. Like me she sees the function of Wall Street as vital to a growing economy and better society. It’s not banks she dislikes, it is the people who run them and what they have done to the banks, the shareholders, the customers and its trading partners. Wall Street has become de-personalized in the sense that its institutions are mere vehicles for management to strip everyone — including the Banks they manage — of everything and put the results in their own personal pocket. Their “relationships” with members of congress and state legislators is the reason why we have a dysfunctional economy.

It isn’t working for most of us and there can be no doubt that as long as Banks regard the rest of us with disdain and contempt they will treat us accordingly. The disdain for the law, the rules, morality ethics and just common sense is a reflection not of the institution of banking and finance but of the people who have usurped Wall Street and turned it into a vehicle for a government coup. They control our lives in ever-increasing ways covering activities and needs that we don’t ordinarily associate with Banks. If insurance is involved, then the Banks are right there. If we lose social services like fire, police and even trash collection — see the banks for where the money went. But the Banks are not actually prospering. It is the management of the Banks that is prospering.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Occupy movement has attracted people across all class liens and political spectrums. We all know the system isn’t working and we are unwilling to see it continue down the drain. As long as BOA is allowed to maintain financial positions  ($53 Trillion) that exceed the world’s money supply ($50 Trillion), we will continue to have this problem because it gives them an out-sized appearance of threat to the system. In truth, I don’t think anyone would miss them.

10 Reasons Bank of America Is the Most Hated Bank in America

Here are ten reasons to take your money out of Bank of America – and park it at a credit union or community bank near you.
October 27, 2011  |

There is no shortage of hatred for the biggest banks. Indeed, the Occupy Wall Street movement is leading a national revolution against these byzantine, powerful Goliaths for the economic devastation they have caused. This makes it difficult to choose the worst of the bunch. That said, a strong case can be made that Bank of America deserves the title of the nation’s most despised bank.

Here are ten reasons to take your money out of Bank of America – and park it at a credit union or community bank near you. (And yes, that may be near impossible if you have a mortgage with them, as refinancing away from any big bank nowadays is a nightmare.)

1. B of A rejects the right of customers to protest. When two Occupy Santa Cruz protesters in California marched into a local Bank of America to close their accounts, the response was, “You cannot be a protester and a customer at the same time,” followed by a threat to call the police if the women didn’t leave. (The attending officer  later reiterated the bank manager’s message.) Meanwhile, the fact that Bank of America charges a fee for closing an account prompted Rep. Brad Miller (D-North Carolina), who resides in Bank of America’s headquarters state, to introduce a bill to protect customers from such fees.

2. To recoup ongoing losses from its stupendously dumb acquisitions of Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch, B of A pillages its customers. Thus, despite massive public outrage, the $5 debit usage fee for customers with less than a $5,000 balance and no mortgage with the bank will begin in 2012. B of A was the first large bank to confirm it would charge this fee, which is the highest in current discourse among the banks.

On October 18, Consumers Union wrote a letter to B of A chief Brian Moynihan asking him to reconsider this fee, which impacts poorer clients disproportionately. The letter summed it up nicely: “Consumers should not be required to pay a costly fee that appears to be arbitrary and designed to generate income to make up for Bank of America’s bad business decisions rather than covering the costs of providing debit card services.” Banks collect 24 cents from retailers for each customer swipe, much more than the median 8 cents it costs a bank to process the purchase. Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-Illinois) response was to urge customers: “Vote with your feet. Get the heck out of that bank.”

3. B of A’s other fees are just as bad. According to its last annual report, the bank has 29.3 million active online subscribers who paid over $300 billion worth of bills in 2010.  In May, B of Araised its checking account fees, which included e-banking, to $12, in line with JP Morgan Chase’s decision to do the same, up from $8.95 per month. In June, it started a $35 overdraft fee, even on overdrafts of one cent. Next year, it will incorporate basic checking with a new “essentials” account structure that makes monthly fees unavoidable, that will not include free bill pay, and that has a mandatory $6 minimum fee.

Last Monday, Bank of America was charged (along with JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo) with colluding with the two major credit card companies, Visa and MasterCard, to keep ATM fees high; in other words, they were charged with “price-fixing,” in direct opposition to antitrust laws. This is the third of three such suits filed recently, each seeking class action status.

4. Bank of America takes gross advantage of the military.

It is the official bank of the US military and has branches by or on many bases, which provides the firm with another locus of extortion. B of A can entice military personnel to take out loans at usurious rates. Personal loans made to soldiers for a few thousand dollars can actually keep them indebted for the rest of their lives.

Last May, Bank of America paid $22 million to settle charges of improperly foreclosing on active-duty troops. The firm spun these foreclosures as being Countrywide’s fault for having started them before becoming part of B of A.

5. Bank of America is officially rated the biggest, scariest bank. Its stock price also fared the worst of the group of banks (which also included Citigroup and Wells Fargo) when Moody’s Investors Service downgraded it on September 21.

B of A’s long-term holding company (parent bank) rating was chopped two notches to Baa1 from A2, and its retail bank rating was cut two notches from A2 to Aa3, placing B of A four notches below rival JP Morgan Chase and one below Citigroup, the third-largest US bank. Its bank holding company has the lowest rating among the top five banks with the largest derivatives positions.

This caused great fear for investors involved in derivatives trades with the Merrill Lynch division, prompting them to request trades be moved to the part of the bank with the better rating – the retail part with the insured (peoples’) deposits. That way, B of A doesn’t have to pony up as much collateral to back the trades, as it would in a subsidiary with a lower rating. The Fed was recklessly happy to approve, despite the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) misgiving about having to insure more risk, even if it can borrow from the US Treasury to do so. Meanwhile, Bank of America’s stock price got so crushed that Warren Buffett scooped up a $5 billion preferred stock deal, effectively betting that the government won’t let this big bank go bust.

6. B of A’s derivatives position keeps rising. The total amount of derivatives in the FDIC-insured portion of B of A as of mid-year was $53.7 trillion, up 10 percent from $48.9 trillion the prior year, and up nearly 35 percent from its pre-fall crisis level of $40 trillion (the Merrill Lynch securities division holds $22 trillion in addition.) The bank has $5 trillion of credit derivatives, nearly double its $2.7 trillion pre-Merrill amount. In addition, because of its inherent zombie status and rating downgrades, the cost of insuring B of A against a possible default continues to rise in the credit derivatives market – a pattern that American International group (AIG) once followed.

7. Bank of America got the most AIG money of the big depositor banks. By virtue of having acquired Merrill Lynch’s AIG-related portfolio, B of A got to keep approximately $12 billion worth of federal AIG backing, too. It also received more government subsidies than any other mega-bank except Citigroup. Its stimulus package included an initial Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) helping of  $15 billion for the bank and $10 billion for Merrill, plus a second helping of $20 billion in January 2009 after it became clear that Merrill’s losses had spiked to $15 billion – in order to ensure the takeover from hell went through and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and then-Merrill Lynch executive John Thain could pat themselves on the back for saving the world. The government guaranteed $118 billion in assets, mostly Merrill’s, in the new merged firm. With the benefit of the Fed’s nearly 0 percent money policy, and a depositor base to plunder, B of A repaid that aid.

In terms of overall federal subsidies (including TARP), Bank of America was second only to Citigroup ($230 billion compared to $415 billion). None of that got in the way of former B of A CEO Ken Lewis’ personal take, a $63 million retirement plan, in addition to the $63 million he scored during the three years before his departure.

8. Bank of America leads the big bank fraud lawsuit settlement tally. So far, it has racked up the largest settlement, $8.5 billion in June, to settle claims related to $100 billion worth of Countrywide-spun mortgage securities backed by faulty loans, with bigwig investors like Pimco, BlackRock, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

B of A is also being sued by state and federal regulators for questionable foreclosure practices and a union benefits plan for hiding foreclosure problems that impacted its share price. It is one of 17 major US financial institutions being sued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for billions of dollars of mortgage-securities-related losses that may require B of A to potentially repurchase $50 billion worth of allegedly fraudulent securities. Earlier this year, B of A settled for $3 billion regarding bad loans that they had repackaged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as agreed to a $624 million settlement in a securities fraud class-action suit filed by New York Sate and City pension fund regarding Countrywide stock losses. Then there’s AIG’s August lawsuit, in which AIG wants $10 billion in damages for mortgage-related securities it bought and against which it claims B of A committed securities fraud.

That’s a lot of pain for a Federal Reserve-approved $4.1 billion acquisition. Meanwhile, since the settlement didn’t lead to a financial restatement, under the supremely elastic (read: useless) Dodd-Frank Act, executives get to keep their related bonuses.

9. Even after lawsuits, B of A would still rather please investors than customers. Investors that won money in the $8.5 billion settlement were upset that B of A was continuing to service loans, instead of foreclosing on them more quickly. Now, B of A had a nasty incentive to kick people out of homes faster, rather than work with them to refinance or restructure mortgages. Two months later, their foreclosure process has, in fact, sped up.

Bank of America foreclosure notices are surging again following a slight robo-signing- related slowdown, meaning they are now sending out a greater increase in default notices (90-day overdue loans) than other banks. The bank has $30 billion in residential mortgage loans in default, which will become foreclosures for thousands of families.

10. Bank of America, despite having been buoyed up by the government, did not pay taxes, and, given its glorious ineptness, will be laying off 30,000 workers. Not only did the bank pay no federal taxes for 2010 (or 2009) by making use of its posted pre-tax loss of $5.4 billion, it actually cited a tax benefit of $1 billion. Meanwhile, it has announced plans to cut up to 30,000  jobs over the next few years as part of its plan to save $5 billion, ostensibly due to the settlements it’s paying for engaging in upper-management-approved fraud.

Finally, consider the two reasons that any of this list is possible. One is the Glass-Steagall Act repeal, which enables banks to comingle straight costumer business with reckless securities creation and trading. The second reason is coddling by a Fed that finances and approves every bad move. B of A is the poster child for a Glass-Steagall repeal gone wrong. Lewis pulled in a slew of other banks under the B of A umbrella, making it – at one time – the country’s largest bank, including the infamous Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch. Now it has $2.26 trillion in total assets and $1.8 trillion assets in insured subsidiaries, $1.2 trillion of customer deposits ($1.066 trillion in the United States) and about $804 billion in FDIC-insured deposits – all part of the giant, risk-laden mess that is B of A.

Without being broken up via a new, strong Glass-Steagall Act, when banks need to find ways to make money, they resort to extorting it from their sitting ducks, er – customers. Meanwhile, that’s where credit unions, which are not-for-profits owned by their members and not by outside shareholders, come in. They generally don’t engage in crazy derivatives trades, or charge unnecessary fees for holding your money or for letting you pay bills with it, or for online banking. In terms of personal attention, among other economic reasons, the credit and smaller community banks are a much better bet.

Buoyed by Occupy Wall Street, Thousands Take to the Streets Across the Globe

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“I have no problem with capitalism,” Herbert Haberl, 51, said in Berlin. “But I find the way the financial system is functioning deeply unethical . We shouldn’t bail out the banks. We should bail out the people.”

“Times Square represents business as usual — buy, buy, buy in this economic climate, watch the latest show,” said Elias Holtz, 29, a Web designer who lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn. “But the crisis is everywhere.”

“We don’t feel represented by the government. We feel made fun of,” Alessia Tridici, 18, said in Rome. “We’re upset because we don’t have prospects for the future. We’ll never see a pension. We’ll have to work until we die.”

Buoyed by Wall St. Protests, Rallies Sweep the Globe

By and

Buoyed by the longevity of the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Manhattan, a wave of protests swept across Asia, the Americas and Europe over the weekend, with hundreds and in some cases thousands of people expressing discontent with the economic tides in marches, rallies and occasional clashes with the police.

In Rome on Saturday, a rally thick with tension spread over several miles. Small groups of restive young people turned a largely peaceful protest into a riot, setting fire to at least one building and a police van and clashing with police officers, who responded with water cannons and tear gas. The police estimated that dozens of protesters had been injured, along with 26 law enforcement officials; 12 people were arrested.

By early Sunday in New York, 92 people had been arrested, including 24 accused of trespassing in a Greenwich Village branch of Citibank and 45 during a raucous rally of thousands of people in and around Times Square. More than 1,000 people filled Washington Square Park on Saturday night, but almost all of them left after dozens of police officers with batons and helmets streamed through the arch and warned that they would be enforcing a midnight curfew. Fourteen were arrested for remaining in the park.

Three police officers were injured dealing with a rambunctious crowd at 46th Street and 7th Avenue; they were treated at Bellevue Hospital Center and released.

In Chicago, about 175 people were arrested at about 1 a.m. on Sunday after refusing to leave Grant Park before the 11 p.m. closing time, said Officer Laura Kubiak, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department.Other than in Rome, the demonstrations across Europe were largely peaceful, with thousands of people marching past ancient monuments and gathering in front of capitalist symbols like the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Similar scenes unfolded across cities on several continents, including in Sydney, Australia; Tokyo; Hong Kong; Toronto; and Los Angeles, where several thousand people marched to City Hall as passing drivers honked their support.

But just as the rallies in New York have represented a variety of messages — signs have been held in opposition to President Obama yards away from signs in support of him — so did Saturday’s protests contain a grab bag of sentiments, opposing nuclear power, political corruption and the privatization of water.

Yet despite the difference in language, landscape and scale, the protests were united in frustration with the widening gap between the rich and the poor.

“I have no problem with capitalism,” Herbert Haberl, 51, said in Berlin. “But I find the way the financial system is functioning deeply unethical . We shouldn’t bail out the banks. We should bail out the people.”

In New York, where the occupation of Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan was moving into its second month, a large crowd marched north early Saturday afternoon to Washington Square Park, where it was joined by several hundred college students who decried, among other things, student debt and unemployment.

In late afternoon, the crowds marched up Avenue of the Americas toward a heavily barricaded Times Square, beseeching onlookers to join in with cries of “You are the 99 percent.”

At Times Square, they convened with thousands of other protesters and caught hundreds of tourists unawares. “We thought they were going to stay down on Wall Street,” said Sandi Bernard — who is 59 and was visiting from Waldorf, Md. — while wondering if she would have trouble making the 8 p.m. curtain call for “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”

Some tourists pumped their fists and whooped from atop double-decker sightseeing buses as the protesters cheered back. To keep 42nd Street clear the police shunted marchers up to 46th Street, where officers and the pressed-in masses had several run-ins. At one point the police pushed the barricades in toward the crowd, and the crowd pushed back. At another point two mounted officers moved their horses briefly into the throng.

Three people were arrested trying to take down barricades, the police said. Later, as officers tried to disperse people east on 46th Street, 42 people who the police said defied their orders were taken away, in plastic handcuffs, in three police wagons. One witness, Harry Kaback, a 26-year-old comic selling tickets to the Ha! comedy club, said the protesters were “getting rowdy” with the police and shouting in their faces.

For the protesters, marching on Times Square held almost as much significance as did protesting against Wall Street.

“Times Square represents business as usual — buy, buy, buy in this economic climate, watch the latest show,” said Elias Holtz, 29, a Web designer who lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn. “But the crisis is everywhere.”

The protest moved back to Washington Square Park, where people listened to speeches and debated whether to stay while police officers marched down Fifth Avenue and into the square. One officer gave a warning as midnight approached: “The park closes at 24:00 hours. You can exit to the east, west or south. You have 10 minutes.”

Virtually everyone chose to leave, save 14 protesters who remained sitting in the dry bed of the park’s fountain and were arrested, the police said. Many headed back to Zuccotti Park, where there is no curfew.

Earlier, about a dozen protesters entered a Chase branch in Lower Manhattan and withdrew their money from the bank while 300 other people circled the block, some shouting chants and beating on drums. The former Chase customers, who declined to reveal how much they had in their accounts — though a few acknowledged it was not much — said they planned to put their money into smaller banks or credit unions.

“The more resources we give to small institutions, the more they’ll be able to provide conveniences like free A.T.M.’s and streamlined online banking so they can compete with the larger banks,” said Hannah Appel, 33, a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University.

Five people wearing masks were arrested during the march to Times Square for “loitering with masks,” said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, an apparent reference to an old state law prohibiting masked gatherings (the law does not apply to masquerade parties).

And two dozen people were arrested at a Citibank branch on LaGuardia Place on trespassing charges.

Some witnesses said that the protesters had tried to leave but were locked inside by bank employees. “They were trying to leave, but they wouldn’t let them,” said Meaghan Linick, 23, of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. She said one woman who had been inside and left was forced back inside by police officers.

Citibank, in a statement, said the protesters “were very disruptive and refused to leave after being repeatedly asked, causing our staff to call 911.” The statement continued, “The police asked the branch staff to close the branch until the protesters could be removed.”

In Washington, several hundred people marched through downtown, beginning in the early morning, passing by several banks. Escorted by the police, the marchers also demonstrated in front of the White House and the Treasury Department before moving on to a rally on the National Mall, where they were joined by representatives of unions and other supporters.

“You see how people are beholden to corporate interests no matter how hard you might have worked to get them elected,” said Kelly Mears, 24, a former software engineer. “There is a disconnect.”

Saturday’s protests sprang not only from the Occupy Wall Street movement that began last month in New York, but also from demonstrations in Spain in May. This weekend, the global protest effort came as finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 industrialized nations meet in Paris to discuss economic issues, including ways to tackle Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.

Tens of thousands of protesters assembled in Madrid on Saturday evening, when chants mingled with live music, including a rendition of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” lending the downtown area an upbeat feel on an unusually balmy fall afternoon.

Brief clashes were reported in London, where the police were out in force with dozens of riot vans, canine units and hundreds of officers. But the gathering, attended by people of all ages, was largely peaceful, with a picnic atmosphere and people streaming in and out of a nearby Starbucks.

The WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, made an appearance when a crowd assembled in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral. To loud cheers, Mr. Assange called the protest movement “the culmination of a dream.”

In Rome, the protests Saturday were as much about the growing dissatisfaction with the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who narrowly survived a vote of confidence on Friday, as they were about global financial inequities. Tens of thousands of people turned out for what started as peaceful protests and then devolved into ugly violence. The windows of shops and banks were smashed, a police van was destroyed, and some Defense Ministry offices were set alight.

“We don’t feel represented by the government. We feel made fun of,” Alessia Tridici, 18, said in Rome. “We’re upset because we don’t have prospects for the future. We’ll never see a pension. We’ll have to work until we die.”

Cara Buckley reported from New York, and Rachel Donadio from Rome. Reporting was contributed by Jack Ewing from Frankfurt; Nicholas Kulish from Berlin; Joseph Goldstein, Elizabeth A. Harris, Colin Moynihan and Christopher Maag from New York; Catherine Garcia from Los Angeles; Raphael Minder from Madrid; Ron Nixon from Washington; and Ravi Somaiya from London.

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