Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Satire: Dumb And Dumbest Edition

    What a week this has been if you are a real human, and have been keeping up with the  “ GOP Comedy Show “ known as the Republican “ Pick me, please “ tour. Of course, Rick Perry and Herman Cain have been the stars of the series, proving that even a higher education can still make one an A+  stupid.


David Letterman: "One by one the Republican candidate potentials have been shooting themselves in the foot making huge, horrible gaffes and they just look silly. It's gotten so bad that President Obama is now worried he may actually be re-elected."

"Newt Gingrich is so confident about his chances that he's already working on his concession speech."

"If we have to sit through any more of these Republican debates, I'm ready for a dictatorship."

"I'm thinking Herman Cain doesn't get it. He brought a date to the debate."

"Today it's 61 and foggy, like Rick Perry. But it's nice to see a guy running for President who's only groping for words."

"I'm worried about Rick Perry. For one, I'm worried that maybe he's too conservative. Two, I worry a little bit about his debating skills. And three, I — Oh, what was three?"

Bill Maher: "Someone told Rick Perry today that Obama, as he did, laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. And Rick Perry said 'See, he blanks on names too.'"

"Rick Perry forgets his own talking points, Herman Cain forgets every woman he ever groped, Mitt Romney forgets he used to be for everything he is now against; they don’t need debates, they need ginkgo biloba."

"It has gotten so bad in the party that Newt Gingrich is now starting to surge, which is never good news for Mrs. Gingrich."

Conan O'Brien: "Paris Hilton is more popular than Congress. And, like Congress, Paris's maximum capacity is 500 members."

"There was an awkward moment when Herman Cain turned to Michele Bachmann and asked her what she was willing to do to get the job."

Jay Leno: "Cain's only real foreign policy experience is from when he ran the National Restaurant Association and had to deal with the manager from the International House of Pancakes."

"People attending a Rick Perry event in New Hampshire had to prove they were American citizens. They asked a math or science question and if you get it wrong, you were born here."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Feds: All Commodity Traders To Be Audited

November 11, 2011 02:00 PM

By Susie Madrak           Crooks & Liars

Get out the popcorn! You know how they got Al Capone on tax evasion? Maybe we're finally going to see a some Wall Street bankers go to jail for something, even if it's not for crashing the economy. But if we're going to audit futures trading, it could break the backs of food and oil speculators who are driving up the cost of food worldwide:

Federal regulators have ordered an audit of every American futures trading firm to verify that customer money is protected, a move that comes after roughly $600 million in client funds were discovered to be missing from MF Global, the bankrupt brokerage firm once run by Jon S. Corzine.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the federal regulator searching for the missing money at MF Global, will audit many of the nation’s largest futures commission merchants, according to a person briefed on the decision. Exchanges like the CME Group will examine smaller firms to ensure they are keeping customer money separate from company money, a fundamental rule on Wall Street.

The futures commission also announced on Thursday that it had formally opened an investigation into MF Global, a largely symbolic move that indicated the seriousness of the case. The agency has already issued subpoenas to MF Global and its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, but the commission had to vote before announcing a full-scale investigation.

“The commission has determined it is in the public interest to confirm the existence of this particular investigation,” the agency said in a statement.

Now, I happen to think they'd be investigating MF Global anyway, but the fact that they're going to audit all the futures traders has to be sending a tremor down Wall Street and I'm going to give some credit to the Occupy movement. Stay tuned!

Perry Challenges Pelosi To A Debate….

…. which would have been a major Pay Per View event if something like this were to take place. Perry lucked out, as Pelosi had some mercy and declined the invitation to embarrass Perry as he has done to himself over the past few weeks.  


Dear Leader Pelosi [...]

I am in Washington Monday and would love to engage you in a public debate about my Overhaul Washington plan versus the congressional status quo. I think it would be a tremendous service to the American public to see a public airing of these differences. Let the people decide. If Monday doesn't work, perhaps we could find a time in Iowa over the course of the next month to discuss these issues in front of the people of America's heartland.

Should you choose not to respond or engage in such a healthy discussion, I will take it to mean you will continue your obstructionist ways in the face of much needed Washington reform.


Rick Perry
Governor of Texas

Oh Rick. Oh, you poor dumb bastard. After all of your astounding debate FAIL against the brain trust that is the Republican presidential field, after considering skipping future debates because you suck so much at them, you think challenging former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to a debate is going to save you?

Seriously, Rick? Seriously?

Aside from the fact that (a) Nancy Pelosi is not running for the Republican nomination for president, (b) you're not running for the 8th Congressional District in California, and (c) uh ... um ... EPA ... Do you really think that you can take on Nancy freakin' Pelosi when you can't even stand on a stage with Michele "Vaccines makes you retarded" Bachmann without looking like a drooling idiot?

And Rick? That closing paragraph—that if Nancy doesn't agree to meet you behind the gym after school waste her time debating you, it means she's a big ol' meanie obstructionist—is just painfully embarrassing. For you. Because—and this is probably news to you—Rep. Pelosi is actually a member of the party that is trying to work with the president to bring about that "much needed Washington reform" you mentioned. It's the Republican Party, your party, the party of No To Everything, that is obstructing said reform. And it's pretty hard to see how spending time debating a guy who can't even count to three is supposed to reform Washington.

So, no, Nancy Pelosi won't be meeting you for a debate on Monday:

"He did ask if I could debate here in Washington on Monday. It is my understanding that such a letter has come in," Pelosi said in the Capitol Thursday. "Monday I'm going to be in Portland in the morning, I'm going to be visiting some of our labs. I'm in California in the afternoon, that's two. I can't remember what the third is."

Sorry, Rick, guess you'll just have to settle for embarrassing yourself with your fellow Republicans.

9:46 AM PT: Hahahahahahahahahahaha, take two:

Perry's campaign fired back at the Dem leader, writing on their official twitter account Thursday: "@NancyPelosi Perhaps the third activity that you have forgotten is the ongoing insider trading?"

Oh, Rick. So funny. So funny, I forgot to laugh. Also, your mom.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Thu Nov 17, 2011
Also republished by Daily Kos.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

God Told Gingrich To Run…

    … and he had better run quickly.

Bloomberg News drops this campaign-ending bomb on Newt Gingrich tonight.

Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.

The total amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac that Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9 sponsored by CNBC, and more than was disclosed in the middle of congressional investigations into the housing industry collapse.

Gingrich’s business relationship with Freddie Mac spanned a period of eight years. When asked at the debate what he did to earn a $300,000 payment in 2006, the former speaker said he “offered them advice on precisely what they didn’t do,” and warned the company that its lending practices were “insane.” Former Freddie Mac executives who worked with Gingrich dispute that account.

Gingrich’s first contract with the mortgage lender was in 1999, five months after he resigned from Congress and as House speaker, according to a Freddie Mac press release.

Originally posted to Scarce on Tue Nov 15, 2011
Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

A Judge Smacks Down U.S. Bank

by Jbearlaw     Tue Nov 15, 2011

This is a depressing time to try to believe in the rule of law in this country, because of so much in the way of rampant fraud on behalf of the banking industry, the robo-signing, the delays and obfuscations, the obvious collusion, etc.  However, there is still a long history of the rule of law in this country, and even despite our philosophical and political differences, there are lots of good actors involved, at every level.   I have no idea of what political persuasion Judge Dennis Blackmon is, but Tea Partiers and Occupiers alike should be able to applaud his opinion in Otis Wayne Phillips v. US Bank.

Sometimes, only the courts of law stand to protect the taxpayer. Somewhere, someone has to stand up. Well, sometimes is now, and the place is the Great State of Georgia. The Defendant’s Motion is hereby Denied.

The court finds the following to be the facts and law applicable to this motion: 


-Otis Phillips is behind on his house payments and is in grave danger of foreclosure. 

-The United States Government paid taxpayer dollars to the largest of our financial institutions, and to European Union Banks, in order to prop up those poorly run organizations.

-Twenty Billion of those dollars were handed over to the defendant, U.S. Bank. 

-U.S. Bank agreed to participate in the U.S. Government's HAMP program to help struggling homeowners.

-U.S. Bank signed a Service Participation Agreement (SPA), in which the bailed out bank agreed to comply with the HAMP Guidelines for loan modification 

-The HAMP guidelines require U.S. Bank to perform modification services for all morgage loans it services. 

-Otis Phillips applied to modify his mortgage with U.S. Bank. 

-U..S. Bank denied the request, without numbers, figures, or explanation, reasoning, comparison to the guidelines, or anything.  U.S. Bank would not reveal to Mr. Phillips how his income, or his house, or his expenses would make him ineligible according to HAMP guidelines. 

(This court cannot imagine why U.S. Bank will not make known to Mr. Phillips, a taxpayer, how his numbers put him outside the federal guidelines to receive a loan modification.  Taking $20 Billion of taxpayer money was no problem for U.S. Bank. A cynical Judge might believe that this entire motion to dismiss is a desperate attempt to avoid the discovery period, where U.S. Bank would have to tell Mr. Phillips how his financial situation did not qualify him for a modification. Or, perhaps he was qualified, yet didn’t receive the modification, in violation of U.S. Bank’s Service Participation Agreement (SPA).  A cynical judge might think that, if the guidelines clearly prevented Mr Phillips from getting his modification, then US Bank would have trotted out that fact in mathematic equations, pie charts, and bar graphs, all on 8 by 10 glossy photo paper, with circles and arrows and paragraphs on the back explaining each winning number.1  U.S. Bank’s silence on this issue might heighten the suspicions of such a cynical jurist.  I, on the other hand, am sure that nothing of the sort could be true. Maybe US Bank no longer has any of the $20 billion dollars left, and so their lack of written explanation might be attributed to some kind of ink reduction program to save money. I’m sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for why US  Bank will not print out the ONE page of figures that show that Mr. Phillip’s financials compared to the HAMP guidelines to clear this all up.)

1.  Apologies to Arlo Guthrie, Alice's Restaurant. 

-Otis Phillips claims to have suffered as a result of U.S. Bank's actions, and

-Otis Phillips wishes to avoid foreclosure. 


Clearly, U.S. Bank cannot take the money, contract with our government to provide a a service to the taxpayer, violate that agreement, and then say no one on earth can sue them for it. That is not the law in Georgia. In fact, since no administrative review is provided in HAMP [which is something you should put in your OCC letter demanding review], the courts are the only recourse.  The Bank claims that the intended beneficiaries of HAMP are the very people who CAN'T sue.  Such argument is absurd.


Georgia prohibits wrongful foreclosures.  In fact, Federal law also prohibits wrongful foreclosures.  Mr. Phillips claims that U.S. Bank is not the proper party to pursue such an action, and is merely the servicer of the loan, not the holder.  Further, Mr. Phillips asserts that compliance with HAMP guidelines is a condition precedent to foreclosure. 


There is no merit to Defendant's motion to dismiss, and same is hereby denied.

That's the kind of thing that makes you believe in this country.  Congratulations, Judge Blackmon!  Picture of Judge Blackmon here. 

12:15 PM PT: Just want to say thanks to all who've stopped to read and rec.  Hope you enjoyed Judge Blackmon's wit as much as I did.  This is exactly the kind of thing that the Banks are trying to get immunity from, in the negotiations with Attorneys General all across the country, and from the U.S. Treasury and Justice Departments.  Judge Blackmon's opinion demonstrates just how stupid it would be for the A.G.'s, Tres., and Justice to do so; it's just common sense that these banks need to be held accountable, and the law provides a means to do so, if only they will let it. 

2:39 PM PT: Once again, thanks to all.  Time to go, so won't be responding to any more comments. 

Originally posted to Jbearlaw on Tue Nov 15, 2011
Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

Bank Of America Makes Millions Charging Fees To Withdraw Unemployment Benefits

by Marie Diamond

Published on Monday, November 14, 2011 by ThinkProgress

Late last month, a national backlash forced Bank of America to abandon its plan to charge customers $5 a month to use their debit cards. But Huffington Post reports that the corporation has quietly been mining other sources of fees, preying on its most vulnerable customers to rake in millions in revenue:

  Shawana Busby does not seem like the sort of customer who would be at the center of a major bank’s business plan. Out of work for much of the last three years, she depends upon a $264-a-week unemployment check from the state of South Carolina. But the state has contracted with Bank of America to administer its unemployment benefits, and Busby has frequently found herself incurring bank fees to get her money.

To withdraw her benefits, Busby, 33, uses a Bank of America prepaid debit card on which the state deposits her funds…Busby visits the ATMs in her area and begrudgingly accepts the fees, which reach as high as five dollars per transaction. She estimates that she has paid at least $350 in fees to tap her unemployment benefits. [...]

In short, the same banks whose speculation delivered a financial crisis that has destroyed millions of jobs have figured out how to turn widespread unemployment into a profit center: The larger the number of people who are out of work and dependent upon the state for sustenance, the greater the potential gains through administering their benefits.

Millions of jobless Americans like Busby have little choice but to rely on the bank’s prepaid debit cards to collect their monthly benefits. Forty-one states have contracted with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and other banks to provide access to public benefits, allowing them to collect unlimited fees, both from the unemployed and state governments. South Carolina, for instance, pays Bank of America a fee for each transfer it facilitates on a debit card, and for handling direct deposit of unemployment benefits.

Families who are living hand-to-mouth are outraged to discover that banks worth trillions of dollars are taking such a big cut of their benefits, when they depend on every penny. The New York Times reports today that banks have been quietly raising fees on everything from replacing lost cards to monthly maintenance. BofA customers can be charged $1.50 for speaking to a customer service operator more than once a month, $1.50 for using an “out-of-network” ATM, and $0.50 for entering the wrong PIN number too many times.

Bryce Covert at New Deal 2.0 reported earlier this month that, “big banks are making a tidy profit by acting as middlemen for what should be publicly provided services.” U.S. Bancorp made $357 million in revenue from its unemployment benefit card division — more than one-fourth of its total revenue. Meanwhile JP Morgan “made $5.47 billion in net revenue for most of last year in the division that handles food stamp cards.”

Fed up with big banks’ exorbitant and never-ending fees, customers have been flocking to credit unions. One survey found that credit unions gained at least 650,000 new customers since September 29, the day Bank of America announced its debit card fee.

© 2005-2011 Center for American Progress Action Fund

    Also republished to

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NY Times Previews Life in America under Romney

By Dartagnan       Sun Nov 13, 2011

And America under Romney gets, well, screwed.

In exploring the machinations of Bain Capital, Romney's private equity firm,  which Romney holds out as a cornerstone of his campaign to convince Americans of his business savvy, the Times obliquely opens a window into what we all could expect from a Romney Administration.

Mr. Romney’s career at Bain Capital, which he owned and ran as chief executive, is a cornerstone of his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination — a credential, he argues, that showcases the management skills and business acumen that America needs to revive a stalled economy. Creating jobs, Mr. Romney says, is exactly what he knows how to do.

The White House, though, is already preparing a less flattering portrayal, trying to frame Mr. Romney’s record at Bain as evidence that he would pursue slash and burn economics and that his business career thrived by enriching the elite at the expense of the working class.

If that latter paragraph sounds familiar, it should. Although they may not have pitched tents in Zuccotti Park, the Obama Administration's campaign team knows full well that Americans are seething right now, and are unlikely to be enamored with a candidate who made his fortune performing the same function as a corporate raider.

Bain Capital's behavior towards the Illinois medical supply company Dade International is a perfect microcosm of what Americans feel has been done to their country over the past twenty years.  While Romney's firm netted 242 million dollars, eight times its original investment, the company ended up laying off 1700 workers and filing for bankruptcy.  The only word that adequately captures what Romney and Bain did here would be "looting:"

They extracted cash from the company at almost every turn — paying themselves nearly $100 million in fees, first for buying the company and then for helping to run it. Later, just after Mr. Romney stepped down from his role, Bain took $242 million out of the business in a transaction that, according to bankruptcy documents and several former Dade officials, weakened the company.

It seems clear from some of Romney's more infamous statements on the campaign trail that while he may have left Bain in a physical sense his spirit remains entwined with the philosophy of his beloved company:

Romney the candidate can still frequently sound like Romney the C.E.O. On the campaign trail, he has taken a tough-love approach to the economy, suggesting that the best remedy for the housing market is to allow foreclosures to “hit the bottom”; railing against wasteful spending by the government-backed solar company Solyndra; and arguing that companies with poor strategies, like General Motors, should be allowed to go bankrupt, without a federal bailout.
It was the same approach he took with Bain, as he explained in an interview with The New York Times in 2007, when asked about layoffs at the companies he bought.

Sometimes the medicine is a little bitter,” he said, “but it is necessary to save the life of the patient.”

Except in Dade's case, the patient died.  The history of the Dade acquisitions shows that it was less "business acumen" than Romney's personal greed guiding Bain's actions.  Perhaps in the context of a private equity firm whose goal is to make money for its investors, those terms are interchangeable. But as a philosophy of government, the consequences of adopting this kind of mindset  are obvious.

The story of Dade is a familiar one. Aided by a 450 million dollar influx from Goldman Sachs, the company began making acquisitions of its own.  Its annual sales doubled.   But so did its debt. And when the tipping point was reached, the workers were treated to the "mantra" of cost-cutting while Bain, Goldman, and Mitt Romney continued to rake in the profits. 

Pensions were replaced by 401k's. Salaries were cut. Workers were laid off. Plants were closed. Sound familiar?

By 1998 Mitt and his Bain buddies were looking to cash out. So what did they do?  Why, they increased the company's debt. Because no one could foresee how that would turn out.

Bain settled on a common tactic in private equity: In April 1999, it pushed Dade to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to buy half of Bain’s shares in the company — and half of those of its investment partners.

Bain pocketed the $242 million. Goldman received $121 million. Top Dade executives got $55 million, records show. The total payout to shareholders reached $420 million — nearly as much as the purchase price for Dade.

The money was hard to resist, acknowledged Mr. Brightfelt, the former Dade president. “We were all glad to get some cash out,” he said, “and we thought we deserved it.”

The money was "hard to resist."  They "thought they deserved it." Coincidentally, things then went south for Dade:

With the amount of money that Dade owed to creditors and vendors at nearly $2 billion, some executives worried that the company would have little maneuvering room if its financial situation suddenly deteriorated.

Soon enough, it did. Interest rates rose, increasing Dade’s debt payments. The value of the euro, then a new currency, slid, reducing Dade’s European revenue. And a new distribution center had unexpected delays.

Creditors, unsettled by deteriorating finances and high debts, began to pounce. More layoffs followed. And in August of 2002, Dade filed for bankruptcy protection.

The creditors threatened litigation against Bain and its investment partners, accusing them of “professional negligence” and “unjust enrichment,” according to bankruptcy documents. Bain and the other investors argued that the claims were baseless, but agreed to forgo about $68 million owed to them by Dade. And seven years after buying the company, Bain forfeited its remaining ownership stake.

After going through  Bankruptcy, Dade was bought by Siemens. And the cycle goes on.

The article describes the emotional and financial problems faced by many of Dade's workers as they faced relocation and layoffs while Romney began to hone his political ambitions.      This is apparently the "bitter medicine"  Romney is talking about:

Arsenio Muñiz Rosado, a 51-year-old father who had spent 23 years at the plant, starting out as a groundskeeper, sank into a debilitating depression. Still jobless six months after he was let go, he tried to commit suicide with a bottle full of Xanax pills. It was the first of several attempts.

For all intents and purposes, he said of the plant, “I died in there.

This story is why I cringe when I hear these candidates suggests their CEO experience provides them with the tools needed for good governance. In fact it would appear that for a good many CEO's the experience provides exactly the wrong message. By all indications, Romney's brand of "business acumen" would simply accelerate the downward spiral of the middle class and sharpen income inequality.  It would fatten the investor class at the expense of the people who do the actual work for these companies that people like Romney buy and sell like Monopoly pieces. Because that's what he knows.  That is his primary source of funding. And he hasn't demonstrated a shred of empathy towards anyone else.

Originally posted to Dartagnan on Sun Nov 13, 2011
Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Herman Cain: Now God Wants Him To Be President…

 image   …. so now I have to go and find me a very quiet location in order to have a chat with God about this development, as God seems to be suffering from a bout of confusion over which Republican should be in the White House. I am believing that God will tell me that He is just having some innocent fun with all of those Christian Conservative fakes, and that He  has not told any one of them that they would win.. Maybe God is hoping that these people will see the errors of their ways and repent? Sorry God, but that is not going to happen because they would have to denounce their corporate masters in order to escape from the dark side, which isn’t in their best interest.

   So let’s count all of the butt-wipes from the GOP who God has called to run for the White House.  Are you ready for this? Are you sure?

    Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Rick Perry. It should be noted that Perry did not speak directly with God, his wife got that message instead. I think that Perry’s cellphone battery had died earlier that morning so God couldn’t get through to him with his orders.

   So Herman Cain, as most Republicans have done, has decided to take the low road just to get the votes from the conservative Republicans, mostly inhabiting the South.

Yahoo News

In a speech Saturday to a national meeting of young Republicans, Cain said the Lord persuaded him after much prayer.

"That's when I prayed and prayed and prayed. I'm a man of faith — I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I've ever done before in my life," Cain said. "And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses. 'You've got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?'"

Cain spoke in advance of a Republican debate Saturday in South Carolina focused on foreign policy.

  We have a conflict, Mr. Cain. God told you to run for President, and at the same time He told me not to vote for you or any other “ conservative Christian,” so which one of us is hearing from the wrong God?

    As a Christian ( not nearly perfect ) who tries to do the right thing when other people are in need of help, I find Mr. Cain and his ilk insulting to the faith and to the slow-minded followers who will believe his line of crap. These Christians stand for nothing in which God or His son, Jesus Christ, would condone. Jesus was most certainly no kind of conservative, and he most surely did not get along with most of the rich. He absolutely did not have any of the ideas that the Republican Party lives by, and he would be overturning their tables of filthy lucre as he did with the moneychangers back in the day. Of course, the Republicans are not the only ones partaking in this kind of crap. The Democrats are guilty also, only to a somewhat lesser degree.

   Keep your fraudulent religious ideas out of the political arena as our founding fathers intended. People like Cain and Perry are the reason why government and religion should be on different wavelengths.

   So, what do I find so wrong with the Conservative Christian Republican/Tea Party? An op-ed piece by past lobbyist for the  National Association of Evangelicals ( Richard Cizik ) in Friday’s Washington Post covers a bit of the problem.

The “compassionate conservatism” espoused by President George W. Bush and many prominent evangelical leaders has been supplanted by a Tea Party ideology that bears more resemblance to the anti-Christian philosophy of Ayn Rand than it does to the Gospel.

Whether the Christian duty to love our neighbors is compatible with a political movement that embraces radical individualism and rejects the ethic of collective responsibility is a central question as the GOP attempts to cement the Tea Party and the religious right into a cohesive base. Tea Party activists and Republican leaders have consistently targeted for cutbacks vital government programs that protect the poor, the elderly, children and other vulnerable Americans. Yet calls for shared sacrifice and proposals to modestly raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans in order to fund investments and protections that promote the common good are derided as “class warfare.” This is what passes for family values?

Tony Perkins' Family Research Council has made the suggestion that "the priorities of corporations and the GOP fit snugly with the teachings of Jesus."  Which Bible do these clown read from?

   An almost worse problem is the fact that the majority of churches on this planet have become nothing but big-business enterprises who use fear tactics on their congregations in order to suck their money out of their wallets and purses.

   Sad for a Christian to say this, but, I’d rather see our government run by Atheist instead of these frauds who pass themselves off as something which they are not. The Atheist that I know adhere more to the biblical teachings of Jesus than most Christians do, especially those Conservative ones. An Atheist House, Senate, and President could do no worse than the current crop of assholes in Washington, D.C., and may do even better. At least most believe in caring for their fellow man, rich and poor alike.

   As a side-note it should be noted that at the last Republican debate, a few of the Christians in the group stated that the United States should maybe plan on attacking Iran in order to stop the country from producing a nuclear weapon. Republicans have been playing the fear card forever, and it is worth noting that these Christians always seem to want to start a war somewhere.

    Do we really want another Republican sitting in the White House for even 4 years?



Sunday, November 13, 2011

Banks should worry: Now mortgage brokers are moving money

by monster        Fri Nov 11, 2011      Source

I'm in the process of refinancing the mortgage on my house, and in the process I learned something that should make the big bankers very, very worried.

For my new mortgage, I knew I would prefer to use a local credit union. But I also wanted to give the mortgage broker on my original loan a chance to get my business, since she was so helpful the first time around. So I got quotes from the credit union where I have my checking account, and also from the broker, who works with commercial lenders. Unsurprisingly, the quote I got from my credit union was much, much better than what I got from the broker. I told this to my broker, and also told her that because of the banks' recent behavior I preferred, morally, to go with a credit union. Therefore she wouldn't be getting my business.

But my mortgage broker isn't like the big banks. She didn't try to bluff, bribe, or threaten me to keep my business the way the likes of BofA and Wells Fargo are. Instead, she decided to make an effort to work with me. The happy (unless you're a big bank) conclusion over the jump.

My mortgage broker did some research and made some phone calls. And she discovered that she could originate loans for a credit union association. Lo and behold, the quote she gave me for a loan through that association was identical to the quote I'd gotten from my credit union. Far from being angry with me for ditching the commercial banks, she was grateful to me for pointing her in the direction of credit unions. She's now working with her boss to sign her agency up with the credit union association, and once that's done, she'll have much better loan products to offer all her customers. And I can get the best of all worlds: I can do business with a credit union, get the best rates available, and work with a broker I trust, all at the same time. I win, big banks lose.

Big banks should be very worried at the prospect of mortgage brokers working with credit unions. Brokers will almost certainly be able to get better rates through a credit union for most of their customers. And loans are how banks actually make money, through the fees and interest. So while folks moving checking and savings accounts out of commercial banks deprive them of capital, taking the loans away deprives them of profit. And that'll hit them where it hurts -- their bottom line.

If you're a mortgage broker, look into originating for credit unions. And if you're working with a broker to get a loan, ask them to look into it. They might not even know it's possible.

Originally posted to monster on Fri Nov 11, 2011
Also republished by Class Warfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS the Working Class Occupy movement..