Friday, October 29, 2010

More Non-Stop Nonsense in No-Move Market

What a way to end the week. First the government announces 3rd quarter GDP coming in at 2.0%, above estimates of 1.7%. Then they have this phony terrorist package from Yemen BS and that's all anybody can talk about on CNBC.

The whole mess is just so much baloney, it's truly dispiriting. So much so, that I am just going to copy and paste a comment I left on another blog:

That dipshit CNBC bitch Trish Regan keeps droning on and on about how packages are never inspected. Get ready for major price increases on cross border small packages, already ridiculously high. Just another crack on the back of small business in the name of "security."

This government sucks. Best to just ignore them.

Please don't ever vote again. It does only encourage the ass-holes.

Watch what happens next. More security inside the US, allowing Postal Service to inspect all parcels. I never use UPS - too expensive - but I think you have to bring packages to their offices open so they can inspect them. At least that's how it was in the immediate aftermath of 9-11.

My best guess is that about 15 banks are going under later today and this is their way of hiding the fact that America is Land of the Glee and Home of the Knave, and that your bank will be closed on Monday.

Maybe, if we get really lucky, they'll use this ruse to cancel the elections. Ah, crap, that means we'll have at least another two weeks of those damn political ads.

Crap, crap, crap. Give me Liberty or give me shit. Guess we all are getting it now.

The markets were their usual moribund selves on Friday. Nothing seems to move them any more. For the week, here are the moves on the main indices:

DJIA: HIGH: 11266.30,LOW: 11033.87, TOTAL POINT MOVE (from 10/22 close): -14.07
S&P 500: HIGH: 1196.14, LOW: 1171.70, TOTAL POINT MOVE (from 10/22 close): +0.18
NASDAQ: HIGH: 2516.20, LOW: 2470.12, TOTAL POINT MOVE (from 10/22 close): +28.02 WINNER!
NYSE: HIGH: 7615.23, LOW: 7417.42, TOTAL POINT MOVE (from 10/22 close): -9.56

Obviously, this wasn't much of a week for anyone. If diversified correctly, you may have even lost a couple of dollars. How's that retirement thing working out for you?

If the stock market - once the wonder of the world for its efficiency and ability to fund companies and create wealth - gets any more boring, I may have to take up knitting over blogging. If it were not so sad, I'd laugh. I used to love the stock market when I was a kid. Big companies were the stuff of dreams, of American success and exceptionalism. And now... now the stock market only represents greed, manipulation and the rise of the globalist agenda.

Dow 11,118.49, +4.54 (0.04%)
NASDAQ 2,507.41, +0.04 (0.00%)
S&P 500 1,183.26, -0.52 (0.04%)
NYSE Composite 7,513.35, +8.50 (0.11%)

Despite the squeamish headline numbers, advancers were all over decliners, 3868-2608. New highs bettered new lows, 400-59. Volume remains stuck at disturbingly-low levels.

NASDAQ Volume 2,010,327,375
NYSE Volume 4,128,324,750

Oil dipped 75 cents, to $81.43, but the precious metals were the stars of the day. Gold gained $15.10, to $1,357.60, closing in on record highs. Silver continued its massive build, up 69 cents, to $24.56.

There's usually something behind the phony terrorist "alarm" that has now preoccupied the airwaves. Apparently, the mainstream news media hasn't picked up on the fact the the bulk of Americans don't care or aren't scared any more, unless, of course, new coverage interrupts a sporting event or - God forbid - American Idol.

On that note, go scare some kids this weekend. They deserve it. Boo!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not Mixing Metaphors: The US Ship of State is Rudderless

In less than a week, a couple of hundred people (maybe less) scattered around the country in data centers will decide who wins elections for the US House and Senate and other important elections, state-wide and local.

Do you think that's an absurd proposition made up by somebody overusing Zanax or other mind-altering drugs? Perhaps you haven't been keeping abreast of developments via the Brad Blog, Verified Voting or Bev Harris' Black Box Voting.

These and other web sites - no, you'll find nothing about actual vote manipulation anywhere in the mainstream media (MSM) or even on Fox News (who only make hollow claims that ACORN or other "liberal" groups are effecting voter fraud) - have been detailing our fully-rigged elections systems since the fiasco of 2000 in Florida. Or have you forgotten that George W. Bush was never elected, but rather, appointed to the Presidency by the Supreme Court in 2000 and that the 2004 election was largely stolen?

OK, take whatever meds you need to make you believe that all is well in our great union, but I'm here to tell you - again - that the country is being run by a criminal gang masquerading as politicians, funded by the gangsters of Wall Street, otherwise known as "banksters", who have defrauded millions of Americans over and over again through fraudulent mortgages, fraudulent assignments of mortgages (I personally own one of these), baseless foreclosures, phony mortgage-backed securities (MBS) which were sold around the globe, but also to pension funds to which YOU may be contributing.

I used to say the wheels are off, but it's worse than that now. The ship of state is floundering in a seas of fraud without a rudder. Consider our fates when abject morons such as Sharon Angle may actually defeat senator Harry Reid in Nevada, when a total business failure such as Carly Fiorina may defeat senator Barbara Boxer in California. Not that I'm a fan of either Boxer or Reid - they are integral parts of the rampant criminality of Washington, DC - but their proposed replacements are nightmares.

As a nation, we are well on our way to complete and total ruination at the hands of an oligarchy run out of control. Massive criminality is no longer prosecuted; indeed, it is likely praised behind closed doors. The government's preferred choice of action is to settle with criminals, taking money in lieu of prison terms, as in the case of Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.

In normal times, deals like this would be categorized as bribes, but today the are SOP (standard Operating Procedure). In fact, our federal Attorney General, Eric Holder, hasn't led a sucessful prosecution of anybody involved in banking or the BP oil well explosion in the nearly two years be's been in office. The man just doesn't do his job and should be impeached, that is, if anyone can find him (he's nearly invisible).

To qualify that the US is off-course and headed for the rocks of desperation, depression and dissolution, a few headlines and stories should be required reading for today:

Run, Turkey, Run - PIMCO chief Bill Gross calls the Fed a Ponzi scheme

No Mr. President, Larry Summers Did Not Resolve the Financial Crisis for a Pittance, He Just Papered Over the Problem - William K. Black rips Larry Summers and calls President Obama a fraud.

Halliburton Knew About Bad Cement Job Before the Spill - Mother Jones reports that the company that former VP Dick Cheney once was CEO of, has been hiding the truth, again. Making matters worse, the company is now headquartered in Dubai, so even if we could locate Mr. Holder, the chances of prosecuting this rogue company are nil.

And of course, this: Leave Vera Baker Alone. She Did Not Have An Affair With Obama. - the internal US security apparatus may have the president by the short hairs. Nothing surprises us any more.

Not enough? We have witches running for Congress, a proposal to legalize marijuana in California being beaten back by the liquor lobby, other candidates who dress up in NAZI garb, others who invoke the Taliban when speaking of their opponent, and enough crazies running for office - like Carl Paladino, who threatened to "take out" a reporter - to make the original cast of One Flew Over the Kukoo's Nest appear completely normal.

On top of that, computers execute over 70% of all trades on Wall Street without any human intervention, and Joseph Murin, former head of Ginnie Mae, losing all credibility in this CNBC video, by first saying that now is the best time to buy a home and that the robo-signing scandal is "not about fraud, this is about process inadequacy." Incidentally, guest host Ken Langone's posturing that people are moving out of their foreclosed-upon homes into cheaper apartments and renting out the homes, is 100% pure falsehood.

How the markets responded to this crush of madness was the usual miasma of mix-up: The NASDAQ, S&P and NYSE were up, the Dow down, all marginally. Volume was normal, meaning, lousy.

Dow 11,113.95, -12.33 (0.11%)
NASDAQ 2,507.37, +4.11 (0.16%)
S&P 500 1,183.78, +1.33 (0.11%)
NYSE Composite 7,504.85, +23.98 (0.32%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,910,478,375
NYSE Volume 4,771,915,500

As such, there were 3152 advancing issues, 3205 decliners. New highs beat new lows, 413-58.

JP Morgan and HSBC Bank are being sued in federal court for manipulating the silver market [PDF]. Got coin? Silver exploded to the upside today, gaining 45 cents to $24.01. Gold was up $19.10 on last print, to $1344.10. Crude oil futures on the NYMEX closed up 24 cents, at $82.18. Note that above $80 per barrel is now the new normal, as is $3.00/gallon gas in many locales.

It's a mess, and come Tuesday, it's only going to get messier as we're likely to have a lame-duck congress followed by a completely stalemated one, with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats with a narrow (unable to override vetoes) majority in the Senate. Dr. Utopia will still reside in the White House, and, at a time when the nation needs leadership in the very worst way, we will have none.

Tomorrow, the initial estimate of third quarter GDP will be announced at 8:30 am ET.

Good luck with that!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stocks Take a Little Ride; Fraudclosure-gate Shuffled to Back Burner

With mid-term elections now less than a week away, politicians are in no mood to deal with serious issues (are they ever?) like the ongoing fraud in bank foreclosures that began to unravel three weeks ago and has continued to gather momentum.

That issue has been shelved for the time being by politicians and the bankers at the heart of the scandal. In fact, Bank of America was one of the top-performing stocks of the day, on a day in which the major indices took a serious turn to the downside only to be salvaged by furious buying into the close.

Silly me. I thought for a moment that the markets weren't rigged and losses could occur. Apparently, and almost assuredly, this is not the case. Nobody wants to talk about mortgage put-backs and fraudulent foreclosures. That's so... last weekend. We all need to pay attention to the events of next week - the elections and the FOMC meeting, and of course, how could I forget, Halloween is Sunday.

That's the level to which the markets and politics have sank. Bad news is simply not acceptable over any extended period. Breaking the law will be tolerated, as evidenced by the disappearance of our US Attorney General, Eric Holder, who has chosen the path of least resistance: prosecutions for nobody, no matter what, and especially if you're rich, well-connected or a complete snobbish troll.

As for stocks, they hit their lows of the day just after 1:00 pm ET, but then began a miraculous comeback on no news - as usual - to shave a nearly 150 point loss on the Dow down to just over 40 by the close. Nice job, fellas. We're sure there's a special place in hell for the cheating rats who now completely control Wall Street and their HFT computers, though most of us out here in teaming-masses-land would prefer to see you get your just desserts here on earth, as in a nice long prison sentence in a federal penitentiary and clawbacks and restitution of the billions you've strangled away from the US public.

But I digress. These titans of financial ingenuity, the Blankfeins, Dimons and Pandits of the world, they've brought us such wonders as 17% real unemployment, $3.00 per gallon gas and a complete rejection - at the federal level - of the constitution and the rule of law. We should thank them as they are whisked away in their limousines, for they have done the nation a great service: they robbed it blind.

Oops, there I go again; trying really hard to be objective, though it's difficult in the face of such overt criminality. Thankfully, I am not alone in my outrge. At least there is William K. Black, who sent thousands of dirty bankers to jail in the S&L scandal. He thinks Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner should be fired, many bankers indicted and the twelve largest financial institutions put under federal receivership.

Is anybody listening?

Dow 11,126.28, -43.18 (0.39%)
NASDAQ 2,503.26, +5.97 (0.24%)
S&P 500 1,182.45, -3.19 (0.27%)
NYSE Composite 7,480.87, -49.93 (0.66%)

Losers dominated winners, 4180-2216, a nearly 2-1 margin. New highs came in at 294, to just 54 new lows. Volume was a bit stronger than previous days this week and last, though it was still not at levels normal in the mid-00s, prior to the financial meltdown of 2008.

NASDAQ Volume 2,027,671,625
NYSE Volume 4,904,105,500

Commodities trended lower on the day, with oil losing 61 cents, to $81.94. Gold fell $16.00, to $1,322.60, while silver shed 43 cents, to close at $23.40 the ounce.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shocking! Fed Does $2.5B POMO; Stocks Gain Fractions

Not only is this the dullest market in generations, it is also the phoniest ever.

To illustrated just how desperate the big money traders (the only traders remaining) are for the largesse of the Federal Reserve, without whose risk-free money the stock markets would have closed down roughly two years ago, a recap of the day's trading is in order.

In the final half hour of trading yesterday, the Dow fell about 55 points. At the open today, the same index lopped off another 65 points in the opening minutes of trading. That's when Ben Bernanke primed up the printing press and bought back $2.5 billion of Treasuries from the corrupt, greedy, insolvent banks that have ruined the US economy.

Immediately, the Dow was back to the unchanged mark for the day, wiping out the early losses. The rest of the session was spent with the computers trading pennies in a tight range of 50 Dow points. To say that the markets are drifting aimlessly would be to miss the point that the Fed is force-feeding liquidity into the system. Truly, without the Federal Reserve priming the pump, stocks would be as dead as doornails, which, to some degree, is already the case.

Of course, there are those among us who still believe that the stock market is fair and unbiased, that there's no manipulation and that the small investor can still do well. These people apparently believe that unicorns can fly and the Easter Bunny brings candy to kids.

One adage of the market is that there's no free lunch, though that probably doesn't include banksters and insiders. For the rest of us, a look at price-earnings ratios might be instructive.

In a normal market, a reasonable P/E would be around 12-15. In raging bull markets, a touch above that, but in bear markets single digits are the norm, and there's no doubt that we're still in a bear market despite the convoluted efforts of the market riggers to make us believe otherwise.

I looked at some of the more popular names that routinely are recommended by pundits, analysts and brokers. Here's what I found to be their price-earnings ratios, using trailing earnings (prior four quarters). Caterpillar (CAT), 25.53; IBM (IBM), 12.72; AT&T (T), 12.52; McDonald's (MCD), 17.58; Apple (AAPL), 19.87; Intel (INTC), Chevron (CVX), 10.24; Bank of America (BAC), 51.36.

There's just a small cross-section of US stocks, which, from the looks of it, seem to be at least fully valued, though one has to ask why Bank of America is carrying a P/E three to four times it's historic norm. Does anyone think it's a good buy at this price, that they'll begin earning $4 and $5 per annum any time soon? Pretty doubtful. There's a lot of money that's headed for a rat hole in BAC.

Dow 11,169.46, +5.41 (0.05%)
NASDAQ 2,497.29, +6.44 (0.26%)
S&P 500 1,185.64, +0.02 (0.00%)
NYSE Composite 7,530.80, -15.58 (0.21%)

Declining issues beat advancers, 3453-2978. New Highs: 376; New Lows: 48. Volume was putrid.

NASDAQ Volume 1,935,497,500
NYSE Volume 4,679,565,500

Commodities, other than silver, didn't move very much. Oil gained 3 cents, to $82.55. Gold fell 30 cents, to 1,338.60. Silver, on serious allegations of price manipulation by short-sellers (banks, mostly JP Morgan), gained 29 cents, to $23.83.

Monday, October 25, 2010

When the News IS the News and Maybe Not the News

We used to have a saying in the newspaper business: "We don't make the news, we just deliver it."

That sentiment has been wasted on the Wall Street crowd. They are the news, even when there is no news, like today, when I find nothing of significance to report except that stocks went up.

It's old news, but becoming more the norm. Stocks go up. Every day. That's it.

But maybe there's more. Stocks gapped up at the open but stopped abruptly at 10:00 am, and that turned out to be the high of the day. I personally cannot remember a day in which the highwas reached at 10:00 am and not taken out later in the session, but that's what happened today.

After 10:00 am, the rest of the day was dithering, until the final half hour, when the HFTs all lined up and sold into the close. From a chartist's perspective, that close, in the context of the day's high at 10:00 am, is an ominous sign, something that I haven't been able to pronunce with conviction for quite some time.

Indeed, while many of us occupying the blogosphere see dark clouds on the horizon, they've been sitting out there for quite some time, but the markets continue to grind higher. It may be nothing, but with the mid-terms just a week away, fireworks could be ignited prior to the scheduled time.

The canaries in the coal mines are beginning to look more like a flock, each wondering which will fall over first. Unemployment is still at historic highs and growing. The housing market is completely stalled out due to foreclosure-gate, various investigations and new rules, and the added threat of put-backs by investors. Europe is fast becoming a war zone with France almost entirely shut down and Greece resuming protests which shut down the rails on Monday.

Add to these "canaries" the threat of market meltdown due to "flash crash" or other event and you have what sets up as a perfect storm. If one of the conditions is exacerbated to the point of explosion, the others will ignite in simultaneous conflagration.

In the meantime, we have banks committing mortgage and foreclosure fraud on a grand scale and markets that are just about non-functional other than the computers running the show. CNBC keeps reporting on companies meeting or beating expectations, so one has to wonder whether the inevitable crash will occur before or after the elections. I'm still sticking to "before" because there's been no October surprise as of yet, and the media is just waiting on it.

Dow 11,164.05, +31.49 (0.28%)
NASDAQ 2,490.85, +11.46 (0.46%)
S&P 500 1,185.62, +2.54 (0.21%)
NYSE Composite 7,546.38, +23.47 (0.31%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,764,460,625
NYSE Volume 4,795,549,500

Advancers finished ahead of declining issues, 4042-2423 (these numbers seem wrong, like 700 stocks were all of a sudden added to the NYSE - might be new ETFs?). New highs bettered new lows, 694-78. Volume was at it's usual dull level.

Commodities were on the move again. Oil gained 83 cents, to $82.52; gold picked up $13.80, to $1,338.90; silver added 43 cents, to $23.54.

It may all be meaningless, as there's no direction to anything except up, and we all know the outcome of things that go the way for long.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Welcome to the Depression in No-Fun, Distracted America

Is there any wonder why Americans find ways to distract themselves from the real world? The diversions provided by major league baseball, the NFL and other sports, shows like Glee or American Idol at least provide an escape from the drudgery that has become life in America: working to just pay bills that never cease, never go down, never go away. After the utilities, cable, phone, car insurance and other debt payments, gas and food most Americans are left with little to spend, much less save anything for a "brighter" future.

The oligarchy that we have morphed into over the past 40 years is decimating the middle class, having already created a huge and growing underclass that pays no bills, relying on food stamps and subsidized housing for basic sustenance. The rich could care less; they're just busy getting richer or trying to hold onto what they have before it's all inflated away by the Fed and the Treasury and our spendthrift congress.

We overburdened with rules and regulations that haunt us at every turn. Entrepreneurs are reluctant - no, afraid - to expand and hire anyone due to the crush of regulations, taxes, paperwork and red tape, making the thought of training and retaining employees almost unthinkable.

It would be nice to say that people want distractions because the news is always so bad, but that's not even true any more. The mainstream media doesn't even report the news properly, shielding the guilty (government, banks, politicians) from the public, left in the dark to fend for themselves when the next shock comes.

France is nearly in a state of anarchy, as is much of europe, though you'll find none of it on the major PUBLIC AIRWAVE networks. NBC even went so far as to call the potential $257 billion, or whatever stupid number they assigned to it, that will be needed to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the largest bailout in history, then went through a brief history, including the auto manufacturers, an some others they came up with, and then put had the temerity to show the cost of bailing out the banks at something like $17 billion.

It's outrageous that they can still call themselves a news organization. Somewhere along the line the $700 billion the banks stole from the American taxpayers has become a mere $17 billion. Supposedly, they'll argue that the banks paid most of it back. All they're doing is conditioning the public for the next bank bailout, on the order of $500 billion to $1 trillion, scheduled for late Winter or early Spring.

Even the stock market is a fool's paradise. Stocks just keep going up, no matter what. For instance, today, Fitch warned of downgrading the debt of Bank of America and Citigroup. Shares of both insolvent banks were higher at the end of the day.

Speaking of said stock market, the NASDAQ was higher all day, the Dow lower, and the S&P and NYSE hugged the flat line. The markets are broken, devoid of the individual investor that used to be the backbone of the trade. Today, 80% of the trades are computer driven and come from the top twenty or so brokerages or hedge funds.

It's simply no fun to be an American any more. Some days, people wish the system would just collapse, so we could start over again from scratch, because this one is just worn out or has become so corrupted, that it doesn't play right. Those of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s remember better times. One working parent, stay-at-home mom, mostly honest politicians, straight-forward banks, low costs for gas, food and other necessities and enough money for summer family vacations and even some left over for savings.

Forget those idyllic days, for they are long gone. What we have today instead is nothing short of catastrophic, and what we'll leave for the future will be an unmitigated wasteland.

Dow 11,132.56, -14.01 (0.13%)
NASDAQ 2,479.39, +19.72 (0.80%)
S&P 500 1,183.08, +2.82 (0.24%)
NYSE Composite 7,522.91, +7.24 (0.10%)

Despite the bifurcated headline numbers, advancers defeated decliners, 3940-2434. New highs soared past new lows, 340-46. Never mind that it was the lowest volume day in six weeks.

NASDAQ Volume 1,660,682,375
NYSE Volume 3,536,505,250

As one might have guessed, oil was up, by $1.13, to $81.69. Gold was lower by 50 cents, to $1,325.10, and silver shed two pennies, to $23.29.

We're all aware that America isn't what it used to be, but it would be nice if some of it could be saved. By kicking the can further down the road, the congress and big business are assuring us that it will never, ever again resemble anything like it was when it was good.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An Up and Down Thursday with Lady Gaga and the Fed

Now that the US stock markets are inexorably intertwined with Fed POMOs and repurchases, and, in turn, to movements in the US dollar, investors are more likely to see moves such as today's rather than stocks moving on fundamentals, news, or economic data.

In the absence of a POMO today, the whizzing HFT computers got the markets off to a bang-up start, only to be headed off by the Federal Reserve's #1.5 billion reverse repo, which actually takes liquidity out of the market. Thus, with less free money on hand, stocks slumped midday, though managed to stage a final hour rally to close positive, again. The major indices registered marginal gains, except for the NYSE Composite, the broadest measure.

Stocks simply cannot go down. That much is clear. How high the HFT computers and the Fed, via their Primary Dealers (PMs) will take it is the big unknown. Eventually, while Americans move from 99 weeks of unemployment benefits into the underworld of welfare recipients and food stamps, the stock market - permanently unhinged from reality and the US economy - may challenge the all-time highs. We expect REAL unemployment to be registering at about 25% (it's already 22% and rising), though the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will have it pegged at something around 9.7%, as they discard discouraged workers and anybody who was on a payroll for more than one hour in a given week.

In that regard, the weekly new unemployment claims were "down" to 452,000 this week, from last week's 475,000, which was revised from the reported 462,000. Not to worry, this week's figures will be revised upward next week, so they can show "improvement" again. The BLS has upwardly revised the number every week save one for the past six months. No, really, it's true!

US investors and their computers which run them also overlooked the extreme austerity measures undertaken by the British parliament and the ongoing strikes in France which have pretty much shut the country down.

Conditions in France are so bad that Lady Gaga cancelled all her upcoming appearances. Now, that's shocking and maybe will awaken the MTV generation that all is not well with the world.

Not making headlines today, but surely taking the heat from traders, was Bank of America (BAC), which hit another 52-week low, closing down 39 cents at 11.36. The widely =-circulating rumor is that BofA is being used as a fall guy for much of the toxic mortgage paper that investors wish to shed and be compensated for. Bank of America, with headquarters in Charlotte, NC, is not part of the Wall Street cartel, thus, it may be under preparation to be jettisoned from the land of publicly-traded companies.

For many mortgage and bank account holders, this could not happen to a better (worse) bank.

Dow 11,146.57, +38.60 (0.35%)
NASDAQ 2,459.67, +2.28 (0.09%)
S&P 500 1,180.26, +2.09 (0.18%)
NYSE Composite 7,515.67, -8.14 (0.11%)

despite the valiant efforts in the final hour, declining issues beat advancers, 3591-2799. New highs beat new lows, 522-74. Volume remained mostly moribund.

NASDAQ Volume 2,145,050,000
NYSE Volume 5,269,549,000

Commodities got smacked down again, with oil losing $1.98, to $80.56 on the first day of the December contract, a particularly bearish sentiment being expressed. Gold dropped another $18.60, to $1,325.60, while silver fell 73 cents, to $23.14, a tempting price, though one's enthusiasm for the precious metals must be tempered at this point. Commodities may be reacting more to the conditions in France, the rest of Europe and in England, as a global depression may be taking fuller shape and would negatively impact all asset classes, and primarily, commodities, as demand would be severely crimped for all production on every level.

Considering the damage done in the main by the corrupt, illicit actions of US financial institutions over the past two decades, global depression 2.0 seems the most likely outcome, something predicted here at least two years ago. Check our archives from 2006 and 2007 if you need any proof.

The banksters who roam Wall Street as free men (and maybe a few rogue women) have delivered to the world the ultimate crap sandwich, complete with a rotten apple in a fetid, torn paper bag. With US politicians more intent on re-election than actually handling problems, nothing gets done and nothing will, if the media pundits have their way.

Predicting a Republican "Tea Party" triumph, taking control of the House and maybe the Senate, the most likely outcome - with a Democrat in the White House - would be gridlock, with an assortment of charges, counter-charges, investigations and accusations being thrown by both parties at each other. This may be the most desirous of conditions for the American public, who might, after a while, simply give up on government policy and demand the wholesale dissolution of the federal government.

In the event of widespread public rage, after the rioting, ranting and raving, the states may then be able to stand up individually and reject federal controls which have destroyed the union. There will be periods of fear and bloodshed, but, in the end, removing the shackles of government may be the best and possibly, only solution.

One would hope that it would not come to such extremes, but the vast pantheon of history is replete with uprisings, revolts and revolutions. It's all part of what keeps the world spinning and a necessary needed cure to tyranny and control.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Market Seeking Direction or More POMO Please?

In the parlance of Wall Street, today was a "risk on" event, erasing the losses from Tuesday with an injection of another $600+ million from the Federal Reserve in the form of another in a seemingly-endless POMOs.

Stocks just catapulted right from the opening bell. It's obvious that the stock market cannot go down prior to the elections - or maybe they will - because that would be an overt indication that the economy is not as good as CNBC and the rest of the brain-dead media want everybody to believe it is.

Dow 11,107.97, +129.35 (1.18%)
NASDAQ 2,457.39, +20.44 (0.84%)
S&P 500 1,178.17, +12.27 (1.05%)
NYSE Composite 7,523.81, +100.16 (1.35%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,042,942,750
NYSE Volume 5,598,244,000

Advancing issues decimated decliners, 4798-1685, and new highs bettered new lows once again, 410-43. Volume was moderate. Forget about yesterday. That was simply a profit-taking day for the insiders. Move along. Nothing to see here.

Commodities ramped right back up, with oil gaining $2.28, to $81.77. Gold was up $8.20, at $1,344.20, and silver tacked on eight cents, to $23.86.

Is this any way to treat your money, your retirement funds, your kid's college savings? Maybe, if you believe that everything is just fine, that the largest banks in the country don't have trillions in bad debt sitting off their books and that the Fed is on your side.

Good luck with that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

No POMO, Stocks Down; B of A Putbacks Slam Stocks

Playing the market has become so simple. If the Fed supplies liquidity, buy. If they don't sell, but you should do those things a day ahead of time, and, of course, there are no guarantees, as computers running complex algorithms control 70-80% of the trading and the other 20-30% is handled by crooks, swindlers, fast-buck operators and con men.

Today's slide was exacerbated by problems for America's favorite deceitful banking interest, Bank of America, as reports emerged that various parties, from PIMCO to the NY Fed's Maiden Lane entity, are seeking putbacks against the company for many of the bogus MBS it has floated over the years. In a nutshell, now that 20% or more of the loans in various mortgage-backed securities are non-performing and the bank can't keep up with foreclosures and reselling of properties, the investors want their money back.

A consortium has hinted at a lawsuit in a letter to the bank, with more lawsuits surely to follow from parties as diverse as class-actions on behalf of defrauded homeowners to state AGs from across the country in a smorgasbord of civil and criminal actions. BofA has turned from a lending bank to a punching bag overnight, though the process has taken years and was mostly self-inflicted. Of course, BofA is not alone, though they may be singled out for the bulk of the abuse. JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup have similar issues that will be called out in due time.

The hour of the banks final reckoning is upon us, finally, and the criminals are circling the wagons. Within days, we should see executives lawyering up, though Attorney General Eric Holder remains ominously silent and disgraced. Our federal Attorney General should be immediately forced to step down for he has allowed a criminal enterprise to flourish within the banking community without even the hint of an investigation or subpoena.

Dow 10,978.62, -165.07 (1.48%)
NASDAQ 2,436.95, -43.71 (1.76%)
S&P 500 1,165.90, -18.81 (1.59%)
NYSE Composite 7,423.65, -147.45 (1.95%)

Losers finished well ahead of gainers, 5335-1164. New highs came down quite a bit, but still led new lows, 253-30. Obviously, there was some bottom fishing going on, as the new lows number should have been at least double what it was. Of course, considering the abundance of reporting and statistical issues facing the markets, all figures must be viewed with extreme cynicism and skepticism. Volume was quite strong, not to the bulls liking, indicating that this downdraft might be just the first of an October surprise swoon which almost everybody - except the genius analysts on CNBC - has expected.

NASDAQ Volume 2,256,866,500
NYSE Volume 6,293,440,000

Equities were joined by many commodities in the sell-off. Crude Oil for November delivery fell $3.59, to $79.49, a nearly 4.5% loss. Gold was smacked back to reality with a $36.10 loss, to $1,336.00. Silver responded in kind, losing 63 cents, to $23.78.

The banks are walking face-first into a tsunami of lawsuits. High-powered class action lawyers are looking into the potential for a nationwide class action in which the major banks - JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America Wells Fargo and Citigroup - would be defendants.

This Bloomberg story details the sordid side of MERS, named in lawsuits across the country. MERS (Mortgage elctronic Registry System) is a computerized registry which avoids filing mortgage assignments in county offices. It was founded, funded and maintained by a consortium of major lending institutions as well as government entities, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

Another story, this one from Salon, citing numerous sources, including University of Utah Law Professor Christopher Peterson in the Summer 2010 University of Cincnnati Law Review. Peterson isolates MERS and puts it squarrely at the root of the entire mortgage miasma, dating back to its roots in 1995. The company and its practices are largely behind the entire securitization process, which, according to Peterson, obliterates chain of title and among other rights, standing in foreclosure actions.

Fraudclosure continues. Here's Barry Ritholz and Chris Whalen on Larry Kudlow's show Monday night discussing various scenarios on how the situation will be resolved:

Monday, October 18, 2010

POMO Monday! Stocks Soar! BofA in the Clear!

The Fed executed a little $6.3 Billion POMO, which, as we have mentioned, is tantamount to giving the largest banks and brokerages free money with which to play the market. "Game on, dudes!" was heard in the offices of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, et. al., about five to seven minutes into the session.

Gotta love that funny money! Let's dance!

Dow 11,143.69, +80.91 (0.73%)
NASDAQ 2,480.66, +11.89 (0.48%)
S&P 500 1,184.71, +8.52 (0.72%)
NYSE Composite 7,571.10, +50.50 (0.67%)

Up, up and away went the stock indices, with 80% of the trading being done by HTF "flash" computers using algorithms designed by NASA, DARPA or the CIA, no doubt. Advancers absolutely crshed decliners, 4249-2216. New highs bettered new lows, 440-56. Volume was on the wrong side of the toilet rim, but with the Fed pumping money into the system, and the computers all programmed to react to volume buying as a buy signal, there's almost no downside to this market, which, of course, is the whole big idea, anyway.

It's absolutely absurd, but, I would be remiss not to advise at least some jumping in at any level right now, but with the implicit understanding that stops have to be set very judiciously and that means just under your buy price. (Disclaimer: setting stops may alert the HTF computers to your trades and take them out with all due haste.)

NASDAQ Volume 1,642,727,625.00
NYSE Volume 4,996,276,500.0

It was a great day to own oil futures. The front-end contract flew ahead by $1.83 on no news or data, to $83.08. Late print on gold was up $3.40, at $1372.30. Silver also gained 11 cents, to $24.43.

Add this last bit of news to the "and you thought Usain Bolt was fast" file. Bank of America, which just announced a self-imposed halt to foreclosure proceedings in all 50 states last week, today announced that they would resume foreclosures in 23 judicial-foreclosure states. The bank says that they found NO ERRORS in the 102,000 cases they reviewed, but added that they would begin submitting new affidavits by October 25th.

Now, call me silly or just plain dumb, but why, if they found no errors, would they begin filing "new" affidavits. Just saying, if the old ones were OK, why do you draw up new ones. Incidentally, I wonder just how many people spent the last ten days reviewing these 102,000 documents, which, I'm assuming were scattered around offices in those 23 states?

If you had 1000 people reviewing those documents, they'd have to have done 100 apiece, or about ten per day. If it were 100 people, that would escalate to 100 pr day, and what kind of review could one perform at the rate of about 15 per hour?

As usual, that smells fishy to me, but what do I know? Well, I know that the nation's largest banks are rotten, crooked and exist only to separate Americans from their money and property, so excuse me if I don't buy BofA's argument that they've already undone some of their dirty work.

Not so incidentally, Bank of America (BAC) shares were up 0.36, or 3% on the day. Other major bank stocks, like JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Citigroup (C), were up similarly. Wells Fargo and Citgroup both posted gains in excess of 5%.

Happy daze!

Late add: Just found this nifty publishing tool, which allows you to make animated movies. Here's today's post:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bennie Talks, Angelo Walks, BofA Balks

Our markets are indeed funny creatures. After the Fed issued a $4.7 billion POMO, all the cumputers went out and bought shares of Apple (AAPL), the darling of the tech sector and the one stock - according to some estimates - that makes up 20% of the entire NASDAQ every day in volume.

Apple was up more than 4% on the day in anticipation of earnings which come out on Monday, Oct. 18.

Share of Google were catapulted into the stratosphere, up 60 points (11%) to just over $600 per share after the company reported earnings that beat aggressive estimates for the third quarter.

Otherwise, the rest of the market wasn't very impressed with Ben Bernanke's speech in which he almost gushed openly about QE2 and the need to re-inflate the economy. In other words, Ben simply can't wait to print up more money and debase the currency further.

One little problem - well, two - with Ben's strategy is that interest rates are already at record low levels and people are still reluctant to spend, and, that second little annoyance: unemployment continues to hang around the 10% level and isn't seen improving until sometime in... well, make your best guess.

So, besides the ultra-bubbly-looking NASDAQ stocks, the rest of the market drifted below the unchanged mark for almost the entire session. The Dow ended lower, the NASDAQ was on a launch pad and the S&P barely budged. What all of this is saying is that there's a great deal of dislocation between the stocks, the indices and investors. Divergence is usually a good harbinger for an impending crash, to which we alerted the world yesterday. We're still on that tack, but POMO, QE2, elections and jerry-rigging the markets aren't going to help achieve the desired unwind.

Angelo Mozilo, former head of former Countrywide Financial, settled his SEC case for $67 million, along with two of his henchmen, Eric Sieracki and David Sambol. The coverup and deceit of the federal agencies continues. There is still an open DOJ criminal investigation, but with the invisible man, Eric Holder, not particularly interested in prosecuting anybody for anything, the chances of it being dropped are approaching 100%.

As usual, nobody admitted any guilt and the odd twist is that Bank of America, which bought the company in 2007, will pay a good deal of the disgorgement and fines.

Prior to the Mozilo deal, BofA had already been downgraded by Standard and Poors, from a buy to a hold. The stock skidded all day, along with other bank stocks associated to the foreclosure fraud issues which continue to be played out, talked about and eventually likely will be extensively litigated.

Dow 11,062.78, -31.79 (0.29%)
NASDAQ 2,468.77, +33.39 (1.37%)
S&P 500 1,176.19, +2.38 (0.20%)
NYSE Composite 7,520.60, -25.99 (0.34%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,246,778,000
NYSE Volume 6,512,256,500

Despite the split decision in the indices, declining issues led advancers by an unhealthy amount, 3625-2778. New highs continued to dominate new lows, 607-65, though it is notable that the number of new lows is beginning to rise off absurd lows in the 20s, now up two straight days. Volume was very strong, though this being an options expiration day on top of the fat fiat money sent through on the POMO, that's not unexpected.

For a change, the major commodities were all lower. Oil lost $1.44, to $81.25. Gold fell $5.60, to $1,372.00. Even silver, which has been on a tremendous tear, shed 15 cents, to $24.29, still mighty pricey.

With elections just twelve trading days away, we anxiously await the essential "October surprise" moment. Will it be in the form of a market crash, a terror event or a political gaffe.

Ladies and gents, place your bets and have a nice weekend. Take the Jets!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


As the headline suggests, Foreclosuregate has precipitated a front-running on the banks by investors who are rightfully scared that issues stemming from the rampant fraud, not only from foreclosure and robo-signing issues, but dating back to mortgage originations, bad paperwork, MERS, and the entire RMBS fiasco.

Proof was in the activity of the stocks that appear poised to take what amounts to a knockout blow: JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC) and the granddaddy of them all, Bank of America (BAC). Shares of these banks, which are the servicers of vast numbers of mortgages, many already in default or foreclosure, fell by 5-6% on the day.

On the other side of the sell-off are the monoline insurers, those companies which will gain from tranches of mortgages securities being "put back" to the banks as investors seek to be compensated and made whole at par for non-performing securities. Such entities such as AMBAC (ABK), MBIA (MBI), Radian Group (RDN) and MGIC Investment Corp. (MTG) were up anywhere from 5-18%. The smart money is already in, against the banks and on the insurers.

At issue are mortgages made and securities issued between 2005 and 2007, which were mostly securitized and sold by the Big Four banks. Many of the loans have already defaulted and are being put back to the banks, with litigation ramping up.

As for overall market reaction, stocks were down hard on the day on news that PPI increase 0.4% in September and new unemployment claims ramped up to 462,000, but is probably more like 475,000, as the BLS routinely understates these numbers and upwardly revises them the following week.

The Dow was down by as many as 72 points before the interventionists took aim at the unchanged line at 3:00 - their usual "happy hour" - and almost got there, perhaps leaving all of the indices in the red as a signal to those in the know that the massive sell-off was set to kick into high gear beginning Friday.

A market decline prior to the election is clearly in the cards as a message for Tea partiers and Republicans to carry into the elections as a repudiation of Democrat party policies. in case nobody noticed, equity options expire tomorrow, and the usual out-of-the-blue rally has gone missing.

Stocks are about to become very cheap, very soon, as a crash is well set-up by Fed pumping liquidity and enormous denial of reality on the part of the entire Wall Street scum crowd.

The Fed's QE2, attempting to "reduce disinflation," targeting a 2% inflation rate and an additional 0.5 to 1.0% improvement in GDP, is exactly backwards at this point. To say they are "pushing on a string" is like saying your son's high school football team has a good chance of beating the Baltimore Ravens.

The Fed will attempt to influence the economy by timed purchases of Treasuries and more bad paper in the MBS universe. They're going to get stuck with a load of bad paper which hopefully will cause their utter and complete collapse. Since the Fed is one of the major causes of financial pain in this country, it's about time they meet their maker and go the way of buggy whips, typewriters and people who think the banks are a good buy. Planning to purchase as much as $1.5 trillion of paper over the next 6-12 months isn't even going to raise an eyebrow on the slumbering economy. They'd need $20 trillion to unwind the mess the banks have created and continue to deny. It's OVER. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup will FAIL. JP Morgan Chase may survive, as they hold a special place in American finance, but they will be impaired for many years.

Dow 11,094.57, -1.51 (0.01%)
NASDAQ 2,435.38, -5.85 (0.24%)
S&P 500 1,173.81, -4.29 (0.36%)
NYSE Composite 7,546.59, -14.91 (0.20%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,026,980,750.00
NYSE Volume 5,962,782,000

Declining issues outpaced advancers, 3706-2738, but new highs remained in favor over new lows, 610-58. Volume was slightly improved, but only because the volume on the bank stocks was so unusually high (about 4.5X normal on BAC and WFC alone).

In anticipation of the deflationary depression the United States is about to enter, oil backed off 32 cents, to $82.69. The alternative currency play in the precious metals remained very much alive, with gold hiher by $7.10, to $1,377.60. Silver was higher by another 50 cents, to $24.44, capping a 25% move from the beginning of September.

Make no bones about it, the US is heading right over the cliff. Whether anybody recognizes the fact or the media gives credence to it before the elections or before Christmas is just a matter of how well the power players in government can keep it under wraps. But it's here, and it's going to hurt for a very long time.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Foreclosure-Gate Goes Full Monte; Stocks Soar!

Our stock markets have officially reached escape velocity today and have become permanently detached from reality.

With JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon admitting today at his company's conference call that they no longer make use of MERS to foreclose mortgages, because lawyers contend that the system lacks the required paper trail to prove ownership.

Game, Set, Match!

This is an open admission by the head of one of the biggest mortgage servicers and foreclosure mills in the country that the system they themselves created causes breaks in the chain of title, meaning that just about every mortgage in the country written between 2003 and 2008 may be impaired as to legal, rightful ownership. Title has been clouded. Good luck foreclosing for the banks, but tough luck for homeowners current and paying, because when the time comes to sell your property, not only will it likely be worth less than what you paid, no title insurer will touch it without increased premium because your prior note will not be discharged since the legal note holder is a mystery or the actual note is MIA.

Welcome to the world of lawlessness created by moral hazard. All of this is 100% the fault of the banks, just as all previous chapters of this book of slime has been, from sloppy underwriting, to sub-prime, no-doc, no-down loans to defaults and now, no rights to foreclose.

Today, hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of Americans who haven't paid their mortgages in months, have just hit the lottery and the prize is a free house. Now, these home-dwellers can't sell the homes, but they sure can live in them, and, in the case of investor-owned homes, there's nothing precluding them from finding suitable tenants and renting them out. What a way to boost the economy. Bust up the banks, screw over the investors (who have no recourse) and let the people be. All that extra money can now go to buy iPads, toasters, clothes, toys, and just in time for Christmas!

Any mortgage that has the name MERS, as assignee or mortgagee or nominee, is likely void, as worthless as a blank piece of paper when it comes to proving ownership. Let the plaintiff's attorneys come forward and let the games - and years of intense, unstopping lawsuits - begin. The banksters just passed the attorney full employment act.

For one idea as to where this is all going, and in a hurry, here's a story about a California couple and their nine kids who, on the advice of their attorney, broke back into the home that they were recently foreclosed upon and evicted from and who are now claiming rightful ownership.

What's happening in Simi Valley today and making headlines, will become commonplace within coming weeks and months.

Now that the fuse has been lit by the banks, homeowners and non-cooperative courts, for the full implosion of the entire US economy (most of the Southwest and Southeast are already toast, along with Detroit), how has Wall Street reacted?

As stated in the opening paragraph, the minions roaming the canyons of lower Manhattan have completely divorced themselves from reality. Stocks galloped right out of the gate on the strength of the 3rd quarter earnings report from JP Morgan Chase (JPM). It didn't matter that the earnings were not very good and unimpressive, just that they came out. The signal to buy had been given by Fed head Ben Bernanke on Tuesday, via the minutes of the previous FOMC meeting, released yesterday, in which the mechanics of QE2 were thoroughly exposed.

Dow 11,096.08, +75.68 (0.69%)
NASDAQ 2,441.23, +23.31 (0.96%)
S&P 500 1,178.10, +8.33 (0.71%)
NYSE Composite 7,561.50, +71.88 (0.96%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,309,790,500
NYSE Volume 5,420,675,500

Advancing issues soared past decliners, 4313-1472. There were 738 new highs, to just 25 new lows, the widest spread since in a year. On an intra-day basis, the Dow approached the April highs, but as the day wore on, stocks began to sell off, the Dow finishing about 60 points shy of the day's high. Maybe there's some hope, though most people are still asking for a little bit of whatever it is they're smoking down on the exchange floors. Volume on the NASDAQ was solid, not so much on the NYSE.

Oil got a whiff of the fed-induced inflation soon to be visiting our shores, gaining $1.34, to $83.01, but gold stole the show, advancing $23.40, to a new record high of $1,370.50. Silver was no slouch, tacking on 79 cents (3.4%), to $23.93. WOW!

We are now certain that the end is near, with the original reptilian femme fatale, Condoleezza Rice, appearing on CNBC to tell us that confidence in America must be restored. OK, thanks, Condi, now back in your hole. And who the he-- let her out?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

ForeclosureGate Harming All Markets?

Very busy on a number of matters here today, so, I'll apologize for the brevity of this post in advance.

The ongoing saga of residential real estate in the USA just continues to escalate. While more in the banking and investment community are saying a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures would be very damaging to the economy, voices on the other side of the debate, many calling for a complete halt to foreclosures and evictions, are expressing the concern that such a national stop and reset would be the proper first step toward fixing the very sick residential real estate market.

The problem is that real estate is a huge part of GDP and post-foreclosure sales of bank REO properties have been making up 25% of the total for some time now. Stopping the flow is going to have a material effect on GDP. Shutting down foreclosures and sales will throw us right back into recession, almost without a doubt.

Even as it is, without a national moratorium, hundreds of thousands of foreclosures are already in no-go mode and state Attorneys General are ramping up efforts to investigate, the latest being NY AG Andrews Cuomo - incidentally running for governor - who is calling on the four biggest lenders, Ally (GMAC), Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo to immediately halt all foreclosures, which - news to the AG - all but Wells Fargo have already done.

Further, 40 state AGs are due to announce (possibly as early as tonight) a joint task force to look into "robo-signing" and other allegations of fraud and abuse by the mortgage servicers.

All of this confusion will lead to a frozen real estate market. Anecdotal stories of short sales halted and prospective buyers preferring to "wait and see" are contributing to grind the already-maligned real estate business to a complete halt, and it seems to be spilling over into other markets, particularly stocks, which essentially treaded water for the second straight day.

Dow 11,020.40, +10.06 (0.09%)
NASDAQ 2,417.92, +15.59 (0.65%)
S&P 500 1,169.77, +4.45 (0.38%)
NYSE Composite 7,489.62, +10.61 (0.14%)

Advancers beat decliners, 3259-2433. New highs: 394; New lows: 36. Volume was improved from Monday's holiday-held-back level.

NASDAQ Volume 1,984,735,250
NYSE Volume 4,233,061,500

Oil dropped 54 cents, to $81.67, heading back to the security of the $75-80 level. Gold lost $7.70, to $1,346.70, while silver slipped 20 cents, to $23.15.

Monday, October 11, 2010

How Far Does the Fraud Have to Go?

Here's a case out of Fairfax County, Virginia, in which Bank of America is re-instituted as a defendant on a case involving fraudulent appraisals, overpriced lots and a judge who's apparently just seen the light. The total amount, in a back-of-the-envelope calculation is upwards of $40 million.

This is just one case. There are hundreds, if not thousands more involving the biggest banks in the nation, the ones which were bailed out and the same ones Attorney general Eric Holder refuses to investigate thoroughly and bring cases against.

Holder is indeed a withholder of justice for the American people. He is not performing his sworn duty as an appointed key official of this administration. Eric Holder must be held to account for his actions and inactions in not only the banking system but in the BP oil spill debacle as well.

Despite Denials, Foreclosure Fraud Issue Goes Mainstream

518 years ago, an Italian explorer by the name Christopher Columbus (actually the Anglicisation of the Latin Christophorus Columbus) landed on the shores of America (actually, he landed in the Bahamas), becoming the first European to land on either of the continent of the Americas.

Today, we are virtually assured that Columbus was preceded by Leif Ericson, possibly some 500 years earlier, and probably he wasn't even first, because Asians probably made their ways across the Alaskan archipelago to the "new world" many years prior to that.

Though Columbus could hardly have known that he wasn't the first, he was lauded for centuries as being the great explorer and we still honor him as the finder, even if not the first, of America, even though he missed it on his first voyage.

And today, on yet another celebration of his monumental discovery, we find that maybe he should have just turned back, because what happened afterwards were wars, nation-building, slaughter, more wars, nation-destroying and now, finally, complete fraud, deceit and the upcoming evaporation of five centuries of accumulated wealth, thanks to the same kind of people who fund these things, the giant banking cartel which began in the Netherlands and moved to England, and now resides mostly in the USA, mostly on the island of Manhattan.

What's at risk is nothing less than the entire banking and financial system under which all of us alive today (unless you were born prior to 1913, when the Federal Reserve Bank was created) and living in the USA have been subject to, made slaves by and are about to overthrow.

Because bankers are inherently lazy - doing almost nothing that could in any sense be considered real "work" - they have managed to mangle the residential real estate market to such a degree that nobody really knows who owns what in much of the country. It's really that simple when one unwinds all the fraud and inappropriate behavior conducted by the banks over the better part of the past ten years. And now we see the bankers squirming in denial that they've done anything wrong. So, why, may we ask, have three of the biggest banks halted all foreclosure activity in much of the country?

Because the jig is up, the game is over, the fraud can no longer be contained, the US people no longer lied to at every chance. We see lots of "tells" on the tube, mostly CNBC, where the banking elite are hidden from view, while their surrogates try to explain away why they can't proceed with foreclosures or sales of foreclosed-upon, bank-owned properties.

The truth is coming to light, little by little, that all that securitization of the mortgage business was a really bad idea and that the banks are about to be foreclosed upon from two angles, by the homeowners in default and the investors who bought the mortgage-backed securities (MBS).

On Sunday, CNBC let the proverbial cat out of the bag with a brief story, outlining how state Attorneys Generals are going to launch a joint probe into the mortgage foreclosure fiasco that's been percolating for at least three weeks (thought the fraud's been going on since 2003, at least).

Fascinating video from CNBC on the foreclosure-gate which now involves a nationwide self-imposed moratorium by Bank of America and moratoriums on foreclosures by Ally, Chase and PNC banks.

First, Joseph Murin, former president of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) and Steve Forbes. Note how Murin defends the banksters when the issue of fraud is introduced, saying it's "absurd."

This is what poker players call a "tell." The player tips his or her hand in some way. Murin's "tell" is how he initially says that the banks need to reassess and see if procedures were followed correctly. Then he brings up the "antiquated systems" argument, which is a tip towards MERS taking over the normal role of county clerks. At around 2:20 into the video, Steve Forbes asks how many homeowners have been deprived of their homes, and Murin then brings up "fraud" completely on his own, saying, "I've heard the word "fraud" a lot, which is absurd. There's no fraud involved with this it's just... it's "process inadequacy..."

Apparently Mr. Murin has already scoured hundreds of thousands of foreclosure-related documents and found nothing wrong. Yeah, sure. Process inadequacy. Brilliant! Hilarious! Bravo! The banks, of course, did nothing wrong, again!

Next up, we have Mandy Drury asking the loaded question, "as attorneys general in states want to know if banks have been fraudulently foreclosing..." with Steve Moore, of the Wall Street Journal, and CNBC's Diana Olick & David Faber.

Diana Olick offers a timeline of two to four months for the foreclosure issues to be repaired, but notes it may probably be longer considering AG's looking into "potentially fraudulent documents." There's another tell, courtesy CNBC, the "F" word again.

At 3:50 into the video, CNBC's Scott Wapner mentions "fraud" and Moore jumps on him, asking "who are you alleging committed fraud?" Wapner backtracks quite a bit and Olick jumps on with a short burst about "who really owns the loan," which is really the issue at the heart of the fraud. The banks cannot, in many cases, produce the promissory notes or identify the note-holders. Without the note, servicing banks cannot foreclose because they have no standing in courts where things like law and equity and actual documents - not phony affidavits - matter.

Moore keeps insisting that "95 to 99 per cent of these foreclosure notices were correct. 19 out of 20 were the right ones." he also says a couple of times, "I'm not defending the banks." Way to CYA, Mr. Moore. You may not be defending the banks, even though you are. Cute.

Now, are we ready for catastrophe? Throwing their weight into the fray just after noon on Monday, SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association) says a nationwide foreclosure moratorium could be 'Catastrophic' to investors. This august group of BANKERS fails to mention the windfall for people, individuals and homeowners. All they're concerned about are their profits, not whether anyone actually freezes to death this winter as they are forced out of their homes and into the streets, legally or otherwise.

Get ready for the wheels of economy to come fully skidding off the tracks right after the upcoming "important" (don't bother, the electronic machines change all the votes, anyway) elections and right before the equally important holiday shopping season.

It's all a wonderful mess, thanks to bankers who should have been tried and jailed before they stole that $700 billion otherwise known as TARP. There may or may not be a TARP2, but if there is, if you think the economy's broken now, just wait. The whole country is broken.

As for the equally-absurd stock market, well, why bother? Stocks were up, as they always are in Ponzi-nation, but around 2:45, everything went right into the slime, with all indices falling briefly into the red before recovering to finish positive, though we're hearing now that some NYSE stocks are still open?

It was about the lowest trading volume of the past two years, and that's pretty low. It was a holiday, after all, but how can they manage to get the indices just above the unchanged mark like that?

Dow 11,010.34, +3.86 (0.04%)
NASDAQ 2,402.33, +0.42 (0.02%)
S&P 500 1,165.32, +0.17 (0.01%)
NYSE Composite 7,479.01, +0.59 (0.01%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,551,449,250
NYSE Volume 3,214,674,500

Oil was down 45 cents, to $82.21, because the few people still working in the Western economies can only afford to drive to and from work. Gold made another new record, up $9.10, to $1,354.40, and silver added 24 cents, to $23.35. The precious metals (PMs) were higher because the US dollar and most other currencies will soon be worthless. Give it six months to a year, maybe sooner, but stock up on veggies and, if you have a freezer, meats. everything you need to survive is going to get a lot more expensive as the economy nose-dives into depression.

Yes, it's a lot worse than you think.

Friday, October 8, 2010

No Jobs, Free Homes, Cheap Money and High-Flying Stocks

The financial sector of the US economy delivered one of the more entertaining sessions of the past few months on Friday, first, trying to weight the relative benefits of a nation without jobs against the potential for more than a trillion dollars flowing into the currency via the Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing, Part II, otherwise known as QE2.

At 8:30 am Eastern time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its survey of non-farm payrolls for the month of September. Wall Street and investors worldwide have shown a keen interest in this number all week, and the news that the US had shed another 95,000 jobs in the month was something of a surprise to many.

Watching the Dow Jones futures as the number was announced, the immediate, knee-jerk reaction was a drop of 88 points, though that was followed by a lightning-quick ramp up. Within minutes, the investor class had come to the perverse recognition that a poor showing in employment meant almost certainty for further QE by the Federal Reserve. In other words, much more free money would be headed to Wall Street and the corrupt banking system to keep stocks flying high.

The perversity of what was easily recognizable as bad news actually having an antecedent knock-on caused the market to open in positive territory and quickly surpass the 11,000 mark on the DJIA. Joining into the fray were most commodities, after some initial fits and starts, which also ramped up on the idea of a debased US dollar and limitless liquidity being supplied by the Fed.

With stocks cruising along, even word that Bank of America was halting all foreclosure activities in all 50 states - upping their previous call for a halt in just the 23 judicial foreclosure states - had virtually no effect on the celebratory mood. Sad as it may seem, investors somehow believe that outright inflationary policy against a backdrop of people with no jobs living in homes they cannot afford is somehow a great and marvelous thing.

Folks, I can't make this stuff up. We live in a country that's just about as upside-down as one can get.

Dow 11,006.48, +57.90 (0.53%)
NASDAQ 2,401.91, +18.24 (0.77%)
S&P 500 1,165.15, +7.09 (0.61%)
NYSE Composite 7,478.42, +53.41 (0.72%)
NASDAQ Volume 2,014,985,125
NYSE Volume 4,060,130,250

Advancing issues buried decliners, 4199-1500. New highs maintained their huge edge over new lows, stunningly, 471-33. Volume was anemic, being supplied by quants, Goldman Sachs, high frequency trading computers and the odd hedge fund here and there. Nobody seems to be concerned that the market is demonstrating absolutely the thinnest trading in our lifetimes.

In the commodity space, crude oil priced 99 cents higher, at $82.66 by the close. Gold resumed its ascent to the stratosphere, up $10.30, to $1,345.30. Silver tagged along with a gain of 52 cents, to $23.10.

Monday's a holiday, so the day's events will have plenty of time in which to sink in at cocktail parties and weekend outings. Somebody has to be able to make sense of it all, though that person isn't yet telling anyone.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Obama Defies Banks with Pocket Veto

You know it's a slow news day when all there is to report on is what didn't happen, and that would be President Obama not signing HR 3808, the Recognition of Notarizations Act, which would have forced federal and state courts to recognize notary signatures - including digital signatures - from other states, and was widely seen as an attempt by the banking lobby to do an end run around the "robo-signing" foreclosure mess they've created by having bank and processing firms' employees sign off on enormous rafts of affidavits without reading them.

In the midst of a foreclosure moratorium by Ally Bank, JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, the timing of the passage of the bill raised eyebrows and brought forth derision from homeowner advocates.

The bill was passed by the House and Senate and presented to Obama on September 30. The bill had failed to pass the senate on two previous occasions, but spurred on by last-minute wrangling by senators Pat Leahey (D-VT) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) the measure passed the senate without debate on a voice vote by unanimous consent. No record of the vote in either house was recorded, so the criminal congress, which gets much of its funding from the criminal enterprise known as the Too Big To Fail Banks, gets a free pass on this one with plenty of plausible deniability.

Though the bill was unlikely to ease the pain of the banks as they wade through hundreds of thousands of foreclosures, many of which will now be contested since their paperwork has been exposed as faulty at best and outright fraudulent at worst, the President opted to send the bill back to the congress, citing, in Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' words, "unintended consequences," obviously referring to the foreclosure scandal that's been accelerating over the past two to three weeks.

That was big news for homeowners in foreclosure in the 23 states that are defined as "judicial" foreclosure states, who will likely be allowed to remain in their homes without having to pay their mortgage nor be hounded by the servicing banks for up to a year or longer, according to sources such as Business Week.

Originally downplayed by the banks, the extent of the fraud - with much of the underlying paperwork in the affidavits referring to title and ownership, and thus, standing in foreclosure at fault, attorneys general from a handful of states have already called on the banks to halt foreclosures. Ohio AG, Richard Cordray, has already started a lawsuit against Ally Bank (formerly GMAC) and is close to suing Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase.

Late Wednesday, US Attorney General Eric Holder, after being prompted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other prominent Democrats, has ordered an investigation into foreclosure practices under the auspices of the financial fraud enforcement task force, formed last year in the aftermath of the market meltdown, TARP and the associated issues stemming from the original subprime crisis in 2008.

All of this didn't move markets much at all, though both JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) were lower at session's end.

For the most part, traders were patiently awaiting the release of the September Non-Farm Payroll report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, due out Friday morning at 8:30 am ET. Consensus estimates are for a gain of 60,000 jobs between the private and public sectors. On Wednesday, ADP reported a September loss of 39,000 private sector jobs in their monthly survey.

Dow 10,948.58, -19.07 (0.17%)
NASDAQ 2,383.67, +3.01 (0.13%)
S&P 500 1,158.06, -1.91 (0.16%)
NYSE Composite 7,425.01, -23.32 (0.31%)
NASDAQ Volume 1,856,212,625
NYSE Volume 4,056,364,500

Declining issues held a small edge over advancers, 3114-2568. New highs led new lows, 423-37. Volume was anemic, the worst in two weeks, and the past two weeks haven't been particularly strong. Equities have been hovering around their highs for most of the week, so the jobs report Friday may provide some direction to this listless market, though it would be no surprise to see it just languish within a tight range until after the midterm elections on November 2nd, which also coincides with a FOMC meeting at which the Fed is widely assumed to announce some new QE plan, thrusting billions of dollars into the moribund credit system.

After weeks of rallying higher, commodities performed an abrupt change of direction on Thursday, with crude oil futures hammered $1.56 lower, to $81.67 at the close on the NYMEX. The latest print for gold was at $1333.60, down $15.50, though it traded as high as $1365 on the day. Silver also took a header, losing 69 cents, to $22.50.

Chartists and fundamental analysis predicted some kind of easing in the precious metals especially, as they have been on an historic tear since the middle of August without so much as a 3% pullback. Oil also had escaped its longtime range between $70 and $80, though the move above the high end might be nothing more than naked speculation as supply-demand dynamics do not support higher prices. Mostly, the move up in oil was tied to the decline of the US dollar, which has fallen 14% in the past three months against other major currencies.

Not bad for a slow news day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

QE2, TARP2 Signal Beginning of End for Global Currencies

The mortgage/foreclosure mess created and exacerbated by the banks is still news, big news, but in the long run it is only a symptom of what is really crushing the global economy, and the US in particular.

That would be the failure of unwinding the toxic debt created by the nation's largest banks in the most magnificent swindle in the history of the world that not only allowed the banks and financial institutions to not only profit from their spendthrift, shifty, illegal ways, but to profit from it and then to prop it up when the house of cards began to crumble.

A report from the IMF released yesterday, calls for more quantitative easing by central banks and another round of bailouts for impaired, decrepit banks amounting to another $4 Trillion wasted on the very entities that started the entire mess, calling the banks the "Achilles Heel" of global recovery.

With apologies to the great Achilles, the banks aren't only the heel (though one could maintain that the bankers are "heels"), but the head, neck, shoulders, chest, torso, arms, legs, hands and feet of the financial crisis. They are all of it and they need to be forced to own up to their liabilities, stop the mockery of accounting known as mark to model and head directly into receivership or, more appropriately, to bankruptcy courts.

Not that it isn't where they're headed anyway, but this evil, crooked gang of thieves populating the banks and the halls of congress must not be allowed to rape and pillage the global economy one more day. If there's any time that the US public should be taking to the streets in protest, it is now, or, whenever they try to sneak the next bailout by us, for they truly cannot announce it very publicly or loudly.

There should be a minimum one year moratorium on all foreclosures, evictions and repossessions. Naturally, that will crush the real estate industry, but, at some point, there has to be a mechanism for price discovery. All the mortgages sold during the years 2003-2007 should be examined, documented and written down or forgiven, mostly to alleviate the strain on the courts and the public, but more realistically because the vast majority of these loans were originated under false pretenses or have been or are being foreclosed upon fraudulently, or both.

The banks and the note-holders will take significant hits to their bottom lines, but none could be more deserving. It's certainly a better solution than what's gone on for the past three years, a la foreclosure gone wild. Keeping people in homes, in communities, whether they're paying rent or mortgages or whether they have jobs or don't is the first step toward restoring the nation to some semblance of wholeness, though admittedly, it may already be too late, the pain and suffering inflicted on people and the economy are severely deep wounds which will not heal overnight.

We must, as a people and a nation, take positive steps toward recovery and that begins with thre truth finally being told about the banks, and the crimes they've committed. Most of the hot-shots running the major banks should already be behind bars, but we must start now before the statutes of limitations begin to expire.

No more bailouts, no more quantitative easing and maybe no more Federal Reserve. The time has come that desperate solutions are the only answers to the desperate situation into which the banks and the government have put the nation.

Stocks were basically flat, despite a pumping of $5.5 billion this morning by the Fed in yet another POMO. This amounts to nothing less than QE on the cheap, funding the banks with fresh cash every few days because they simply cannot roll enough notes to keep them going.

Dow 10,967.65, +22.93 (0.21%)
NASDAQ 2,380.66, -19.17 (0.80%)
S&P 500 1,159.97, -0.78 (0.07%)
NYSE Composite 7,448.33, +14.15 (0.19%)

The markets remain chaotic, bifurcated, as is the case today. Decliners took out advancers, 3157-2552. There were 454 new highs to 33 new lows. Volume remained at depressed levels.

NASDAQ Volume 2,127,381,000
NYSE Volume 4,205,435,500

Crude oil lifted 41 cents, to $83.23, but the real story was in the precious metals, which continued to rise in explosive fashion. The latest print for gold was $1348.50, up $7.90, while silver added 30 cents to $23.17. Precious metals prices are moving in direct inverse action to the crumbling currencies of the major industrialized nations, as the race to the bottom ramps up to include the US, all of Europe, Japan and other major nations.

More will be posted about developments in the mortgage foreclosure miasma, since today's news is more than enough upon which to chew for one day. The threat of another round of bank bailouts - which didn't work the first time around - is simply incomprehensible. The global economy will not sustain it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Title, Standing at Heart of Foreclosure Disaster; Stocks Don't Care, Rally

Finally, the truth about affidavits which are at the heart of the "robo-signing" scandal comes to light, courtesy of a must-read, NY Times front page story by Gretchen Morgenson.

The key passage:
"The byzantine mortgage securitization process that helped inflate the housing bubble allowed home loans to change hands so many times before they were eventually pooled and sold to investors that it is now extremely difficult to track exactly which lenders have claims to a home.

Many lenders or loan servicers that begin the foreclosure process after a borrower defaults do not produce documentation proving that they have the legal right to foreclosure, known as standing.

As a substitute, the banks usually present affidavits attesting to ownership of the note signed by an employee of a legal services firm acting as an agent for the lender or loan servicer."

Now we know that what mid-level employees at GMAC (now Ally Bank), JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America were signing off on were attestations of mortgage assignments between banks and securitization trusts, i.e., the supposed note-holding investors. The sad truth is that the original notes have been lost, misplaced, trashed or somehow dispossessed, and the servicing banks - which have no standing to foreclose - have been scrambling for alternatives. In light of the fraudulent manner in which the banks have been handling real estate business for the past five to ten years, it's entirely possible that even the information in the robo-signed affidavits is faulty, incorrect or woven entirely from unwholesome cloth.

This issue has not escaped the notice of some quick-draw attorneys in Kentucky, who have filed a class-action RICO lawsuit on behalf of all Kentucky homeowners in foreclosure, against Citigroup, Ally Bank and MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System), claiming that through MERS the banks are foreclosing on homes even when they don’t hold titles to the properties.

Lender Processing Services (LPS), one of the foreclosure mills at the heart of the controversy and unfolding legal drama, traded as high as 44 within the last year, but has been in decline lately. Over just the past three trading sessions, the company's stock - which went public just two years ago - has fallen from a high of 33.50 on Friday to a low of 25.50 today. Company executives were busy explaining discrepancies in signatures on various foreclosure documents.

The issue was discussed in a heated segment on CNBC's "The Kudlow Report" Monday night, with host Larry Kudlow calling the situation "chaos." Note Kudlow's shocked and animated appearance during the segment below. Obviously, he's aware of the potential long-term ramifications of these developments.

At issue is nothing less than the credibility of the banks and the legal system. In Florida, where foreclosure cases are being heard in courtroom hallways and by retired judges due to the overwhelming volume of cases, the "rocket docket" has given the banks the benefit of the doubt when the reality may be that many servicing banks didn't actually have standing to foreclose and may have used forged, fraudulent documents to take homes from unsuspecting owners.

None of this was worthwhile news on Wall Street, however, as investors took advantage of a weak US dollar and hints of more QE by the Federal Reserve to boost stocks in a day-long rally.

Dow 10,944.72, +193.45 (1.80%)
NASDAQ 2,399.83, +55.31 (2.36%)
S&P 500 1,160.75, +23.72 (2.09%)
NYSE Composite 7,434.18, +161.65 (2.22%)

Advancers buried decliners on the day, 4682-1078. New highs towered over new lows, 550-32. For a change, volume was actually quite robust.

NASDAQ Volume 2,234,181,500
NYSE Volume 4,932,642,500

Commodities made enormous moves on the back of the declining dollar. Crude oil for November delivery soared $1.35, to $82.82 on the NYMEX. Gold advanced $23.50, to $1,340.30 another all-time high, while silver rose an astonishing 70 cents, to $22.74, a 3.18% move.

The moves in the stock market may be fleeting however, as investors brace for the release of key jobs data. At 8:15 am Wednesday the ADP Employment Change will hit the wires. Expectations are for a feeble number of just 20,000 private sector jobs created in September.

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on non-farm payrolls for the prior month with expectations for a loss of 18,000 jobs overall and an unemployment rate of 9.7%. The figures are distressing to most people but seem to have little effect on Wall Street as continued high unemployment simply doesn't seem to be a metric most traders wish to look at with any kind of fundamental analysis.

With earnings beginning to take center stage, employment data may be simply overlooked, something investors will do at their own peril. With the true unemployment rate hovering around 18-20%, one has to wonder how long Wall Street can remain in denial as the underlying US economy continues to deteriorate.

As we've learned from the dotcom explosion, the subprime disaster and the general market malaise of 2008, denial can be an ongoing condition until well after the crisis has become severe. As elections loom ever closer, stocks seem to be in a highly volatile state, with valuations not reflective of economic realities.

Today, stocks seem like no-lose investments. The key question is how long will they remain floating on a bubble of cheap or free money when the underlying debt conditions appear to be creaking and groaning for relief.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wall Street Sell-Off; Foreclosure Fraud Issue Grows

Investors weren't interested in buying much of anything on Monday. In fact, the selling pressure persisted from the opening bell to the close as the major indices took a turn lower.

Selling was broad-based with most of the blame placed upon the rising US dollar, as inside players unloaded some of their more profitable trades built up over the past month. With stocks up roughly 9% in September, October should, by shear market dynamics - or, what's left of them in this low-volume regime - revert to the mean, suggesting a 5-7% decline in stocks overall, though a complete reversal cannot be ruled out.

Dow 10,751.27, -78.41 (0.72%)
NASDAQ 2,344.52, -26.23 (1.11%)
S&P 500 1,137.03, -9.21 (0.80%)
NYSE Composite 7,272.53, -63.38(0.86%)

Decliners finished well ahead of advancing issues, 4312-1529. New highs maintained their large edge over new lows, 304-41. Volume was dull, at best.

NASDAQ Volume 1,922,075,250
NYSE Volume 3,770,310,500

Oil, which had traded higher through most of the session, fell victim to heavy selling pressure, losing 11 cents, to $81.47. Precious metals took a bit of a breather, with gold off $1.00, to $1,316.80, and silver losing 2 cents, to $22.04.

Gaining momentum was the ongoing foreclosure fraud story, which is larger than the mainstream media wishes to believe. Late Friday, the nation's largest mortgage servicer, Bank of America, announced that they were halting foreclosures in the 23 states which have judicial foreclosure processes. This news came late in the day, on a report that one of their employees admitted to signing as many as 8000 affadavits in a month without reading their contents.

This was the same kind of issue which caused Ally Bank - formerly GMAC - and JP Morgan Chase to halt foreclosure proceedings in the same states earlier last week.

Over the weekend it was learned that title insurers were in communication with officials from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, over the issue of clouded titles on homes sold post-foreclosure, some even going so far as to deny writing title insurance on some properties.

The issue enlarges when one considers the overall ramifications of falsifying documents. The very banks which began the mess by issuing bad mortgage products to unqualified buyers - knowing they had a high risk of default - and then packaging the mortgages into security instruments sold to equally in-the-dark investors, are now attempting to rush through the foreclosure process with another round of fraud, in the form of faulty paperwork submitted to courts across the country.

At the very heart of the issue is ownership, or title, to the properties. When the banks securitized these mortgages, they separated the mortgage from the note, a practice long held to cause title issues, and never before attempted.

Allegations that the banks had this purpose in mind all along, defrauding the note-holders as well as the home-buyers, are gaining traction in legal circles. Some states are calling for complete moratorium on foreclosures until the depth of the fraud is revealed.

What is not occurring are calls for criminal prosecution of the banks which engaged in the practice of defrauding courts, though it appears clear that the practice of rushing paperwork without due diligence - thus denying due process - was as widespread as the subprime and 80/20 loans the banks were pushing and securitizing years earlier.

There should be no downplaying of the seriousness of the issue, though there was no mention of the scandal - and a scandal it indeed is - on any of the Sunday talk shows, weekend nightly news shows nor Monday morning talk programs from the major networks.

If titles to homes are in such a state of confusion that the chain of ownership cannot be maintained, identified and indemnified, the variety and scope of claims and counter-claims threatens to clog the court system for years, which, in a cynical way, might be what the unscrupulous banking interests wanted from the very start.

Without oversight and regulation, this is what happens to money and markets. Insidious operators will take advantage of loose regulations and loopholes and drive billions through them in dirty transactions, which is what appears to have happened on Wall Street, in county clerk offices and courtrooms across the country.

In a perverse kind of way, this overhanging, unresolved issue, one which threatens the entire banking and credit system again, may have been the hidden catalyst behind plenty of today's equity sales.

This scandal is only beginning, with much more to be revealed in coming weeks and months. with elections front and center, and a questionable terror alert being issued by the US, conspriacy theorists are having a field day trying to tie all of this together. It does make perfect sense that politicians and banksters, working in cohort behind the scenes, would attempt to either delay more allegations of fraud or blow them up prior to the elections, depending on the style of tin-foil of your particular hat.

Fraud should be taken seriously, however, though when it comes to banks, they apparently can get away with just about anything, calling it "procedural errors" or "paperwork issues." In the end, the truth will come out, and the US economy will be the worse for it.