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:

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