Oversight and Investigation: “Why Should They Take You Seriously?”

Yves Smith has a post laying out one of the most troublesome aspects of the response to the revelation of foreclosure fraud. As she explains, to conduct an “independent review” of its PR-servicing “review” of its own servicing practices, GMAC picked the lawfirm that has been in charge of its national counsel on servicing issues.

A Birmingham, Alabama law firm, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, has been GMAC’s national counsel on real estate servicing matters for some time (see here for examples of some of the matters it has handled).

Curiously, Bradley Arant is one of the firms that GMAC engaged to conduct an “independent review” after its use of robo signing became public:

GMAC Mortgage is initiating an independent review of foreclosures in all 50 states and examining foreclosure sales nationwide to ensure procedures and documentation are accurate….

The firms hired to conduct the review are Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Morrison & Foerster LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, said a person familiar with the matter.

Given Bradley Arant’s long-standing and extensive involvement in GMAC’s mortgage business, how can it legitimately be part of the team conducting the review? It’s incentives will be to minimize any problems, for a host of reasons, the most important being so as not to ruffle a big meal ticket and to avoid the exposure of any issues that might create liability for the firm.


Bradley Arant is certain to frame its examination as narrowly as possible and not consider potentially troublesome but germane questions such as who at the contracting organizations (LPS, Fannie, other servicers) might also be culpable.A broader look is key to understand who really bears responsibility. Foreclosures of securitized loans increasingly look to be what Bill Black would call a criminogenic environment, in which the major perps are deeply entwined and work together. And if caught, it is clearly in their best interest to cut loose the weakest, most dispensable actor in their tidy group, the foreclosure mill.

So in many ways, the selection of Bradley Arant makes perfect sense. It is familiar with the terrain, so it will be able to issue a plausible-sounding report. It is also so deeply part of this questionable backwater that it is highly unlikely to make a bottoms up investigation and potentially rock the boat.

Couple the prospect of law firms involved in the fraud conducting “independent” investigations of their own fraud with this exchange from Thursday’s House Financial Services hearing on robo-signing. Maxine Waters asks the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, John Walsh, whether or not OCC (which regulates the big banks) has imposed any penalties on the servicers for their fraud.

Waters: I asked earlier about whether or not fines had been levied from the Treasury Department [see that exchange here]. Let me turn to the OCC. Since we started experiencing the fallout from the subprime boom, has OCC taken any enforcement actions against servicers?

[long pause]

Walsh: We have certainly issued supervisory requirements on them, matters requiring attention and other things to remedy–

Waters: Have you levied any fines?

Walsh: I do not believe that we have.

Waters: Have you issued any cease and desist orders?

Walsh: I don’t believe that there have been any public actions against them.

Waters: Have you threatened to revoke any charters?

Walsh: No.

Waters: Do you think that the servicers really believe that you mean business if they don’t have to fear any consequences?

Walsh: Well, I think the consequences are quite clear and present to them. I mean that we can compel action and the threat of more serious penalties–

Waters: But you haven’t done that. You haven’t done any of that! Why should they take you seriously?

Walsh: The supervisory process is one that happens–does not mainly happen in the public spotlight. It happens in the dealings directly with the institution through the process of examination, matters requiring attention, and other things. Only when a particular problem is identified that rises to the appropriate level do we get into the area–

Waters: Let’s talk about examiners. If you have examiners onsite, can you explain how you don’t know about all the problems that have recently come to light? What do the examiners do?

Walsh: There’s, as I mentioned, our attention was focused on the modification process, it would be quite unusual for us to be in the room or present at the point where an affidavit is being signed or a notarization is taking place. We do rely on the systems and controls of the financial institution, its own internal audit, or any flags that raise the issue, like our complaint function. And unfortunately those did not raise an alarm about this process. [my emphasis]

The supervision of the TBTF banks, the head of the OCC tells us, happens primarily in back rooms, and in spite of the examiners on OCC’s staff, relies on the internal controls of a bunch of financial institutions that already proved their internal controls either don’t or are designed not to function.

Walsh’s claim that OCC got no alarm about this process is an out and out lie, of course. When JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo refused to cooperate with the investigations of a bunch of state regulators, those regulators told OCC that some homeowners might be losing their homes improperly and asked for help. But instead of taking that as a red flag and conducting an independent review, they again relied on the banks’ own internal reviews.

When two banks – J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo – declined to cooperate, the state officials asked the banks’ federal regulator for help, according to a letter they sent. But the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees national banks, denied the states’ request, saying the firms should answer only to inquiries from federal officials. In a response to state officials, John Dugan, comptroller at the time, wrote that his agency was already planning to collect foreclosure information and that any additional monitoring risked “confusing matters.”

But even as it closed the door on state oversight, the OCC chose itself not to scrutinize the foreclosure operations of the largest national banks, forgoing any examination of their procedures and paperwork. Instead, the agency relied on the banks’ in-house assessments. These provided no hint of the problems to come until they had tripped the nation’s housing market, agency officials later acknowledged.


Even when the mortgage industry itself identified possible flaws in foreclosure paperwork, the agency was slow to act. In September, Ally Financial suspended foreclosures after discovering problems with tens of thousands of cases. But even then, the OCC did not begin to examine the operations of other major banks. Instead, the agency asked them to undertake internal reviews and told them it would conduct its own examination later, an OCC official said.

That GMAC “independent investigation” Yves focused on? That’s the one that OCC thought sufficient when Ally Financial admitted its own problems.

So it works like this: The regulators allow the banks to self-report on their own processes. When the banks identify what are pretty apparently significant instances of fraud, the federal regulator still allows them to investigate themselves, in GMAC’s case, having the law firm that conducted much of the fraud in the first place act as an “independent” investigator of processes the law firm itself provided. And then, even in the face of that obvious fraud, the regulator refuses to impose any penalties–or even, to conduct any oversight outside of a back room–claiming all the time that the threat of penalties the banks know OCC won’t impose are enough to gain compliance.

As DDay reported on Friday, here’s what Professor Adam Levitin had to say about such a scheme:

When the regulation and investigation all comes down to the banks and their corrupt law firms investigating themselves, you can be pretty sure the system is designed to not find the obvious fraud everyone is talking about.

  1. bobschacht says:

    Thanks for your report on this, EW.
    Sounds like an investigatory shell game.
    The spirit of Larry Summers lives on.
    At least the Bush administration did something about Enron.

    Bob in AZ

    • Sabre-Toothed Critter says:

      This kind of corruption has occurred for so long that the banks, financial institutions, loan services, et al, are not bothering to even cover it up any more; or, they have become inept at covering it up. Or both, I suppose.

      In any case, they still get away with it because they own the process. It’s a closed loop. Only the flimsiest, barest guise of separation remains.

      Fortunately, their games of Three Card Monte are revealed, even to those who tried looked the other way for so long. We don’t know how many games of Three Card Monte have been played, but we do know that the corrupt are playing it. We don’t know just how deep (or how high) the games go, but we do know that we were/are the ones being played.

  2. timtimes says:

    When you can proudly admit war crimes in the US and walk about freely, everything else is just spicing on the cake. No oversight for crooks and thieves, but plenty of oversight for three year old terrorists and mastectomy scarred flight attendants.

    Past protests do not seem to have attracted enough media attention. I have a solution to change the situation in that regard concerning the planned TSA scanner opt out event of November 24 (my birthday):



  3. Ymhotep says:

    America’s politics today is a bad joke and Sarah Palin is the punch line. Obama and the oligarchy is feeding the American public bread and circuses to distract their attention. Peace

  4. PJEvans says:

    So the guys who are actually supervising the banks and the thrifts are … the banks and the thrifts.

    No wonder the system is screwed up: the people who officially run it have handed the keys over to the inmates and been herded into the padded rooms.

  5. papau says:

    “It’s incentives will be to minimize any problems, for a host of reasons,”

    That is a problem without a solution – any firm comes with an agenda and a national firm’s agenda is to keep or get national clients – so to focus on the law firm is interesting but not all that more awful compared to the usual processes.

    The review will be a Saxby -O review – those internal workforce and small group managers saying they are following the rules as they know them and also showing that they know the rules and have informed both below and above. I don’t see how changing the law firm involved would change all that much.

    The discussion of what IS/ARE the rules will be more interesting. And the review report will have to state what they think are the rules and why.

  6. cate says:

    Sadly Obama will do nothing. Paul Krugman has a great comment today (November 21)on Obama’s mindset in general and specifically Obama’s beliefs re FDR,the Great Depression and this country.

    “More and more, it’s becoming clear that progressives who had their hearts set on Obama were engaged in a huge act of self-delusion. Once you got past the soaring rhetoric you noticed, if you actually paid attention to what he said, that he largely accepted the conservative storyline, a view of the world, including a mythological history, that bears little resemblance to the facts. And confronted with a situation utterly at odds with that storyline … he stayed with the myth.”

    • OldFatGuy says:

      Paul Krugman can go to hell.

      I’m so damn tired of people calling us “delusional” and saying if only we “actually paid attention” we would’ve known what a fake Obama is.

      When a few people are “deluded” into believing something, then you can suppose they did or didn’t do something that led to their “delusion.” When MILLIONS of people are “deluded,” you can bet the farm that the problem isn’t with those being “deluded,” the problem is some one intentionally doing the “deluding” quite successfully. And that, as it were, is called a con game.

      I suppose we should blame all con victims for being too fucking stupid to realize they were being conned instead of blaming the folks responsible for the con.

      Such an arrogant assumption. Paul Krugman and ALL who espouse that bullshit can go to hell. Obama is the asshole in this play, for lying and doing the deluding, and using millions and millions of dollars and the worlds best experts and media to help him do it. STOP with the insulting of the folks who were conned by calling them delusional or saying they should’ve known better Krugman.

      • Knut says:

        I don’t think that is fair at all. And I don’t think Paul meant ‘delusion’ in the same way as you are using it. A lot of us wanted to believe that he had what it took. You can only judge by what you see and here. I doubt we were conned — we wanted to believe something that wasn’t true and ignored all the signs that in fact what has happened is what was always going to happen.

          • cate says:

            Yes, I agree. A mix of con and delusion. Delusion, I think, because so many progressives still have an emotional hang-up re Obama which seems to affect their thinking. They can’t bring themselves to believe he is a two-faced liar. That he fooled them. It has taken a long time for Krugman to, apparently, give up and speak out as he did today. Obama did show his conservative beliefs from the 1990s but he also was very good at pretending to be a progressive. A real chameleon.

          • thatvisionthing says:

            Con or delusion — is that what matters? I see it a little differently, more like a tragic failure on Obama’s part to recognize the extraordinarily powerful mandate he actually was being given. He had it all, and he pissed it away.

            For every con or delusion you can think of — well, think of it, the crowds that turned out, the cheers, the dedication, the support, the hunger, the joy — and he trashed it all once he got in office. Was he conning? Were we deluded to believe him? Do we need to learn how to parse better, or… does the next leader need to learn what WE are saying?

            One moment. Think of when Barack Obama first became a character on our national scene. Go back to the 2004 Democratic Convention speech. A star is born. The speech is online here, with a transcript. Watch at 11:48:

            OBAMA: John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that it’s not enough for just some of us to prosper — for alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we’re all connected as one people. If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there is a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription drugs, and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

            It is that fundamental belief — It is that fundamental belief: I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.

            E pluribus unum: “Out of many, one.”

            Did you see the line that got the audience on their feet wildly cheering at 12:34? It was this one: “If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.”

            There is such a huge pent-up yearning for justice and fairness and brotherhood and caring — for all people to count and be cared for — all things that corporations and militaries and apparently politicians simply cannot process. Our hopes didn’t disappear when Obama trashed them. They came back to us. And we’re still waiting. It’s not just our loss, it’s his.

          • bobschacht says:

            “Healthy”? I don’t think so.
            But wait: the purpose of a Con is to create a delusion. That’s the essence of a Con. You can’t really pull off a Con unless someone is delusional. Now, the trick of a Con like The Sting is that you may have to pretend to be deluded yourself, in order to delude your Mark. The beauty of The Sting was that 90% of the way through the movie, you weren’t quite sure who was deluding who. The art of a successful Con like The Sting is that you have to know when to bag it, close shop, and vamoose.

            But that’s not really how the present scandal is playing out.

            Bob in AZ

        • OldFatGuy says:

          Once you got past the soaring rhetoric you noticed, if you actually paid attention to what he said,

          If it were just me, I’d hang my head and move on, because I’m a living legend when it concerns being delusional, not paying attention, and making poor judgements because of it.

          But it’s NOT just me. It’s almost everyone I know, family, friends, and folks that worked that same election with me. All of them have voiced their anger over how they were betrayed, and lied to.

          So they’re on our side, they’re agreeing with us that Obama ain’t what he said he was, and they may want to explore a real progressive to get his/her view, and they read Krugman and see “if you had actually paid attention” you would’ve known better. I.E., it’s their fault.

          How do you think they’re going to react? I’ll tell you how, just like I just did. And how many more times are they likely to read Krugman (or any other smug ass progressive that tells them if they would’ve paid attention they would’ve known better).

          I’ve seen it a hundred times at this site, at other sites, and in person. Folks who claim they knew from the beginning (which I’m sure some did) deriding those of us that didn’t. “I told you so” to a person that’s getting fucked every which way but the right way is going to get real old, real quick.

          So I say again. Krugman, you and all the others that play that shit, please just stop it. We’re where we are not because people should’ve known better but didn’t, but because Obama is an asshole.

      • econobuzz says:

        When MILLIONS of people are “deluded,” you can bet the farm that the problem isn’t with those being “deluded,” the problem is some one intentionally doing the “deluding” quite successfully. And that, as it were, is called a con game.


      • Acharn says:

        You know, I really liked that Krugman post until I read your comment. You’ve nailed a really important point. There really wasn’t any way to “pay attention to what he was really saying” until he started doing things and showing “what he was really saying.” I get irritated by the posters who say, “I knew all along he was a fake.” I didn’t. I was one of those who were deluded — or conned.

  7. Knut says:

    Is Walsh a Bush holdover? It seems to me that there must be a lot of them in the government, which would explain why nothing is getting done on this through the executive branch.

  8. john in sacramento says:

    Wait… What?

    The firms hired to conduct the review are Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP, Morrison & Foerster LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, said a person familiar with the matter.

    OK, this isn’t going to end well

    The first time I ever heard of Sullivan and Cromwell was in a book published by Russ Kick (forget which one) … anyway, in one of the books is a story by Ovidio Diaz Espino about the creation of Panama and the canal. He explained the story in an interview with Amy Goodman

    AMY GOODMAN: Well, you say that you stumbled on this untold story of how Wall Street created Panama. How did it happen?

    OVIDIO DIAZ ESPINO: I went to a—I was working on Wall Street at that time as a regular lawyer for J.P. Morgan, and I went to a Christmas party in 1997, when a man named Webb Stone approached me and began to say, “Did you realize that the Republic of Panama was born in Room 1162 of the Waldorf Astoria? Do you know that J.P. Morgan was the treasurer of Panama during its first year of independence? Are you aware that the Republic of Panama was conceived by the attorney William Nelson Cromwell, the founder of Sullivan & Cromwell?”

    What they did was buy up the shares of the French Panama Canal Co. from the poor, and middle class French people for pennies on the dollar — or pennies on the Franc, or something like that. Then turned around and bribed er, contributed huge amounts of money to Republican Congressman (especially Mark Hanna) who then authorized the U.S. government to buy the rights from holders of the bonds — at a 10-1 profit margin for Cromwell’s syndicate — the equivalent, in today’s money, $3 billion

    And now, they’re involved in “reviewing” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) the foreclosure fraud fiasco

    Great /s

  9. jdmckay0 says:

    Walsh’s hill interlude more or less the same as this “hearing” re: oversight of the front end (eg: FED bailouts) of this whole housing scam.

    It is, w/out being snarky, an uninterrupted flow of successive events executed and wrapped in fraud, w/”investigations” no more then Bush’s PR on Iraq had in common w/fact.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      And like this one on Huffington Post between Maxine Waters and the HAMP lady:

      Treasury Admits It Hasn’t Fined Banks For Failing To Comply With Mortgage Modification Program (VIDEO)

      A top Treasury department official said Thursday that the government has still not imposed any fines on banks that do not comply with the Obama administration’s mortgage modification program.

      In testimony before a House Financial Services subcommittee, Phyllis Caldwell, chief of Treasury’s Homeownership Preservation Office, said her department has pursued “non-monetary remedies” but has not actually imposed any fines on banks for not complying with the administration’s flagship $50 billion foreclosure prevention program.

      Maxine’s great, the HAMP lady… stunningly, profoundly awful. Wow.

      • thatvisionthing says:

        more synergy — Perfect link above took me back to emptywheel’s diary

        Fannie and Freddie Near a Deal with Title Industry, where I see she wrote:

        Note too the reference in the linked article to Fannie’s institution of fines on servicers that didn’t churn through their foreclosures in timely fashion.

        She’s referring to this:

        In late August, Fannie put servicers on notice that they could face fines if foreclosures became unreasonably prolonged. Foreclosures were expected to pick up pace. But just as that was happening, Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage notified Fannie and Freddie about flaws in its foreclosure process in 23 states where foreclosures must be processed by courts. On Sept. 1, Freddie suspended foreclosures or sales of properties in 23 judicial states where the loan was serviced by GMAC. Since then, as GMAC and other major servicers suspended foreclosures, Fannie and Freddie have been unable to sell a big chunk of their pile of nearly 200,000 foreclosed homes, valued at around $19 billion. Mortgage owners stand to lose $1,000 per property for each month that a foreclosure is delayed, according to estimates by FBR Capital Markets. That means Fannie and Freddie could face steep costs for every month that they can’t sell homes. Fannie and Freddie, taken over by the U.S. government two years ago, have cost taxpayers $135 billion. On Thursday, the firms’ regulator said that the tab could grow to $259 billion if the economy falls into another recession.

        Ew’s conclusion:

        We, the taxpayers, have become the owners of a system that churns inexorably on to evict us from our homes.

        Or, as Jon Stewart put it, we are now a “foreclosure-based economy.”

        • thatvisionthing says:

          To kind of gather it together, at the House Financial Services hearing, Maxine Waters establishes that the OCC won’t fine mortgage servicers and that Treasury won’t fine banks screwing up HAMP. Yet earlier Fannie sent out notice that it will fine mortage servicers who aren’t foreclosing fast enough.

  10. Stephen says:

    At this point in time, I believe I’m not delusional and I believe Barry is treacherous, and a traitor to the Constitution, The Nation, The American People, and The Rule of Law.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      Treacherous or weak? I lean to weak/unable. Can’t do the job but vain and desperate enough to want to look like he can. Puff.

      • Stephen says:

        Ok, maybe I have overstepped my bounds, and apologizes to this site are in order and especially to commenters vastly more learned and informed than I. Please consider though, one profound statement made by Barack Obama and that is, “No one is above the law.”. Now is this man delusional or is this a deceitful con for the ill-informed masses he thinks he can deceive considering all the debauchery regarding the rule of law that has happened since his election? I still believe his actions and decisions are injurious to the Constitution, The American People, and The Nation as a whole.

  11. NoOneYouKnow says:

    “I see it a little differently, more like a tragic failure on Obama’s part to recognize the extraordinarily powerful mandate he actually was being given. He had it all, and he pissed it away.”
    Amazing that some people still don’t get it. Let me type this slowly for you: Obama is a corporatist. He lied to you about who he was and is. He didn’t “piss” anything away. He and his backers got you to elect him president (and I voted for him too–last time I’ll vote for any Dem on the national level), and he’s deliberately, maliciously betrayed all of his progressive supporters. HE’S NOT WHO YOU THINK HE IS.
    In my defense, I suspected Obama would screw us; all I had to do was listen to my friends swoon over his speeches to think he was a Trojan horse. But I couldn’t bring myself to think he’d screw us so completely and utterly, or that the US political system is so completely and corruptly controlled.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      i — c a n — t y p e — s l o w l y — t o o .

      T h e r e — i s — n o — P l a n e t — B .

      T h e r e — i s — n o — s e c o n d — c h a n c e — a t — t h i s — p r e s i d e n c y .

      H e — c o u l d a — h a d — c l a s s .

      H e — c o u l d a — b e e n — a — c o n t e n d e r .

      H e — c o u l d a — b e e n — s o m e b o d y .

      B u t — h e — t h r e w — t h e — f i g h t — a n d — n o w — h e ‘ s — a — B – U – M .

      A n d — a l l — t h e — m o n e y — i n — t h e — w o r l d — i s — t o x i c .

      Way to go!

  12. orionATL says:

    why would a detroit-based financial firm

    recently recently renamed “ally” (just in time for hearings in january, ff.),

    use a birmingham- based law firm?

    perhaps because senator richard shelby sits on the senate finance committee.

    alabama, now fully in republican control, may be the most politically corrupt state in the american south, perhaps in the nation.

    what better place to take your bank’s dirty laundry in january,2011

    than to that no water, no soap, no-tell roach motel that is political alabama.

    what may one infer? **

    **why did not buttercup obama not change out the current profoundly corrupt alabama u.s.a.’s two years ago?

    the question has always intrigued me.

  13. orionATL says:

    bmaz @27

    i couldn’t argue your point.

    i just don’t know how to tell the nation that endemic southern political corruption – which us “good ol’ boys” always knew, damn good and well, was for the benefit of the businesses and the banks –

    is about to become the political, social, and cultural NORM of the entire nation.

    this could never have happened without the uncaring, self-serving
    intervention in american politics of an australian businessman,

    granted citizenship by congress,

    with the consequence that, like a burrowing maggot, his media company could feed and grow fat off the body

  14. jdmckay0 says:

    OT: given general thrust of Marcy (and everyone else’s) focus on saturating corruption fraud in US banking/mortgage… and the awe of it’s width/depth/breath, I dun’o: it hits me similiar to seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. EG: “snapshots” don’t convey the enormity of the experience of seeing either phenomena live.

    In any event, among other things, I’ve paid close attention to what’s going on with water… especially since Bush’s first innaugeration. This banking/mortgage thing reminded me of one of the more egregious water (and more) abuses in that the enormity similarly invokes (at least w/me) a kind of shock-&-awe affect.

    This one happened in Tasmania, executed by Wood Products Producer Gunns Limited. The article I first came across was: Fighting the Big Gunns in Tasmania (CORPWATCH).

    This event reminded me of banking thingie, in that the corp (GUNN) lobbied/bought/paid for Tasmanian gov. pretty much entirely ignored any semblance of reality in order to issue an “offical report” on what can fairly be summarizied as massive environmental crime.

    Briefly, the crime UNN harvests, by clear cutting, forests for (in large part) wood chip products. The “money” description from above linked article:

    First, their loggers come and clear-cut an area. Then, rather than hauling out the felled trees, helicopters are sent in to drop incendiary devices to light the slag on fire. (Side note: Due to Gunn’s practice of not hauling out felled trees, more than 4,000 timber-related jobs have been lost in Tasmania since 1994.) The dense hardwoods burn hot and slow for days, but eventually cool back down, and that’s when the loggers return—but not to plant new trees yet. Instead, they scatter the charred forest floor with carrots soaked in a chemical known as 1080. All the animals that then come to feed on the carrots — including wombats, possums, and wallabies — quickly die. Only when all the native life has been drained do the foresters return, to plant non-native trees in massive plantations, which are then aerially sprayed with chemicals.

    Whether those chemicals are dangerous or not is anyone’s guess. Gunns lobbying has eliminated most oversight — they’re not required to file environmental impact statements, nor detailed lists of chemicals used, nor announce their schedule of operations in advance — leaving communities with very little information. In one telling episode last December, a helicopter spraying near the town of St. Helens crashed, dumping some 80 liters of its load into the hillside. Gunns insisted there was no danger, and it took seven months for the Department of Health to check the small town’s water supply.

    So that’s the crime. I’d point out additionally, like so many other conglomerate forest “harvesters”, these guys bribe pre-lobby respective govs, get any oversight shelved, and guarantee their own people manning levers of authority in corrupt respective governmental oversight body.

    So anyway, w/above crime in mind, (from above link again):

    In January, a “once in a lifetime flood” had roared through the area and within a week, more that 95% of the oyster beds in nearby George’s Bay were dead or dying. Government and industry officials chalked it up to “excessive fresh water.”

    “Excessive fresh water” was Tasmanian official determination of cause in this particular event. I don’t know, but in the anals of gross deliberate mischaractarization of a scientifically measurable and definable process caused by raping a forest, burning it’s remnants, poisoning any remaining life and ensuring runoff of said poison w/no remaining watershed will end up in these folks little bay, the “offical” conclusion to the cause:


    I dun’o, but it looks just about like the oversight revealed in Marcy’s video above, or the one I mentioned up thread, and the kind of oversight pretty much guaranteed by results of our recent mid terms.

    There’s a lot more on above incident, including GUNN’s SLAP lawsuits, here. Only difference in this particular episode as compared to US Vampire Bankster (shameless plug to a writer friend of mine who coined the term AFAIK) is, although the little guys lost their Tasmanian forest and had their property quality/value destroyed and lost 5+ years of their life fighting these fuckers, they actually ended up putting a lot the crooks in jail, recieved court awarded reimbursement for their legal costs, and a few even managed to get damages.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      US Vampire Bankster (shameless plug to a writer friend of mine who coined the term AFAIK)

      Hi JD, your friend’s “Vampire bankers” article is dated Sept. 2009 — I think “vampire [squid] bank” was pretty much coined by Matt Taibbi in his July 2009 Rolling Stone article on Goldman Sachs — the second sentence got quoted everywhere:

      The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

      Funny, it looks like Rolling Stone has taken that article down now? I wonder why — I can’t think of another story of theirs that made such a splash unless it was Michael Hastings’ one on McChrystal. This is just weird. If I remember right, the name of the article was “The Great American Bubble Machine.” You can still find the first page at Rolling Stone, under a new name: Taibbi’s Takedown of ‘Vampire Squid’ Goldman Sachs (vampire beats bubble?) Anyway, I’d say Taibbi owns vampire / vampire owns him.

  15. jdmckay0 says:

    And since I woke up on side of the bed which induces disgust w/all these crooks, let me share one other of today’s tidbits…

    Anyone else noticed Bloomberg is increasingly become infiltrated by financial industry hacks eliciting poop in their “opinion” section?

    Well, there’s one of those prominently displayed today:

    Nobel Laureate Diamond Is Unqualified for Fed

    Personally, I don’t really care about article or it’s major thrust to deliberately mis-inform. However, in this case, what raised my ire: the author’s bio…

    (Mark A. Calabria, a former senior aide on the Senate Banking Committee and assistant to Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the panel, is director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute.)

    “financial regulation studies” at CATO… just gives me the warm fuzzies all over. Anyway, knowing fullwell it’s an entire waste of time, I sent this prick :) an email along w/Bloomberg’s “editor responsible for this column” a little blowbye as follows:

    Good day sir:

    WRT your narrow statement of qualification re: sec 10-1 of FED RESERVE

    ACT, I agree.

    WRT to everything else you say… “academic” overload, too many lefty’s

    and such… well, whatever.

    And your suggestion that Obama should nominate someone who’s “run a

    business”… well, geez. Maybe an offshoring consultant CEO, or

    WAL-MART manager, or maybe good o’le GWB… after all, he “ran” several

    of ’em into the ground, pulled off insider trading on one just before it

    went under and got his daddy to kill an investigation: I would say he’d

    be an ideal candidate representative of US business men. And now that I

    think about it, since your shop (CATO) pretty much staffed his entire

    upper level white house, you should know well exactly who the pool of

    your crooked self-interested blood sucking “businessmen” are.

    But for me, the thing that immediately disqualifies you as an honest

    source: being a “Senior Aide” on Shelby’s banking committee is, based on

    that good man’s commitment to corruption… well, I would say you’ve

    migrated on a consistent path if you’re now writing mindless fluff

    pieces for… ” financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute”.

    I mean, really… God help us.

    Kind Regards:

    Jim McKay

    “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ,

    it’s good enough for us.”

    – Miriam Amanda “Ma” Ferguson (1875-1961),

    Governor of Texas (1925-1927, 1933-1935)