From Pine View Farm

Piracy on the High C-Notes 0

Read it all. From MarketWatch, relentless apologolist for the financial sector:

When lawless pirates captured an American sea captain, the Navy put the hostage first. Now he’s safe, and the hostage-takers are dead or jailed.

When lawless bankers captured the global economy, Geithner put the hostage-takers first. And the hostage-takers are stepping up their demands: Change the accounting rules, guarantee us against any losses from the toxic assets, and rig the stress test so we all come out smelling like roses.

Old-timers may remember with nostalgia the days when it was easy to tell the difference between a major financial institution and a criminal enterprise. Those days are long gone.

Consider, for instance, the indictment unveiled last week against a San Diego street gang on multiple counts of mortgage fraud. According to federal prosecutors, the gang arranged to buy 220 properties for more than $100 million from 2005 to 2008. They overpaid for the properties by taking out liar loans using phony appraisals. They then funneled a kickback to a company controlled by the defendants, the indictment says.

Liar loans? Phony appraisals? Kickbacks? That sounds pretty much like the business model for the mortgage brokerage industry in California during the bubble. Maybe the real complaint is that the mob was muscling in on their territory.


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