We have new details on Goldman Sachs’ $5 billion legal settlement


We have new details on Goldman Sachs’ $5 billion legal settlement

Evan Vucci/APGoldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Jamie Dimon Lloyd Blankfein

Wells Fargo just agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle ‘shoddy’ mortgage practices

We now know more about the $5 billion settlement Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay related to residential mortgage-backed securities it sold between 2005 and 2007.

Regulators announced details of the settlement on Monday.

Goldman initially announced the settlement in January. That nearly wiped out fourth-quarter earnings for the firm.

“Today’s settlement is yet another acknowledgment by one of our leading financial institutions that it did not live up to the representations it made to investors about the products it was selling,” said one regulator, US Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of the Eastern District of California, in a statement.

“We are pleased to put these legacy matters behind us,” Goldman Sachs said in a statement. “Since the financial crisis, we have taken significant steps to strengthen our culture, reinforce our commitment to our clients, and ensure our governance processes are robust.”

Morgan Stanley announced a similar settlement in February. It agreed to pay $3.2 billion over charges that it misled investors on the quality of mortgage loans it sold.

And on Friday, the US Justice Department announced that Wells Fargo had agreed to pay $1.2 billion to settle “shoddy” mortgage-lending practices.

Here’s what we learned about the Goldman settlement on Monday:

  • $2.385 billion in a civil-monetary penalty
  • $875 million to settle claims by various federal and state entities, including:
    • $575 million to settle claims by the National Credit Union Administration
    • $37.5 million to settle claims by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines as successor to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle
    • $37.5 million to settle claims by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago
    • $190 million to settle claims by the state of New York
    • $25 million to settle claims by the state of Illinois
    • $10 million to settle claims by the state of California
  • $1.8 billion in the form of relief to aid consumers who were allegedly harmed

Here’s a press release from the Department of Justice:

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department, along with federal and state partners, announced today a $5.06 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs related to Goldman’s conduct in the packaging, securitization, marketing, sale and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) between 2005 and 2007. The resolution announced today requires Goldman to pay $2.385 billion in a civil penalty under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) and also requires the bank to provide $1.8 billion in other relief, including relief to underwater homeowners, distressed borrowers and affected communities, in the form of loan forgiveness and financing for affordable housing. Goldman will also pay $875 million to resolve claims by other federal entities and state claims. Investors, including federally-insured financial institutions, suffered billions of dollars in losses from investing in RMBS issued and underwritten by Goldman between 2005 and 2007.

“This resolution holds Goldman Sachs accountable for its serious misconduct in falsely assuring investors that securities it sold were backed by sound mortgages, when it knew that they were full of mortgages that were likely to fail,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery. “This $5 billion settlement includes a $1.8 billion commitment to help repair the damage to homeowners and communities that Goldman acknowledges resulted from its conduct, and it makes clear that no institution may inflict this type of harm on investors and the American public without serious consequences.”

“Today’s settlement is another example of the department’s resolve to hold accountable those whose illegal conduct resulted in the financial crisis of 2008,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Viewed in conjunction with the previous multibillion-dollar recoveries that the department has obtained for similar conduct, this settlement demonstrates the pervasiveness of the banking industry’s fraudulent practices in selling RMBS, and the power of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act as a tool for combatting this type of wrongdoing.”

“Today’s settlement is yet another acknowledgment by one of our leading financial institutions that it did not live up to the representations it made to investors about the products it was selling,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of the Eastern District of California. “Goldman’s conduct in exploiting the RMBS market contributed to an international financial crisis that people across the country, including many in the Eastern District of California, continue to struggle to recover from. I am gratified that this office has developed investigations, first against JPMorgan Chase and now against Goldman Sachs, that have led to significant civil settlements that hold bad actors in this market accountable. The results obtained by this office and other members of the RMBS Working Group continue to send a message to Wall Street that we remain committed to pursuing those responsible for the financial crisis.”

The $2.385 billion civil monetary penalty resolves claims under FIRREA, which authorizes the federal government to impose civil penalties against financial institutions that violate various predicate offenses, including wire and mail fraud. The settlement expressly preserves the government’s ability to bring criminal charges against Goldman, and does not release any individuals from potential criminal or civil liability. In addition, as part of the settlement, Goldman agreed to fully cooperate with any ongoing investigations related to the conduct covered by the agreement.

Of the $875 million Goldman has agreed to pay to settle claims by various other federal and state entities: Goldman will pay $575 million to settle claims by the National Credit Union Administration, $37.5 million to settle claims by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines as successor to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle, $37.5 million to settle claims by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, $190 million to settle claims by the state of New York, $25 million to settle claims by the state of Illinois and $10 million to settle claims by the state of California.

Goldman will pay out the remaining $1.8 billion in the form of relief to aid consumers harmed by its unlawful conduct. $1.52 billion of that relief will be paid out pursuant to an agreement with the United States that Goldman will provide loan modifications, including loan forgiveness and forbearance, to distressed and underwater homeowners throughout the country, as well as financing for affordable rental and for-sale housing throughout the country. This agreement represents the largest commitment in any RMBS agreement to provide financing for affordable housing—a crucial need following the turmoil of the financial crisis. $280 million will be paid out by Goldman pursuant to an agreement separately negotiated with the state of New York.

The settlement includes a statement of facts to which Goldman has agreed. That statement of facts describes how Goldman made false and misleading representations to prospective investors about the characteristics of the loans it securitized and the ways in which Goldman would protect investors in its RMBS from harm (the quotes in the following paragraphs are from that agreed-upon statement of facts, unless otherwise noted):

  • Goldman told investors in offering documents that “[l]oans in the securitized pools were originated generally in accordance with the loan originator’s underwriting guidelines,” other than possible situations where “when the originator identified ‘compensating factors’ at the time of origination.” But Goldman has today acknowledged that, “Goldman received information indicating that, for certain loan pools, significant percentages of the loans reviewed did not conform to the representations made to investors about the pools of loans to be securitized.”
  • Specifically, Goldman has now acknowledged that, even when the results of its due diligence on samples of loans from those pools “indicated that the unsampled portions of the pools likely contained additional loans with credit exceptions, Goldman typically did not . . . identify and eliminate any additional loans with credit exceptions.” Goldman has acknowledged that it “failed to do this even when the samples included significant numbers of loans with credit exceptions.”
  • Goldman’s Mortgage Capital Committee, which included senior mortgage department personnel and employees from Goldman’s credit and legal departments, was required to approve every RMBS issued by Goldman. Goldman has now acknowledged that “[t]he Mortgage Capital Committee typically received . . . summaries of Goldman’s due diligence results for certain of the loan pools backing the securitization,” but that “[d]espite the high numbers of loans that Goldman had dropped from the loan pools, the Mortgage Capital Committee approved every RMBS that was presented to it between December 2005 and 2007.” As one example, in early 2007, Goldman approved and issued a subprime RMBS backed by loans originated by New Century Mortgage Corporation, after Goldman’s due diligence process found that one of the loan pools to be securitized included loans originated with “[e]xtremely aggressive underwriting,” and where Goldman dropped 25 percent of the loans from the due diligence sample on that pool without reviewing the unsampled 70 percent of the pool to determine whether those loans had similar problems.
  • Goldman has acknowledged that, for one August 2006 RMBS, the due diligence results for some of the loan pools resulted in an “unusually high” percentage of loans with credit and compliance defects. The Mortgage Capital Committee was presented with a summary of these results and asked “How do we know that we caught everything?” One transaction manager responded “we don’t.” Another transaction manager responded, “Depends on what you mean by everything? Because of the limited sampling . . . we don’t catch everything . . .” Goldman has now acknowledged that the Mortgage Capital Committee approved this RMBS for securitization without requiring any further due diligence.
  • Goldman made detailed representations to investors about its “counterparty qualification process” for vetting loan originators, and told investors and one rating agency that Goldman would engage in ongoing monitoring of loan sellers. Goldman has now acknowledged, however, that it “received certain negative information regarding the originators’ business practices” and that much of this information was not disclosed to investors.
  • For example, Goldman has now acknowledged that in late 2006 it conducted an internal analysis of the underwriting guidelines of Fremont Investment & Loan (an originator), which found many of Fremont’s guidelines to be “off market” or “at the aggressive end of market standards.” Instead of disclosing its view of Fremont’s underwriting, Goldman has acknowledged that it “[u]ndertook a significant marketing effort” to tell investors about what Goldman called Fremont’s “commitment to loan quality over volume” and “significant enhancements to Fremont underwriting guidelines.”  Fremont was shut down by federal regulators within several months of these statements.
  • In another example, Goldman was aware in early-mid 2006 of certain issues with Countrywide Financial Corporation’s origination process, including a pattern of non-responsiveness and inability to provide sufficient staff to handle the numerous loan pools Countrywide was selling. In April 2006, while Goldman was preparing an RMBS backed by Countrywide loans for securitization, a Goldman mortgage department manager circulated a “very bullish” equity research report that recommended the purchase of Countrywide stock. Goldman’s head of due diligence, who had just overseen the due diligence on six Countrywide pools, responded “If they only knew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”
  • Meanwhile, as Goldman has acknowledged in this statement of facts, “[Around the end of 2006], Goldman employees observed signs of uncertainty in the residential mortgage market [and] by March 2007, Goldman had largely halted new purchases of subprime loan pools.”

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Colleen Kennedy and Kelli Taylor of the Eastern District of California investigated Goldman’s conduct in connection with RMBS, with the support of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of the Inspector General (FHFA-OIG) and the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP).

“Goldman Sachs had a fiduciary responsibility to investors, which they blatantly side stepped,” said Deputy Inspector General for Investigation Rene Febles of FHFA-OIG. “They knowingly put investors at risk and in so doing contributed significantly to the financial crisis. The losses caused by this irresponsible behavior deeply affected not only financial institutions but also taxpayers and one can only hope that Goldman Sachs has learned the difference between risk and deceit. Two Federal Home Loan Banks suffered significant losses so we are pleased to see both entities receive a portion of this settlement. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold those accountable who have engaged in misconduct.”

“Goldman took $10 billion in TARP bailout funds knowing that it had fraudulently misrepresented to investors the quality of residential mortgages bundled into mortgage backed securities,” said Special Inspector General Christy Goldsmith Romero for TARP. “Many of these toxic securities were traded in a taxpayer funded bailout program that was designed to unlock frozen credit markets during the crisis. While crisis investigations take time, SIGTARP is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect taxpayers and bring accountability and justice.”

The settlement is part of the ongoing efforts of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force’s RMBS Working Group, which has recovered tens of billions of dollars on behalf of American consumers and investors for claims against large financial institutions arising from misconduct related to the financial crisis. The RMBS Working Group brings together attorneys, investigators, analysts and staff from multiple state and federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, the FBI, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HUD’s Office of Inspector General, the FHFA-OIG, SIGTARP, the Federal Reserve Board’s OIG, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and multiple state Attorneys General offices around the country. The RMBS Working Group is led by Director Joshua Wilkenfeld and five co-chairs: Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mizer, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Director Andrew Ceresney of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, U.S. Attorney John Walsh of the District of Colorado and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. This settlement is the fifth multibillion-dollar RMBS settlement announced by the working group.

Here’s a press release from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman:

NEW YORK — Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today joined members of the state and federal working group he co-chairs to announce a $5 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs over the bank’s deceptive practices leading up to the financial crisis. The settlement includes $670 million—$480 million worth of creditable consumer relief and $190 million in cash—that will be allocated to New York State. The resolution requires Goldman Sachs to provide significant community-level relief to New Yorkers, including resources that will facilitate a significant expansion of the New York State Mortgage Assistance Program enabling distressed homeowners to restructure their debt, as well as first-lien principal forgiveness, and funds to spur the construction of more affordable housing. Additional resources will be dedicated to helping communities transform their code enforcement systems, and invest in land banks and land trusts.

The settlement was negotiated through the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, a joint state and federal working group formed in 2012 to share resources and continue investigating wrongdoing in the mortgage-backed securities market prior to the financial crisis.

New York has now received $5.33 billion in cash and consumer relief from the National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) and all five Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group settlements (RMBS). The combined $3.2 billion in cash and consumer relief from RMBS settlements is more than any other state.

“Since 2012, my number one priority has been getting New Yorkers the resources they need to rebuild,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “These dollars will immediately go to work funding proven programs and services to help New Yorkers keep their homes and rebuild their communities. We’ve witnessed the incredible impact these programs and services can have in helping communities recover from the financial crisis. This settlement, like those before it, ensures that these critical programs—such as mortgage assistance, principal forgiveness, and code enforcement—will continue to get funded well into the future, and will be paid for by the institutions responsible for the financial crisis.”

The settlement includes an agreed-upon statement of facts that describes how Goldman Sachs made multiple representations to RMBS investors about the quality of the mortgage loans it securitized and sold to investors, its process for screening out questionable loans, and its process for qualifying loan originators. Contrary to those representations, Goldman Sachs securitized and sold RMBS backed by large numbers of loans from originators whose mortgage loans contained material defects.

In the statement of facts, Goldman Sachs acknowledges that it securitized thousands of Alt-A, and subprime mortgage loans and sold the resulting residential mortgage-backed securities (“RMBS”) to investors for tens of billions of dollars. During the course of its due diligence process, Goldman Sachs received pertinent information indicating that significant percentages of the loans reviewed did not conform to the representations it made to investors. Goldman also received and failed to disclose negative information that it obtained regarding the originators’ business practices. Indeed, Goldman’s due diligence vendors provided Goldman with reports reflecting that the vendors had graded significant numbers and percentages of sampled loans as EV3s, i.e., not in compliance with originator underwriting guidelines. In certain circumstances, Goldman reevaluated loan grades and directed that such loans be waived into the pools to be purchased or securitized.

Even when the percentage of problematic loans in pools sampled by it vendors indicated that the unsampled portions of the pools likely contained additional such loans, Goldman typically did not increase the size of the sample or review the unsampled portions of the pools to identify and eliminate any additional such loans. In many cases, 80 percent or more of the loans in the loan pools Goldman purchased and securitized were not sampled for credit and compliance due diligence. Nevertheless, Goldman approved various offerings for securitization without requiring further due diligence to determine whether the remaining loans in the deal contained defects. A Goldman employee overseeing due diligence for a particular loan pool noted that the pool included loans originated with “[e]xtremely aggressive underwriting” and “large program exceptions made without compensating factors.” Despite this observation, Goldman did not review the remaining portion of the pool, and subsequently securitized thousands of loans from the pool.

Goldman made statements to investors in offering documents and in certain other marketing materials regarding its process for reviewing and approving originators, yet it failed to disclose to investors negative information it obtained about mortgage loan originators and its practice of securitizing loans from suspended originators.

Beginning in mid-2006, Goldman recognized that Fremont, a “key originator, was experiencing an increasing level of early payment defaults (“EPDs”) (i.e., loans for which the borrowers had failed to make one or more of their first payments). Goldman was aware that EPDs were a sign of originators’ bad credit decisions and could be indicators of potential borrower fraud. However, Goldman did not put Fremont on its “no bid” list and continued to purchase loan pools from Fremont during the period Fremont’s EPD claims remained unpaid. Moreover, Goldman “[u]ndertook a significant marketing effort” to tell investors about what Goldman called Fremont’s “commitment to loan quality over volume” and “significant enhancements to Fremont underwriting guidelines.” Likewise, Goldman identified issues with Countrywide’s origination practices. Goldman’s head of due diligence, when presented with a “very bullish” equity report on Countrywide, another large originator, exclaimed “[i]f they only knew  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”

Attorney General Schneiderman was elected in 2010 and took office in 2011, when the five largest mortgage servicing banks, 49 state attorneys general, and the federal government were on the verge of agreeing to a settlement that would have released the banks—including Bank of America—from liability for virtually all misconduct related to the financial crisis. Attorney General Schneiderman refused to agree to such sweeping immunity for the banks. As a result, Attorney General Schneiderman secured a settlement that preserved a wide range of claims for further investigation and prosecution. In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama announced the formation of the RMBS Working Group. The collaboration brought together the Department of Justice (DOJ), other federal entities, and several state law enforcement officials—co-chaired by Attorney General Schneiderman—to investigate those responsible for misconduct contributing to the financial crisis through the pooling and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities.

Under today’s settlement, Goldman Sachs will be required to provide a minimum of $480 million in creditable consumer relief directly to struggling families and communities across the state. The settlement includes a menu of options for consumer relief to be provided, and different categories of relief are credited at different rates toward the bank’s $480 million obligation, including at least:

  • $220 million for debt restructuring
  • $30 million for land banks and land trusts
  • $30 million for code enforcement
  • $150 million for first-lien principal reduction
  • $50 million for the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing

In addition to the settlement with Goldman Sachs, the RMBS working group has reached settlements with four other major financial institutions since 2012:

  • J.P. Morgan Chase: $13 Billion
  • Bank of America: $16.6 Billion
  • Citibank: $7 Billion
  • Morgan Stanley: $3.2 Billion

The National Mortgage Settlement (NMS), reached with the five largest national mortgage servicers, has provided $51 billion in consumer relief and cash nationwide. The combined amount of cash and consumer relief that has been returned to New York as a result of all the RMBS and NMS deals is $1.481 billion in cash and $3.857 in consumer relief, for a total of $5.338 billion. This matter was led by Senior Enforcement Counsel for Economic Justice Steven Glassman and Assistant Attorneys General Desiree Cummings and Kenneth Haim, both of the Investor Protection Bureau.

 

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“It Ain’t as Bad As You Think” . ? . It Is As Bad As I Think, and Probably Even Worse


I keep thinking about that.  Being told that it really isn’t as bad as I think.  Hell if it ain’t!

When I was a little girl, we walked to school.  We would get there in the morning, and there would be the morning prayer.  Right after that, we all said I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag, and they played the National Anthem.  I started to school when I was four (4).  By the time I was in fourth grade, it was like the second elementary school.  They did not say the morning prayer, or play the anthem, but by golly, the whole time I was in school, we Pledged Allegiance to the Flag.  We were proud to be Americans.

Now, you get suspended for wearing anything with a flag on it.  The Ten Commandments, Pledge of Allegiance, and anything having to do with our natural heritage is bad.  Christians are bad.  Americans are bad.  Christian Americans must be very, very bad.  And who the hell decided all that?  That is bullshit.  Plain and simple, bullshit.  Since when have other people gone to live in another country, and was allowed to claim they were offended by the customs of that country, and the country changed for the outsiders?  Someone tell me when.  That is bullshit!  Plain and simple bullshit.

Seems like it began several years ago… SuperTarget in our area, told the GoodWill people at Christmas, not to come there any more.  Of course, after that, we never went back to that store, and it closed shortly thereafter.  For some reason, outsiders that had moved to the United States, were offended by Christmas, Nativity scenes, and GoodWill ringing their little bells at Christmas.  Those dedicated, hardworking GoodWill employees, trying to make a difference to others at a very hard time of year.  They never asked anyone for anything.  Just stood, ringing the bell and smiling.  It was tradition.  Christmas trees, nativity scenes, GoodWill.

So, in order to not to offend those, who are not from here, America changed? Bullshit.  I say, if our traditions offends you, you came into this country, you know you can leave the same damned way!  Every time I turn around, someone is explaining that such and such offends them.  Screw it!  I am offended by what people do in other countries, but I don’t move there, then expect them to change their country for me.  That is bullshit.  Plain and simple bullshit.

Now, they tell us that our forefathers were terrorists.  Do what?  So what kind of History lessons are they giving kids now a days?  Speaking of kids.  Since when does the govt. have balls enough to tell parents what they are or not going to feed their kids for lunch during school?  The other thing about kids, is that they belong to the community, not their parents?  Bullshit!  Plain and simple bullshit!  And these idiots put up with that?  I sure as hell am glad that my Mama was who she was.  She would have not only told them what horse to get on, she would have had them direct that horse, on out of the country.  And my Daddy, lo and behold, I am glad that he is not here to see this shit.  Daddy was gung-ho Marine.  He is probably rolling in his grave right now.

And someone wants to tell me, that it ain’t as bad as I think it is?  Bullshit!  Plain and simple bullshit!!!

DeKalb Commissioners Are On A Criminal Roll!


Updated: 4:13 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 | Posted: 10:11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014

DeKalb Commissioner Boyer could serve prison time

By Johnny Edwards and Mark Niesse

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/criminal-charges-filed-against-former-dekalb-commi/ng82z/

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Elaine Boyer in federal court sketch photo
Richard Miller
082614 Atlanta: This is a photo copy of an artist rendition of the federal court appearance of DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer and her court appointed attorney Jeff Brickman into questionable use of taxpayer dollars on Tuesday, August 26, 2014, in Atlanta. By Courtroom artist Richard Miller
DeKalb commissioner resigns amid spending investigation gallery
 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A day after resigning from office, DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer announced in court Tuesday she would plead guilty to federal charges accusing her of two schemes to pocket tens of thousands of dollars from taxpayers.

Boyer, appearing calm and collected, told a judge she understood what she was doing, but it’s unknown whether she’ll serve time in prison.

U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said she will seek a prison sentence for Boyer.

“This is a serious crime. She’s cooperating now after she was caught,” Yates said. Boyer’s guilty plea “doesn’t wipe the slate clean.”

Boyer’s attorney, Jeff Brickman, said he’ll ask a judge not to sentence Boyer to prison, although she doesn’t have a plea deal in place. She was to be released without supervision after being photographed and fingerprinted. She could be formally arraigned within 10 days.

A criminal filing earlier Tuesday said Boyer authorized more than $78,000 in county payments to an adviser who submitted false invoices for consulting work but did nothing.

The adviser then funneled about 75 percent of the money, more than $58,000, back into Boyer’s personal bank account, the document alleges. She faced a charge of mail fraud conspiracy for that scheme.

The court documents didn’t name the adviser and no charges apparently have been filed against that person, even though he apparently pocketed about $20,000 in taxpayer money. The documents say Boyer used her share for personal expenses, including purchases at hotels and high-end department stores.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was pressing Boyer to explain nearly $90,000 in checks to consultants before she resigned Monday and admitted she had betrayed taxpayers.

Federal prosecutors also accused Boyer of wire fraud for using her county purchasing card to pay for more than $15,000 in personal expenses. From October 2010 to February 2014, Boyer made more than 50 such purchases, prosecutors allege.

The AJC in March revealed that she had been tapping county funds to pay for airline tickets, a ski resort vacation, rental cars and personal cell phone expenses, triggering the federal investigation.

Boyer will have to forfeit any proceeds or property she obtained from the schemes, prosecutors wrote.

Plethora of Negative News In the Radiation World, Take Your Pick!


Latest Headlines:
‘Unusual… Troubling News’: Only about 1% of sockeye salmon coming to US waters from Pacific, normally 50 times higher — Lowest rate ever recorded — Had expected best numbers ever — Scientist: ‘Warm blob’ off West Coast may be to blame — Chinook salmon numbers also low

Official wept at prime minister’s office: “I’m sorry, we’ve tried… but we are in a situation beyond our control” at Fukushima — Hours Later: “People’s blood ran cold”… “Huge hole” suspected to have opened up in No. 2 Reactor

Nuclear Engineer: Studies show multiple fuel cores ejected from Fukushima reactors… I thought so too, it was one of my big concerns — Radiation Expert: Hot particles of uranium and plutonium fuels detected nearly 300 miles away (VIDEO)

LA Times: ‘Horrific Comedy’ at US Nuclear Site — “Mounds of radioactive white foam laced with plutonium” spewed out — Gov’t failed to do any radiation tests when releases peaked after ‘major’ leak — Experts: “Risk of additional eruptions is real” (VIDEO)

US Official: There were orders to not get within 230 miles of Fukushima Daiichi — Potassium iodide given to all defense personnel and families within 200 miles of plant — Over 1,100 kinds of radioactive material detected

Scientist: Massive spikes in radioactivity are being hidden from public — Radiation doses around nuclear reactors increase exponentially — It’s a major worry… very, very important — Something must be done (VIDEO)

Japan Newspaper: “The seriousness of the current situation at Fukushima can’t be understated” — Report: Unmitigated radiation is pouring into Pacific Ocean — Video: They don’t know how to stop the radioactive leaks… we’ll never know how to stop this

Scientist holds press conference in Tokyo: Urgent need to share new developments from Fukushima — Very, very striking results show radiation injury to whole ecosystems — Significant implications for Japan (VIDEO)

Time Magazine: Doctor links recent outbreaks of ‘mysterious ­rashes’ to Fukushima — Cancer Specialist: “There’s so much societal pressure to not even mention the word radiation” — Video: Huge number of cancers already… gov’t actively engaged in safety propaganda (VIDEO)

Top US Nuclear Officials Visit Fukushima: “The pain they’ve inflicted… innocent lives impacted forever… children” — “Sick to my stomach… as if I were in a science fiction movie” — “Very sobering” — “We raise the standard of living for millions… without us, heart surgery isn’t possible” (VIDEO)

NHK: Scientists to use detectors ‘deep underground’ to look for Fukushima fuel; It’s ‘believed’ to have cooled down, but no one can check — Officials: We don’t know if water is covering fuel — Expert: Water must be circulating around fuel or it will melt again (VIDEO)

New study finds radiation dose for US West Coast from Fukushima over 500% of recent gov’t estimate — Release from Japan disaster could exceed Chernobyl (MAP)

Report: “No one wants you to know how bad Fukushima might still be… gaining traction as the worst case of nuclear pollution in history” — Physician: “This is a global contamination of wide swaths of the biosphere” (VIDEO)

VIDEO: Children of US Navy sailors suffering from cancers after Fukushima exposure — “I couldn’t move… so much pain… I have leukemia” — More kids with thyroid cancer — Father: “We couldn’t figure it out… his body was changing” — Sailor: Right side of my body is shriveling up, one arm now almost 5 inches smaller than other

Tokyo Press Conference: Gov’t is committing crimes against humanity; Fukushima children living in war zone and can’t leave — Childhood cancer developing much faster than Chernobyl; Rate now 14 times higher — Parent: “I’m revealing the reality of what’s going on… it’s only way to get rid of the criminals” (VIDEO)

Experts: Plutonium and uranium flow into ocean from Fukushima — “Heavily contaminated” water is leaking out of plant — Melted fuel releasing hundreds of different radioactive materials — Officials refuse to investigate 90% of these (VIDEO)

Nuclear Expert: Fukushima fuel suspected to be in ground… “it’s going to melt right down into the ground” when heat isn’t removed, that’s why these are so dangerous — Physician: “3 of Fukushima’s reactors melted through containment… the crisis is clearly ongoing” (VIDEO)

Gov’t: Radiation level 60 km from Fukushima plant is as high as the most contaminated areas in Chernobyl — “Fukushima far exceeded any crisis previously encountered” — “A risk of destruction of the society” — Expert: “It’s unprecedented in scale and duration” (VIDEOS)

CBC: We all thought we’re doomed from Fukushima, it’s “going to spread across Pacific and they’ll be no fish and the sea life will be dead” — Professor: It’s releasing radioisotopes directly into ocean as we speak and we can’t predict when it will end; An ongoing disaster, reactors not under control (VIDEO)

Gov’t: Radiation levels on US West Coast spiked to over 1,000,000 times normal after Fukushima explosions (VIDEO)

Gov’t Experts: Fukushima fuel rods were melting 75 minutes after tsunami; Reactor core not covered with water 10 minutes after power blackout — Worker: Before explosion, Unit 1 “filled with what looked like steam or dust… a series of large bangs… noise never heard before” (VIDEO)

TV: Devastating mystery illness hits California horses — “Nobody will even tell us what it is” — Skin falling off, covered in painful lesions, eyes swollen shut, liver damage, fainting — Expert: Never seen anything like it in 40 year career (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)

The Energy Companies Don’t Give a Flying F__k About Your Life, The Almighty Dollar Is All They Care About!


Scientist: Massive spikes in radioactivity are being hidden from public — Radiation doses around nuclear reactors increase exponentially — It’s a major worry… very, very important — Something must be done (VIDEO)

Published: August 23rd, 2014 at 9:21 pm ET
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http://enenews.com/scientist-massive-spikes-radioactivity-being-hidden-public-radiation-doses-around-reactors-increase-exponentially-major-worry-very-very-important-video

Interview with Dr. Ian Fairlie, Radiation Biologist, Nuclear Hotseat hosted by Libbe HaLevy, Aug 19, 2014 (at 35:30 in): One of the key things I’d like to mention to your listeners is this; Up until 2012, we didn’t really know what happened with emissions from nuclear reactors. The only data that we had was annual data… we didn’t really know the time pattern — now we do. Now we know that the large majority — say two-thirds, three-
quarters — of the annual emissions from a reactor occur just once, during one spike. And that spike occurs when the reactor is opened up to take out the old fuel and to put in fresh fuel. During that time period — about a day, day-and-half — the reactors are depressurized… they open up the valves and the radioactive gases shoot out. It’s during that time that we think that the people down wind are exposed to high levels of radioactivity, i.e. high radiation doses… Instead of having even, little bits of emissions throughout the 365 days, you have one big, massive spike which happens over a day-and-a-half period. And that happens roughly speaking, once a year… That’s important — Very, very important — because it results in doses that are at least 20 times higher, maybe even as much as 100 times higher… That’s a major worry… I’ve said to a number of nuclear operators, “Why don’t you do this at night time when people are in bed? Why don’t you do it when it’s really, really windy out — and it’s not raining?” … When it’s very calm it just drifts everywhere and you get big doses — No response… These spikes have been hidden from us ever since the beginning of the nuclear power program … nobody knew about them apart from people who work in the nuclear industry and they keep really quiet about it.  I’d like to say to your American listeners, this is very important. You have to go to your regulator and say, “There’s no reason why this is not occurring at US reactors. These data are from German pressurized water reactors… We know that it’s very, very likely the same thing is happening with
US reactors.” I hope that at least some of your listeners will pick this up and say, “Whoa, we’ve got to do something here.” >>Full interview available here

Dr. Donald Mosier, Scripps Research Institute’s Dept. of Immunology and city council member in Del Mar near San Onofre nuclear plant,  Oct. 19, 2013 (at 27:15 in): The problem with the data is that tritium releases are episodic. They’ll have a release of tritium one day a month, but when they report that to the NRC, they’ll say this is the amount of tritium we’ve released over the year. You have 5 days of release, but you divide that by 365 days, it doesn’t look like so much tritium. But if you’re sitting right next to the plant on the day of the release, it’s quite a bit. There’s some data from Europe that says those spikes are dangerous. There’s no data in the US that you can interpret. >> Watch the community symposium here

Published: August 23rd, 2014 at 9:21 pm ET
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“Pacific Ocean Now Dead From Fukushima”! By http://www.thenuclearproctologist.org/


Must Watch Video!

“HORROR”  “Pacific Ocean Now Dead From Fukushima Radiation”  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1FrscZBjhc&list=TLdJ28vujOJspnMzaADNRXD7_AfpiMeO-H 

Streamed live on Aug 10, 2014

http://www.thenuclearproctologist.org/ The entire 200 kilometers we checked of Canadian Pacific Coast Line was devoid of all life , recovery is highly unlikely . This presentation will be followed tonight with a Q & A session at 8 pm pacific Canada time on this same site beautifulgirlbydana . Watch the live presentation Aug

Sheeple Awaken to the Truth, Right After The Meltdown began


MAINSTREAM, VOL XLIX, NO 18, APRIL 23, 2011

http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article2711.html

Nuclear Industry’s Cover-Up, Lies And Denial: Beware of the French Nuclear Model

by Harsh Kapoor

To this day, contradictory estimations of the magnitude as well as the consequences of the Fukushima disaster continue to illustrate how an iron hand seems to tightly control information, in the ‘larger interests’, and the world’s major nuclear energy firms, pro-nuclear lobbies, Japan itself along with international authorities such as WHO, IAEA or CTBTO, seem to be engaged in the organised downplaying and retention of a precious information that citizens’ groups claim is already in their possession. Secrecy is built into the nuclear establishment’s mindset everywhere, and it prevails across the nuclear industry internationally.

Starting after WWII, in Japan itself, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs victims were made invisible to the public eye and discriminated, and in the same go were their concerns regarding nuclear dangers; while the USA promoted their ‘Atoms for Peace’ programme in the war-battered country, the real push came in the seventies from Japan which went on to build 55 reactors.

Today, there seems to be grand collusion between high level technocrats (an influential nuclear lobby sits in Japan’s Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry; METI), and builders and operators of the nuclear plants (the Federation of Electricity Companies—FEPC; the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency—NISA; and the industrial groups that build the nuclear power plants—Toshiba, Hitachi, Mitsubishi). They fund the media to assure the public opinion that nuclear energy is perfectly safe.

The Japanese Democratic Party Government that came to power in 2009 (after a five-decade uninterrupted rule by the LDP) changed nothing. It had heavy support from Rengo, the power trade union federation whose key member unions are in the nuclear energy and electricity sectors.

Negligence, cover-up and falsification of data were routinely used to keep nuclear incidents away from public eye: in 2002, some 10 odd nuclear electricity companies were found to have been involved in such corruption or cover up of incidents dating 1970. Tepco, the owner and operator of the Fukushima plant, was one of the main accused and its officials had to resign. Between 2005 and 2009, there were over a dozen incidents in Fukushima. But the Japanese establishment imposed its preference for an invisible crisis management.

Japan and France have an interlocking nuclear connection. As far back as in the 1970s, the Japanese nuclear power utilities began shipping their spent fuel to France, to be reprocessed at Areva’s plant in La Hague (France is the principal stakeholder in Areva), and since 1999, France has been sending MOX—that is, mixed oxyde fuel—supplies to Japan. France has supported Japan’s nuclear programmes, especially building the reprocessing facility in Honshu. According to Areva, four of the 55 nuclear reactors in Japan function with MOX fuel, including one in Fukushima.

For long years, there has been a controversy over the safe use of MOX fuel in nuclear reactors. In May 2001, Greenpeace filed a case on the dangers of using MOX fuel supplied by Areva in the Fukushima reactor No 3.

However, the nuclear technocrats’ lobby is no less powerful in France than it is in Japan: in the early 1970s it imposed, without public debate, a nuclear energy economy in France that was developed at breathtaking pace in less than 15 years. Manufacture of pro-nuclear public opinion is big business particularly since it is the tax payer who pays for France’s nuclear electricity. Just this year, Areva spent 15 million euros on TV spots.

France in Damage Control over Fukushima

EVER since the Fukushima nuclear disaster struck on March 11, 2011, Tepco, the Japanese and French authorities and Areva, albeit slowly forced to admit the gravity of the situation, are doing their best to protect the nuclear energy sector from economic and political consequences. Sarkozy, the first head of state to visit Japan after the nuclear accident, took this occasion to publicly reaffirm his faith in the safety and pertinence of the nuclear option, and especially in the EPR reactors made by Areva, while the CEO of Areva who accompanied him had earlier stated publicly that ‘Fukushima was not a nuclear catastrophe’.

In sheer contradiction with these statements are the following facts: Areva evacuated its German employees in charge of the maintenance of Fukushima on the very next day of the accident ( March 12); France immediately called a Cabinet meeting to discuss strategies to protect the nuclear industry and its sales of nuclear plants to China, India, Libya, etc; the magistrate in charge for long years of a court case against the inaction and disinformation of the French authorities regarding the 1986 radioactive clouds from Chernobyl was all of a sudden evicted from handling the case; nuclear authorities have launched an information blitz, with daily press conferences for the past two weeks to counter growing public concern about the nuclear sector.

Dancing French Nuclear Can-Can will come at a Heavy Price

FRANCE signed a major contract with the Indian Government for a purchase of six EPR reactors for a nuclear plant site in Jaitapur in Maharashtra; given the extraordinarily large quantity of plutonium content needed in reactor fuel for the EPRs, they are possibly the most dangerous nuclear reactors.

India’s nukedom present the French nuclear industry as a model. There is a not so bright side that the Indians should know before they proceed to take the nuclear road with French involvement.

As elsewhere, there is an uncanny silence in France around nuclear matters. Decision-making elites are pro-nuclear, so are practically all MPs, regional or local elected bodies and all political formations from Left to Right to Centre, as well as interest groups that include mainstream media, consumers’ organisations and major national trade unions—even the communist CGT union which is a key actor in the nuclear energy plant operator EDF. This explains why citizens in France are still so ill-informed regarding health hazards.

However, as most nuclear plants in France are now old and subsequently present a higher risk of radioactive contamination for the 30,000 workers of the nuclear sector, the nuclear plant operators have massively turned towards sub-contracting the highly dangerous tasks involving repair, maintenance and modifications, thereby escaping the strict health and safety norms; today, subcontractors maintain 80 per cent of the French nuclear industry as opposed to 50 per cent in the 1970s. With privatisation, France now faces workers protesting the erosion of their rights and the increased dangers and risks to public safety when the time cycle of tasks is reduced.

Nuclear France is a water guzzling machine: state owned EDF withdraws up to 19 billion cubic metres of water per year from rivers and lakes, that is, roughly half of the fresh water drawn in the country. While the average Indian nuclear reactors are about 200 MW in size, the proposed French EPRs are 1500 MW and will consume even more water.

Additionally, there are problems with the waters used for cooling reactors, since it hotter when released back into the water sources. These problems increase in hot weather: during the heat wave that affected France in 2003, 17 nuclear power reactors had to be scaled back in operation or turned off, because of the rapid rise in rivers or lakes temperature that would have affected wild life fauna and flora. What will happen in India, where the weather conditions are much hotter?

France had nearly 200 uranium mines that are now all shut. But over 160 million tonnes of nuclear residue from the mines were disposed off and given away to the construction and building industry to be used as land leveling: there are stadiums, parking areas, roads, town-ships that have used this radioactive residue and people who live on it do not know.

Today, France imports uranium from its former African colonies, mostly Niger, and the ecological and social costs are hidden, as Areva which runs mines in Niger does not maintain epidemio-logical health records of communities in the mining regions.

Although France pretends that nuclear energy guarantees the country’s energy independence, securing continued access to these crucial resources has obvious consequences on France’s foreign policy and on its eventual military presence in Africa. Trouble has been brewing uranium mining areas in Niger. The recent kidnapping and assassination of two Areva engineers in Niger point at the fragility of this ‘independence’.

The numerous nuclear incidents and accidents that occured in France have been underplayed: in 1969, in Saint Laurent des Eaux, Loire et Cher, there was partial fusion of 50 kg of uranium, and the same accident happened again in the same plant in 1980 when 20 pounds of radioactive fuel melted. Some 400 EDF employees were sent to clean the site, but since then EDF has decided to call on the sub-contractors of such risky interven-tions. Similarly on December 27, 1999, the Blayais nuclear plant near the city of Bordeaux was struck by the storm Martin, followed by a flood; the plant was surrounded by water and cut off from the world for 13 hours, with 50 employees. 3 of the 4 reactors were considered lost.

In 2008, a uranium leak contaminated 100 workers in Tricastin: a documentary film RAS Nucleaire records inspectors being told to ignore malfunctions, employees hiding incidents for fear of sanctions, work teams feeling no longer responsible due to growing externalisation of tasks point to growing risks for collective security.

‘Small’ incidents have multiplied, with about 100 level one alerts a year, but the soft pro-nuclear propaganda makes risky industry acceptable. In India too, there is an accepted culture of post-hazard compensation rather than risk prevention. Bhopal still stares in our face.

Warnings have been addressed to the French authorities: an EDF study states that the back up generators of 19 reactors are at risk of malfunction, scientists alerted that 16 reactors are at serious risks of flooding, Paris’ police headquarters claim that there are no plans in place to protect people in case of an accident in a nuclear plant while seven sites comprising 18 reactors are within a radius of 225 km, the group Sortir du Nucleaire revealed that in 2007 EDF falsified the seismic data so as not to have to undertake expensive upgradation work, etc.

France did not solve the problem of nuclear waste storage: its waste was and is largely still sent to the former Soviet Union. A project of storage in Burne was opposed by the population.

But the La Hague Reprocessing Plant, in Normandy, is functioning: it reprocesses reactor fuel. MOX (mixed oxide fuel) is made from reprocessing spent fuel; and contains a very high degree of plutonium and this reprocessing results in massive releases by factors of several thousands compared to radioactive releases from nuclear reactors, of radioactive gases and liquids and the creation of solid waste. So-called low level wastes are discharged into the English Channel and into the air, while they often contain highly radioactive and long lived isotopes, in violation of the 1970 London Dumping Convention. Discharges from the La Hague as well as the UK Sellafield reprocessing plants resulted in contaminating beaches and seas as far as the Artic Circle. Two independent medical studies found elevated rates of leukemia among young people living around La Hague and similarly around Sellafield. The sea around La Hague has been measured 17 million times more radioactive than normal sea water. La Hague routinely releases a highly toxic radioactive gases including concentrationq of krypton-85 found at levels 90 000 times higher than in nature. Some 83 metric tons of plutonium is stored in La Hague, making it a very dangerous location.

French Anti-Nuclear Voices

WHILE France does not allow the public to make an informed opinion regarding the health and ecological costs of the nuclear energy option, small but vocal organisations campaign for transparency and alert public opinion. Among them are 700 groups that are part of the network Sortir du Nucleaire, the Observatoire du Nucleaire, the citizen’s independant nuclear lab CRIIRAD that was set in response to the Chernobyl disaster, Greenpeace France, ACDN. Working against huge odds, they face witchhunts and intimidation of activists, court cases filed against them, breaking into their offices, thefts of their computers and computer surveillance. People seem to have forgotten the 1985 the French secret service bombed and sunk the ship Rainbow warrior (belonging to Greenpeace) in distant New Zealand.

The extraordinarily high quality of public documentation generated by these groups on the dark underside of the French nuclear programme merits emulation by others internationally.

Conclusion

AFTER Fukushima and on the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, the ‘business as usual’ ways of the nuclear establishment should not go unchallenged. The 1959 accord between the IAEA and WHO has to be revoked for the WHO to independently monitor and engage in public research over health and safety long term effects of Fukushima. The 1994 Convention on Nuclear Safety must be revised giving high powers to the IAEA to conduct safety checks on all functioning nuclear power reactors across the globe, till they are decommissioned.

As the tight official wraps over nuclear matters prevent credible independent information, the Indian civil society must demand a full scale independent review of the unaccountable ways of its nuclear energy sector and a moratorium on all reactor construction. India’s nuclear industry be made to come under the purview of the Central Information Commission. A parliamentary committee must call for a full hearing on safety of India’s nuclear installations, including uranium mines and radioactive waste storage and transport activities. Misleading declarations of Indian public servants in wake of the Fukushima accident should be challenged in court by citizens groups.

The author is an independent political activist who was till recently based in France. He is the founder of South Asia Citizens Web – www.sacw.net