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.

 

Advertisements

Health Ranger: “California to throw adults in JAIL if they refuse government-mandated vaccines”


California to throw adults in JAIL if they refuse government-mandated vaccines

SB792
 (NaturalNews) In case you haven’t noticed, there’s an incremental push right now by the controlling elite to force vaccinations on all Americans, both young and old. And this agenda is gaining considerable traction in California, where legislators are now moving forward with plans to force childhood vaccines on all adults who work in daycare centers, both private and public.

Senate Bill 792, also known as the “Day care facilities: immunizations: exemptions” act, was presented quietly alongside SB 277, which eliminates personal, philosophical and religious vaccine exemptions for children who attend both private and public schools in the Golden State. The bill, as recently heard by the California Assembly Human Services Committee, reads as follows:

This bill, commencing September 1, 2016, would prohibit a day care center or a family day care home from employing any person who has not been immunized against influenza, pertussis, and measles.

If passed, SB 792 would represent the first adult vaccine mandate in the U.S. that disallows exemptions for personal reasons, and that threatens criminal penalties for those who fail or refuse to comply. Here’s how Vaccine Impact describes SB 792:

SB 792, would eliminate an adult’s right to exempt themselves from one, some, or all vaccines, a risk-laden medical procedure.


This bill would make California the first state to require mandated vaccinations for all childcare workers, including all private and public school early childhood education programs (Headstart, Private preK and preschools), family daycares, and daycare centers.

SB 792 represents medical violence against adults

An affront to both medical and religious liberty, SB 792 appears to be the wave of the future in New America, where the perceived health of the “herd” is now more important than the health of the individual. Never before in the history of the United States have legislators pushed this hard to literally force vaccine injections on the public under duress.

But why do they feel the need to do this if vaccines really work and are truly safe as claimed? The answer is that vaccines aren’t safe and effective, and more people than ever are acknowledging this truth and opting out of the “requirements” of the system through vaccine exemptions, hence the rush to eliminate these exemptions as quickly as possible, starting with California.

“This bill eliminates medical autonomy, crushes religious freedom, undermines personal freedom, and burdens quality providers with a non-optional series of medical interventions in the form of mandated vaccines that are not even 100% effective,” adds Vaccine Impact.

Contact California legislators and say NO to SB 792

As of this writing, SB 792 awaits a hearing by California’s Committee on Appropriations, having recently passed through the Assembly Human Services Committee with a 6-1 vote. The official vote tally reveals that the following members of this committee voted in FAVOR of passing SB 792:

Ian C. Calderon
Kansen Chu
Patty Lopez
Brian Maienschein
Mark Stone
Tony Thurmond

You can contact the above individuals here and let them know how you feel about their betrayal of medical freedom in California.

You can also contact the individual members of the Committee on Appropriations and tell them to vote AGAINST SB 792 by visiting: pro.assembly.ca.gov

If Americans sit idly by while corrupt legislators pass incremental bills like SB 277 and SB 792, it will only be a matter of time before even stricter bills come along mandating vaccinations for additional groups of people, until eventually everyone is forced into being vaccinated by the state for the benefit of “public health.”

“Laws like these are forging a burden of responsibility that is collectively shared by everyone,” writes Joshua Krause for GlobalResearch.ca.

“It won’t be long before they try to force vaccines on every adult and child in California. And if they pull it off there, legislators in other states will try to see if they can use the sheepish tyranny of majority rule to force vaccines on their citizens as well.”

Sources:

experimentalvaccines.org

vaccineimpact.com

globalresearch.ca

leginfo.legislature.ca.gov

apro.assembly.ca.gov

$150 billion in bank fines and penalties


7 years on from crisis, $150 billion in bank fines and penalties
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/30/7-years-on-from-crisis-150-billion-in-bank-fines-and-penalties.html
John W. Schoen | @johnwschoen
Thursday, 30 Apr 2015 | 2:32 PM ET

(Scott Mlyn | CNBC )

Bank of America
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

More than seven years after the global financial collapse, regulators and investors are still working through an epic pile of lawsuits and other civil actions, collecting settlements, fines and other penalties for a long list of wrongdoing.

The latest settlement involved Bank of America, which agreed this week to pay $180 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank and others manipulate foreign-exchange rates, according to The Wall Street Journal. JPMorgan Chase has already settled with the same investor group, while others, including Citigroup, are expected to settle soon, the The Journal notes.

The 2013 lawsuit claimed bank traders shared customer information to profit at their clients’ expense, according to the report.

The settlement follows a seven-year effort by federal and state regulators that included dozens of actions related to a broad range of misconduct and fraud, including bilking mortgage investors, laundering money and evading taxes. So far, banks and other institutions have paid more than $150 billion in fines, settlements and other penalties, according to a tally by the Financial Times.

That compares with roughly $700 billion in profits generated by U.S. banks between 2007 and 2014, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

Financial penalties
Banks and other financial firms have paid more than $150 billion in fines, settlements and restitution to homeowners and investors since the finanical crisis. Click on a bubble for details, then hover over bars for payment descriptions. (SOURCE: Financial Times.)

Bank of America: $57.8 Billion
JPMorgan Chase: $31.3 Billion
Citigroup $12.8 Billion
Wells Fargo $ 9.7 Billion
PNB Paribas $ 8.9 Billion
HSBC $ 3.5 Billion
UBS $ 3.5 Billion
Sun Trust $ 2.9 Billion
Also listed are Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, but for which no amount of money is shown:

Bank of America
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

More than seven years after the global financial collapse, regulators and investors are still working through an epic pile of lawsuits and other civil actions, collecting settlements, fines and other penalties for a long list of wrongdoing.

The latest settlement involved Bank of America, which agreed this week to pay $180 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank and others manipulate foreign-exchange rates, according to The Wall Street Journal. JPMorgan Chase has already settled with the same investor group, while others, including Citigroup, are expected to settle soon, the The Journal notes.

The 2013 lawsuit claimed bank traders shared customer information to profit at their clients’ expense, according to the report.

The settlement follows a seven-year effort by federal and state regulators that included dozens of actions related to a broad range of misconduct and fraud, including bilking mortgage investors, laundering money and evading taxes. So far, banks and other institutions have paid more than $150 billion in fines, settlements and other penalties, according to a tally by the Financial Times.

That compares with roughly $700 billion in profits generated by U.S. banks between 2007 and 2014, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

Some of those involved charges against individual bankers. About 70 CEOs, CFOs and other senior corporate officers had been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission as of October, the latest data available. The SEC says it collected $3.6 billion in penalties and other payments related to the charges.

Bank of America
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

More than seven years after the global financial collapse, regulators and investors are still working through an epic pile of lawsuits and other civil actions, collecting settlements, fines and other penalties for a long list of wrongdoing.

The latest settlement involved Bank of America, which agreed this week to pay $180 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank and others manipulate foreign-exchange rates, according to The Wall Street Journal. JPMorgan Chase has already settled with the same investor group, while others, including Citigroup, are expected to settle soon, the The Journal notes.

The 2013 lawsuit claimed bank traders shared customer information to profit at their clients’ expense, according to the report.

The settlement follows a seven-year effort by federal and state regulators that included dozens of actions related to a broad range of misconduct and fraud, including bilking mortgage investors, laundering money and evading taxes. So far, banks and other institutions have paid more than $150 billion in fines, settlements and other penalties, according to a tally by the Financial Times.

That compares with roughly $700 billion in profits generated by U.S. banks between 2007 and 2014, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

Some of those involved charges against individual bankers. About 70 CEOs, CFOs and other senior corporate officers had been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission as of October, the latest data available. The SEC says it collected $3.6 billion in penalties and other payments related to the charges.

The biggest payments have gone to the Justice Department, which has collected some $50 billion, according to the FT tally.

Among the banks paying the biggest amounts, Bank of America tops the list—with nearly $58 billion, followed by JPMorgan Chase ($31.3 billion), Citigroup ($12.8 billion) and Wells Fargo ($9.7 billion).

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000375715



CDC exposed as private corporation colluding with Big Pharma to defraud American taxpayers: see the evidence
Submitted by IWB, on December 3rd, 2015
http://investmentwatchblog.com/cdc-exposed-as-private-corporation-colluding-with-big-pharma-to-defraud-american-taxpayers-see-the-evidence/

1
by: Ethan A. Huff

CDC corruption

(NaturalNews) The illusory notion that the federal regulatory agency known as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is somehow a public entity working on behalf of the people to protect us all from disease is simply laughable.

The CDC, by definition, is a private corporation working on behalf of its stakeholders, which include key players in the pharmaceutical and vaccine industries that profit from the spread of disease, not from real prevention and cures.

The first and most obvious clue that the CDC isn’t what it appears on the surface is the fact that this supposed government agency is listed in the official Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) directory as a for-profit corporation.

D&B is a Fortune 500 company based in New Jersey that maintains databases on more than 235 million companies worldwide – it’s a who’s who of the global business climate, and is recognized as one of the first companies to be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Here’s a screenshot of the CDC’s listing on D&B, courtesy of the AntiCorruption Society:

Big Pharma and the CDC: one in the same
Anyone who tries to argue with you that the CDC is looking out for public safety as its first priority just needs to take a glance at D&B to see that the CDC is actually looking out for its own bottom line, and that of its corporate allies. Which brings us into our second piece of evidence that the CDC is a corrupt, drug-pandering sham – many of the CDC’s top health “experts” have ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

An investigation by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) found that three key “scientists” who helped develop official swine flu policy for the World Health Organization (WHO), recommending that practically everyone be vaccinated, received cash payments from both Roche and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), two pharmaceutical giants that manufacture swine flu vaccines.

These two companies, as reported by The Guardian in 2010, paid off policymakers in multiple countries, including in the U.S. (at the CDC), to write the WHO’s guidelines for swine flu that pushed dangerous swine flu vaccines on millions of people globally. With the help of the CDC and other corrupt agencies, these pharmaceutical corporations pocketed billions of dollars.

“The tentacles of drug company influence are in all levels in the decision-making process,” stated Paul Flynn, a British Member of Parliament who spoke out against this racket as it was occurring.

CDC pushes fake science promoting deadly drugs, vaccines
The CDC has also been complicit in forging fake science to push other dangerous vaccines like the MMR jab for measles, mumps and rubella. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. blew the lid on this scandal that same year, outing now-shamed scientist Poul Thorsen for stealing $2 million in research money while covering up the link between MMR and autism, which the CDC ate right up in its quest to protect the reputation of MMR.

Top CDC scientist Dr. William Thompson has also since come forward as a whistleblowerto expose the CDC for manipulating research findings that showed MMR causes autism at a disproportionately higher rate in young black boys compared to other children – though MMR causes autism in all types of children, this same research found.

“As more and more ‘vaccination’ propaganda appears in the mainstream media, it is crucial that the American people become aware of the outrageous scam the CDC and the medical industrial complex are running,” warns the AntiCorruption Society.

“All that is needed is for folks to educate themselves and join the many good people (professionals and non-professionals) working to get the truth out.”

Sources for this article include:

AntiCorruptionSociety.com

TheGuardian.com

HuffingtonPost.com

NaturalNews.com

ENENews: World now an experimental lab with humans as guinea pigs


Nuclear Scientist: Fukushima an apocalyptic disaster that will haunt future generations; World now an experimental lab with humans as guinea pigs — Japan Gov’t Report: Fukushima is worse than 3/11 quake and tsunami

Published: December 9th, 2014 at 8:53 am ET
By
http://enenews.com/nuclear-scientist-fukushima-apocalyptic-disaster-will-haunt-future-generations-world-experimental-lab-humans-guinea-pigs-japan-govt-report-fukushima-worse-311-quake-tsunami

Excerpts from Op-Ed by Quamrul Haider, Ph.D., Chair of Dept. of Physics at Fordham University, Dec 4, 2014 (emphasis added):

  • The fraternity of nuclear scientists… create the impression… their extremely risky projects have been carefully thought out in every detail and are inspired by the spirit of greatest responsibility… A large section of the scientific community… believes [their accident simulations are] about as reliable as tomorrow’s weather forecast [and] that by building nuclear power plants in populated areas, the whole world becomes an experimental laboratory with human beings as guinea pigs.
  • There is always the possibility of a major disaster. The basic difference between nuclear and other industrial accidents lies in the long-range repercussions… one could forget about the havoc wrought, for example, by the explosion of a gas pipeline or the breaching of a dam… But an accident in a nuclear power plant, such as a reactor getting out of control, is capable of doing more than immediate harm. Examples of the deadly long-term effects of a reactor accident are Chernobyl and Fukushima [which] will linger on for ages to haunt the future generations. Among the survivors there will be many cases of permanent sterility, increase of genetic mutation in our progenies, and a shortened life span as a result of cancer and other radiogenic diseases.
  • [It’s] irresponsible and misleading to suppress the consequences of radiation[A]ttempts are madeto blind the people by equating nuclear accidents with more familiar hazards… an unlimited risk is falsely portrayed as a limited one and glossed over in a manner that is not only unconscionable, but also unpardonable. Thesedeceptions are further camouflaged by the way in which they are presented to the public… the far-reaching consequences of lethal radiation are overly simplified. In the post-Chernobyl and post-Fukushima era, these… do not hold water.
  • Wars, plagues, famines and natural disasters were known as the four horsemen of the apocalypse… After Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear accidents can be added [as another] horseman of the apocalypse
  • .
  • Critics describe nuclear reactor as one of the most dangerous technological beasts that mankind has devised and nuclear accident as “A Nuclear War without a War.”
  • The consequences can assume dimensions that do not take second place to the consequences of earthquake… and in a way actually exceeds them.

R/V Marai — Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC, administered by gov’t of Japan): The great earthquake [and] tsunami with its height of more than 10 m attacked mainly the Pacific coastline of Tohoku district and approximately thirty thousand people were killed, missing or injured. What is worse is that Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant was seriously damaged… a gigantic radiation has been leaking to the atmosphere, land and ocean. After this record crisis, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) requested JAMSTEC… monitor [the] level of radiation.

See more about Dr. Haider’s nuclear experience here

Well, ShitFire! It Can’t Be the Radiation from Hanford Causing Anencephaly, to Be 2500% Higher Here Than Anywhere Else on Earth! Hell, There Ain’t Been No Change In Radiation Releases, Can’t Be Cause of Hanford! (Sarcasm Supplied, Mine)


New data shows babies missing brains at 2,500% national rate in county by nuclear site — Mother: Officials “shut me down the minute I mentioned Hanford!… WE NEED ANSWERS!” — Experts: No birth defect is more extreme; It’s the most significant impact of radiation on developing embryos (AUDIO)

Published: November 30th, 2014 at 4:58 pm ET
By

http://enenews.com/79334?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

“Nothing [is] more extreme than anencephaly” –Dr Michael Grodin, Boston U. School of Medicine

‘Fatal Birth Defects Surge’Dr. Kathy Lofy, Washington Dept.of Health (emphasis added): Anencephaly is a rare birth defect in which the brain and the skull of the baby do not fully form [and is] not compatible with life… The most well known risk factor… is a deficiency in folic acid… that’s one of the possibilities we’re looking into [note that mothers in the birth defect cluster had much higher rates of folic acid consumption than the control group chosen by officials]…Hanford nuclear facility has been one concern of the community. We worked really closely with our radiation experts… who work closely with… Hanford. There have been no recent releases [note how she rephrases this] — no recent CHANGE in radiation releases. We can’t really determine any pathway by which radiation could affect all the women in the 3-county area [note all 3 counties surround Hanford]… We’re working with the doctors to make sure we’re identifying all the cases… It’s very important to figure out the rates.

Dr. Wladimir Wertelecki, MD, (Chair of Medical Genetics at U. of S. Alabama), Dr. Helen Caldicott’s Crisis Without End, Oct 2014: “The most significant negative impact of radiation on a developing embryo includes anencephaly… Two US studiessponsored by the[CDC and published in 1988] sought to determine the… impact of ionizing radiation nearHanfordOne study detected higher neural tube defect rates [e.g. Anencephaly, Spina Bifida] in two counties near the nuclear complex and the other demonstrated higher rates of neural tube defects in parents exposed… to low levels of radiation.”

tricounty

Physicians for Social Responsibility: Hanford documents [reveal] incredible contamination of the environment and exposure of large numbers of citizens to dangerous amountsEight plutonium production reactors dumped a daily average of 50,000 curies of radioactive material into the Columbia... [In 1949] 8,000 curies of iodine-131 were [secretly] released [over] an area o 200 by 40 miles, no warnings were given…  [`400 times TMI’s release of] 15 -24 curiesPSR: Contamination has not and will not stay inside Hanford’s boundaries… Over 300 miles of the Columbia… are threatened… [Fires in] 2000… burned three radioactive waste sites [and] plutonium was detected in nearby communities. — PSR: Hanford is the most contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere… At least 200-square miles of groundwater… is contaminated and migrating to the Columbia.

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen on Nuclear Hotseat, Nov. 12, 2014 (at 34:00 in): Birth defect issues occur in the 2nd [generation after radiation exposure]  — especially the 3rd and 4th.

Washington Anencephaly Investigation, Oct 2014:

CDC 2010 statistics, released 2013: Anencephaly 313 cases; RATE: 0.73 per 10,000 births.

Instead of using the 0.73 rate, officials claim the national rate is 2.1, nearly 3 times  higher. The rate of 2.1 is from a study using data from 2004-2006 that estimates the anencephaly rate, andonly uses data from less than 15 states — unlike the CDC report above which is based on the most current data, uses data from all 50 states, and is not an ‘estimate’.

Nikki Shelton, mother of baby w/ neural tube defect (e.g. Anencephaly, Spina Bifida) 13 mi. from Hanford, Nov 6, 2014: This is not something that is going away… the numbers are increasing. The last teleconference I was in shut me down the minute I mentioned Hanford! … let’s not let the department of health just sweep this under the rug…WE NEED ANSWERS!

Interview with Gundersen here | KUOW broadcast here

Published: November 30th, 2014 at 4:58 pm ET
By
Email Article Email Article
103 comments

Related Posts

  1. Birth defect deaths in West Coast state hit record levels during 2011 — Spiked 60% statewide, then returned to normal in 2012 — New gov’t document lists ‘Fukushima release along west coast of US’ as possible factor in birth defect cluster June 24, 2014
  2. “Worrisome” spike in deadly birth defects around leaking U.S. nuclear site — Officials claim “it could be a complete coincidence” — No news reports mention it’s by the most contaminated area in Western Hemisphere #Hanford July 22, 2013
  3. NBC: ‘Bizarre’ cluster of severe birth defects haunts experts in Pacific Northwest — “I definitely believe something is going on… Maybe it just hit once and blew through” — Officials refused to say how many new cases in 2013 — County on border of most polluted nuclear site in Hemisphere February 18, 2014
  4. Gov’t Report: Over 1,750 navy sailors suffer from ‘ill-defined conditions’ after exposure to Fukushima radiation while aboard USS Reagan — ‘Significant increases’ in male infertility and child birth complications — Dozens have thyroid disorders, many spontaneous abortions — Veteran: ‘Extreme measures’ used to cover this up (AUDIO) August 3, 2014
  5. CNN: “Horrible medical mystery… alarming rate of birth defects” in Washington — Babies missing parts of brain, skull — Mother outraged at gov’t — Nurse: “It’s very scary… absolutely something going on” — Cluster surrounds most polluted US nuclear site, yet never mentioned by media or officials (VIDEO) March 1, 2014

BY: ENENews: “Gundersen: ‘Lung cancers to start increasing in Pacific Northwest'” “Authorities knew about hot particles and didn’t warn public; Could have worn air masks, instead it’s stuck in their lungs; Helicopters did secret survey along coast”


ENENews:  http://enenews.com/nuclear-professor-fukushima-really-major-event-washington-radioactive-aerosols-100000-times-above-normal-thought-wow-bigger-accident-hearing-audio?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29&utm_content=FeedBurner

US Nuclear Professor: Fukushima “a really major event here”, Washington had radioactive aerosols 100,000 times normal; “Far more bigger accident than we’re hearing” — Model shows West Coast completely blacked out due to particles covering area — Gundersen: Lung cancers to start increasing in Pacific Northwest

Published: November 16th, 2014 at 12:45 pm ET

By ENENews

Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s “Big Science Blog” by Jake Ellison, Nov. 13, 2014 (emphasis added): Tiny amount of Fukushima radiation reaches West Coast; does it worry you? A water sample taken in August from about 100 miles west of Eureka, California, has been found to contain a small amount of radiation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster… Basically, scientists say it’s nothing more than a curiosity or confirmation of models… but the rumors and fears surrounding radiation contamination are hard to dampen. This is the second time radiation from Japan has shown up on our shores. In March [2014], we reported: “A bit of cesium-134… has been detected in a soil sample taken from the beach… in British Columbia”

Some may recall that radioactive material from Japan has shown up on the shores of the Pacific Northwest even before March 2014 — actually about 3 years before:
Particles North America
The University of Texas at Austin — Cockrell School of Engineering: The amount of radiation released during the Fukushima nuclear disaster was so great that the level of atmospheric radioactive aerosols in Washington state was 10,000 to 100,000 times greater than normal levels… “I think the conclusion was that this was a really major event here,” said Cockrell School of Engineering Associate Professor Steven Biegalski of the Fukushima disaster… Biegalski was on a faculty research assignment at [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory] in Richland, Wash… “As the measurements came in sooner and at higher concentrations than we initially expected, we quickly came to the conclusion that there were some major core melts at those facilities,” Biegalski said. “I remember being in the lab thinking, ‘Wow, if this is all true we have a far more bigger accident than what we’re hearing right now.”

Washington State Department of Health: Releases from… Fukushima showed that a radiological event can happen anywhere, anytime, and affect conditions thousands of miles from the source.

Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen interviewed by Alex Smith of RadioEcoshock, Oct. 29, 2014 (at 21:30 in): “We found gardens in Vancouver that had… a clear signature of Fukushima radiation. We’ve seen that as far north as a little bit north of Vancouver, all the way down to Portland, Oregon… So clearly the West Coast was nailed.”

Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen interviewed by Libbe HaLevy of Nuclear Hotseat, Nov. 12, 2014 (at 44:30 in): “I would expect that as a result of these hot particles that have blown all over Japan and Seattle and Vancouver and Portland… I would expect and increase in lung cancer.”
img 483 Dec 24 18 28 600x500

Nuclear Hotseat interview here | Radio Ecoshock interview here

Published: November 16th, 2014 at 12:45 pm ET
By ENENews

New model shows U.S. was hit by Fukushima cloud that dispersed little over Pacific — Gundersen: Authorities knew about hot particles and didn’t warn public; Could have worn air masks, instead it’s stuck in their lungs; Helicopters did secret survey along coast (PHOTO & AUDIO) December 24, 2013
Gov’t model shows airborne radioactive plume covering entire west coast of US & Canada on Mar 22, 2011… 10 times more radioactive than plume coming from Fukushima plant on same day — Radiation levels in some plumes had no discernible decrease after crossing Pacific (VIDEO) April 8, 2014
Kaltofen shows effect of plutonium on lung tissue: See single particle cause fibrotic nodule in lung — Eases fears on West Coast (VIDEO) May 9, 2012
Gundersen: When the radioactive plume hits West Coast in a few months “it’s not like it’s going to end” — Fukushima still pumping contamination into Pacific Ocean 1,000 days after disaster began (AUDIO) December 7, 2013
TV: “Mysterious die off of young salmon” in Pacific Northwest — “Healthy… and then they die” heading out to sea — “Far less plankton than normal… There are too many questions” — Researchers now testing for plankton and Fukushima contamination off West Coast (VIDEO) August 6, 2014
November 16th, 2014 | Category: Audio/Video Clips, Canada, Seattle, US, West Coast
Massive radiation spike at Fukushima: 40,000% increase below ground between Units 1 & 2 this month — Order of magnitude above record high set last year »