Thursday, July 17, 2014

Putin, Judge Sweeney, Bad Banks, Fiderer and Dowd


“Kurve and Goniff”* (*Yiddish for “Whores and Thieves”) 


Yes, that is what Putin and his cabal always have been and nothing more. Watch as their noses get longer lying about what little Russia had to do with the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet and the brutal deaths of all of those passengers and the crew.


Judge Sweeney Rules, Again, for Plaintiffs


It looks like Judge Margaret Sweeney, once again, isn’t buying the government’s line that FHFA is above the law and can act with impunity with regard to the “Third Amendment” or “takings” cases. 

She just ruled that discovery must go forward with some limitations, which she established in her judicial order which is linked below. 

The court cases brought by hedge fund investors in F&F preferred securities and others is a “wild card” in the entire “what should do with Fannie and Freddie debate, because the judge can make a major plaintiffs’ statement—in regards to financial awards—which would impact virtually all of the legislative schemes, no matter what stage their status, i.e. introduced, pending, discussed.


Fannie and Freddie 2Q Earnings?

Sometime in the next few weeks Fannie and Freddie will announced 2014 second quarter’s earnings. Management in both entities already made clear they likely won’t be blockbuster bucks and won’t contain much—if any—income from lender  fine payments, but I still think both sets of numbers will look good to most people.

Let me quickly establish that my comments are based on instinct; nobody in either company talks to me about quarterly/annual revenues or even when earnings will be announced. 

I just suspect that because each had healthy second quarter mortgage volumes, their net earnings—which we all know go directly to the Treasury and not to shareholders—will add to the bonus overage amount F&F already have paid the taxpayers for use of funds extended to them in 2008. 

That arrangement can end if the White House decides to remove its head from a reportedly, anatomically impossible body location—in which it currently appears to be stuck--and let F&F accumulate some working and protective capital from their market efforts.

Working for the Big Banks (Who Doesn’t?) 

I have no idea if the Urban Institute’s Jim Parrott also shills for the big banks—as an Inside Source article linked below claims-- but it merely would be a simple/logical extension of his work for the Obama Administration where he championed the legislation which became CWJC and which would have richly rewarded the nation’s biggest banks. 

The fact that Parrott may be earning income from the banks is not as offensive as the fact the Admin is working so closely with the big banks, a group which disdains it and fights the Obama White House on any financial service issue that would curtail aberrant bank behavior. 

And then there is the fascinating and lengthy “big bank perp walk”---”Hey isn’t that Citi and will it soon be BoA? Nice butt, Citi”---as the financial institutions parade through DOJ meetings, admit guilt to violations of Treasury rules and other bank regs, pay hefty fines, while some WH butt kisser simultaneously thanks them for their support to dismantle Fannie and Freddie.
Invariably the banks go right out and engage in new mandate breaking actions or more edgy ways to do business as usual. Nobody should be shocked because that’s what banks do. 


I am speaking in NYC next week and one principal thought I hope to leave with my audience is that any new regulatory financial arrangement to oversee the son of CWJC or any other new mortgage market idea, which doesn’t have Fannie (and Freddie)—or the equivalent--in the picture as principal, can never be as successful as a system where the major stakeholder has financial skin in the game.

No federal financial regulator will ever be as attentive or as invested in their regulatory role as would be a senior investor, i.e. Fannie Mae, which stands to lose money when the bank lenders inevitably play fast and loose with consumers, trying to squeeze them for additional cash or otherwise manipulate them exclusively for the lender’s benefit. 

The CWJC’s jumble of new regulators and conflicting regulatory relationships, overlap, and duplication was one of the reasons it fared so poorly in Senate Banking. 

There just are simpler and better ways to do certain things. 

David Fiderer Writing About Maureen Dowd

I like the NYT's Maureen Dowd’s work. I think she’s caustically funny, pinions the appropriate characters, and writes with a certain passion. 

I like Hillary Clinton, whom I think is smart, successful, and able to lead and for whom I likely will support for President, if she runs. 

I like David Fiderer, who discovered my blog about two years ago, and then kept in constant contact (it went both ways) as we discussed his analysis of all matters F&F over the years and provided me with some of the best and pithiest columns which I link as often as I can. 

Last week, Dowd wrote a snide column about Chelsea Clinton Mezvinsky, Hillary and Bill’s only child who works for NBC as well as the Clinton Family foundation. 

Fiderer that morning sent me a HuffPost column he wrote six years ago, making me aware that Dowd often has written negatively about Hillary and Bill Clinton, which frankly I hadn’t known. 

I still enjoy Maureen Dowd’s writing, but I am linking DF’s work because I suspect NYT readers will encounter more Dowd columns like last week’s and might benefit having read Fiderer’s Dowd “analysis.” 

(BTW, if you think DF is accurate or full of hot air, tell him through this blog.)

What Others Are Saying 

Josh Rosner has some sharp disagreements with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) on her suggestions to CWJC in this HuffPost article. 



BTW, some juicy rumors are circulating about Sen. Warren looking at a 2016 presidential run, which would make for a fascinating Democrat convention and primary. 


Poor David Steven’s, MBA’s top honcho. He can’t even convince his daughter to become a mortgagor and buy a house. That’s not good a good reflection of his advocacy skills when his job is pitching mortgages to the nation, including young people like his progeny.


Maloni, 7-17-2014

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another germane and thoughtful post, Bill. As a follow up: what's your read on the thermometer in your neck of the woods regarding the court cases? Are folks still paying only minimal attention or have the recent developments you've been keen to cite added pressure? Thanks.