Frank Louis
Get your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone? Why not!
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By Frank Louis
February 18, 2011

Is this what it has come to? The Rolling Stone, our best source for news and investigative reporting? Puts a whole new meaning to the ol' Dr. Hook song of the 1970's. Yep, just maybe the criminals of this housing crisis may get the Rolling Stone cover shot yet.

Just as I was completing this article, earlier this week, I happened upon Rolling Stone reporter, Mat Taibbi on MSNBC discussing the "revolving door" that exists between enforcement and industry when it comes to banking, mortgage fraud, and, well you know... Americans being robbed of their life savings among other things. While I totally agree with him on this point, I believe he is missing one important element in this scenario: Not only is there a revolving door, these people designed, built and regulate the door. I had to sit down and rewrite this article to include Mr. Taibbi's interview.

Yes, these CEOs, the Attorney Generals, these SEC commissioners, they not only revolve but they write the laws and the financial policies and regulations within which they revolve. So, the answer to the question Mr. Taibbi was on MSNBC to answer: "Why are none of these people in prison?" is this: "They have created a system within which there is no identifiable criminal to be charged with any identifiable crime."

They are all "accessories" to these crimes. There is no identifiable "criminal" (no body actually breaking in your house through a window, so to speak) to actually charge. It is a very well orchestrated crime in a well-planned criminal environment and the people who made cash down payments on the over inflated real estate prices were set up and robbed. They are now bankrupt! Thanks guys!

When is one an accessory to a crime? Perhaps in the housing crisis?

Yes, even Bernie Madoff was back in the news this week. His comments also support my position. CNNMoney, in an online article, reported the following:

"Convicted Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, in a jailhouse interview published Wednesday, said banks and hedge funds were "complicit" in his multi-billion dollar fraud. "They had to know," Madoff told New York Times reporter Diana B. Henriques, who is working on a book about the case. "But the attitude was sort of, 'If you're doing something wrong, we don't want to know.' "

Everyone is an accessory, nobody a criminal. "We don't want to know."

However, the news media all focus on other fancy terms being tossed around by the "experts" this week at their big meetings such as: pay for performance, executive pay, bonuses, shareholder rights plans. Such important terminology, just more noise being passed off as news. More PhD thesis's to experiment with, just more distractions to keep us from the truth, more foolishness being passed off as knowledge. This nation is lost to crime at a grand scale. These banking professionals "knew," (but of course didn't"know") all of the financial experts who conceived this housing crisis by developing the sub-prime market and the regulations within which it existed — they well knew it would lead to this crisis; the big banking firms, not to mention the foot soldiers who were writing the bad loans, the realtors and mortgage brokers selling to straw buyers, the appraisers basing figures on fraudulent loans. They knew.

Those fraudulent, failing mortgages that would bring this economy to its knees, written just to package and sell, to pass on to some one else. Knowing full well that it would all crash. Making billions at our expense. Being paid millions in bonuses for destroying the very firms they worked for as well. If they were not criminals they were at least all accessories to this crime at the absolute minimum. And, according to the law, accessories to a crime are every bit as liable as the criminals themselves. No, they are the criminals.

The question here, however, is this. What if there was not an actual "criminal" pulling off the crime that can be identified? Just all accessories to the crime but with no identifiable "crook." After all, the laws we have are based on the notion that there is some lone "identifiable" criminal at the helm of the crime.

These crimes were designed to work within the "regulations." Does the absence of this identifiable leader mean that it was not a crime? I believe not. Nonetheless, these lawyer/lawmaker/business executives have written the laws and regulations within which they operate. Open and shut case! They all get off and do it again.

Why aren't they in prison? Have you heard one talking head ask that question? Other than this recent MSNBC interview, I surely have not heard or seen any. No, they continue to report on foreclosures, housing starts, interest rates, and Fed conferences. We are thrown curve balls with things like gay marriage, don't ask, don't tell, and other "political correct" issues that keep us from the real issues ruining our nation: We have lost our moral compass and our favor with God.

Not a word about the real issues; the crime that has robbed Americans of almost $5 trillion in personal worth according to some estimates in their home equity alone. How does this affect the debate over the growing national debt? Perhaps another discussion for another day! But having just lost $5 trillion must make it a bit harder for us to pay this growing national debt off... at least to me

But, I guess that is the beauty of this crime: they were all accessories to the crime but no one individual can be identified as the criminal. They just had "bad judgment?" After all, as they say in the media when they point their fingers at American property owners: "No one put a gun to your head and made you take out the mortgage."

They are right, the perfect crime against America; all "accessories," no "criminals." No one holding the proverbial gun, no one telling us the truth about the financial crime that was being committed. Just a bunch of financial experts "not asking," Not telling," and not "wanting to know." Just going about their business.

What is the difference between not being forthright, just not saying anything about what is really happening, and lying... being an accessory? I would suggest that lying, "not knowing," in this instance is a crime, it is also a sin, (I know, I know... we all do it, but...) it is a violation of one on the 10 Commandments in the Old Testament, and it is not exactly encouraged in the New Testament either. And, as I always like to point out, our laws were based on Scriptural precepts and the Bible. Our founders prayed before drafting our constitution and laws. Without a moral compass, our laws, our legal and economic system will not function. "Buyer beware" is not a license to commit fraud on any scale. Perhaps it is now time that some meaningful prayer is included in the solution of this disaster.

Nope, these people are not in prison, after all they did not "hold a gun" to us, correct? They are multi-millionaires who write and enforce the regulations they work within. They are looking for the next market to inflate so they can make another fortune shorting that crisis too. They are attacking the American people and getting away with it.

But the only fingers that get pointed are pointed at the hard working people whose only crime was to buy real estate in 2004-05 based on numbers provided by the professionals in the real estate and banking industries. Numbers we all know have proven to be fraudulent. Fingers being pointed at the Americans who made down payments, which had, until now, never been in debt. Now they are all facing foreclosure and bankruptcy? This is not how it is suppose to work? No, this is a crime.

The problem, we are still being told, was the "Americans" who "over-bought" real estate. No, they did not "over-buy." They made investment decisions based on the numbers that were assured to them as being correct.... Data furnished by those same people who were setting it all up to fail: people in the real estate industry. You know, many of these Americans had never been in debt, they had great credit scores, and they were at work making this nation great. They trusted people who had a fiduciary, legal, responsibility to them in business transactions. They were lied to. Now they are bankrupt. And nobody asks about this in the media except me!

The very term "over-bought" sounds too much like another similar, derogatory term: to "over-eat." Think about it, there is "over eating" then there is buying more food than you can eat because you are in the food business. That is not "over eating" nor is it "over-buying." It is being active in the economy, it is business.

Using the food analogy; let's say that some "investor" buys food based on prices that he is led to believe are established in a legitimate fashion, based on the current pricing data, etc. This investor may eat some of the food (a primary residence), and resell the rest (an investment property). To do this, the prices must be established on a level playing field without fraud.

Just think what would happen if a sub-prime style Ponzi Scheme were played on our food supplies? Thousands, millions of "straw buyers," "investors" flipping to sell these food securities, creating fake "comps" to base the prices on, creating and selling this food debt in a secondary securities market. "Selling" food to people who never had any intention to pay a penny for it just to make the commissions from the sales and bring prices up. Creating higher, inflated food prices based on fake food sales that were, in fact, fraudulent. Then, suddenly, all of the food sales evaporate just like our real estate market and our equity did due to the obvious reasons... It was all a lie. To make a long story short: food costs get too high, food rots in warehouses... we all starve.

There is so much evidence of this crime that it is really amazing that not one head has rolled and that we Americans who have been robbed have not had our down payments returned and these loans negated due to the fraud they were sold to us. These bankers, hedge fund managers, mortgage and real estate professionals, appraisers... they are all accessories to this crime and they continue to make more and more money off of their crime while 12 million plus properties go into foreclosure. And they make even more money from the foreclosing practice, which is also wrought with fraud. Go figure.

The reason this is happening, as I have written many times in the past and have reported on my radio program every week is that the millions of Americans who have been robbed are not a unified group. They are a splintered mass of individuals and families with no leader trying to right this wrong. No one. "Nada" as they say in America these days. Not one lawyer, banker, media professional speaking up. This mortgage crisis was a big scam to rid the American public of their hard earned cash, their savings, and their equity. Wealth redistribution. As the saying goes: "property without equity is just a rental with debt." They are a rather large voting block.

But many Americans did not know they "over-bought." They paid what they were told were the actual prices for property... They were lied to. They were in a different game with different rules. They were set up, hit from behind, sucker punched. And no one is fighting back for them. Like I wrote in my most recent article if there is no money in it for the legal community, who is going to fight for you? "No lawyer works for free" as I recently reported.

"Check out Michael Lewis's book, "The Big Short," then ask yourself just why aren't any of these people in prison instead of you loosing your property and ability to function in the economy? They are accessories to this crime, this Ponzi Scheme and they are living on the almost $5 trillion stolen from Americans in the form of lost equity. And foreclosures continue? More and more PhD and MBA financial "experts" tell us how to solve the crisis? You must be nuts. Just look where they have gotten us. As I have said, they should just be designing video games and keeping their schemes out of our lives.

The Frank Louis solution to this crisis is called the "short keep." Anyone who made a down payment on property during the fraudulent market owns it. Simple. No foreclosure, no short sale. Reset our fraudulent debts without us having to hire more lawyers for tens of thousands of dollars to accomplish it. The down payment was probably more that the property is really worth today anyway. If not, then just void the sale. It was fraudulent to begin with. Give us our money back! Otherwise, this housing crisis is going to be the virus that kills this nation economically. Property values will continue down. Stop these foreclosures on the people who invested their hard earned savings in what they were told was a legitimate real estate market by those very people who were playing it.

Also in the news this week, Mortgage Bankers Association sold their building in a short sale... yep, they defaulted just as they tell us not to. (I covered this in a previous article when it first became known that they were not paying their mortgage). Some "investor" picked up for a $100 million profit I think. And you and me... well we "over-bought." Their advice to us: "keep on paying. "

© Frank Louis

 

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Frank Louis

Frank Louis is a print and on-air commentator who offers opinions and solutions on and for the economy, social issues, and the future of this nation. In the Old Testament, Nehemiah 4: 14 instructs us to fight for our houses; something we need to be doing now. Our future generations depend on it!... (more)

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