60 minutes

The American Economy On Purgatory Mountain

CBS 60 Minutes profiled one town near Purgatory mountain, Asheboro, North Carolina to show what's really wrong with the U.S. economy. It's not taxes, small government or big government, or even the deficit. The real problem are jobs going offshore, companies treating workers as disposable and the never ending race to the bottom on wages, global labor arbitrage.

 

What's Up in Bankster Land?

bankstersIt might just be election time. We have Bank of America being sued for Countrywide's hustle, a program which pawned off bad mortgages onto Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from 2007 to 2009. The U.S. District Attorney, Office’s Civil Frauds Unit in New York filed a civil complaint against BoA, who acquired Countrywide, for $1 billion.

The Complaint seeks civil penalties under FIRREA, as well as treble damages and penalties under the False Claims Act, for over $1 billion in losses suffered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for defaulted loans fraudulently sold by COUNTRYWIDE and BANK OF AMERICA.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “For the sixth time in less than 18 months, this Office has been compelled to sue a major U.S. bank for reckless mortgage practices in the lead-up to the financial crisis. The fraudulent conduct alleged in today’s complaint was spectacularly brazen in scope. As alleged, through a program aptly named ‘the Hustle,’ Countrywide and Bank of America made disastrously bad loans and stuck taxpayers with the bill. As described, Countrywide and Bank of America systematically removed every check in favor of its own balance – they cast aside underwriters, eliminated quality controls, incentivized unqualified personnel to cut corners, and concealed the resulting defects. These toxic products were then sold to the government sponsored enterprises as good loans. This lawsuit should send another clear message that reckless lending practices will not be tolerated.”

60 Minutes Asks Why Isn't Anybody in Jail for the Financial Crisis?

You might recognize a pattern. There is systemic fraud inside a corporation. Someone tries to blow the whistle. Their reward? Fired, their income lost and reputation ruined. Such is the fate of those who tried to do anything regarding the massive subprime mortgage fraud, a major underlying cause of the financial crisis.

The Real America

If you watch most media you'd never guess what's the real America. From television shows where minimum wage jobs pay rent on $2000 a month flats, to families who never seem to run out of money or get foreclosed on, to messages of if only you follow some green line you'll have enough money for retirement, a never ending weave of fiction is spun. Like prey in the spider's web of tall tales, we're stunned and hypnotized into no longer seeing the poverty and despair all around us.