Welcome to the weekly roundup of great articles, facts and figures. These are the weekly finds that made our eyes pop.
The FHFA Sues the Banks
About time. The FHFA is suing 17 banks over stuffed CDOs with bad mortgages.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency suits, which are expected to be filed in the coming days in federal court, are aimed at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, among others, according to three individuals briefed on the matter.
The suits stem from subpoenas the finance agency issued to banks a year ago. If the case is not filed Friday, they said, it will come Tuesday, shortly before a deadline expires for the housing agency to file claims.
The suits will argue the banks, which assembled the mortgages and marketed them as securities to investors, failed to perform the due diligence required under securities law and missed evidence that borrowers’ incomes were inflated or falsified. When many borrowers were unable to pay their mortgages, the securities backed by the mortgages quickly lost value.
Fannie and Freddie lost more than $30 billion, in part as a result of the deals, losses that were borne mostly by taxpayers.
Another article reports:
17 financial institutions that sold the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac nearly $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities that later soured.
Ritholtz has put up a few of the documents from the filing, along with the damage figures. This is gonna be huge.
The U.S. Imports Guest Workers While Americans Go Jobless
Weaver cranked the numbers and found U.S. STEM occupations lost 203,200 jobs in 2010. You'd never guess that from the never ending corporate lobbyist whines about a
cheap labor shortage. Weaver then begs the question, when an occupational employment level declines, shouldn't the occupation be removed from DOL Specialty Occupations List for non-immigrant visas?
No brainer right? (pun intended)
The Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Catcher's Net
A sign of the times. San Francisco has had such a rash of suicides they are building a net on the bridge to catch the jumpers:
At least 24 suicides have occurred since January, compared with 25 in 2010; recent annual rates have averaged about 27. (The record is 40 in 1977, according to a San Francisco Chronicle analysis.)
Caltrain, the commuter rail service between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, has also seen a spike in suicides and also appears to be headed toward a record this year.
There have been 12 deaths on Caltrain tracks so far in 2011. Most remain under investigation, but four have been determined to be suicides. In 2010 there were 11 Caltrain fatalities, all suicides. The record for suicides is 15 in 2009.
Doormat Nation: One Reason for Job Losses
The US is missing millions of jobs. This column argues that the total is 10.4 million. It claims that 3 million of these can be traced to the weakened bargaining position of labour and the growing assertiveness of management in slashing costs to maintain share prices. Moreover, this employment gap is not shrinking because of the ‘double hangover’ effect—an excess housing supply and besieged consumers unwilling to spend.
AT&T Doesn't Get They Ain't Goldman Sachs
Doesn't AT&T know that only the Banksters get whatever they want, regardless of how badly it affects America? Bloomberg describes the shock when the DOJ just said no to their merger with T-mobile.
Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said in a television interview that he expected his company’s bid for T-Mobile USA Inc. to get government approval by the first quarter of 2012.
An hour later, his lawyers received a call from the U.S. Justice Department, according to a person familiar with the matter. The attorneys were told the government was suing to block the $39 billion transaction,
Time Machine, Wired Goes Through the BAD Math of a CDO
Del Monte Sues FDA for Stopping their Contaminated Cantaloupes
You can't make this stuff up. Economic in Crisis points out just the action of a lawsuit plus the costs might force the FDA to not do it's job.
Over 54 million collected social security in 2010. Think about the overall economic impact, not only to retirees, but the economy as a whole, if social security didn't exist.
What shocking facts, figures and events did you see this week? Lord knows there are lots to choose from.