Banks Poor Record Keeping Strikes Again


 

Debt collectors assisted by poor bank record keeping.
Debt collectors assisted by poor bank record keeping.

Banks Poor Record Keeping Strikes Again

Big Banks Face Investigation Into Whether They Helped Debt Collectors Pursue Faulty Judgments

The largest U.S. banks face a multi-state investigation into whether they helped debt collectors pursue faulty judgments against credit card customers, according to people familiar with the matter.
At issue is whether weak record-keeping by banks or a failure to pass accurate information to collection agencies harmed consumers.
The allegations against the banks echo those central to last year’s $25 billion federal-state mortgage settlement to resolve charges that the banks “robo-signed” documents and pursued foreclosures with faulty information.
This latest probe targets the same banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, said the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigations are continuing.
As with the mortgage cases, the investigation focuses on the banks’ poor paperwork and their weak tracking of the debts.

Big Banks Face Investigation Into Whether They Helped Debt Collectors Pursue Faulty Judgments

Poor record keeping or phrasing it differently, a reckless indifference to the property rights of mortgage holders, is in the news again.  The banks originally used their record keeping to facilitate seizing properties they lacked proper title to. But that wasn’t the only damage being done. It would appear they sold to debt collectors, debts owed to them by the mortgage holders dependent on the very same records they misused for years. You would think they would have noticed there would be a problem but no, people don’t like to think about their mistakes and crimes. So, we have former bank clients who owe no money being hounded by debt collectors.

Has anything been done to discourage these practices? It seems the profit never ends and no one is penalized? Does that mean that the banks can preserve for use over the next decades? Are these going to become standard bank practices?

These practices of poor record keeping and lying affidavits are illegal but with scarcely any penalty imposed they are undeniably profitable.

Aren’t these what Milton Friedman referred to as the “rules of the game,” and if you play by those, isn’t everything okay, you know – free choice, freedom to choose?

I suppose the feds will follow the usual practice of fining the banks a pittance and then allowing them to choose who should receive monetary relief if anyone at all.

This may not discourage the banks from continuing these kinds of acts.

James Pilant

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Banks Too Big for Justice


img137Banks Too Big for Justice

Eric Holder Admits Some Banks Are Just Too Big To Prosecute

When the Attorney General of the United States admits some banks are simply too big to prosecute, it might be time to admit we have a problem — and that goes for both the financial and justice systems.

Eric Holder made this rather startling confession in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, The Hill reports. It could be a key moment in the debate over whether to do something about the size and complexity of our biggest banks, which have only gotten bigger and more systemically important since the financial crisis.

“I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,” Holder said, according to The Hill. “And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large.”

Holder’s comments don’t come as a total surprise. His underlings had already made similar confessions to The New York Times last year, after they declined to prosecute HSBC for flagrant, years-long violations of money-laundering laws, out of fear that doing so would hurt the global economy. Lanny Breuer, formerly in charge of doling out the Justice Department’s wrist slaps to banks, told Frontline as much in the documentary “The Untouchables,” which aired in January.

Eric Holder Admits Some Banks Are Just Too Big To Prosecute

I have said several times before that there are two standards of justice in this country. If you had any doubts as to the truth of that statement, this should end them.

It is a sad day when certain corporations have essentially gained the powers and immunities of sovereign states.

What horrors, what crimes, are we yet to suffer, when the law cannot protect us?

James Pilant

 

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Two Standards of Justice


Two Standards of Justice

Senator Elizabeth Warren
Senator Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren: Banks Get Wrist Slaps While Drug Dealers Get Jail

During a Senate Banking Committee hearing about money laundering, Warren (D-Mass.) grilled officials from the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency about why HSBC, which recently paid $1.9 billion to settle money laundering charges, wasn’t criminally prosecuted and shut down in the U.S. Nor were any individuals from HSBC charged with any crimes, despite the bank confessing to laundering billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels and rogue regimes like Iran and Libya over several years.

Defenders of the Justice Department say that a criminal conviction could have been a death penalty for the bank, causing widespread damage to the economy. Warren wanted to know why the death penalty wasn’t warranted in this case.

“They did it over and over and over again across a period of years. And they were caught doing it, warned not to do it and kept right on doing it, and evidently making profits doing it,” Warren said of HSBC. “How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to violate before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution like this?”

Elizabeth Warren: Banks Get Wrist Slaps While Drug Dealers Get Jail

We could start by marveling at the idea that any rational human being could contemplate a fine as a penalty for international subversion? This subversion involved laundering money so it could be used anywhere in the economic system, thus, making it available to pay for bribes, drug smuggling, murder and kidnapping.

We could wander casually over to our second problem which is bankers, especially the international and investment variety, and wonder what made them so special? It is a simple matter to document one law for them and one law for the rest of us. That is the why Ms. Warrent’s example hits home. We are living by two sets of laws, one harsh and punitive and another for the banks.

Let us conclude with out third problem, where do get off allowing banks to attack foreign governments? Can there be any doubt in anyone’s mind that laundering billions in drug cartel money is the equivalent of a direct attack on the nation of Mexico and a more minor, by comparison, attack on this country, the United States?

It might be better if instead of thinking of the HSBC bank as a financial institution but more as a hostile foreign power willing to exploit our financial system for profit. I believe that is a more accurate reading of how it views its status in the world.

I don’t think Mexico feels safer after we fined HSBC. They may not feel that we have sent a message to those who would empower those who actively kidnap and murder in their country?

How would you feel about this if you lived in Mexico? Does it make you feel secure in American protection anywhere on earth?

James Pilant

 

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More on Aaron Swartz


More on Aaron Swartz

 

Aaron Swartz
Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz Laid to Rest with an Action Plan For Us | Crooks and Liars

In New York on Saturday, a public memorial was held for Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide last week. Among the remembrances of Aaron’s genius, his commitment to progressive causes, his idealistic beliefs of making this a better world, there was also an action plan laid out by his partner, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman:

“Aaron was targeted by the FBI,” said ThoughtWorks chairman Roy Singham, Swartz’s employer before his death. “After PACER, they targeted him. He was strip-searched. Let’s not pretend this wasn’t political,” he argued before being interrupted by applause.

Swartz’s partner Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman framed her call to action in terms of Swartz’s beliefs: “Aaron believed there was no shame in failure. There is deep, deep shame in caring more about believing you’re changing the world than actually changing the world.”Stinebrickner-Kauffman, also an activist, named five targets for action:

  • Hold the Massachusetts US Attorney’s office accountable for its actions in prosecuting Aaron;
  • Press MIT to ensure that it would “never be complicit in an event like this again”;
  • “All academic research for all time should be made free and open and available to anybody in the world”;
  • Pass and strengthen “Aaron’s Law,” an amendment to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that would narrow prosecutorial discretion for computer crimes;
  • Advocate for fundamental reform of the criminal justice system.

“His last two years were not easy. His death was not easy,” Stinebrickner-Kauffman said. Still, she urged the audience to “think big and think tiny… ‘The revolution will be A/B tested,'” referencing three of Swartz’s favorite maxims. “Look up and not down.”

Aaron Swartz Laid to Rest with an Action Plan For Us | Crooks and Liars

I continue to be outraged by the prosecutorial over reach in the Swartz case. I consider the “crime” for which he was accused to be little more than an example of trying to make public files available at no cost, something that should be policy across the United States. For instance, in Arkansas, there are fees for accessing the laws of the state online so without money I am just supposed to wonder what the law of the state are.

He was a hero in pursuit of making the Internet a source of genuine information rather than a fee making machine for public institutions to make money off public research and public scholarship. We, the people, paid for this research. We should be able to see it. Public laws should be accessible without fees. We are citizens, not turnips to be squeezed.

James Pilant

From around the web –

From the web site, Playable, The Weblog of Dean Groom: (This one needs to be read in full. It’s excellent. JP)

I read that information pioneer Aaron Swartz has took his own life last week at the age of 26. Swartz helped develop RSS at the age of 14 and founded Reddit among other things. His website is still open if you want to read from the source. To me he stands no less significant in information and computing science than any working at Bletchley Park during the second world war. Certainly, his story is far more relevant in high-school classrooms than what is currently in ‘the text’ book.

From the web site, PrisonMovement’s Weblog:

The internet trailblazer and activist, who had already contributed such things to the web as an early version of the RSS feed and Reddit, stood up and joined the vanguard in this movement. He co-founded the organization, Demand Progress, which was instrumental in leading the largest online protest in the history of the Internet against SOPA and PIPA. Thanks to this effort, on January 18th, 2012, tens of thousands of websites blacked out, and ultimately, SOPA and PIPA were defeated by this online grassroots activism.

Today, that same internet is “blacked out” with remembrances and obituaries of Aaron Swartz, who took his life over the weekend. And in each of those remembrances, Aaron is described as a spark that made things happen.  And for the rest of us who still believe, as Aaron did, in a free and open internet and a compassionate and just nation (a message he often espoused on our show, The Big Picture), we can only hope he provides the same sort of spark in death that he did in life.

From the web site, Hip Is Everything:

Justice and Aaron Swartz
Justice and Aaron Swartz

 

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Lance Armstrong, American Villain


Lance Armstrong, American Villain

prologue1Lance Armstrong’s Oprah interview: His threats and bullying are the real story. – Slate Magazine

Armstrong couldn’t deny all the lawsuits he had filed and all the times he’d accused people of lying. So he attributed these intimidation tactics to fear, a rough childhood, and his cancer. He had vilified witnesses who told the truth because he saw them “as a friend turning on you.” He had attacked any threat because when he was a kid, his family “felt like we had our backs against the wall.” And, tragically, “my diagnosis … turned me into a person” who was resolved to “win at all costs,” since cancer compels you to “do anything I have to do to survive. … And I took that attitude, that ruthless and relentless and win-at-all costs attitude, and I took it right into cycling.”

That seems to be the game plan Armstrong brought to this interview. Downplay your power over others. Deny issuing explicit orders to dope. Convert any such story into a matter of setting a poor example.  Take responsibility for yourself, but suggest that others—those who claim you pressured them—must do the same. Recast your threats, retributions, and demands for silence as products of a hard life. Reduce your sins of coercion to a sin of deceit. When Winfrey asked Armstrong “what made you a bully,” he answered: “Just trying to perpetuate the story and hide the truth.”

That’s Armstrong’s message: Everything he did, no matter how domineering, menacing, or manipulative, was a desperate effort to protect a single lie. “I tried to control the narrative,” he says. And he’s still trying to control the narrative. Which is a good reason not to believe it.

Lance Armstrong’s Oprah interview: His threats and bullying are the real story. – Slate Magazine

Armstrong seemed to be exposing himself the most when he confessed to bullying Emma O’Reilly, the former massage therapist who tried to expose Armstrong’s doping in 2003. “We ran over her, we bullied her,” he said. But then when Oprah asked if he’d sued O’Reilly, he couldn’t remember even the basic details—who he’d sued, for example. His admissions stopped exactly at the point when it turned from a character trait to real adult, legal action, which caused actual measurable harm in another person’s life. Yes, sure, we agree with Lance Armstrong he was a bully. As team leader and megastar cyclist, he had far more power than the people around him, and he used it to make their lives miserable when they did things he didn’t like, especially exposing the cheating and lying that allowed him to build his own myth and stay on top. But bullying hardly covers it. More like, “he assaulted people with intent to absolutely destroy,” as a Twitter user named Brian G. Fay wrote to me last night.

Lance Armstrong was a bully, but that hardly covers it. – Slate Magazine

Yes, cycling is corrupt. If there is any one individual who made it impossible to compete without cheating, it’s Lance Armstrong.

I don’t think, people are getting the picture here of a long term criminal conspiracy to subvert a sport. Yet, that is exactly what was going here. Armstrong is the Bernie Madoff of cycling. He didn’t just cheat, he used such a wide variety of banned substances, the only way he could’ve broken the rules further was by riding a motorcycle, or putting in a double.

He didn’t just steal money. He stole our ideal of what a sports figure should be. He cheapened heroism, and made a world of high athleticism, cheap and tawdry.

His victims include those who deserved those medals, those endorsements, the keys to the city and the honorary degree. We’ll never know their names or respect their accomplishments because he stole their glory.

He’s a villain, and he deserves to be treated like one.

James Pilant

From around the web –

From the web site, Poems and Sundry Writings by Rebekka Roderick:

Just go away and shut up already. You have done more than enough damage. Just fuck off. Everybody is tired of your BS. Just go. We know you don’t mean what you say. We know you’re just a liar who kept lying right up until the entire house of cards was pulled down, torn up and set on fire. I know this because I was a similar person the last few years, lying to and cheating on and not appreciating the man that loved me unconditionally. I was not a tad bit remorseful, contrite or altruistic about it at all until the ultimate realization of all the pain I had caused him and the awareness that I had let go of somebody that I was important to, a once in a lifetime thing, hit me in the face.

From the web site, Live STRONG Blog:

We expect Lance to be completely truthful and forthcoming in his interview and with all of us in the cancer community. We expect we will have more to say at that time. Regardless, we are charting a strong, independent course forward that is focused on helping people overcome financial, emotional and physical challenges related to cancer. Inspired by the people with cancer whom we serve, we feel confident and optimistic about the Foundation’s future and welcome an end to speculation.”

From the web site, Growing Dogwood:

I never bought the fact that he was not using. Call me a skeptic if you must, but it never made sense that that these athletes could do what they did and then turn around and do more the next day – for three weeks. Sorry, I think they’re all using. With that said, what’s the problem? How different is the use of PED’s from say the actress that has plastic surgery to enhance her performance? I would never endorse or do either, but I guess I just don’t want success that badly. At the same time I am not in any position to judge anyone’s decision on what they do.

As far as I care what he did is still a great accomplishment. Like I said, everyone was cheating and he was clearly the best cheater. So hats off to Mr Armstrong on those seven yellow jerseys.

From the web site, [un]-conscious stream- [ing]:

Meaning that to look at the whole picture of a person is to see the truth about their material reality. Peter used the idea that behind closed doors, Hitler may well have been a ‘really nice guy’, when he was playing the piano and people were drinking tea and having dinner with the polite house painter. But the material reality of Hitler – the totality of his existence, the big, whole picture was that he sanctioned and ordered the ethnic and elitist ‘cleansing’ of Germany and the killing of over six million Jews.

Which led me to the thought that, if Lance does admit to the doping allegations, then no matter who interviews him, we have already seen the ‘real Armstrong’. The ‘real Armstrong’ is in the totality of his material reality, not in the soft, contrite and repentant man that we might see on a tv screen attempting to win back the favour of the public.

If the allegations are true, the ‘real Armstrong’ has already revealed his hand and shown his true colours: someone who is ruthless, prepared to systematically cheat his way to the top of a sport, push others out, lie repeatedly about it, bully his way through to rule the peloton and bully a number of journalists on the way as he churned out untruth after obfuscated distraction over and over again (I’ve heard many of the interviews over the years). Someone who has to be in control and on top and will stop at nothing to get there.

And finally, from the web site, Getting Back in Shape:

That pretty much sums up my feelings towards this whole confession. He sued dozens and dozens of people that said he was doping. Test after test proved without a doubt he was doping all those years. Eventually once the USADA took all his Tour De France wins away, banned him from the sport for life, and all his sponsors dropped him, did he finally admit his guilt. Really, what choice did he have? That is as rock bottom as one can get. Some might commit suicide, others might just live in a cave the rest of their life. He obviously is the type that wants to move on, and this was the only thing that could be done. If not, he would be treated horribly anytime he was seen in public, I’m sure of that. Disgraced is a good word I would use. But on the flip side, he did play a part in raising millions and millions for cancer research. And if so many other people are doping just like he was, it still shows his performance was superior to theirs. Coming back from being diagnosed and treated for cancer, that is very impressive.

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The Crime Report: Top Ten Criminal Justice Stories


06-069

The Crime Report Chooses the Top Ten Criminal Justice Stories

The Crime Report is an informative web site. This is some fine writing and some excellent choices. Please go, visit the web site and read these ten stories in full.

James Pilant

The Ten Most Significant Criminal Justice Stories of 2012

From Number One –

Some of the most notable efforts include the closure of juvenile training schools and other youth detention facilities around the country,  as authorities began a fundamental re-think of how they deal with juvenile offenders.

“The large congregate juvenile facility is a dinosaur,” Krisberg commented in a note to us, “as states increasingly move towards home-based care and the use of smaller facilities closer to home.”

Not coincidentally, “Close to Home” was the name of a landmark program launched by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2012, with bipartisan support, to create facilities for young offenders in their own communities rather than shipping them upstate—an innovative program which by its own merits would otherwise have earned  special mention in the Top Ten.

Adding to the impact of the Court ruling and state actions, efforts to end such egregious practices as solitary confinement for young offenders and placement of youth in adult detention took a huge step forward during the year.

The Ten Most Significant Criminal Justice Stories of 2012

From Number Two –

The nation’s so-called War on Drugs took a significant turn in 2012, when Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use. Voters’ decisive approval of Colorado’s Amendment 64 and Washington’s Initiative 502 will permit those 21 years of age and older to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana.

Whatever your feelings on drugs, it’s hard to overlook the votes’ significance—as a sign of a new pragmatic approach towards grappling with the nation’s addictions. “It directly challenges the ‘reefer madness of the last century; and most importantly eliminates (in these two states) a widely used means of police control that’s resulted in criminal records for tens of millions of Americans,” comments TCR Los Angeles bureau chief Joe Domanick.

Any shift towards legalization or even modification of federal policies will also have international ramifications—particularly in Latin America, where governments have keenly felt the murderous impact of drug cartels serving the U.S. market.

From around the web –

From the web site, Crime Story:

Imagine being a 14 year-old boy who takes a classmate on a bike ride one spring evening. In the days to follow, the classmate is found dead and you stand accused of rape and murder. There’s no direct physical evidence tying you to the crime, but that doesn’t matter. In a lightning fast trial you are convicted and sentenced to death. As far as the press and public are concerned, you are guilty and deserve to die. Such was the fate of Steven Truscott, living with his family on an army base in small-town Ontario in 1959. Read the shocking true story of a terrible case of injustice and the decades long fight to clear Truscott’s name.

From the web site, True Crime Stories:

The FBI has created a  list of different characteristics to identify serial killers.  In order to be classified a serial killer, murderers  must have 15 out of 21 of the characteristics; they must be methodical with their killings, killing three or more people over a period of time, spanning at least 30 days.  It’s fascinating to peek into the minds of serial killers, who are the most abhorrent examples of human kind.

From the web site, Movies Based on Crime Stories: (Yes, I am well aware that this is not about Hollywood movies but Bollywood movies. The facts are simple. Twenty years ago, American access to Bollywood movies was very tiny. Today, hundreds are available on You-Tube and commercial sites like NetFlix. Bollywood is a huge industry with offerings both delightful and dramatic. It’s time to get familiar with a larger world. JP)

Salman Khan’s Wanted Dead And Alive opened with very good response at Box Office. But received average talk from audience and poor reviews from most of the critics. By the end of the week movie went to super hit range. Finally managed to satisifie Salman Khan fans a lot

After 2 years Salman Khan has bagged a super hit. This is an action movie with some good comedy and romantic scenes. story revolves around Radhe ( Salman Khan) a goon joins with a mafia gang and kills opponent gang.

From the web site, LaeLand:

Crime stories often restore order to chaos, whether a police procedural or a gang story. Readers may or may not be aware that this is something they also want from a book; that is not just a story, but to know that even though the world is crazy, things will be ok, there is hope.

There are also many levels to crime fiction. When one looks deeper into a story, there is often a grain of truth to them, a subliminal message, that perhaps even the writer is not fully aware of and the full impact that their story can have. Sometimes this can be soul searching, or even a message about the society that we live in.

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Should We Embed Business Ethics Into All Business Curriculum? Chuck Gallagher Weighs In


 

Chuck Gallagher’s Book

Business Ethics as a Core Course in Business Schools? What a novel idea…or do you prefer an Orange Jumpsuit and Handcuffs? « Motivational Speaker – Chuck Gallagher Business Ethics and Choices Expert

What a novel idea is right… It seems that what is OBVIOUS sometimes is missed by the masses. Honesty, integrity, and ethics are – or should be – the core foundation for which we operate in life. Yet, as Luigi Zingales points out in his article: “Business School should count ethics as a core course” it appears that all to often those who are at the top of the business food chain seem to forget the core of business fundamentals.

So here’s the deal…if your business school isn’t committed to teaching practical ethics then you can’t expect graduates to apply ethics in practical day-to-day applications.  What is practical ethics – perhaps it’s ethics applied in such a manner that it keeps you out of an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs.

Business Ethics as a Core Course in Business Schools? What a novel idea…or do you prefer an Orange Jumpsuit and Handcuffs? « Motivational Speaker – Chuck Gallagher Business Ethics and Choices Expert

I think this is a wonderful idea and it’s a painfully obvious concept. But it would be very difficult to implement. We would have to re-educate massive numbers of business faculty, more than a few of which are going to be doubtful of whether or not ethics has a place in business. There are always a certain number of those believing “It’s a dog eat dog world out there and you better get used to it.

But that one business class devoted to ethics is what’s holding what’s left of the line and not holding it very well. It’s a poetic and noble gesture much like turning an electric fan toward a hurricane to change its path. We in the world of business can do better and should.

James Pilant

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Will the Government Ever Attempt to Enforce the Law Against the Bank of America?


Bank of America is teetering on the edge of collapse. It has received enormous aid from the federal government in bailouts, loans and preferential treatment to the tune of trillions of dollars of government guarantees. To add further injury to the insults already suffered, the federal government, that is, the Obama Justice Department has okayed a settlement protecting Bank of America from lawsuits for its practice of filing false affidavits and inventing ownership of property in American Courts. Yet even with this help, the bank is run so badly that it is still failing.

How long does this go on?

Is the government going to bailout this bank one more time?

What crimes do they have to commit? What incompetence do they have to display? What greed in the form of enormous executive bonuses do they have to display? – before enough is enough and they are allowed to perish?

James Pilant

Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail | Politics News | Rolling Stone

In a pure capitalist system, an institution as moronic and corrupt as Bank of America would be swiftly punished by the market – the executives would get to loot their own firms once, then they’d be looking for jobs again. But with the limitless government support of Too Big to Fail, these failing financial giants get to stay undead forever, continually looting the taxpayer, their depositors, their shareholders and anyone else they can get their hands on. The threat posed by Bank of America isn’t just financial – it’s a full-blown assault on the American dream. Where’s the incentive to play fair and do well, when what we see rewarded at the highest levels of society is failure, stupidity, incompetence and meanness? If this is what winning in our system looks like, who doesn’t want to be a loser? Throughout history, it’s precisely this kind of corrupt perversion that has given birth to countercultural revolutions. If failure can’t fail, the rest of us can never succeed.

Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail | Politics News | Rolling Stone

 

 

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Another White House Sell Out on the Big Banks


Shouldn’t bankers be held to the same laws the rest of Americans have to obey? This is a no-brainer except in the Washington beltway where banks are considered the basis of the Republic rather than the modern equivalent of train robbing Western desperados. I don’t understand. Why is no one being prosecuted? I once lied to a judge. I didn’t know it was a lie until later. When I found out, I called him up (I was working for the state and dealt with the judge regularly) and explained and apologized. He reminded me that I could have gone to jail for that. I told I was well aware of it. And yet here, banks who lied to the judge, to the courts of the United States, are simply walking away. Unlike me, they knew they weren’t telling truth and unlike me, they were making enormous sums of money by lying, and they are not apologizing. Do you see anywhere in the agreement that they have to say, “I’m sorry.” I don’t see it.

There is a dual system of justice in this country, one for me and you, and one for the 1%. It’s very sad. We have been told that we live in a nation of laws, not of men. But the fact is we live in a nation of men, where one class is better than another in the eyes of the law.

James Pilant

Robo-Signing Bank Settlement is a Criminal Sell Out | Better Markets

“Let me help a few victims I created by ripping them off and illegally throwing them out of their homes by false court filings that I swore were true.”  That’s what the so-called mortgage settlement talks are really all about:  fraud, perjury and crimes.  That’s what these banks did and that’s what they are trying to buy their way out of.

The settlement discussions are the same: eliminate all or almost all liability for the bank and, most importantly, all bank officers and employees in exchange for a loan forgiveness or modification program.  Think about this:  the banks engaged in a years-long pattern and practice of what can only be described as fraudulent if not criminal conduct that would put anyone else in prison for years if not decades, yet banks get to buy off the cops with some money to help the victims they created.

Robo-Signing Bank Settlement is a Criminal Sell Out | Better Markets

Mortgage Settlement Is Great – For Big Banks

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Business Ethics Roundup 1/1/11!


Let’s start with a small disclaimer here. I have 42 business ethics web sites (by my definition which is broad) listed on my favorites in that single category. I have 56 business ethics “related” sites on my favorites. So, I ‘m never going to to get more that a partial glimpse at what’s going on. With that out of the way, let’s start the new year rolling!

The Crane and Matten Blog explain why business ethics is more significant culturally than CSR.

Here’s a quote CSR is also, as might be expected, a lot more business-friendly than business ethics. In fact, people often tend to use CSR when they’re talking about the good things companies are doing, and business ethics (or a lack of them) when talking about the bad things they do.

The Ruder Finn Ethics Blog discusses ethics and giving while providing some fascinating statistics.

Here’s a quote We give for many different reasons. We may give as an expression of friendship and love or just reciprocate. Retailers, economists and Wall Street eagerly all hope that people will spend much this year are and thus sustain the slow recovery of our economy. The National Retail Federation expects an increase in 2010 Holiday sales of 2.3% to $447.1 billion. (Gifts from the rich to the rich.)

From the web blog, Business Ethics Training, we have a review of the book, Ship of Fools: How Corruption and Stupidity Sank the Celtic Tiger.

Here’s a quote With all the talk of toxic assets (real estate) and the resulting fallout in the States – its easy to overlook what happened in Ireland. Particularly the situation with NAMA (National Asset Management Agency), that holds the toxic assets.

From the web site, Ethix: Business Technology Ethics, we have a book review of After the Fall: Saving Capitalism From Wall Street—and Washington by Nicole Gelinas

Here’s a quote Gelinas key message is that capitalism needs clear rules in order to flourish, and that must include allowing bad businesses to fail. Bail outs only encourage further bad behavior, and what we have seen in the recent financial meltdown is simply a lesson forgotten from what happened in the 1920s and ’30s.

David Yamada’s Minding the Workplace has several posts. I recommend you read his year end closing, but the one I discussing is the next to the last. He explains what one should do if bullied at work.

Here’s a quote There’s a lot of cheap and sometimes dangerous “one size fits all” advice out there on how to handle workplace bullying situations, especially in newspaper work advice columns. These resources are no substitute for understanding the dynamics of workplace bullying and how they relate to one’s specific circumstances.