Zach from comments on a previous post.

The post commented on was Student Loan Debt a Lifetime Burden for Middle Class but Major Money Maker for Goldman Sachs.

Here’s Zack!

While the student loan problem needs to be addressed in some way, I don’t think giving student loans dischargeability in bankruptcy is the right way. I think bankruptcy courts should be able to modify student loans, but not completely whipe them out. Whiping out student loans would lead to just a lot of abuse. All of us would pay in the way of higher interest rates and fewer students would qualify for loans. I could get a full education without paying a cent knowing I can just declare bankruptcy and by the time I would have paid off my student loans (10 years), the bankruptcy would be off my credit report by then.

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In the Tradition of Shays’ Rebellion, America is Poised to Tear Down Our Monetary System (via Job Voucher Plan)

This is a really interesting take on history comparing Shay’s rebellion with current unrest. It is an intellectually stimulating argument. I rarely see historical arguments on the web. In my field you mainly get economic, philosophical or political arguments. This is refreshing change.

I don’t agree with everything here. But full agreement is never necessary to enjoy a good post. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

James Pilant

In the Tradition of Shays' Rebellion, America is Poised to Tear Down Our Monetary System America is now poised to repeat a test of our Republic that played out at the end of the Revolutionary War in the state of Massachusetts, that of Shays’ Rebellion. In 1776, 90 percent of the patriots who fought in the war left their farms to do so. To feed the war effort, others sought loans from bankers and wealthy merchants to increase the size of their farms. Returning from the war in 1783, former soldiers found their farms in disarray. Return … Read More

via Job Voucher Plan

Bankers Order the Looting of Greece (via )

I think that this is a highly likely scenario. The practice of American entrepreneurs of exploiting disasters for big bucks has made them experts in extracting the last dime from the crisis victims.

But I have to admit, it was the picture of Snidely Whiplash that got my attention. He is a perfect example of the modern international capitalist – greedy, proud, unashamed, forever on the make, and having a damn good time.

James Pilant

Bankers Order the Looting of Greece According to Max Keiser, people of the kinds of Forbes are already in Greece to get its assets for pennies on the Euro. It is now clear the rest of the countries will come next. That is the plan. Reuters June 18, 2011 A restructuring of Greece's 340 billion euro ($481.5 billion) debt is not on the agenda and would damage the country's credibility on bond markets, the European Union's internal markets commissioner said on Saturday. Forcing Greece' … Read More


Another Successful Foreclosure Fraud Happy Hour (via Foreclosure Fraud – Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge)

These are some great people. They took up a public fight on a major issue before the media or the government recognized the problem. In fact, the government and the press denied there was a problem. These people are heroes, using the power of the internet as visionaries have hoped.

I wish them well!!

James Pilant

Another Successful Foreclosure Fraud Happy Hour Picture of some of the guests at our latest happy hour. Had another great time. We all wore “Hello My Name Is” stickers. Funny thing, almost everybody there was named Linda Green! It really confused the bartenders, they didn’t know which tab to ring the drinks under… Over the weekend I will be posting the history of all of our happy hours and how you can get them going in your town. I want to see this happen in every city every month until the … Read More

via Foreclosure Fraud – Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge

Fraudclosures | Federal Reserve: They Broke The Law (via Foreclosure Fraud – Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge)

For about seven months now, I have argued over and over again that lying to the courts with false affidavits and actions amounting to fraud were prosecutable. I have used the word, crimes, and I meant it.

Why is it that if one of my students breaks the law by stealing a few dollars that he will go to jail and these banks can commit these acts and reap huge profits without fear of prosecution?

I want these law-breakers, these greedy well placed fraudsters, to go to jail, to do the perp walk, to pay enormous fines, and to serve as a warning to every Armani clad crook haunting the board rooms of our great investments banks.

James Pilant

My thanks to “Foreclosure Fraud – Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge.”

Fraudclosures | Federal Reserve: They Broke The Law The Market Ticker – Federal Reserve: They Broke The Law but nobody cares…. (including us) The reviews found critical weaknesses in servicers’ foreclosure governance processes, foreclosure document preparation processes, and oversight and monitoring of third-party vendors, including foreclosure attorneys.While it is important to note that findings varied across institutions, the weaknesses at each servicer, individually or collectively, resulted … Read More

via Foreclosure Fraud – Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge

Guest Post | Stay Calm, Remain in Your Homes (via Foreclosure Fraud – Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge)

We have many crises going on all at once. Why?

A convergence point has been reached. The foreclosure crisis is one element in a series of development.s In the United States, the critical development has been the continuous conversion of the economy from manufacturing to finance. Everything else flows from that.We make and less actual products each year. Our primary source of income as a nation is financial innovation.

Manufacturing requires large capable work forces to function. Finance requires a handful of people.

A huge financial sector demands several policies. 1. Free trade, in particular, the free movement of money and credit across national borders. 2. Relentless inflation control, this involves suppressing wage pressure and allowing economic growth only in a controlled manner. 3. As little taxation or no taxation on anything related to their operations. The people of the United States bear the principal burden of taxation. The financial sector has incredible profits while other parts of the economy flounder. Yet the tax burden does not shift to follow the money. 4. A intertwining of the government and the financial sector. More and more the government appears to be an arm of investment banking. The government insures the great financial houses of protection from failure. The government provide inexpensive loans for these companies. The government works with frantic intensity to control inflation. 5. Diminished public spending and the rigorous control of all social programs from education to unemployment insurance. This is to justify continuous cuts in taxes and to shift the burdens of a civilization from organizations to individuals. 6. This is a characteristic no often mentioned, but I kept finding it in report after report. A frantic, bizarre mania for numbers indicating a perception of higher form of reality, the music of the spheres. 6. Natural resources, in particular, basic human needs like water are to be divided for use by the private sector. 7. All endeavors from the military to the public schools must be converted from the public to the private, regardless of the outcomes. 8. An almost religious determination to follow the markets wherever they lead, cheaper workforces, better purchasers. 8. A visceral contempt for Americans under a certain income level. The “lower” classes are considered to be lazy, self-indulgent, burdens upon the elite producers. This is indicated by the absence of influence by the middle class on any policy decisions and the continuous development pf the doctrine of personal responsibility demonstrated by such changes policies as bankruptcy “reform” to student loan collections.

The change is focus from producing things to manipulating money might seem to be the most significant change here, but it is not. There is one overriding change that anchors and justifies all the others. The most important change over the past fifty years has been the development of a philosophy justifying profit taking over all other values.

When one part of society did something to damage the social order there were countervailing ideas. We can see this in the Progressive movement, the New Deal, the Fair Deal and the Great Society. Other ideas of how things should work. We as a society called upon a variety of intertwining values to make decisions. But these are no longer considered valid. In the past, there could have been calls to patriotism. These are irrelevant in modern business philosophy. There could have been calls to God and religion. These are irrelevant in modern business philosophy. There could have been calls to the great philosophical systems of history. These are irrelevant in modern business philosophy. There could have been a call to righteousness or ethics. There could have been a call to the rule of law. These are all irrelevant.

For a single nation, only Kafka could explain the motives and values of the financial class. But for international business, the logic is clear.

Here is a posting about these changes beginning with the foreclosure crisis.

George Mantor writes this piece. He has his own web site at Keepin’ it real.

Stay Calm, Remain in Your Homes This is standard advice in times of emergency.  The principle is simple and logical. Authorities are dealing with limited resources in a critical environment wheGuest Post | Stay Calm, Remain in Your Homesre every second counts.  The fewer events and people they need to deal with, the more effective they can be. If you know me, you know that I am upbeat and positive by temperament and challenges don’t faze me.  I’m pretty level-headed, and I do my own thinki … Read More

via Foreclosure Fraud – Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge

NJ | Sheriff’s Officers Accused Of Emptying Wrong Home In Botched Foreclosure (via Foreclosure Fraud – Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge)

There are few assaults upon our dignity as crushing as the theft of all of our possessions. It is not so much the large items like refrigerators and televisions that are missed. Humans attach value to the strangest things. Instead of the microwave they lament the loss of their wedding pictures. When logic would dictate the loss of the computer should be the first cause of regret, they think of the old worn chair that has sat in the living room for years. Considering the great value placed upon personal privacy and possessions, would it not seem logical and prudent that those entrusted with the safety of the public should investigate and seek to punish the guilty. But the investigators would only need a mirror to discover the perpetrator of this crime, law enforcement itself.

It seems unfair that the bank never has to worry about these mistakes in judgment. It seems unfair that the bank, should use so many public resources to serve its interests.

The victim is asking $500,000 dollars in damages.

That seems fair, first, to recompense her for damages and second, to discourage the sheriff and his deputies from any more random home raids.

James Pilant

NJ | Sheriff’s Officers Accused Of Emptying Wrong Home In Botched Foreclosure Sheriff’s Officers Accused Of Emptying Wrong Home In Botched Foreclosure HILLSIDE – A 76-year-old Hillside woman has filed a claim for damages against Union County, alleging that officers of the county sheriff’s department illegally entered her home and removed the entire contents because they had the wrong address of a foreclosure. In the document, obtained by Tina Renna of The County Watchers, Ozzie Leak claims that Union County Sheriff Ralph F … Read More

via Foreclosure Fraud – Fighting Foreclosure Fraud by Sharing the Knowledge

Has PGE breached its duty of care? (via talklawblog)

This is an ethical weighing of PGE’s (Pacific Gas and Electric) actions in regard to its pipelines.

If you are interested in business ethics in connection with real events not just theory, this is a great article.

James Pilant

What is the role of regulation?  In the aftermath of the financial melt-down, the theorists who opined that less regulation would create free market expansion are witnessing the effects of Wall Street’s self-policing.  Similarly, with PG&E specifically and other energy companies generally, a permissive regulatory system has created the environment for the San Bruno explosion.  PGE is responsible for inspecting 48,580 miles of natural gas pipe … Read More

via talklawblog

Student Loan Debt – 830 Billion Dollars

Anya Kamenetz writes in a new column available online that student loan debt could be similar to the mortgage bubble. Student loans total about 830 million dollars. That’s larger than all the credit card debt in the United States. Nontraditional student are often hardest hit. I quote Ms. Kamenetz –

From where I’m sitting, the buildup of the national student loan balance looks like a massive betrayal of trust. People have been told for decades that this is “good” debt. In fact it’s really, really bad debt. Increasingly, high unmanageable debt burdens are falling on those least prepared to deal with the stresses and costs of college: the so called “nontraditional” adult, working-class student who is more and more likely to attend for-profit colleges that cost an average of around $14,000. And 40% and higher of these students are defaulting.

If, as a nation, we are going to increase our graduation rate, we will have to find different ways of financing. The current system with nontraditional students defaulting at a 40% rate is neither sustainable nor in any way effective.

In an article on the ABC World News site, they outline the grim statistics of U.S. graduate rates, 12th in the world.

Nationwide, 40.4 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds held such degrees in 2007, falling far short of Canada’s 55.8 percent, as well as South Korea and Russia, both of which had 55.5 percent rates, according to statistics from the College Board.

I firmly believe our current method of student borrowing is a drag on the graduation rate. It’s a drag on the decision to go to college. There are some people that believe owing a half million dollars for a medical degree is not a good investment.

If college graduation rates are a good measure of national success then why do we discourage people from going to college in the first place? As a policy it is a good idea for only the well-off to go to school?

Right now, someone is reading this article and saying, “They can work while going to school, I did, look at me. I did it on my own.” Or some other method of self help. The statistics are clear, self help is not effective. The more we rely on it, the fewer graduates we are going to get. As citizens in common, as members of a human community we have duties to one another and helping people get ahead by means of an education is one of those responsibilities.

Should the United States which was first in college graduation rates ten year ago decide to abandon its position as a successful nation, a good formula is to have a system where educational endeavor is tied to large debt loads.

Tell me the name of another nation any where on earth that finances college attendance by loans of the size and weight we have here. Borrowing for an education is not something I am opposed to, but education should be financed by a wide variety of methods, so that student loan debts are manageable and limited in size.

James Pilant