Saturday, August 21, 2010

MUST SEE VIDEO: Need a good laugh? This is food for the soul of recession-weary consumers!

Elizabeth Warren, Consumer Watchdog

Posted by: Noel Jones

Oh boy, oh girl, oh boy, you've all got to watch this--if you could use a good laugh today, you must check out the attached NYTimes article on the groundswell of support for appointing Elizabeth Warren (above) to run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and CLICK THE LINK TO THE RAP VIDEO in the first sentence of the first paragraph--you won't be sorry!


noel jones said...

Seriously, this will warm the cockles of your heart--it did mine!

Dennis R. Lieb said...

I am a centrist essence someone who looks at pragmatic solutions over ideological absolutes. Warren is the "real deal" and will do a great job if given the opportuntiy and left alone to do it. She is dead-on in her evaluation of the credit racket in this country.

I have an unsecured line of credit account with Beneficial Finance. For those that don't know, Beneficial and HFC were absorbed into something called Household International; a division of Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Corp (HSBC) - itself a UK based conglomerate bank.

To make a long story short, they were fined in the area $450 million for being "the prototype of worst case fraudulent lending in the country". As a customer I can only echo those sentiments. They have been nothing short of totally uncooperative, misleading and non-responsive in my efforts to clear up my loan issues.

During one of my endless/pointless conversations with their India-based call center reps I turned the tables and asked a series of seemingly innocent but probing questions. The bottom line is that Household International's problems didn't end with their massive fine.

Their top management got them into all kinds of marginal business practices including predatory lending. Those people bailed out before the crash, leaving HSBC holding the bag. They have closed all domestic offices of Beneficial and HFC and can only be dealt with now by phone. They no longer loan money in any form in the US. For all intents and purposes they are simply a collection agency, trying to recoup some of the losses they undoubtedly will suffer as a result of bad judgement in their lending practices.

I don't feel sorry for them in the least. They need to write down their bad debt, renegotiate with those still able to pay at all and admit their greed and stupidity if they want to survive. I am seriously considering whether I should even pay them anymore under the circumstances and told them as much last week.

What has happend to the financial sector is a bigger story than can be told in this forum. During the Savings and Loan fiasco, the Office of Thrift Supervision broke down assets of bad banks and resold them in a forthright manner at prices that reflected their actual value: the only way to reform this industry. We haven't even begun this process for the TBTF banks.

During that time there were 40 full-time bank financing experts assisting the FBI in prosecutions and 1000 criminal convictions of banking industry personnel within the first year. It matters little how many FBI agents are working on this now if the banking industry experts are not fully engaged to carry the ball for them.

So far we have ten such experts on the SEC side dealing with this and zero convictions from the major banking players. And of course, assets have to be marked to market (priced at their true value) or nothing can be solved.

Warren can only do so much if given the opportunity. I'm in real estate and follow the inside news everyday. Things are much worse than we are being lead to believe. We really need to see a wholesale change in attitude towards the financial markets or we will all be reliving the 2008 fall again in six months to a year from now...except worse this time.


Dennis R. Lieb said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dennis R. Lieb said...

Sorry for the double post...

Noel, Let me know how to delete these. I can't figure it out.


noel jones said...

Dennis--I took the duplicate out for you, but the way that you can do it if it happens again is to click the tiny little trash can in the lower right of your comment.

This glitch has been occurring intermittently on blogspot in the last couple of weeks--it's happened on a couple of my posts too.