Banana Republic

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Debt, Deficits & Housing – The Smoke & Mirrors “Recovery”

Many among the status quo have defended the last 8 years as a productive "recovery" from the abyss of financial armageddon unleashed by our criminal banking sector. The efficacy of the recovery depends on the person responding to the question. For the vast majority of the U.S. population, there has been no recovery, but instead a steady decline. If you have been paying attention to the early release of season 5 of 'House of Cards', speaking of the email data dump exposing our corrupt political machine for all to see, the reasons behind the phony [...]

Dallas Fed Chief Calls For Investment In Education While Fed Pays Billions To Banks On Excess Reserves

File this one in the Orwellian chronicles of America. This is the kind of news that writes itself because it is so absurd, such an insult to our collective intelligence that you couldn't imagine a rational human being with a soul offering up such a steeping pile of horseshit. Enter Robert S. Kaplan, the new chair of the Dallas Federal Reserve and by default the chief monetary policymaker in the American southwest. Why is Mr. Kaplan concerned about investments in education in Texas? Perhaps we should educate ourselves to find out. Speaking to an audience [...]

By | 2016-10-05T11:11:14+00:00 May 26th, 2016|Economy, Education, Politics, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Leaked Audit Of Mortgage Documents In Seattle Shows MERS Still Skirting Property Laws

A leaked audit in Seattle WA has revealed that real property assignments during the first half of 2013 did not comply with state law. The detailed report commissioned by the Seattle City Council is one of the latest forensic examinations of real estate property records to uncover discrepancies and deficiencies in the sham/shell known as MERS, otherwise known as Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. The Seattle report is fascinating because all of the assignments of mortgages the auditors studied are void. The question now is what any of the local or state government officials will [...]

Lacy Hunt: Excessive Public And Private Debt Will Curtail Growth

Interesting discussion with Lacy Hunt from Hoisington Investment Management. Hunt explains the problem of weak growth resulting from excessive debt, both public and private, and the consequences of long-term growth. Hunt seems to understand better than most that we have been pulling demand forward at the expense of future growth. Negative yields are sprouting up all over Europe. Unfortunately it looks as though the race to the bottom will continue for a little while longer, because nothing screams pent-up demand like a 1.5% yield on the 30-year US Treasury. Here is the most recent Quarterly [...]

By | 2015-04-18T11:19:34+00:00 April 18th, 2015|Economy, In the Press, Politics, Spin Cycle, Video|0 Comments

Fisher: Tampering With Fed Is “Dangerous”

You have to love the continuous jawboning and hypocrisy of modern central bankers. In this case it's Dallas Fed chair, Richard Fisher, telling some rather large whoppers as he attempts to justify current Federal Reserve policy. I love the bit about about the Fed focusing on the "real economy", and how the unemployment rate is "the single best" indicator of where our economy is headed. I also find it interesting that Mr. Fisher is proud to talk up the growth in the Texas economy, when he has to know that it's the resurgent energy sector [...]

Was QE Successful? Depends On Who You Ask

With the end of QE3, it's worth asking the question of whether the Federal Reserve's fiat currency experiment was successful? Did all of those bond and treasury purchases lead to sustainable economic growth here in the United States? Who benefited from the Fed's monetary interventions in the markets? With the Bank of Japan now picking up the torch and going all-in at the monetary casino, I think it's worth asking whether the the Fed's experiment really benefited the American economy? Sure, that $4.48 trillion on the Fed's balance sheet helped bail our or largest banks, [...]

By | 2016-09-29T13:39:35+00:00 November 3rd, 2014|Economy, Housing Policy, Markets, Politics, Real Estate, Spin Cycle|0 Comments

Consultant Says Fort Bend Central Appraisal Using Circular Math To Deny Homeowners Relief Under Uniform & Equal Appraisal

Area property tax consultant Pat O' Connor sent a letter to the chief appraiser of Fort Bend Central Appraisal last week. The letter has also been sent to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), which is the state agency charged with regulating professional appraisers in Texas.  The letter from O'Connor says that Fort Bend Central Appraisers are presenting inappropriate evidence at review board hearings for residential homeowners. Appraisers are required by law to value taxable property at market value every year. Equality and uniformity are supposed to be key aspects of that process [...]

By | 2016-02-04T00:16:10+00:00 October 12th, 2014|Politics, Regulation, Spin Cycle|4 Comments

AIG Trial Bombshell: Government Dismissed Chinese Offer To Save AIG, Cornered AIG’s Board Into A Legally Dubious Bailout

Yves has another fabulous bit of sleuthing which I failed get to yesterday. The revelations surround the ongoing trial between AIG's former CEO Hank Greenburg and the government that took control of the firm to "save" the system and thereby bailout all of the counterparties who stood to lose a small fortune. Think Goldman Sachs and a number of other large banks. The trial is fascinating on a number of levels, but particularly since the" Corrected Plaintiff's Proposed Findings of Fact" filed in Federal Court on August 22 shows that the government apparently dismissed other interested [...]

How Texas Central Appraisal Districts Can Railroad Homeowners With Near Impunity

I had my 2014 ARB hearing with the Fort Bend Central Appraisal District this week, and it was certainly educational. The ARB panel wasted little time in verifying FBCAD's notice of value for my home with no change, but that's what I expected.  The fact that the property tax system in Texas is broken is not old news. What is a surprise to most homeowners is how local Appraisal Review Boards operate with near impunity when putting the screws to average homeowners. The CAD essentially does what it does, and it is expected that the [...]

By | 2016-02-06T21:58:51+00:00 September 16th, 2014|Politics, Real Estate, Regulation, Spin Cycle|7 Comments

Wall Street Goes On Trial For Mortgage Fraud In California And Loses

The orgy of mortgage fraud facilitated by America's largest banks has still gone unpunished, but it doesn't change the reality that banks and their executives made a ton of money by engaging in some of the biggest control frauds the world has ever seen. That's the decision a Sacramento jury came to after listening to testimony in a ground-breaking mortgage fraud case in which Wall Street finally went to trail and lost. Although the Justice Department has essentially absolved the banks' executives of any criminal wrongdoing, a cursory review of the facts surrounding the financial [...]