12.01.16

Steven Mnuchin, recently of Satan’s Bank …

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, Predator State, Satan's Bank at 1:15 pm by George Smith

Steven Mnuchin, set to be Donald Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury, is the perfect choice for the root hog or die economy in the culture of lickspittle. Mnuchin is someone who took a pie of excrement, IndyMac bank, and turned it into an even bigger pie of ill will and poison as OneWest.

And that’s essentially what Elizabeth Warren said about him yesterday:

“Steve Mnuchin is the Forrest Gump of the financial crisis — he managed to participate in all the worst practices on Wall Street. He spent two decades at Goldman Sachs helping the bank peddle the same kind of mortgage products that blew up the economy and sucked down billions in taxpayer bailout money before he moved on to run a bank that was infamous for aggressively foreclosing on families.”

The image of a mildly retarded man, excellent at ping pong, stumbling through life as a Wall Street financier, managing to accumulate billions in riches just because of the way the system works while uttering the occasional word candies like “Life is a box of chocolates …” should make you laugh, if nothing else.

I would eagerly await Warren going off on him for five or ten minutes when he arrives before the Senate. The lady has an inspirational talent for the putdown.

Coincidentally, Mnuchin made a great deal of money as the CEO of OneWest in Pasadena, which was IndyMac until forclosed on by the US government at the beginning of the financial crisis.

The blog briefly covered it as Satan’s Bank and rather than work up everything from scratch I’m just going to go to the archives.


02/8/10

[OneWest] is involved in a similar case in California, where it’s trying to foreclose on an 89-year-old woman, despite two court orders telling it to stop.

Stung by the whip of bad reviews, OneWest announced it was turning to charitable giving at the beginning of the new year.

“With a seed of $10 million, OneWest Bank announced this week that it has created a nonprofit foundation to help develop the communities it serves,” reported Monterey County Herald on January 2.

“The Pasadena-based bank, which took over failed IndyMac in March, established the foundation ‘to actively invest’ in priorities such as affordable housing, health care, education, financial literacy and rehabilitating underserved communities, foundation bank officials said.

” ‘We are very committed to supporting the community in meaningful ways through our charitable efforts, including significant contributions from our employees in community service activities,’ ” foundation Chairman Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.”

Community service. Affordable housing. Fine words.

“The bank has 72 retail branches in Southern California and total assets of $24 billion,” one news story on OneWest informs.

Let’s see.

10 million / 24 billion = 0.000416666667

In other words, another ‘achievement in giving’ worth the stink eye. The amount is OneWest/Satan’s Bank equivalent of pocket lint. Maybe less.


02/02/10

IndyMac did the things all the banksters are now accused of in the US. It specialized in really risky subprime lending and then went tits after the people at the top made a killing on the Ponzi scheme. Prior to the death of Lehman Brothers and the big bailout, the FDIC stepped in and saved it.

In the reorganization, some superwealthy guys took over and renamed it OneWest.

OneWest’s business model, as told in news stories on it, is to continue the certified nasty practices of the Wall Street financial giants.

That is, it profits off distressed holdings by using the taxpayer-funded government guarantees for detoxifying its subprime lending. OneWest is not small or community-oriented, unless you consider forclosing on people’s homes nationwide using taxpayer money as guarantee profit margin against what would be certain losses to be goodness for communities.

One fellow on the web explains it this way:

Several times per week, I get phone calls from attorneys. These calls all start out the same. “I am unable to get loan modifications done through a lender. What can I do?” The first question I ask is if the lender is Indymac/One West. Invariably, it is.

When OneWest took over Indymac, the FDIC and OneWest executed a “Shared-Loss Agreement” covering the sale. This Agreement covered the terms of what the FDIC would reimburse OneWest for any losses from foreclosure on a property. It is at this point that the details get very confusing, so I shall try to simplify the terms.

Some of the major details are:

OneWest would purchase all first mortgages at 70% of the current balance

OneWest would purchase Line of Equity Loans at 58% of the current balance.

In the event of foreclosure, the FDIC would cover from 80%-95% of losses, using the original loan amount, and not the current balance.


07/19/12

The site I’m about to direct you to is Bankster Law! It deals with my corporate neighbor, OneWest in Pasadena. The author relates his grinding battle with IndyMac and OneWest in Pasadena over a home construction loan. Yes, they are as bad as you think.

The trouble begins when IndyMac begins to fail — it’s money is all gone — and it starts misleading customers while short-changing them. The author finds IndyMac has reneged on the construction loan, declaring it complete with the house still unfinished.

From the introduction:

Want to learn something of the system? Read Bleak House by Charles Dickens. You can download or read it on Gutenberg. Do you want to have your soul (and money) drained by Mr. Vholes? Do you want your mind stolen like poor Flite? Do you want your home to go to rack and ruin like Bleak House?

An excerpt, on “Bankster Psychology:

Deadbeat peasants won’t pay their bills! Let us pretend that the economy has nothing to do with people’s ability to pay. And let us also pretend that the bankster stealing doesn’t have anything to do with the economy! And let’s ignore the deadbeat bankster bailout, that has NOTHING to do with anything!

———-

The peasantry is being programmed by the banker run media to be selfish and jealous of others. So that when one is ripped off, others do not care. Why should you have a free house, they are trained to ask. As if your paying will make their paying more bearable. Wouldn’t it be wiser to ask why the bankers should be able to print free money at everyone’s expense.

And on OneWest:

My trouble with Pasadena began when I was given a loan from the original IndyMac Bank, FSB. Honestly, I liked most of the people I talked to from that bank. Those were the good old days when bankers did not hide their last names. When if you had a problem, a Vice President would give you his cell phone number and tell you to call him at home if necessary. This is when many of the California bankers had sunny Cali-style personalities and were not just churlish brutes. I only remember one lady that sounded like a goon, and I’ll bet you she is still working there at OneWest Bank …

[Later] OneWest Bank takes over. A filthier set of churlish thugs you cannot imagine. It seemed that they liked to call people even before payments were overdue in order to demand money …


06/23/10
Desperation hit a new high in Pasadena today.

At lunch time, on the corner of Lake and Walnut — directly in front of Satan’s Bank of Pasadena, aka OneWest — there was a thirtysomething man in a suit with a signboard. The signboard pleaded: “Hire Me!”

It said he had a B.A. and “experience.” “Help me win for my family,” it added.

Right beside him, a man who looked like Santa Claus, except in a hardware store man’s clothes. He has been begging for the last two weeks. And directly across the superhighway, two people have been regularly camped out for it seems like … at least a year or two.

If you’ve never been to Pasadena, the corner of Lake and Walnut is the place to be if you’d like to be seen with your alms cup. It’s high vehicular traffic for most of the day. And there’s are always a good number of pedestrians, particularly at lunch time, when many come boiling out of Satan’s Bank and head across the street to Ralphs or north thirty yards to Teri & Yaki.

Holding up a sign of desperation on this corner is a good tactical move. If you want someone from the local newspaper, the Pasadena Star-News to notice and get interested in your story, it’s high visibility and impact.

After all, no one ever checks out the guy living out of his van on El Molino. Or the half a dozen or so who regularly scrounge through my apartment building’s dumpster.


03/12/10
The Wall Street Journal: Many borrowers complain they get the runaround when they call their lenders for help, receive contradictory information from different employees and are required to repeatedly fax the same documents.

At the same time, suicide threats from distressed borrowers are so common that one lender, OneWest Bank Group in Pasadena, Calif., had to establish procedures for alerting the police. Lenders’ call-center employees are under heavy pressure. “These people make $14 or $15 an hour, and we ask them to move mountains,” said a OneWest executive at an industry conference last month.


02/08/10

“During a recent protest outside his Walnut Street bank headquarters, OneWest CEO Terry Laughlin came down with the bank’s head of mortgage services for a little face time with borrowers,” reported the Pasadena Star-News recently.

“The idea was to ‘reach out’ Laughlin said, and see what he could do or say to help them with their home loans – which they angrily – and frequently – complain have yet to be modified.”


“Steven Mnuchin’s OneWest filed to take a 90-year-old woman’s house after a 27-cent payment error,” reads Politico.

And, yes, yes, there was a song …

Go, that was 2010 – 2012 and nothing ever changes. It’s worth saying again and again, part of the Obama administration’s failure was doing nothing about this when everyone was begging for bankster heads.

07.19.12

Usury Blues

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall, Satan's Bank at 9:23 am by George Smith


Today you fought the bank … and the bank won.

In over the transom, a suggestion to read a woeful story on the nature of Pasadena’s division of Satan Bank, OneWest.

I’ve walked by OneWest every day at lunch for the past three years. At one point I used to notice signs proclaiming it to be some sort of friendly community bank. This was all so much horse-shit.

Today you automatically expect a tail of evil and perfidy whenever the subject is a bank. In the US and much of the world banks are havens for criminals, a super Mafia constantly gaming the system, rigging the rules, putting fingers on the scale, swindling everyone everywhere.

This is no longer opinion, just straight statement of fact from the daily news of the past few years.

The site I’m about to direct you to is Bankster Law! It deals with my corporate neighbor, OneWest in Pasadena. The author relates his grinding battle with IndyMac and OneWest in Pasadena over a home construction loan. Yes, they are as bad as you think.

The trouble begins when IndyMac begins to fail — it’s money is all gone — and it starts misleading customers while short-changing them. The author finds IndyMac has reneged on the construction loan, declaring it complete with the house still unfinished.

From the introduction:

Want to learn something of the system? Read Bleak House by Charles Dickens. You can download or read it on Gutenberg. Do you want to have your soul (and money) drained by Mr. Vholes? Do you want your mind stolen like poor Flite? Do you want your home to go to rack and ruin like Bleak House?

An excerpt, on “Bankster Psychology:

Deadbeat peasants won’t pay their bills! Let us pretend that the economy has nothing to do with people’s ability to pay. And let us also pretend that the bankster stealing doesn’t have anything to do with the economy! And let’s ignore the deadbeat bankster bailout, that has NOTHING to do with anything!

———-

The peasantry is being programmed by the banker run media to be selfish and jealous of others. So that when one is ripped off, others do not care. Why should you have a free house, they are trained to ask. As if your paying will make their paying more bearable. Wouldn’t it be wiser to ask why the bankers should be able to print free money at everyone’s expense.

And on OneWest:

My trouble with Pasadena began when I was given a loan from the original IndyMac Bank, FSB. Honestly, I liked most of the people I talked to from that bank. Those were the good old days when bankers did not hide their last names. When if you had a problem, a Vice President would give you his cell phone number and tell you to call him at home if necessary. This is when many of the California bankers had sunny Cali-style personalities and were not just churlish brutes. I only remember one lady that sounded like a goon, and I’ll bet you she is still working there at OneWest Bank …

[Later] OneWest Bank takes over. A filthier set of churlish thugs you cannot imagine. It seemed that they liked to call people even before payments were overdue in order to demand money …

Bankster Law! Read it.

Employee reviews of OneWest at Glassdoor.


Trust is essential to all financial transactions. When trust evaporates – or is smashed to oblivion through reckless and self-serving behavior at megabanks – the consequences can be dire.

The severity of the financial crisis in fall 2008 can be directly attributed to the collapse of trust among financial institutions. Cheating on Libor was not the only cause of this collapse but – if Mr. Bernanke is right and market participants knew what was going on – it must have contributed to it. — today, in the New York Times.

07.18.11

Retraining Camp

Posted in Decline and Fall, Satan's Bank at 9:06 am by George Smith


The wealthy class needs gardeners who can plant tulips.

Today, inspired by GOP Presidential candidate Thaddeus McCotter’s inimitable series, Rock Solid with Thad, DD has thrown his hat into the ring of public educational shows on national affairs, too.

And while I don’t have the same authority and gravitas conferred by government service, I play guitar a lot better.

So here’s the very first show of my public education Internet radio show, Rock Hard with Dick Destiny, episode one: Retraining Camp.

Rock Hard features a crew from the country and some of you may recognize them. And in the first show we tackle unemployment and reinvigorating your skills for the economy of the future through vocational training at Flatsonville Community College near the bucolic birthplace of author Conrad Richter. Which could be in any state you know.

DD knows Americans are busy, particularly when looking for the jobs of the future. And I’ve kept that in mind on Rock Hard! It’s advice you can take in three minutes! Although, being educational, it may seem longer.

So, again, here’s the very first episode of Rock Hard with Dick Destiny.


At Flatsonville Community College you can learn everything needed for success in the bait industry.

03.24.11

Lloyd Blankfein still on the loose

Posted in Permanent Fail, Satan's Bank at 9:50 am by George Smith

A bigger menace to the American middle class than Moe, Goldman Sachs bankster boss Lloyd Blankfein is still in the clear. And most Americans still have no idea who he is, despite movies like “Inside Job” on the economic collapse and various writings on Goldman at Rolling Stone magazine.

From Matt Taibbi’s blog today:

Lloyd Blankfein testified in court yesterday, in the Raj Rajaratnam insider trading case and unfortunately it turned out to be less of a big deal than I might have hoped. Blankfein agreed only to testify in exchange for guarantees that they wouldn’t “dredge up any pending investigations” of Goldman’s activities.

I had fantasies of Lloyd being broken on the stand and frantically sobbing out all sorts of hysterical confessions, but I guess it’s not to be.

The New York Daily News reported:

Blankfein took the stand in Manhattan federal court at about 10:30 am to testify for the government in its insider-trading case against Galleon co-founder Rajaratnam, who is accused of pocketing $45 million by getting illegal inside tips about the bank from ex-Goldman director Rajat Gupta, as well as from tipsters at other firms.

More bombs for banksters. We could spare a few from the pile earmarked for Moe, no?

Let’s Lynch Lloyd Blankfein — the gay satirical rock show tune — is here.

02.04.11

Nobody likes him except the high class hookers

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Satan's Bank, Stumble and Fail at 2:17 pm by George Smith

From Krugman:

… the fragile ego of Jamie Dimon, who is not only wealthy beyond count but has also received a lot of fawning press. But it’s apparently not good enough.

Reuters’ Jamie Dimon special.

Re fawning press, the New York Times magazine comes to mind.

America’s Least-Hated Banker, by Roger Lowenstein.

The comments at the foot of the Reuters piece do not support the mag’s thesis.

Related: Let’s Lynch Lloyd Blankfein.


John Young at Cryptome discusses the lofty and important New York Times and its disdain for nerdy, smelly and impolite Julian Assange. And some of the lines scream for republication:

As a clue, [Bill Keller] jokingly noted that the information security set up among those working with Wikileaks was likely penetrated by governments — an exculpation often deployed by informers. Rusbridger joined the humor by grinning at Keller and admitting “we” lack technical skills against that — separating noble wordsmith editors from sneaky outlaw hackers like Assange …

“I am not a lawyer,” Keller said idiotically evasive, said he had been advised to not tell about the Times’ legal defense, then went on to expostulate in carefully lawyerly-guided rhetoric the public benefits of reputable MSM against anarchistic information bomb-throwers. Rusbridger kow-towed to Keller as if dangled by his lawyers’ strings to cow behind The Times officially-constructed bulwark to escape complicity in the Wikileaks (and its kind) prosecution, and to be protected by legislation underway to formalize that arrangement to coddle obsequious press …

Cryptome made a 1.5 hour-long video (to be posted shortly) for grit against the slick campaign version to be publicized by Columbia. It begins with Cryptome being twice threatened with ejection for violating rules of who was permitted to record the highly-scripted campaign to protect the press from those who break rules, umm, commit crimes, like Wikileaks.

Columbia University and its School of Journalism are long-time suppressors of dissent under guise of fostering loyal opposition to official power (John Young of Cryptome is a dissenting graduate) …

Brav-o!

Young notes the New York Times spammed a sales push for its book on WikiLeaks simultaneously with the announcement of a 26 percent drop in income.

02.02.11

MSNBC’s Ed Show entertains idea that US business threatens national security

Posted in Imminent Catastrophe, Satan's Bank, Stumble and Fail at 10:03 am by George Smith

Last night’s Ed Show on MSNBC featured an extended riff on Wall Street speculators and the price of food worldwide. It linked this — using financial giants Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch — repeatedly. (Follow the link, click on the tab for “Speculation wreaks global havoc” — if interested.)

Host Ed Schultz linked it all to riots, which start out as protests over food pricing, in the Middle East, specifically in Tunisia and Egypt.

The upshot, which was posed as a question for viewers to answer at the bottom of the screen was this: Does US business represent a threat to national or world security?

For the thrust of the segment, the implicit answer was yes.

Schultz brought in Dylan Ratigan to discuss this and the latter wasn’t ready to go along with the supposition. Ratigan averred, however, that it was a complicated story, one in which Wall Street speculation played a part.

DD isn’t going to embrace the idea but it does again bring up the question I’ve discussed over the past year. (See here, in my last posting for 2010.) And Paul Krugman has devoted a bit of time lately to discussing commodity prices and worldwide fluctuation in the same without mentioning speculators.

But that this idea has now shown itself at a mainstream media outlet, albeit one that’s increasingly hitched its fortunes to viewers from the center left, is still quite startling.

In any case, I’ve made posts over the past couple of years where, demonstrably, US businesses have threatened US security. Most notably, from large agribusiness, via the examples of mass food poisonings written off as an acceptable cost to the industry. For example, it’s just a fact now that US agribusinessmen have proven to be better at distributing disease than bioterrorists.

And in a much broader sense, the worldwide economic collapse brought on by Wall Street has had grave implications, causing instability and suffering, and consequent problems for security, worldwide.

Schultz’s segment, reprinted and cleaned up a little from here, approaches the same conspiratorial tone the mainstrean usually likes to laughingly dismiss as the property of cranks and crackpots:

Yemen and Tunisia have also had mass protests. They’re all autocratic, majority Muslim nations, but they’re not all oil states. Tunisia is mostly secular.

So what else do these countries have in common?

One thing is high food prices, a factor in how all the riots really started and how all of it started. And it’s not a coincidence that all of them have high food prices right now.

Food prices have skyrocketed around the world and a big reason for that is Wall Street.

It started in 1991 with surprise, surprise Goldman Sachs.

Before then, wall street speculators played only a minor role in food prices. The way it worked food companies and their suppliers, america’s farmers, wanted to keep their business stable. Even if prices spiked for wheat, corn, or other agricultural commodities.

So they’d hedge their bets, signing contracts, futures, to lock in prices for some point in the future.

Speculators helped, putting enough money in the system to keep things liquid.

After the depression, FDR saw that speculators could drive up the price of wheat, corn, whatever, by betting on commodity futures the way Wall Street later bet on dot coms.

Distorting food prices like that could destroy the very stability future contracts were created to provide so FDR signed into law what are called position limits — limits on how much of the total betting could be done by wall street.
And what do you know it worked.

For decades the price of wheat was driven by fundamentals like the weather and Wall Street couldn’t stand it.

In 1991, Goldman Sachs asked the commodity futures trading commission, the CFTC, to give them a waiver on those position limits, so they could bet as much as they wanted.

A CFTC appointee for the first president bush said sure.

More than a dozen other firms followed suit.

Goldman Sachs even created commodities indexes. To simplify the betting and goose casual investors into the casino. Again, Wall Street followed suit.

Remember the real estate bubble?

Wall Street wanted to hedge all of those bets it made on mortgages.
So they ramped up their bets on commodities.

And when Wall Street started losing money on sub primes, they bet it on commodities instead.

By 2008, Wall Street had five times more futures contracts in commodities than it did in 2002.

Commodity indexes held about $13 billion in 2003.

By 2008 it was over a quarter trillion.

That’s how we got the oil bubble.

And record high gas prices added to the cost of shipping food plus speculators looking for another bubble, and you get a food bubble.

Estimates speculators held 65% of corn futures’ contracts, 68% Of soybean, 80% of wheat. By mid 2008, the IMF food price index jumped more than 80% in just a year and a half before.

It was the first time in history the proportion of people going hungry worldwide went up.

The number of chronically malnourished people rose by 75 million in 2007.

40 Million in 2008.

That’s why Egypt had riots back in 2008.

Along with 30 other countries, Italian moms marched against the price of pasta. Wall street speculators admitted they were doing it.

In 2006 Merrill Lynch said speculation accounted for 50% of the price of commodities. Half the price.

In 2008 a Goldman Sachs research paper said, quote, without question, increased fund flow into commodities has boosted prices.

2009 — even Republican senator Tom Coburn admits the speculation, quote, helped to inflate futures prices and there by disconnect futures from cash prices impairing farmers’ and grain elevators’ ability to hedge price risk.

Even Coburn said there was so much Wall Street money distorting prices that farmers and other guys who actually need commodity futures couldn’t use them to keep their companies stable anymore.

We don’t notice price hikes so much because most of our food prices come from marketing and packaging.

But in the developing world, the price of food is everything.

And what country imports more wheat than any other?
Egypt.

Where the price of wheat rose 70% last year.

Last summer Goldman called a report on the role of speculation in food prices, quote, misleading and blamed other factors.

A lot of reports mentioned that Russia cut off its wheat supply last year. What they don’t tell you is why. Because futures traders asked them to.

And, of course, there’s always a reason to promote Let’s Lynch Lloyd Blankfein.

06.23.10

Begging for dollars in front of Satan’s Bank of Pasadena

Posted in Satan's Bank, Stumble and Fail, Why the World Doesn't Need US at 3:34 pm by George Smith

DD does not have a camera phone so for this one you’ll just have to take my word.

Desperation hit a new high in Pasadena today.

At lunch time, on the corner of Lake and Walnut — directly in front of Satan’s Bank of Pasadena, aka OneWest — there was a thirtysomething man in a suit with a signboard. The signboard pleaded: “Hire Me!”

It said he had a B.A. and “experience.” “Help me win for my family,” it added.

Right beside him, a man who looked like Santa Claus, except in a hardware store man’s clothes. He has been begging for the last two weeks. And directly across the superhighway, two people have been regularly camped out for it seems like … at least a year or two.

If you’ve never been to Pasadena, the corner of Lake and Walnut is the place to be if you’d like to be seen with your alms cup. It’s high vehicular traffic for most of the day. And there’s are always a good number of pedestrians, particularly at lunch time, when many come boiling out of Satan’s Bank and head across the street to Ralphs or north thirty yards to Teri & Yaki.

Holding up a sign of desperation on this corner is a good tactical move. If you want someone from the local newspaper, the Pasadena Star-News to notice and get interested in your story, it’s high visibility and impact.

After all, no one ever checks out the guy living out of his van on El Molino. Or the half a dozen or so who regularly scrounge through my apartment building’s dumpster.


Who wrecked America: In economic charts.


“Walkin’ for Bum Wine in Pasadena Blues”

03.12.10

Satan’s Favorite Bank: Employs grub street suicide alarmsmen

Posted in Predator State, Satan's Bank at 8:49 am by George Smith

Today, in from the wires on Satan’s favorite bank in Pasadena, OneWest:

Many borrowers complain they get the runaround when they call their lenders for help, receive contradictory information from different employees and are required to repeatedly fax the same documents.

At the same time, suicide threats from distressed borrowers are so common that one lender, OneWest Bank Group in Pasadena, Calif., had to establish procedures for alerting the police. Lenders’ call-center employees are under heavy pressure. “These people make $14 or $15 an hour, and we ask them to move mountains,” said a OneWest executive at an industry conference last month.

That’s so considerate. One can but be astonished at the great labor of the “lender’s call center” and pure milk of human kindness dispensed by OneWest.

From the Wall Street Journal inside a larger article on how another big menace, Bank of America, locked a woman out of her home unjustly and stole her pet parrot.

Now if Jihad Jane had been caught doing such things, the US government’d handle things a little differently, DD thinks.

Also from the wires:

A couple facing foreclosure from OneWest Bank has joined the growing number of homeowners, attorneys and real estate professionals who believe the bank would rather foreclose than modify a loan.

“It comes down to money and greed. All they want is your home,” said Tom Cravalho, who with his wife Mona has been working for nearly two years to get out of an adjustable rate mortgage.

The Cravalhos said their original lender, IndyMac Bank, agreed to a loan modification in the summer of 2008 that would have offered them a 3 percent interest rate for five years. But then IndyMac was seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which sold the bank’s assets to a group of investors who formed OneWest Bank in March 2009.

Tom Cravalho said OneWest Bank has refused to honor the original agreement or discuss new terms. The Cravalhos’ attorney believes OneWest is more interested in reimbursement from the FDIC for the bad loan under a so-called “shared loss” agreement than it is in modifying the Cravalhos’ mortgage.

DD began writing on Satan’s favorite bank when the Huffington Post started its celebrity-run campaign to get people to move their money from big evil parasite banks to small community-oriented banks that allegedly care about their customers.

That was here.

Just to keep current, I went back to Move Your Money to check if OneWest was still in the list of recommended allegedly not-evil banks.

Yep. No change. Large evil bank still in master list of allegedly small not evil banks.

“AlterNet writer Stephen Pizzo has a simple question for people still using a big bank,” states the Move Your Money blog fatuously. “Why? They’re bad for you, bad for the country, and everybody knows it.”

02.15.10

An Amusing Comparison

Posted in Predator State, Satan's Bank at 1:07 pm by George Smith

Here’s a British video showing actor Bill Nighy as a banker reduced to squirming when being questioned about the proposal for a Robin Hood Tax on bank transactions.

The British newspaper The Guardian writes about the campaign to introduce the tax and how bankster firm Goldman Sachs immediately tried to game an opinion poll on the matter at the tax proposal’s website.

Contrast this with video from Fox Business News where a couple of guys, one glabrous and one odious, castigate Barack Obama for wanting to rob from the banks to give to the poor.

You see, in the United States the good guys are the Sheriff of Nottingham and Guy of Gisborne. Everyone knows that.

And DD still can’t find a YouTube video of the Jack In the Box commercial, now playing all the time, portraying an employee who poses as Robin Hood as a laughable buffoon. Because he wants to take from the rich and has a fat ass in green tights.

02.08.10

More Satan’s Bank Please

Posted in Predator State, Satan's Bank at 3:00 pm by George Smith

“During a recent protest outside his Walnut Street bank headquarters, OneWest CEO Terry Laughlin came down with the bank’s head of mortgage services for a little face time with borrowers,” reported the Pasadena Star-News recently.

“The idea was to ‘reach out’ Laughlin said, and see what he could do or say to help them with their home loans – which they angrily – and frequently – complain have yet to be modified.”

And for the newspaper, Laughlin’s interview was an attempt to ‘reach out,’ to counter the boatload of really bad press OneWest, or as it is called here — Satan’s Favorite Bank in Pasadena — has accumulated over the past few months,

Message to CEO: It’s not gonna help.

Banksters are less popular than soiled toilet paper on the bottom of one’s shoe now. And rightly so. Nothing can change that. And this is a good thing, not a bad thing.

Nevertheless, OneWest’s CEO told the newspaper that the giant vulture capitalism bank was now a community-oriented southern California bank interested in depositors and making affordable loans. And the newspaper could but go along because to get interviews like this one, the interviewee has to know that the interviewer won’t be anything but a lickspittle. That’s how America works.

The newspaper explained:

As of December, the bank, which entered the Obama administration’s Making Loan’s Affordable Program in August, had permanently modified 1,226 loans under the program, with 23,012 in the pipeline as trial modifications. If you count the loans modified under the FDIC’s control of IndyMac before the purchase, total permanent modifications come to 15,000 …

But readers know OneWest has been mostly publicized for foreclosing on people around the country rather than modify home mortgages.

This was explained in our Satan’s Bank post thusly:

[OneWest] uses government guarantees for distressed assets in its rescue to ensure a profit on forclosures. In essence, the US government uses taxpayer money indemnifying OneWest against loss on a distressed property it owns, indeed guaranteeing a certain good amount of profit on it. It is the very essence of vulture crony capitalism and its main purpose, socially, is profit for OneWest through capitalization of the very badness of its former self through the working over of subprime mortgage holders.

“The realities of the economy – unemployment, lack of income – are at odds with a key term of the government’s loan-modification program: Borrowers who want better terms must be able to prove that their current monthly mortgage payment is more than 31 percent of their gross monthly income,” OneWest’s CEO told the Pasadena Star-News.

Dig the foreclosure news

DD dug into Google to find OenWest foreclosures nationwide during December and January.

It was at this time that negative publicity on OneWest reached something of a peak, forcing the company into a cosmetic measure. It said it would halt foreclosures during the holiday season.

If it did, it was hard to notice.

DD found OneWest foreclosures from Hawaii to Topeka to New Orleans and all the way to Vero Beach, Florida.

A Hawaii newspaper, for instance, noted OneWest owned at least 26 homes in that state. Meaning it had foreclosed on all of them.

DD found two OneWest foreclosures in Topeka — one in mid-January, one about a week ago. And one in Boulder, Colorado, last mid-month.

On December 18, national publicity over a foreclosure in San Diego forced the company into p.r. defense.

“Just in time for Christmas, Brian Wofford has learned that his large family won’t be evicted from the house he mortgaged to the hilt after it was renovated for free five years ago on the ABC show ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’ reported the San Diego Union on December 18.

“Wofford, a widowed father of eight, is in default on his Encinitas house. He owes $770,000 after he refinanced several times and took out home-equity loans to get cash.

“He has been seeking a loan modification since 2007 and stopped making payments this year. The house was scheduled to be auctioned Dec. 14, but the Woffords received a last-minute reprieve from OneWest Bank after nationwide media coverage.”

A week earlier, the New York Post ran a story on the opposite side of the country entitled: LI MOM: Bank Strung Us Out.

“A Long Island family battling runaway medical bills for their two special-needs pre-schoolers are, days before Christmas, in danger of losing their house to foreclosure after their bank offered – and then retracted – three mortgage-modification plans, the frantic mother claims,” reported the newspaper.

The story continued:

Caryn Fleming, of Miller Place, said she and her police officer husband were at first overjoyed at the lower monthly payments under the modification offers – but were then shocked back into a real estate hell when their bank, OneWest, said they didn’t qualify for any modification because they made too much money.

“They knew exactly how much we made from the beginning of the process because they gave us our mortgage five years ago,” Fleming said.

OneWest, which last month made the news after a Suffolk judge ripped up a bank mortgage because of its deceptive, underhanded ways, was dealing with 111,674 mortgages that were 60 or more days delinquent as of Nov. 30, according to the Obama administration’s Making Home Affordable program.

The bank has extended 35,315 trial modification plans but has concluded zero permanent modifications, the Treasury Department reported this week.

Because the Flemings made reduced payments for 18 months – as instructed by the bank – they have accrued $40,000-plus in arrears and are facing eviction. Fleming said she recently offered to start making full mortgage payments and to pay off the arrears next October – when her husband retires from the NYPD. OneWest rejected the couple’s offer, she said.

The Post also ran a story in late November on a judge’s reprimand of OneWest:

A Long Island couple is home free after an outraged judge gave them an amazing Thanksgiving present — canceling their debt to ruthless bankers trying to toss them out on the street.

Suffolk Judge Jeffrey Spinner wiped out $525,000 in mortgage payments demanded by a California bank, blasting its “harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive” acts.

The bombshell decision leaves Diane Yano-Horoski and her husband, Greg Horoski, owing absolutely no money on their ranch house in East Patchogue.

Spinner pulled no punches as he smacked down the bankers at OneWest — who took an $814.2 million federal bailout but have a record of coldbloodedly foreclosing on any homeowner owing money.

OneWest’s conduct was “inequitable, unconscionable, vexatious and opprobrious,” Spinner wrote.

He canceled the debt because the bank “must be appropriately sanctioned so as to deter it from imposing further mortifying abuse against [the couple].”

The bank is involved in a similar case in California, where it’s trying to foreclose on an 89-year-old woman, despite two court orders telling it to stop.

Stung by the whip of bad reviews, OneWest announced it was turning to charitable giving at the beginning of the new year.

“With a seed of $10 million, OneWest Bank announced this week that it has created a nonprofit foundation to help develop the communities it serves,” reported Monterey County Herald on January 2.

“The Pasadena-based bank, which took over failed IndyMac in March, established the foundation ‘to actively invest’ in priorities such as affordable housing, health care, education, financial literacy and rehabilitating underserved communities, foundation bank officials said.

” ‘We are very committed to supporting the community in meaningful ways through our charitable efforts, including significant contributions from our employees in community service activities,’ ” foundation Chairman Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.”

Community service. Affordable housing. Fine words.

“The bank has 72 retail branches in Southern California and total assets of $24 billion,” one news story on OneWest informs.

Let’s see.

10 million / 24 billion = 0.000416666667

In other words, another ‘achievement in giving’ worth the stink eye. The amount is OneWest/Satan’s Bank equivalent of pocket lint. Maybe less.

Alms, alms for the poor!

And it is much like Goldman Sachs announcing it was getting into philanthropy after its banksters started to become afraid of potential fallout due to widespread public perception that they are evil.

Everyday DD walks past OneWest, either on the way to Ralphs or down to Colorado for a bit of a stretch.

Now OneWest has some rubbish in its windows about being a ‘neighborhood bank’.


Satan’s Favorite Bank in Pasadena from the archives.

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