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by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 10:40:06 AM EST
Swaziland's Cooperatives No Threat to Banks - IPS ipsnews.net
MBABANE , Feb 8, 2012 (IPS) - Nomsa Tsabedze is one of the many people at the Bunye Betfu, Buhle Betfu Credit and Savings Cooperatives waiting to apply for a loan to pay for her children's school fees.

"Unlike banks, there is no collateral required before you get a loan from a cooperative," said Tsabedze, adding: "If you're a member of a cooperative, you're guaranteed a loan depending on how much you've saved."

For the past five years, ever since she started working as a clerk in the public service, Tsabedze has been saving and obtaining loans from the cooperative.

But while Tsabedze and thousands like her have chosen to put their money in cooperatives as opposed to banks, many in this Southern African nation feel that this poses no risk to the banking industry.

This is despite concerns by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that the country's increasingly popular 230 savings and cooperatives pose a threat to commercial banks.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 02:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So 'market discipline' comes to Swaziland. Who said that the proper tense to use with the word 'imperialism' is past?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 11:05:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
because there is little risk of this public being able to afford the services of the banks.

It's interesting how the principles of liberalism (competition is good!) so dear to the IMF are context-sensitive...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 03:33:03 AM EST
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concerns by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) [which] said that the country's increasingly popular 230 savings and cooperatives pose a threat to commercial banks

tens of millions of people stand to see their lives ruined because the bureaucrats at the ECB don't understand introductory economics -- Dean Baker
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 03:53:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jobless Decline Masks Drop in U.S. Labor Force - Bloomberg

The unemployment rate's unexpected drop to a three-year low has overshadowed a less-positive labor- market development: fewer Americans are looking for work.

Last week's Labor Department announcement that the jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent in January sent stocks and bond yields higher. The same report showed the share of working-age people in the labor force had declined to the lowest level in 29 years.

The so-called participation rate was cited by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke yesterday to support his assessment that the rate of unemployment obscures vulnerabilities in the job market. Bernanke, speaking to the Senate Budget Committee, confirmed the Fed's stance that interest rates will stay low at least through late 2014, and repeated his view that the job market is a "long way" from returning to normal.

"Weakness in the labor force is frustrating to the Fed, which needs to see broadened participation from labor in this recovery," said Eric Green, chief market economist at TD Securities Inc. in New York. "What the Fed wants is the real stuff. They want unemployment falling with the labor force rising."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 02:17:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Arabs Seek Safety in Dollars After Euphoria Fades - Bloomberg

As he watched Egypt's revolt turn into a financial crisis that devoured 50 percent of the nation's foreign-currency holdings last year, Ahmed El-Rifai started charging some clients in U.S. dollars.

The 32-year-old owner of Egyweb, a Web-development company in Cairo, says he may also buy real estate with his Egyptian pound savings, concerned that the loss of reserves will lead to a devaluation. That has already sent the pound down 3.8 percent since the start of last year. Iraq's central bank says its dollars are fueling Syria's black market. In Tripoli, Libya, dozens are queuing every morning at banks to buy the U.S. currency.

A year after popular protests from Tunisia to Egypt to Libya toppled rulers, transitions marked by violence have failed to lift economic hardship. Almost two thirds of Egyptians see the economy as the country's biggest challenge, according to a survey by the New York-based International Peace Institute in September. Promised Western aid has yet to arrive, savings in foreign currencies have grown and government borrowing costs have surged.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 02:21:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Argentina Tightens Limits on Use of Cash Transactions in Financial Markets - Bloomberg

Argentina limited the use of cash in the country's financial markets as President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner ramps up oversight of currency transactions.

The government will restrict daily cash transactions to 1,000 pesos ($231) per person, down from 10,000 pesos, according to a statement today in the Official Gazette. The measure affects activity in the stock and bond markets, investment funds and in the futures markets. Operations above the limit will have to be done through Argentine bank accounts that are authorized by the central bank.

"They are forcing a higher level of formality in the economy, as cash transactions allow more irregularities," said Felipe Hernandez, an analyst at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut. "This is in line with other measures to prevent money laundering, for which the government has been under a great deal of pressure."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 02:22:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Attorney General Koster announces 136-count criminal indictments related to robo-signing in mortgage industry --Boone County grand jury indicts Georgia corporation and its president for practices highlighted in 60 Minutes report --

Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster today announced that a Boone County grand jury has handed down 136-count indictments against DOCX, LLC and its founder and former president, Lorraine Brown, for forgery and making a false declaration related to mortgage documents processed by DOCX.

"The grand jury indictment alleges that mass-produced fraudulent signatures on notarized real estate documents constitutes forgery," Koster said. "Today's indictment reflects our firm conviction that when you sign your name to a legal document, it matters," Koster said.

The forgery and false declaration counts each allege that the person whose name appears on 68 notarized deeds of release on behalf of the lender is not the person who actually signed the paperwork. The documents were then submitted to the Boone County Recorder of Deeds as though they were genuine.

Koster's office requested the indictment, and the Attorney General's Office will prosecute the case.

The indictments are the result of months of investigation by the Attorney General's Office into the robo-signing scandal that injected thousands of questionable mortgage documents into the market. When the practice began to come to light, several major lenders temporarily suspended foreclosures in 2010. DOCX's role in the robo-signing process came to national attention when 60 Minutes reported that Linda Green, an employee of DOCX, purportedly signed thousands of mortgage-related documents on behalf of several different banks and in multiple handwritings. The 68 documents on which the indictments are based were purportedly signed by Linda Green, but were allegedly signed by someone else.

Forgery is a Class C felony and False Declaration is a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted on the most serious count, Brown could face up to seven years in prison for each count. DOCX could be fined up to $10,000 for each forgery conviction and $2,000 for each false declaration conviction.

The charges against DOCX and Lorraine Brown are merely accusations and, as in all criminal cases, the defendant is innocent until or unless proved guilty in a court of law.

The press release links to Gretchen Morgenson's article in the NYT. See below.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 04:19:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I heard that Michigan was offering 2,000$ per person whose houses had been illegally repossessed
by stevesim on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 04:35:36 PM EST
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Whole zip codes in Detroit have average home values under $12,000. How is that for devastation?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 04:54:32 PM EST
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by stevesim on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 05:01:19 PM EST
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$12,000 to a guy with a tin cup is a lot of bread.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 10:13:09 AM EST
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Seriously? That seems quite impossible. My first real estate purchase was a small, three bedroom house in San Jose. I paid $32,500 for it and thought it was a bloody fortune. That was in 1973.
by sgr2 on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 03:14:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See Detroit real estate ads
$10,000 18645 Sussex St, Detroit MI
3 br  /  1 full, 1 partial ba   /  1,167 sqft  /  $9/sqft
Single-Family Home

$8,000 3288 W Grand St, Detroit MI
4 br  /  2 ba  /  2,000 sqft  /  $5/sqft
Multi-Family Home

$5,000 12085 Minock St, Detroit MI
2 br  /  1 ba  /  701 sqft  /  $14/sqft
Single-Family Home

$4,000 5324 Larchmont St, Detroit MI
3 br  /  1 ba  /  1,000 sqft  /  $4/sqft
Single-Family Home

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 03:38:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for posting the link so I could see for myself. Amazing. Truly amazing. And incredibly sad for the community and folks who previously purchased these properties.  
by sgr2 on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 04:21:25 PM EST
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Detroit was fucked by the late 60's riots, and then got an incredibly damaging and useless mayor. The city never recovered.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 06:20:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
check out the pics on google maps.

they look nice and cute and maintained.

so sad.

by stevesim on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 04:24:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Company Faces Forgery Charges in Mo. Foreclosures

One of the largest companies that provided home foreclosure services to lenders across the nation, DocX, has been indicted on forgery charges by a Missouri grand jury -- one of the few criminal actions to follow reports of widespread improprieties against homeowners.

A grand jury in Boone County, Mo., handed up an indictment Friday accusing DocX of 136 counts of forgery in the preparation of documents used to evict financially strained borrowers from their homes. Lorraine O. Brown, the company's founder and former president, was indicted on the same charges.

Employees of DocX, a unit of Lender Processing Services of Jacksonville, Fla., executed and notarized millions of mortgage documents for big banks and loan servicers over the years. Lender Processing closed the company in April 2010, after evidence emerged of apparent forgeries in these documents, a practice now called robo-signing.


Mr. Koster said his office's investigation was continuing. This suggests he may hope to persuade Ms. Brown to cooperate in his investigation of the parent company. If convicted, Ms. Brown could face up to seven years in prison for each forgery count. DocX could be fined up to $10,000 for each forgery conviction.


According to the indictment, Ms. Brown acted "knowingly in concert with DocX and its employees" to mislead and defraud the Boone County recorder of deeds. The documents central to the indictments were deeds of release, which eliminate a previous claim on an asset. Such releases are typically issued when a mortgage has been paid off.

DocX is a colorful company. In addition to its founder, Lorraine Brown, the infamous 'Linda Green' signed 68 of the documents just from Missouri. I recall from previous accounts that 'Linda Green' has been found having signed multiple documents in multiple states on the same day, some with the same notary.

I will leave it to Chris Cook, our resident expert on the difference between 'systemic' and 'systematic' fraud to suggest which, if either of these words would be most appropriately combined with the word 'fraud' in this case. But I am SO glad to see a state AG bringing criminal charges in this matter. Lorraine Brown, potentially facing over a millennium in jail time, if convicted on all charges and sentenced for them to run consecutively, should hope that Koster offers her witness protection services if she has had any direct dealings with Wall Street firms, especially if she can document such possible dealings.

It may be such suits as these that derail the bruited multi-state AG settlement led by Tom Miller of Iowa. Leaks have suggested that the proposal is to fine the banks involved $25 billion in return for relief from liability in mortgages that total close to $13 trillion in face value. Even if only a third of the mortgages in that $13 trillion are involved in some kind of robo-signing and even if the average loss involved only 30% of the face value that is still $1.3 trillion.

But what the hell! What is another $1.3 trillion to Bernanke and Geithner. Just create the money already and give it to those affected. THAT would actually help the economy, unlike the ongoing QE, which only seems to help the banks.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 04:52:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this is assuming that the GOP or the USSC don't find some way to sabotage this. I simply can't imagine they're gonna sit back and let their corporate overlords be disturbed in any way, especially if this looks to connect to Wall St.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 01:23:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the defendant is innocent until or unless proved guilty in a court of law
Just like the disclaimer in an episode of 'Cops'. It doesn't have the same ring to it though when not accompanied of a closeup of a 250 pound officer of the law grinding a perps face into the asphalt.
by Andhakari on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 04:39:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The 'perp walk' is the more genteel version of what you describe, but that is a disadvantage of having the complaint brought by a state AG against non-state residents. A 'perp walk' in this case would be a milestone.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 9th, 2012 at 10:39:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The China Money Report - Coverage of the Chinese Equitie

For decades , Asia has performed the role of diligent worker bee. Without a history of Adam Smith and free trade they saw how easy it was to game the free trade system. To this day, Koreans do not buy Japanese goods and Japanese do not buy Korean goods. Neither one will buy U.S. goods. The stuff they do want , like Hollywood movies, they just take. The U.S. took the brunt of the free trade economic carnage as over 50,000 factories have closed down in only the last ten years. No one can labor arbitrage and transfer price their taxes away like corporate America. We are still #1  in that game.

As the Fed printed money, giant speculative asset pricing bubbles occurred. The U.S. got lazy on their housing bubble and focused on the military industrial complex. Once mighty titans GE and GM became housing lenders with "old world" businesses attached to provide cash-flow for the financing sides of the business. Everyone drank the kool-aid.

Now drink this kool-aid, even printing money is no longer an option for the U.S. government. China will print to keep the RMB peg...and combined with the $3.2 trillion in FX reserves they could buy most of the S&P 500 companies. Japan is also printing money like there is no tomorrow. Facing economic carnage in their own country, they are bound to start acquiring Western firms to compete with China. The U.S. now faces defaulting on their debt quickly or becoming a sharecropper to Asia.

h/t max keiser

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Feb 8th, 2012 at 07:46:48 PM EST
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