Adding insult to injury

Wells Fargo exec used Malibu Colony home lost by Madoff-duped couple, neighbors say
A top bank executive was seen spending weekends and hosting parties in the $12-million beach house. Neighbors say the real shocker came when they saw one of the bank’s top executives spending weekends in the $12-million beach house and hosting eye-catching parties there. What’s more, Wells Fargo spurned offers to show the property to prospective buyers, a real estate agent said.

“It’s outrageous to take over a property like that, not make it available and then put someone from the bank in it,” said Phillip Roman, an 18-year Colony resident who lives a few homes away from the property.

[ LAT ] [ more ]

Why the Foreclosure Crisis Won’t End
Until the labor market become more stable, the unemployment rate tops out, and we have some income generation, it will be hard for the rate of delinquencies in the housing market to stabilize or turn down [ Minyanville ]

Blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the bean-counters

“banks have argued that market values can be misleading, and that their own estimates of the eventual cash flow from assets are more realistic than what they — or others — will now pay for those assets. The rules already allowed them to ignore so called “distress sales” in assessing fair value, but the banks pushed to broaden that exemption in the United States, while in Europe they got the regulators to allow them to retroactively stop calculating market value for assets they said they did not intend to sell.””

[ Floyd Norris, Accountants Misled Us Into Crisis ] [ H/T ]

I reckon they know Harry Macklowe and son really, really well

Buyers of Huge Manhattan Complex Face Default Risk

A recent report from Realpoint, a credit rating agency, estimates the property has a value today of $2.13 billion — less than half of what the partnership borrowed to buy it.

[ NYT ]

Until Obama (a.k.a. Bush 3, or Bush-Lite) has completed the Bushy agenda, we can agree…

Baby Bush: The Worst President in History?

Is it possible that Bush was actually the worst president ever? I’d say he’s a strong contender. He started out with a gigantic lie — that he would cut the size of government, reduce taxes, and stay out of foreign wars — and things got much worse from there.

[ Doug Casey c/o Barry Ritholtz ]

Matt Taibbi takes apart health care ‘reform’

Sick and Wrong – How Washington is screwing up health care reform – and why it may take a revolt to fix it

Let’s start with the obvious: America has not only the worst but the dumbest health care system in the developed world. It’s become a black leprosy eating away at the American experiment — a bureaucracy so insipid and mean and illogical that even our darkest criminal minds wouldn’t be equal to dreaming it up on purpose.

[ Rolling Stone ]

Seriously, you cannot make this shit up:

Two more ACORN officials were fired Friday after a second video surfaced showing staffers in the community organizers’ Washington office offering to help a man and woman posing as a pimp and prostitute acquire illegal home loans that would help them set up a brothel.

[ Faux Nooze ]

“Remember, to arrive at the bailout number the Treasury bean-counters just picked ‘like, a really really big number.’ How do you have confidence in anyone like that, who dares to refer to themself as either an accountant or as an economist? Refer to them by what they really are: bean-counters, ass-hats, pretenders, criminal co-conspirator. They know as much about economics as a priest really knows about God.”


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