From a ‘whistleblower’ who was there!
The following is a written interview with Ted Krager, author of Skulldruggery. If you can read this without becoming completely disgusted with our government there is something wrong with you! And if you would like to listen in to a live interview on blog talk radio please go to www.blogtalkradio.com/angelsandwarriors Monday night, June 10th, at 7 p.m. California time.
1. Ted, in your book you make some pretty serious accusations. Could you give our listeners a little information about your background and how you know so much about the Financial Crisis?
I worked on Wall Street for just over 10 years and one of my specialties was MBS – Mortgage Backed Securities, which are bundles of closed mortgage loans that conservative and / or retired investors like because they provide a steady stream of monthly or quarterly income, securitized my the mortgages. (Those conservative investors included individuals as well as institutional accounts like municipalities, public employees retirement unions, etc..) Until the implosion of the economy in the fall of 2007, these MBS’s had never failed to provide that steady stream of income to conservative borrowers, many of whom by charter could only buy what they thought were AAA-rated securities.
After my Wall Street career, I started a mortgage banking company and built it from just me working out of my basement into a 310 employee company with offices in 39 states. We never did subprime loans because I don’t believe in them.
2. What do you hope to accomplish by publishing Skullduggery?
To expose the REAL story about who caused the Financial Crisis. It was an artificially/politically induced boom and bust and the true architects of this disaster will stop at no lengths to stop the truth from becoming common knowledge because many of them still serve at the highest levels in Washington. If they aren’t exposed for the roles they played in this, it could and probably would happen again.
3. What has the response been like thus far?
From the left, the book has provoked insults, threats (including 2 death threats) and attacks on my web sites.
From the right, the book has received great responses and most purchases are now because of recommendations.
4. I’d like to go through the chain of events that led up to the Financial Crisis and if I understand what I’ve read from your book it began in 1995 and Barack Obama was involved. Could you tell us what happened at that time?
It actually started in 1977 with Jimmy Carter passing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). That Act was supposed to help mostly minorities that could not qualify under traditional mortgage parameters / rules as contained in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines.
Seeing as how mortgage defaults since records were kept back into the 1940s were less than 2%, it defied common sense as to why anyone would want to tinker with those obviously successful records. The banks refused to lower their lending standards and because Jimmy Carter was a milktoast president, the CRA just sat there, languished if you will, and served very little purpose other than symbolic and to provide the framework for what was to come decades later.
In 1995, there was a landmark lawsuit against Citibank by a Chicago law firm. It was initiated by housing activist and progressive lawyer Fay Clayton and backed by people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. The lawsuit revived interest in using the CRA to force banks to make loans, ironically that they could sell to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because the loans wouldn’t meet their guidelines. Banks only have so much money to lend for mortgage loans and because most of these banks were public companies, they had shereholders and Boards they had to answer to, both of whom resoundingly said “no” to subprime loans. But this 1995 lawsuit became a class action lawsuit with 186 litigants and extreme pressure was applied to the banks.
In 1997, Citibank settled out of court and the proverbial floodgate opened wide. The vast majority of people DO NOT KNOW that Barack Obama was one of the lawyers on that team in 1995 that basically were responsible for forcing the banks to lower their mortgage lending standards to what became known as subprime mortgages. I liken Barack Obama to the Little Dutch Boy who pulled his finger from the dike. At first it was just a trickle but soon turned into a tsunami that took down the U.S. and the global economies because of the millions of subprime mortgage ticking time bombs that had been sold to the world as AAA rated securities. (The ratings agencies like Standards & Poors and Moody’s were complicit in rating those MBS’s as AAA but that is a whole other story.)
Interestingly, the banks really only gave lip service to the mandates of the CRA until Bill Clinton had his treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, literally re-write the charters of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. allowing them for the first time ever to buy what we now know as subprime loans. That was in 1999 and the banks no longer had an excuse not to meet the quotas imposed on them by President Clinton. Janet Reno, his Attorney General, literally threatened the banks that didn’t meet their quotas that there would be fines, refusal of requests for new branch locations and more. The spigot opened wide and in less than a decade, the very predictable boom and bust ran its course, hence the Great Recession of 2007 to 2010. (Officially those are the dates but many people still are suffering from the meltdown because of losing their homes and / or their jobs.)
In what I think is supreme irony against the progressive liberals pushed this agenda, as few as 19 of those 186 clients (in the Chicago area) still own homes with clean credit ratings, following a decade in which Obama and other progressives pushed banks to provide mortgages to poor African Americans.
It’s also estimated that more than 50% of all minorities who used subprime mortgages lost their homes to foreclosure since 2007. The very people progressives wanted to help are the ones who were hurt the most. It calls to mind the cliche: “With friends like that, who needs enemies?”
5. Senator Dodd and Congressman Frank had a huge role in the loosening of bank lending standards the ultimately caused the housing crisis which is the root of the Financial Crisis. Could you explain what exactly went on?
See # 4 above! And, you now know that none other than Barack Obama as young attorney in Chicago was also quite instrumental in all the true reason for the Financial Crisis! Is it any wonder he went around proclaiming at EVERY opportunity as a young Senator and also as President, proclaiming that the Financial Crisis was caused by “Fat Cat Bankers, Greedy Wall Street and the Failed Policies of the Previous (George Bush) Administration.” It is a classic case of projection because Obama’s fingerprints are all over the Financial Crisis!!
In my book, Skullduggery!, Obama is #4 in my “Top 10 list of Chief Architects of the Financial Crisis.”
6. There is mention of a 63 page White Paper on other abuses by the mortgage industry. When was this Paper issued and what happened to it?
This paper by Pershing Square Capital came out May 2007 and is titled: Who’s Holding the Bag?” It is at the link below:
and was the main topic in my May 3rd, 2013 article at: http://www.thebrennerbrief.com/
What was done with these findings? Per the authors:
”We are in the process of identifying additional violations of NYS Insurance Laws. Stay Tuned. We are meeting with ‘the relevant congressional and regulatory authorities’ to focus attention on the problem.”
Those “attentions” would have gone to the NY State insurance commissioner and to either or both of the heads of the Senate Banking Committee (Chris Dodd) and the House Financial Services Committee (Barney Frank). Why was nothing done about this? Better yet, why was this white paper and its findings buried and who buried it? Those questions remain unanswered as part of the coverup of who and what caused the Financial Crisis.
7. I understand that the TARP bill that then Secretary of Treasury Paulson submitted to Congress on September 20, 2008 specifically limited the use of funds to purchasing mortgage related assets, in other words it was specifically intended to help homeowners who were underwater in their mortgages. Yet on October 19th, 2008 just 11 days after the TARP bill was passed the Treasury put $125 Billion into the nine largest banks and made another $125 Billion available to other banks that wanted to apply. This clearly was a bailout of the banks and did not help homeowners. What went on to cause this change of direction?
I have to surmise that only Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke know the answer.
Both of those men were involved in coercing President Bush and the select Senators and Representatives in that meeting into decisions that a select few people know about. I do know that the banks were all imploding due to what was deemed as “cross-collateralization” between all the largest banks. Here is a link to an article on that: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120657397294066915.htm
Note the date on that article: March 27th, 2008 This was 7 months before the well known emergency meeting that caused John McCain to suspend the November presidential election and rush back to Washington to be a part of hurried meeting that seemingly decided the fate of the nation’s policies of government choosing the winners and losers in a capitalistic free market society. The article is powerful and should be read by everyone.
8. Whatever went on in 2008 under a Republican administration did not change once the Democrats came into office. The new Treasury Secretary, Geithner, continued providing assistance to the big banks and seemed to disregard the homeowners TARP was supposedly passed to help. Since both Paulson and Geithner were both from big Wall Street firms do you think there is a problem having our Treasury Secretary and key members of the Federal Reserve be on some kind of revolving door between the government and Wall Street?
Absolutely! The cronyism between presidential cabinets (Democrats and Republicans) is obvious and these appointed positions are almost always filled with ex-Wall Street guys who have many friends at the highest levels of all the banks and investment banks!
9. Later on you indicate that a well known Hollywood actor and Director helped divert attention from the true causes of the Financial Crisis?
Here’s the passage on that in my book:
Hollywood far-lefties made a 2 hour movie “documentary” that is at best, incomplete. This movie, narrated by Matt Damon, infamous and outspoken liberal, narrates this farce of a coverup. This is the progressives of Hollywood attempt to support the corrupt politicians and activists efforts by bolstering the subterfuge that “fat-cat banks and greedy Wall Street companies” caused the meltdown. The movie goes to great lengths to explain the incestuous relationship between Wall Street and the NY banks and how they caused the meltdown. The movie actually does explain a great deal about the role that the banks and Wall Street played in exacerbating the meltdown. But there just is no escaping the fact that without the subprime mortgage leviathan created by social / political progressives, there would never have been a subprime mortgage bubble and the ensuing meltdown!
My suggestion? Go see this movie! Rent it… NetFlix it… but see it. It explains a lot and most of what’s in the movie is correct. However, as radio commentator Paul Harvey was famous for – the rest of the story – is conspicuously missing! Therefore, it is yet another effort from left-wing America, this time Hollywood, to deflect attention away from the true causes of the meltdown.
10. Everyone knows we have suffered from an unacceptably high unemployment rate in recent years. We went many months with unemployment above 8% but you indicate that was just the ‘reported rate’ and the true rate was much higher. Could you explain this?
Sure. The seldom reported Labor Participation rate is down to something like 63%, a generational low. The attached chart vivid shows that. This is the percent of people that want a job but that don’t have a job and have given up. If these numbers were included, the true unemployment rate would be around 14%. But the MSM media is complicit because they won’t cover this. Only FoxNews, their contributors and the WSJ talk about this. The real unemployment rate is truly quite bleak. No President has ever been re-elected with unemployment above 8% but because it was under-reported, Obama was the 1st one to do that.
11. It seems to me that the ‘too big to fail’ banks were a major cause in the financial crisis while our political leaders share a huge part of the responsibility. But today the biggest banks are bigger than ever and many of the same inept, or corrupt, political leaders are still in office. What can we do about this sorry state of affairs?
You hear a lot about the “low information voters” as the ones who elected and re-elected Obama. That isn’t a racist thing at all but the left slanders the right every time they try to use this argument to explain the polls that have been taken that prove most Obama voters just don’t know about things like the Labor Participation Rate or the IRs and Benghazi scandals. The answer to your question is therefore to educate the public but how conservatives go about doing that is something I don’t know the solution for.
12. That’s it for my questions, is there anything else you’d like to add that would provide a bit more information and make it clear to listeners why they should buy your book?
From my perspective, the most amazing thing about this Financial Crisis is that it was 100% perpetrated by liberals / progressives and it was and still is in many ways, disastrous to the economies of the world and to the very people (minorities) that progressives always say they are the party that looks them! But those very people… minorities, the low income groups and the people who can’t take care of themselves are the ones who suffered and are still suffering the most. The reality is that capitalism and entrepreneurship are the best and most successful systems in the world and have created the most wealth in the world. Wealthy people give quite generously to those groups so you would think, logically, that all people would want more of those wealthy people because of how much they return to society. yet the liberals continuously try to game the system and it never, ever works! Keynesian economic theory has never worked, not once in any economy in the world. Never. Not once. You would think that the liberals would figure that out but every single time they get in power, the far-left wish lists spring up again and again and they spend money like a drunken sailor. Milton Freidman, demand side economics works, not supply side Keynesian theory. Why can’t liberals see this and learn this?
Liberals caused this Great Recession yet they have successfully, this far, shifted the blame to Fat Cat Bankers, Greedy Wall Streeters and the Failed Policies of the previous (Bush II) Administration. I do a poll each quarter (my database is now up to close to 15,000 random people) through either www.surveymonkey.com or www.surveygizmo.com and the number of people that can correctly choose the right answer out of 8 possible answers to this question:
” What are the true causes of the Financial Crisis?” hovers around 7%!
That number proves my theory that there are a lot of low information voters out there, people who just don’t pay attention, read the right papers and books and magazines or watch FoxNews, the only network that tells the whole truth.
Lastly, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) was formed by Obama to study the true causes of the Financial Crisis. However he stacked the deck with a very liberal guy, Phill Angelides, as head of that commission and 6 liberals and 4 conservatives. You won’t believe who Phil Angelides is until you read the story at the link below. It’s my most recent @theBrennerBrief and is about the FCIC:
Obama gets away with anything because not enough people know the truth and this is but 1 more example!
So, you asked why people should buy my book? Because it is THE ONLY ONE that tells the truth, the whole truth and also comes from someone who was there inside both a Wall Street firm and the mortgage banking industry. I’m therefore arguably THE best whistleblower that could have written about this.
Ted, I really appreciate you being on the show and providing us with information about the incredible true story behind the Financial Crisis. I know there is a lot more information in your book, Skullduggery, so please tell the listeners where they can buy your book?
Sure David, Here are two links where people can go to my webpage and buy my book:
You can look at those and judge for yourself if you agree with me that 99% of people do NOT know much if any of this information!
If you agree, I think this data will infuriate a great number of people who soon will realize 3 things about the Financial Crisis:
1. It was orchestrated by Democrats!
2. Homebuyers were egregiously ripped off by banks, mortgage banks and mortgage brokers using loans with interest rates that were guaranteed to escalate rapidly, even precipitously.
3. Powerful people in Congress learned of these abuses in January 2002 (Professor Howell Jackson’s presentation to the Senate Banking Committee) and they buried it?!
Thanks Ted, you are correct, this really is provocative stuff and I hope readers will flock to buy your book and will get mad enough about what they read to actually do something about it.
Please remember, you can listen in to a live interview with Ted Krager on blog talk radio: www.blogtalkradio.com/angelsandwarriors Monday night, June 10th, at 7 p.m. California time. Rebroadcasts will be available after the live show. Just go to the same address and look for the previous shows of “Books and Politics.”