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Economic News

Eric Holder misled Americans about mortgage fraud

Eric Holder has overstated facts about the mortgage fraud task force formed to seek out and punish wrongdoing, raising additional questions about the crisis.



eric holder

eric holder

Eric Holder’s statements about the mortgage crisis

Near the end of the day last Friday, the Justice Department acknowledged that statements made by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the Mortgage Fraud Working Group were wildly overstated. This task force was elite and designed to finally punish the perpetrators of the widespread fraud, be they entry level clerks or big bank CEOs, threatening financial penalties and even jail time.

  • Last year, Holder stated that 530 people were criminally charged as a result of the year-long investigation, but the Justice Department clarified that only 107 people were charged.
  • Holder had also stated that over 73,000 homeowners had been found victimized by mortgage fraud but the Justice Department states the number from the investigation never exceeded 17,185.
  • Holder stated that losses resulting from the fraud cost American homeowners $1 billion, which has now been revised to only $95 million.

So why are these revised numbers now public? Bloomberg investigated Holder’s claims and noticed the numbers were off, even discovering that they were counting cases in their tally that took place before Obama was even in office. Bloomberg’s Jonathan Weil requested a list of all 530 people allegedly charged and was told it was forthcoming but the list never materialized. Weil is now calling for Holder to apologize publicly.

Weil wrote, “What a charade. No wonder the government found it so difficult to bring a meaningful number of accounting-fraud cases against bank executives after the financial crisis. Its own books were cooked.”

A broken record

Does this all sound familiar to you? It should. Weil reports that Holder’s Justice Department did this dance in 2010 when results of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (“Operation Broken Trust” which included mortgage-fraud investigations), offering up impressive numbers of how many people would be punished, but when Weil investigated the names of those charged, they were, as Weil calls them, “small-fry, penny-ante fraud cases that had nothing to do with one another.”

Again, Weil found proof that the Department was using cases that pre-dated the task force, some cases that had nothing to do with the task force, and even one person who had no record of any charges filed. Weil notes these numbers have yet to be restated or revised.

So why the song and dance? This administration has been under fire for not going after the big wigs in charge of the financial crisis, so trumping up task force results make it appear that there is a tough attitude, a zero-tolerance policy in the White House toward financial crimes.

Weil stated, “Holder needs to come forward and explain exactly how this happened and why. He used a press conference with the cameras rolling to give out numbers that proved to be false — and they appear to have been willfully false. He should be just as eager to hold another press conference to set the record straight, answer any questions about his apparent sleight of hand when it comes to financial-fraud metrics and apologize to the American people.”

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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  1. rolandestrada

    August 12, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    You mean Eric Holder is crooked? That can’t possibly be!! He’s a Democrat. I thought they are all angelic and beyond reproach. 😉

    • TruthfulVet82

      September 8, 2013 at 2:04 am

      Gee you must be a Racist and Homophobic, because that’s what Democrat Leaders, Legislators, and the American Liberal Obama Media Machine would say….You must be one of those Racist Republicans like Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King Jnr. for Bad-Mouthing Obama’s Made Crime Boss, Eric Holder. Why Black people can do no wrong while Barack Obama is our President…If you don’t believe me then just ask NBC, CBS, CNN or ABC or Chris Mathews of CNBC, that they will tell you all day long that anything that is said to be critical of the Obama Administration is nothing but Racism. Mean while, unemployment for Blacks in America after six years of the Black Messiah in the Oval Office has brought us 25% Unemployment, and has put a disproportionately high percentage of Black Americans as part of the 80% of Americans in Poverty.

      Not to mention that Gasoline Prices at the Pump has risen by 100% from when Bush was President, and Obama has been responsible for a weak Energy Policy along with higher taxes, and higher costs for Health Insurance with Obama-Care that is Unconstitutional. Obama is illegally using the IRS to attack American People’s Liberty and Freedom to illegally fine individual Americans who opt out of Obama-Care, while permanently exempting Members of Congress, and their Staff. Then the SOB has the Brass Ones for delaying the implementation of Obama-Care Enforcement with Corporate America, so he can enjoy Political gains through Corruption with his Chicago Crime Family Style Administration for creating problems for American Citizens while claiming he is against those policies, and how Obama is also trying his best to combat all of these problems that he again created.

      It is amazing that Obama is blaming all of America’s problems on Bush, Republicans, Racism, White People, and now our Dubious President is blaming the World for the Syrian Crisis.

  2. Hank Miller

    August 13, 2013 at 8:34 am

    This is really shocking, hard to believe. Holder has such a great track record….makes you long for Janet Reno. Doesn’t matter which party has the reins, government is designed to achieve gridlock; it preserves jobs and allows the nonsense to continue.

  3. TruthfulVet82

    September 8, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Eric Holder was indicted by Black Democrat Senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigating Holder, and Obama for giving Guns to Mexican cartel who in turn used them to kill two American Border Guards, and thousands of Mexicans on both sides of the Border of Mexico. Eric Holder illegally misused Government Funds, and misused the DOJ to go on a Witch Hunt to Shot-Gun his Position as the Attorney General to Racially impede the Investigation of a Shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman after Zimmerman was found innocent by Police, and the District Attorney where the shooting took place in Sanford, Florida. Eric Holder is clearly a member of the Obama Crime Syndacate of Chicago, so it comes as no surprise that Eric Holder has misled the American People about the Mortgage Crisis, that Obama gained with a Real Estate Deal facilitated by the former CEO of Freddie-Mac who also misled the American People, but landed safely on his feet with the help of a 100 Million Dollar Gold Parachute provided with the blessings of Democrat Congressional Oversight of the Mortgage Industry’s Barney Frank.

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Economic News

Is the real estate industry endorsing Carson’s nomination to HUD?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ben Carson’s initial appointment to HUD was controversial given his lack of experience in housing, but what is the pulse now?



NAR strongly backs Dr. Carson’s nomination

When President-Elect Donald Trump put forth Dr. Ben Carson’s name as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, NAR President William E. Brown said, “While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans.”

At the time of nomination, the National Association of Realtors (the largest trade organization in the nation) offered a positive tone regarding Dr. Carson and said the industry looks forward to working with him. But does that hold true today?

The confirmation hearings yesterday were far less controversial than one would expect, especially in light of how many initially reacted to his nomination. Given his lack of experience in housing, questions seemed to often center around protecting the LGBT community and veterans, both of which he pledged to support.

In fact, Dr. Carson said the Fair Housing Act is “one of the best pieces of legislation we’ve ever had in this country,” promising to issue a “world-class plan” for housing upon his confirmation…

>>>>>Click to continue reading…<<<<<


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Economic News

Job openings hit 14-year high, signaling economic improvement

The volume of job openings is improving, but not across all industries. The overall economy is improving, but not evenly across all career paths.



young executives

job openings

Job openings hit a high point

To understand the overall business climate, the U.S. Labor Department studies employment, today releasing data specific to job vacancies. According to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) for April, job openings rose to 5.38 million, the highest seen since December 2000, and a significant jump from March’s 5.11 million vacancies. Although a lagging indicator, it shows strength in the labor market.

The Labor Department reports that the number of hires in April fell to 5 million, which indicates a weak point in the strong report, and although the volume remains near recent highs, this indicates a talent gap and highlights the number of people who have left the labor market and given up on looking for a job.

Good news, bad news, depending on your profession

That said, another recent Department report notes that employers added 221,000 jobs in April and 280,000 in May, but the additions are not evenly spread across industries. Construction jobs rose in April, but dipped in professional and business services, hospitality, trade, and transportation utilities. In other words, white collar jobs are down, blue collar jobs are up, which is good or bad news depending on your profession.

Additionally, the volume of people quitting their jobs was 2.7 million in April compared to the seven-year high of 2.8 million in March. Economists follow this number as a metric for gauging employee confidence in finding their next job.

What’s next

If you’re in the market for a job, there are an increasing number of openings, so your chance of getting hired is improving, but there is a caveat – not all industries are enjoying improvement.

If you’re hiring talent, you’ll still get endless resumes, but there appears to be a growing talent gap for non-labor jobs, so you’re not alone in struggling to find the right candidate.

Economists suspect the jobs market will continue to improve as a whole, but this data does not pertain to every industry.


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Economic News

Gas prices are down, so are gas taxes about to go up?

Do low gas prices mean higher gas taxes are on the way? Budgeting for 2015 just got a bit more complicated, if some politicians have their way.



gas tax


Gas taxes and your bottom line

Many industries rely heavily on time in their vehicle, not just truck drivers and delivery trucks. Sales professionals hop in their vehicles throughout the day, as do many other types of professionals (service providers like plumbers, and so forth). For that reason, gas prices and taxes are a relevant line item that must be budgeted for 2015, but with politicians making the rounds to push for higher gas taxes, budgeting becomes more complicated.

Gas prices are down roughly 50 cents per gallon compared to a year ago, which some analysts say have contributed to more money in consumers’ pockets. Some believe that this will improve holiday sales, but others believe the timing is just right to increase federal taxes on gas. The current tax on gas is 18.40 cents per gallon, and on diesel are 24.40 cents per gallon.


Supporters and opponents are polar opposites

Supporters argue as follows: gas prices are low, so it won’t hurt to increase federal gas taxes, in fact, those funds must go toward improving our infrastructure, which in the long run, saves Americans money because smoother roads mean better gas mileage and less congestion.

Gas taxes have long been a polarizing concept, and despite lowered gas prices, the controversial nature of the taxes have not diminished.

While some are pushing for complete abolition of federal gas taxes, others, like former Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell (D) tell CNBC, “Say that cost the average driver $130 a year. They would get a return on that investment” in safer roads and increased quality of life, he added.

The Washington Post‘s Chris Mooney points out that federal gas taxes have been “stuck” at 18 cents for over 20 years, last raised when gas was barely a dollar a gallon and that the tax must increase not only to improve the infrastructure, but to “green” our behavior, and help our nation find tax reform compromise.

Is a gas tax politically plausible?

Mooney writes, “So, this is not an argument that a gas tax raise is politically plausible — any more than a economically efficient tax on carbon would be. It’s merely a suggestion that — ignoring politics — it might be a pretty good idea.”

Rendell noted, “The World Economic Forum, 10 years ago, rated us the best infrastructure in the world,” adding that we “need to do something for our infrastructure, not in a one or two year period, but over a decade.”

Others would note that this rating has not crumbled in just a few years, that despite many bridges and roads in need of repair, our infrastructure is still superior to even the most civilized nations.

Regardless of the reasons, most believe that Congress won’t touch this issue with a ten-foot pole, especially leading up to another Presidential campaign season starting next year.

“I think it’s too toxic and continues to be too toxic,” Steve LaTourette (the former Republican congressman best known for his close friendship with his fellow Ohioan, Speaker John Boehner) tells The Atlantic. “I see no political will to get this done.”

Whether the time is fortuitous or not, and regardless of the positive side effects, many point to a fear of voters’ retaliation against any politician siding with a gas hike, so this matter going any further than the proposal stage is unlikely.

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