Southern New Hampshire Real Estate and Short Sales

2014 Real Estate - Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

2014 was an interesting year, complete with maddening absurdities courtesy of the CFPB and HUD, workplace rage and 12 myterious banking executive deaths.

First up, the CFPB.  You remember the CFPB, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren born of the Dodd-Frank act, whose stated goal is to "Make markets for consumer financial products work for Americans". 

These fearless warriors have been on the job all year long, raking in millions inHUD and CFPB Absurdity fines partially through accusing evil businesses (including mortgage lenders, title companies and real estate agents) of taking advantage of consumers through discriminatory practices and/or improper allocation of funds. 

Well, the CFPB apparently believes in "do as I say, not as I do" because while they were in the middle of rousting businesses for alleged discriminatory practices they themselves were being investigated for discrimination.  The major difference here is that while the companies being investigated by the CFPB ended up ponying up and paying big fines, the CFPB's initial reaction to being investigated by Congress was to symbolically flip them the bird by not showing up for the hearing.  Nice response...hmmm?

Second up, the CFPB.  Although they are known for their strict regulation of the money flow of lenders, they are not so good when it comes to tracking their own money flow.  A Government Accountability report last year indicating that they were not keeping good all...and gave a laundry list of areas they needed to improve 
The GAO report, apparently, did not inspire them to improve their record keeping since, when questions arose about why they were so far over budget on the $20 million dollar renovation of their headquarters, they just could not seem to put their hands on any of the documentation relating to how they spent that money. 
By the way, their renovation came in at $590/sf which definitely makes you say hmmm when you consider that the lavish Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas purportedly only cost $330/sf.

And, how is the CFPB doing with it's stated goal?  Not so good according to a report released by the Federal Reserve which concluded that the CFPB rules are driving down the number of loans that banks are making.  Hmmm.

The CFPB was not the only entity with oddities, HUD had a few, too.

You may remember that the FHA MI fund, the fund that is earmarked to subsidize "sick" FHA loans, dropped significantly at one point, plummeting to below the federally mandated level.  So, FHA not only took a bailout, they hiked their premiums 5 times over the last 3 years making the current MI premium so high that it is pricing many of the borrowers FHA was created to serve right out of the market. 
The rate hikes were ostensibly to replenish that MI fund but surprise, surprise, surprise.  It turns out that, in fact, the FHA MIP premiums actually fund government initiatives that have nothing to do with insuring FHA loans such as spending bills for transportation and housing programs.   Sounds like a money grab to me.  Hmmm...

Now on to the bizarre.  Ed DeMarco, the former acting Director of the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Authority) had to be moved to a "safe" house last spring because Richard Hornsby, the COO of FHFA threatened to kidnap and kill him and then kill himself.  This was allegedly over a poor performance review.
Perhaps HUD should have reallocated some of their MI funds for anger management classes....hmmm.

12 Mysterious Banker DeathsFinally, on to the truly spooky.  2014 was marked by a rash of suspicious deaths in the banking industry.  Twelve executives with ties to the banking industry (5 were currently or previously with JP Morgan Chase) allegedly committed suicide in the twelve months of 2014. 

William Broeksmit - senior executive with Deutsche Bank was found hanging in his home.
Gabriel Magee - A VP with JP Morgan Chase "fell" from the roof of Chase headquarters in London.
Mike Dueker - Chief Economist at Russell Investments and former Federal Reserve Economist committed suicide by jumping a fence and throwing himself down a 50 foot embankment.
Richard Talley - founder of American Title and former Regional Financial Officer for Drexel, Burnham, Lambert chose death by nail gun.
Ryan Henry Crane - Another Chase exec died under suspicious circumstances.  His death is being called a suicide but no details have been released.
Dennis Li Junjie - Another Chase exec leapt to his death from the Chase Headquarters in Hong Kong.
James Stuart, Jr. - Former National Bank of Commerce CEO was found dead.
Eddie Reilly - A trader with Vertical Group chose to jump in front of a train.
Ken Ballondo - formerly of Chase jumped to his death.
Jan Peter Schmittman - former CEO of ABN AMRO was found dead in his home along with his wife and daughter. The deaths were ruled murder-suicide.
Julian Knott - yet another Chase Director allegedly shot his wife before turning the gun on himself.
Shawn Miller - An Executive with Citigroup was found in his apartment with his throat and wrists slashed.  His death was also ruled a suicide.

Twelve dead bankers in twelve months?  Does that seem odd to anyone else?  Hmmm...


Comment balloon 7 commentsJoy Baker • January 08 2015 02:42PM
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