I thought a story on mortgage fraud would be appropriate today since the largest bank in the United States, Bank of America, has agreed to pay $140 million after a government probe. BofA pleaded guilty to being involved in conspiracies to rig bids on the contracts over U.S. bonds.
“The US Department of Justice says Bank of America employees were involved in illegal conduct including a conspiracy to rig bids on investments linked to municipal bonds.” – Bank of America Admits Fraud
I’ve been noticing on various message boards there are many people who still take the position in defense of banks as if Americans who obtained mortgages are the perpetrators of crime and deserve to be foreclosed upon. The general perception of these people is the borrowers shouldn’t have taken out a mortgage for a home they couldn’t afford. The reality is few people can really afford any home these days because few know what the future holds for their jobs in the shaky U.S. economy.
People who think the banking crises in America is due to those who took advantage of banks are ignorant of the facts, probably the types who always believe anything they’re told by authority figures. The reality is the banks made a killing during the real estate boom by reselling the borrower’s mortgages in the derivatives market. The reason banks offered easy no question home loans is they could actually make more money in the derivatives market. Banks also coordinated inflated appraisals of properties in order to make it appear the property assets on their books was higher then it was.
I’ve spoken with a few intelligent educated people who truly believe it’s the borrower’s own fault and that banks are the victim of spoiled Americans. ”They should have known they couldn’t afford the home, now I the taxpayer have to bail out these people” is the common belief. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A couple years ago when an attorney at the law firm of Chapman & Cutler in San Francisco expressed this attitude to me, I had no rhetorical response. Today it’s very easy to denote evidence that the profitable derivatives market is why banks provided easy no question loans to people.
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