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OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchables" (Wall St.) 10 pm

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Post#1 OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchables&qu
Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:39 pm by HarthorneWingo

Tonight at 10 pm on PBS.

Frontline is one of my most favorite shows. The one last week on Obama's presidency was excellent and very fair IMO. Tonight's show is on Wall Street and the financial collapse for those who are interested.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline ... he-f-bomb/

“Fraud Was … the F-Bomb”
January 22, 2013, 10:29 am ET by Jason M. Breslow


To hear some on Wall Street tell it, no one saw the financial crisis coming. As Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, explained to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, “In mortgage underwriting, somehow we just missed … that home prices don’t go up forever.”

Others were less confident. In fact, well before the housing bubble burst, alarm bells were starting to sound among key players in the mortgage industry: due diligence underwriters.

Due diligence underwriters are paid by banks to assess the risk of buying mortgage portfolios. In the run-up to the crisis, they were among the first to suspect that loosening loan standards could pose a potentially catastrophic threat to the economy.

Several due diligence underwriters — most speaking publicly for the first time — told FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith that it wasn’t uncommon to see school teachers claiming salaries of $12,000 a month on their mortgage applications, or electricians moving from $500 a month in rent to homes worth $650,000. The only problem — their supervisors didn’t seem to want to hear about it.

“Fraud in the due diligence world, fraud was the F-word or the F-bomb,” said Tom Leonard. “You didn’t use that word,”

One of Leonard’s peers, Eileen Loiacono, saw much of the same.

“You couldn’t say the word ‘fraud’ because we couldn’t prove that it was fraud. … Even if we suspected, we had to say, ‘This appears to be incorrect.’ You would never say, ‘This looks fraudulent.’”

In The Untouchables, premiering tonight, FRONTLINE examines why not one Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for fraud tied to the sale of bad mortgages. Through interviews with prosecutors, government officials and industry whistleblowers, the film raises new questions over whether senior bankers either ignored or contributed to fraud while inflating the bubble through the purchase and securitization of shoddy loans.

The Untouchables airs tonight on most PBS stations, (check your local listings here) or you can watch it online, starting at 10 pm EST.
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Post#2 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:46 pm by Daaaarryyl

How strange. I'm in my bedroom where I only have broadcast TV (cable in LR) and am actually watching PBS (The Abolitionists) while surfing the net and was just wondering what to watch next.

Thanks, I'll definately check that out!!
Bulls69 wrote:The think about the Bulls we realizes we sucks but the Knicks on the other hand think everyone wants to play a garbage a** team. get real a team who has not won a win in over thirty -five years


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Post#3 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:50 pm by mrpoetryNmotion

Thanks for the heads up.
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Post#4 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:01 pm by HarthorneWingo

Yep.

The narrator sounds like John Facenda from NFL films ... lol.
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Post#5 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:49 pm by duetta

Daaaarryyl wrote:How strange. I'm in my bedroom where I only have broadcast TV (cable in LR) and am actually watching PBS (The Abolitionists) while surfing the net and was just wondering what to watch next.


That final episode of the The Abolitionists was extremely moving - and learned quite a bit that I didn't know.
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Post#6 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:56 pm by Daaaarryyl

Very good hawthorne, what's on next?
Bulls69 wrote:The think about the Bulls we realizes we sucks but the Knicks on the other hand think everyone wants to play a garbage a** team. get real a team who has not won a win in over thirty -five years


Less Bulls, MORE books!!
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Post#7 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:57 pm by Daaaarryyl

Seriously though, I used to watch Frontline years ago and I kind of forgot how good of a show it is.
Bulls69 wrote:The think about the Bulls we realizes we sucks but the Knicks on the other hand think everyone wants to play a garbage a** team. get real a team who has not won a win in over thirty -five years


Less Bulls, MORE books!!
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Post#8 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:04 pm by Daaaarryyl

duetta wrote:
Daaaarryyl wrote:How strange. I'm in my bedroom where I only have broadcast TV (cable in LR) and am actually watching PBS (The Abolitionists) while surfing the net and was just wondering what to watch next.


That final episode of the The Abolitionists was extremely moving - and learned quite a bit that I didn't know.


Ya know what sucks, I didn't really get a chance to follow the whole thing between a phone call and myself reading (here) when I should have paid 100% attention instead.

I was particularly interested in Douglas' relationship with Lincoln. From books I've read he opposed much of what Lincoln did for political reasons and doubted he would go through with the Amancipation even though he felt Lincoln wanted to.

I'm going to have to DVR it to watch it in full.
Bulls69 wrote:The think about the Bulls we realizes we sucks but the Knicks on the other hand think everyone wants to play a garbage a** team. get real a team who has not won a win in over thirty -five years


Less Bulls, MORE books!!
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Post#9 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:34 pm by HarthorneWingo

Daaaarryyl wrote:Very good hawthorne, what's on next?



:lol: Glad you enjoyed. (I'm switching between The Colbert Report and The Young Turks on Current TV.)

Good show, huh? That Lanny Breuer is a piece of shyt.
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Post#10 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:35 pm by HarthorneWingo

Daaaarryyl wrote:Seriously though, I used to watch Frontline years ago and I kind of forgot how good of a show it is.



The narrator sounds like Facenda, doesn't he?
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Post#11 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:36 pm by Daaaarryyl

HawthorneWingo wrote:
Daaaarryyl wrote:Seriously though, I used to watch Frontline years ago and I kind of forgot how good of a show it is.



The narrator sounds like Facenda, doesn't he?

Yeah :lol:
Bulls69 wrote:The think about the Bulls we realizes we sucks but the Knicks on the other hand think everyone wants to play a garbage a** team. get real a team who has not won a win in over thirty -five years


Less Bulls, MORE books!!
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Post#12 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:43 pm by HarthorneWingo

Daaaarryyl wrote:
HawthorneWingo wrote:
Daaaarryyl wrote:Seriously though, I used to watch Frontline years ago and I kind of forgot how good of a show it is.



The narrator sounds like Facenda, doesn't he?

Yeah :lol:



"From the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field to executive offices on Wall St."
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Post#13 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:50 pm by Daaaarryyl

LMAO
Bulls69 wrote:The think about the Bulls we realizes we sucks but the Knicks on the other hand think everyone wants to play a garbage a** team. get real a team who has not won a win in over thirty -five years


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Post#14 Re: OT: Frontline (PBS) "The Untouchable
Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:05 pm by HarthorneWingo

LOL. For those who watched this episode, prosecutor Lanny Breuer, head of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, has abruptly resigned after this Frontline.

http://my.firedoglake.com/masaccio/2013 ... hen-quits/

Breuer Identifies Real Clients on Frontline then Quits
By: masaccio Wednesday January 23, 2013 4:03 pm


Lanny Breuer is out as head of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, according to the Washington Post. After his ratlike performance on Frontline (transcript here) it won’t be long before we find him at some creepy New York or DC law firm defending his best friends, the banks and their sleazy employees. His legacy is simple: too big to fail banks can’t possibly commit crimes, so minor civil fines and false promises of reform are punishment enough. Jamie Dimon couldn’t have put it better.

Breuer tried his best to dodge questions about why he violated his promise to Senator Kaufman that he was actually conducting an investigation of Wall Street fraud. Martin Smith, the interviewer, asks:

"We spoke to a couple of sources from within the fraud section of the Criminal Division, and through mid-2010 they reported that when it came to Wall Street, there were no investigations going on; there were no subpoenas, no document reviews, no wiretaps."

Breuer responds: “we looked very hard at the types of matters that you’re talking about.” He doesn’t deny that there were no investigations; no subpoenas, no document reviews, no wiretaps. Instead, he tries to shift the subject to his pointless insider trading cases, his Ponzi cases, the Lee Farkas case (the mortgage firm Taylor, Whitaker and Bean), and a few hapless mortgage originator cases, and even a policeman defrauded by some fraud or other. Smith won’t let that pass. Eventually we get to the heart of the problem to Breuer:

"But in those cases where we can’t bring a criminal case — and federal criminal cases are hard to bring — I have to prove that you had the specific intent to defraud. I have to prove that the counterparty, the other side of the transaction, relied on your misrepresentation. If we cannot establish that, then we can’t bring a criminal case."

But in reality, in a criminal case, we have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt — not a preponderance, not 51 percent — beyond any reasonable doubt that a crime was committed. And I have to prove not only that you made a false statement but that you intended to commit a crime, and also that the other side of the transaction relied on what you were saying. And frankly, in many of the securitizations and the kinds of transactions we’re talking about, in reality you had very sophisticated counterparties on both sides.

Smith says “You do have plaintiffs who will come forward and say that they relied on the reps and warranties, and they relied on the due diligence claims that were made by the bank.”

Breuer keeps talking, but he can’t worm out of this one. Smith then says:

“We’ve spoken to people inside the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group who said that when they began their work in January, February, March of 2012 that they found nothing at the Justice Department in the pipeline, no ongoing cases looking at securitization.”

And lest we forget, Lanny reminds us that these cases have ramifications for the rest of the bank. I don’t know who told Breuer that indicting the investment banking arm of a megabank would destroy the bank, but that’s a piece of idiocy that he claims to believe. This is from a speech he gave last September:

In my conference room, over the years, I have heard sober predictions that a company or bank might fail if we indict, that innocent employees could lose their jobs, that entire industries may be affected, and even that global markets will feel the effects. Sometimes – though, let me stress, not always – these presentations are compelling. In reaching every charging decision, we must take into account the effect of an indictment on innocent employees and shareholders, just as we must take into account the nature of the crimes committed and the pervasiveness of the misconduct. I personally feel that it’s my duty to consider whether individual employees with no responsibility for, or knowledge of, misconduct committed by others in the same company are going to lose their livelihood if we indict the corporation. In large multi-national companies, the jobs of tens of thousands of employees can be at stake. And, in some cases, the health of an industry or the markets are a real factor. Those are the kinds of considerations in white collar crime cases that literally keep me up at night, and which must play a role in responsible enforcement.

This concern is so touching. Too bad he and his team of responsible enforcers never thought about the impact on the families of Aaron Swarz, or any of the countless people serving time for possessing pot, or whistleblowers like John Kirakou and Thomas Drake.

The persistent questioning exposes Breuer’s idea of a hard look: he and his crack prosecutors read the offering documents and let the lawyers for the crooks explain why they make it just fine. They don’t need to issue subpoenas for e-mails that drive the civil cases filed by retirement funds and hedge funds that got screwed by the megabanks. They don’t need to haul the clerks and the functionaries into Grand Juries and find out what they knew and who they told. They don’t need to work up the chain to their bosses and on to the top. They don’t need to identify the lawyers from those white shoe firms that wrote those weasel words into the documents, haul them into the Grand Jury room and find out exactly what they knew and what those words meant. And most important, there is no need to let a jury decide their guilt. Breuer does all that for us.

Breuer is sleazy. But remember, he takes his orders from Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama. This administration refuses to prosecute.
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