Thursday, March 29, 2018

Barclays Agrees to Pay $2 Billion in Civil Penalties to Resolve Claims for Fraud in the Sale of Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities

The United States has reached agreement with Barclays Capital, Inc. and several of its affiliates (together, Barclays) to settle a civil action filed in December 2016 in which the United States sought civil penalties for alleged conduct related to Barclays’ underwriting and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) between 2005 and 2007. Barclays will pay the United States two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) in civil penalties in exchange for dismissal of the Amended Complaint.

Following a three-year investigation, the complaint in the action, United States v. Barclays Capital, Inc., alleged that Barclays caused billions of dollars in losses to investors by engaging in a fraudulent scheme to sell 36 RMBS deals, and that it misled investors about the quality of the mortgage loans backing those deals. It alleged violations of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA), based on mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and other misconduct.

Agreement has also been reached with the two former Barclays executives who were named as defendants in the suit: Paul K. Menefee, of Austin, Texas, who served as Barclays’ head banker on its subprime RMBS securitizations, and John T. Carroll, of Port Washington, New York, who served as Barclays’ head trader for subprime loan acquisitions. In exchange for dismissal of the claims against them, Menefee and Carroll agree to pay the United States the combined sum of two million dollars ($2,000,000) in civil penalties.

The settlement was announced by Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Laura S. Wertheimer, Inspector General, of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of the Inspector General (FHFA-OIG).

“This settlement reflects the ongoing commitment of the Department of Justice, and this Office, to hold banks and other entities and individuals accountable for their fraudulent conduct,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “The substantial penalty Barclays and its executives have agreed to pay is an important step in recognizing the harm that was caused to the national economy and to investors in RMBS.”

“The actions of Barclays and the two individual defendants resulted in enormous losses to the investors who purchased the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities backed by defective loans,” stated FHFA-OIG Inspector General Wertheimer. “Today’s settlement holds accountable those who waste, steal or abuse funds in connection with FHFA or any of the entities it regulates. We are proud to have partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York on this matter.”

The scheme alleged in the complaint involved 36 RMBS deals in which over $31 billion worth of subprime and Alt-A mortgage loans were securitized, more than half of which loans defaulted. The complaint alleged that in publicly filed offering documents and in direct communications with investors and rating agencies, Barclays systematically and intentionally misrepresented key characteristics of the loans it included in these RMBS deals. In general, the borrowers whose loans backed these deals were significantly less creditworthy than Barclays represented, and these loans defaulted at exceptionally high rates early in the life of the deals. In addition, as alleged in the complaint, the mortgaged properties were systematically worth less than what Barclays represented to investors. These are allegations only, which the Defendants dispute, and there has been no trial or adjudication or judicial finding of any issue of fact or law.

The government’s case has been handled by this Office’s Civil Division. Senior Counsel F. Franklin Amanat, and Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew R. Belz, Charles S. Kleinberg, Evan P. Lestelle, Matthew J. Modafferi, Josephine M. Vella and Alex S. Weinberg have been in charge of the litigation. Mr. Donoghue thanks the FHFA-OIG for its assistance in conducting the investigation in this matter.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Former Reagan official Larry Kudlow to lead the National Economic Council

March 16,2018
one small voice


Washington DC, President Donald Trump has picked conservative economic commentator and former Reagan official Larry Kudlow to lead the National Economic Council, the White House confirmed Wednesday.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said the president extended the offer directly to Kudlow and that he has accepted the role.“Larry Kudlow was offered, and accepted, the position of Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council. We will work to have an orderly transition and will keep everyone posted on the timing of him officially assuming the role,” Sanders said in a statement.

Kudlow will replace Globalist Gary Cohn, long rumored to be on the way out ,resigned last week as the president's chief economic adviser after he lost his fight to stop Trump from imposing steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Kudlow has had an on again off again relationship with the president ,disagreeing on tariffs but embracing tax cuts . Kudlow is also very old school and has often taken issue periodically with the presidents take no prisoners attitude ,yet has remained a big proponent of the presidents policies.

Friday, March 09, 2018

BOOM : U.S. employers added 313,000 jobs in February

Trump Bump.  U.S. employers added 313,000 jobs in February, beating expectations for an increase of 200,000 jobs after January’s better-than-expected reading. The unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, while the labor force participation rate increased to 63%.

Sunday, March 04, 2018

SHARK TANK OPEN CASTING CALL

Attend an Open Call where you will be given the opportunity to do a 1-minute pitch of your business/product/idea to a member of the Casting Team — just like you would as if you were on the show. Come prepared to wow and dazzle us. Only the first 500 applicants are guaranteed to be seen so arrive early to secure your numbered wristband. Be advised: security may check your bag and you are responsible for your own parking. We do not validate. To apply at an Open Call you must have a completed Application Packet. Download the Application HERE and bring it with you to the Open Call.
It is imperative that you complete your Application prior to the Open Call because there are a lot of detailed questions on there that you may not have the answers to at the Open Call.
OPEN CALL NOTES:
– You will have time to go back to your vehicle after you receive your wristband to get any large or bulky props or equipment.
– There are no guarantees of access to power, internet or any other A/V equipment.
– You may only pitch one business, product or idea.

2018 CASTING CALL AUDITION SCHEDULE:
All Open Calls are open to the general public. As long as you arrive during the allotted “Numbered Wristbands Distributed” time and receive a wristband you will have the chance to pitch. There is no reason to camp out the night before. Please be respectful of the neighborhood in regards to trash and noise. If you have any questions please email us at casting@sharktanktv.com. We will get back to you as soon as we can. Please do NOT call the venue.

2018 CASTING CALL AUDITION SCHEDULE:
FRIDAY, MARCH 9th – LOS ANGELES / CABAZON, CA MORONGO CASINO, RESORT & SPA MORONGO BALLROOM 49500 Seminole Dr. Cabazon, CA 92230 9AM to 11AM – Wristbands Distributed 10AM – Interviews Begin

THURSDAY, MAY 10th – NEW YORK, NY TECHDAY NEW YORK @ PIER 94 711 12th Ave. (55th St. & West Side Hwy). NY, NY 10019 9AM to 11AM – Wristbands Distributed 10AM – Interviews Begin More open calls and cities to be announced.
OPEN CALL NOTES:
– You will have time to go back to your vehicle after you receive your wristband to get any large or bulky props or equipment. – There are no guarantees of access to power, internet or any other A/V equipment. – You may only pitch one business, product or idea. The sharks on the show include media entrepreneur Mark Cuban, real estate tycoon Barbara Corcoran, inventor Lori Greiner, technology entrepreneur Robert Herjavec, FUBU clothing line creator Daymond John and and educational software king Kevin O’Leary.