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Archive for July 24th, 2012

Give it a shot: localities could solve the housing mess

Posted by Charles II on July 24, 2012

Via Ritholtz, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi:

Something very interesting is happening.

There’s been so much corruption on Wall Street in recent years, and the federal government has appeared to be so deeply complicit in many of the problems, that many people have experienced something very like despair over the question of what to do about it all.

But there’s something brewing that looks like it might eventually turn into a blueprint to take on the financial services industry: a plan to allow local governments to take on the problem of neighborhoods blighted by toxic home loans and foreclosures through the use of eminent domain. I can’t speak for how well this program will work, but it’s certaily been effective in scaring the hell out of Wall Street.

Under the proposal, towns would essentially be seizing and condemning the man-made mess resulting from the housing bubble. Cooked up by a small group of businessmen and ex-venture capitalists, the audacious idea falls under the category of “That’s so crazy, it just might work!”

Since the Supreme Court has radically expanded the power of eminent domain to permit the seizure of homes for the incredibly important public purpose of building a shopping mall, doubtless they will feel constrained by shame not to reverse such a precedent so quickly.

Oh, that’s right. The Supreme Court has no shame.

Anyway, we will not get out of the depression until the housing crisis is resolved. It’s either wait for it to grind to an end by natural means or force the banks to resolve it by something like this scheme. I say give it a shot.

Posted in financial crisis, mortgage crisis | 2 Comments »

Up the Murdoch ladder: Coulson and Brooks charged

Posted by Charles II on July 24, 2012

Vikram Dodd, The Guardian:

British prosecutors say they have the evidence to prove there was a criminal conspiracy at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World newspaper involving former senior executives, including Andy Coulson [who went on to serve Tory PM Cameron] and Rebekah Brooks, to hack the phones of more than 600 people including the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

Prosecutors say other victims of hacking include former senior Labour cabinet ministers such as the former deputy prime minister John Prescott, two former home secretaries, David Blunkett and Charles Clarke, and the former culture secretary Tessa Jowell.

Also charged over phone hacking are Stuart Kuttner, former managing editor of the News of the World, Ian Edmondson, former news editor, Greg Miskiw, another former news editor, Neville Thurlbeck, former chief reporter, James Weatherup, former assistant news editor, and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

From the blog:

Each of the eight, with the exception of Glenn Mulcaire, will be charged with conspiring to intercept communications without lawful authority, from 3 October 2000 to 9 August 2006.

In addition, each will face a number of further charges of conspiracy unlawfully to intercept communications…

Posted in crimes, Rupert Murdoch, wiretapping | Comments Off on Up the Murdoch ladder: Coulson and Brooks charged

White Cops Go Rogue: Metro Gang Strike Force Victims Find Some Justice

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 24, 2012

The victims of Sideshow Bob Fletcher’s and Rich Stanek’s baby, the Metro Gang Strike Force — aka the license for (mainly white suburban and exurban) cops to loot and terrorize poor urban (and generally nonwhite) Twin Cities residents — have finally got some small measure of justice:

More than $840,000 was awarded Monday to 96 victims of illegal searches, seizures and use of excessive force by the now-defunct Metro Gang Strike Force, including a dozen juveniles who were targeted by a Brooklyn Park police officer.

The scandal-ridden gang unit, shut down by the Department of Public Safety three years ago this month, broke through people’s doors without justification, seized property without authorization and injured people who were not suspects, according to reports by Mark Gehan, a St. Paul attorney appointed as special master in the case.

The awards, ranging from $300 to $75,000, conclude the main phase in the 2010 settlement of a $3 million class-action lawsuit that allowed victims of the Strike Force’s misdeeds to apply for compensation, but only if they had had property taken.

Sideshow Bob Fletcher did his best to keep an audit of the Strike Force from happening, an audit whose release spurred the FBI to take action.

It was the fallout from this and Fletcher’s gross mishandling of the 2008 Republican National Convention that cost Fletcher his chance at re-election as Ramsey County Sheriff. Would that his fellow Republican Sheriff Rich Stanek would meet a similar fate.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

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