Here come the Feds....

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by flytiger, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. It usually takes quite a while to convene a Grand Jury. Somehow, I don't think it's too difficult to get a Judge and Jury to question anything to do w/Wall St.

    Freddie Mac Receives Federal Grand Jury Subpoena and Securities and Exchange Commission Inquiry

    September 29, 2008: 09:14 AM EST

    MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) received on Friday, September 26, 2008 a federal grand jury subpoena from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Also on Friday, September 26, 2008, Freddie Mac received from the Staff of the Enforcement Division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission notice indicating that the Enforcement Division is also conducting an inquiry, and directing the Company to preserve documents. The subpoena seeks documents relating to accounting, disclosure and corporate governance matters for the period January 1, 2007 to the present. Freddie Mac will cooperate fully in these matters.
    Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac raises capital on Wall Street and throughout the world’s capital markets to finance mortgages for families across America. Over the years, Freddie Mac has made home possible for one in six homebuyers and more than five million renters.
    SOURCE Freddie Mac
  2. It is not a stretch that gov't policies created the very criminals that they are now pursuing. Lending was not based on financial prudence but on social policy.
  3. There's no limit on who goes down. They'll be the hedgefunds who were 'right', but cheated, officials, and politicians. No limit. Politicians cannot help themselves. They will act only in their interests.

    Do you need a better example than Duke Cunningham? Shot down 4 migs in one day. Yet thought, when he was a Congressman, that selling influence was OK

    We are all going to pay an awful price. Some won't make it. Let's all hope that what emerges is a financial system that sees fraud as the cancer that it is.

    One suicide in UK this weekend. That body count is going to look like a hellfire strike on an Al Queda stronghold.

    Please, miscreants, don't hold back.
  4. Are gov't policies to blame for the GSEs' shady accounting practices?
  5. Yes. See Ritholtz in Barron's. Yes, Most definitely.

    I expect Criminals to steal, or at least try to. I expect regulators to stop them, or at least try to. To not try is criminal. That will be next. How will you feel, seeing arrests of high profiled elite?

    However, an agent once told me, 'you get to talk about it. We have to prove it." Seeing subpoenas is, in itself, a huge statement that they have showed a Judge and a Grand Jury evidence that Federal Laws have been broken. No one can know what is being discussed. If a jury member leaks any info, he's committed a crime. However, you can know the basic law, and realize what it is you are seeing.
  6. I'm sure they'll try to claim that in their kitchen sink defense. We'll see if it flies.
  7. OF COURSE this was going to happen.....someone from the "INSIDE" has to go in and SECURE the evidence of authorized illegal activities. :eek:

    Maybe the DOJ can HIDE the evidence in our next WTC Bldg 7...... :eek: wink, wink
  8. What you will see is, a line...... They're all pussies, and they'll be giving each other up so fast, if you're not first in line, you'll have nothing to offer.

    You know there are subpoenas out at the hedge funds. Do you think someone making 40 a year answering phones doesnt resent traders making 20 million? Do you thnk the guy making 20 mill is going down for the boss? Nope. And then, you'll get the soapbox, Huey Long type political speech with the fingers a wavin'........'these scurrilous wags' ( the ones who were great while they wre passing out the money) ' will pay for these horrible crimes against the American people." Expect to hear "American People" about a million times.
  9. Perp Street
    Alan M. Dershowitz 09.30.08, 12:01 AM ET
    The biggest growth industry on Wall Street these days is the white collar criminal law firm. As Wall Street financial firms crumble, Wall Street law firms--especially those with litigation departments populated by former U.S. attorneys--will prosper.

    The FBI recently announced that it has opened preliminary investigations into possible fraud involving Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG. This is on top of the two dozen or so cases that had been opened earlier. This means hundreds of Wall Street bankers are currently under investigation. All of them need lawyers.
    The New York Times reported that the FBI was "under pressure to look at possible criminal activity in the financial markets." Such pressure almost always follows financial catastrophes.
    Throughout history, criminal law has generally operated backward: A murder victim is found and a search begins for the murderer. "Who killed Cock Robin?" is the question most often asked by criminal law.
    With financial corpses littering Wall Street, it was inevitable that the search for perps would begin. There is an enormous difference, however, between looking for murderers and looking for financial predators. The law of murder is clear--it requires a willful act by a defendant who intended to kill and whose act caused the death of the victim.
    The laws regulating financial manipulation are anything but clear. The government's weapon of choice in such cases is mail fraud--an accordion-like and elastic law if there ever was one. To constitute mail fraud, the underlying conduct need not even be criminal--that is, it need not be prohibited by any specific provision of criminal law. It is enough that it may deprive the employee of the defendant of his "honest services," whatever that may mean.
    Over the years, this phrase has been stretched beyond the breaking point to include disclosure of confidential material, billing irregularities and violations of the internal guidelines of private companies. As Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the FBI, "if people were cooking the books, manipulating, doing things they were not supposed to do, then I want people held responsible."
    The essence of fair criminal law, however, is adequate notice to the defendant that his actions were criminal, not merely that he was doing something he was "not supposed to do." If the law wants to make it a crime to "manipulate" then it should define that concept and make it a specific crime rather than including it within the vague concept of fraud, or the even vaguer concept of honest services.
    There is a considerable risk of scapegoating individuals who honestly believed they were going right up to the line but not over it. After an economic catastrophe, there is a tendency to move the goal posts and to make criminal that which was deemed acceptable before the catastrophe, but is now--retroactively--regarded as something investment bankers "were not supposed to do." This violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the constitutional prohibition against ex-post facto laws.
    It is not easy to generate public sympathy for former "masters of the universe"--whiz kids who made tens, sometimes hundreds, of millions of dollars by taking risks that ended up costing taxpayers billions--all while they kept their bonuses and profits. But sympathy is not the issue. Potential misuse of criminal law is. If government is given the power to redefine crimes in order to retroactively punish previously lawful predatory conduct, we are all at risk.
    That is why white collar criminal lawyers are busy preparing their clients for investigations, subpoenas and flipping witnesses. The race to the courthouse has already begun, with lawyers trying to be the first to offer up their clients as witnesses against former friends and colleagues, instead of themselves becoming defendants. The race, however, is not always to the swiftest but rather to the lowest on the totem pole--the underling who can provide evidence or testimony against the higher ups. The first rule of criminality in the U.S. is "always commit crimes with people more important than you are, so that you can turn them in rather than having them turn you in!"
    So, a word to the formerly wise Wall Street whiz kids. Watch out for your friends. Pick your lawyers wisely. Make sure they are representing you and you alone--not your company. And hope and pray that you are not targeted as one of the scapegoats for the mortgage meltdown.
    Alan M. Dershowitz is a professor of law at Harvard. His most recent book, The Case Against Israel's Enemies: Exposing Jimmy Carter and Others Who Stand In The Way of Peace, is being published by Wiley in early October.
  10. I like Alan.

    " a crime to "manipulate" then it should define that concept and make it a specific crime rather than including it within the vague concept of fraud,"

    This is a problematic statement regarding defining upcoming changes to include naked shorting as fraud. He is asking for specifics.

    If you take two companies and both have naked shorting issues, one co fails and goes out of business but the other doesn't how do you define naked shorting as fraud and manipulating and destroying one but not the other.

    You cannot use add on or contributing arguements for failure of one but not the other. You must be specific and a direct consequence of naked short to cause the failure. Otherwise, it is not manipulating and fraud specifically caused by naked shorting that resulted in failure.
    #10     Sep 30, 2008