Pandoroz Box of Commentary

August 3, 2012

Economy deteriorates, Repeal NAFTA & Clean House

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Pandoroz Box @ 10:13 pm





Federal Reserve Says U.S. Economy Is Losing Strength Offering Little Encouragement                                

Commented Aug 2, 2012 at 06:25:54 in Business HuffPost.

“If you want to help main street get jobs, demand they Repeal NAFTA Bill H.R.4759 it was in the House June 2011 but it left MIA, so bring it back & CLEAN HOUSE, As long as Bernanke & Geithner remain, there will be little significant improvement on Wall St. in terms of regulation & reform. No accountability. They traded effective Wall St.reform for health care support.
You want job creation demand they repeal NAFTA. It stalled in the house June 2011 revive it. We need jobs more then we need the ability to buy cheap jeans & tshirts. President Obama wants to pass free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Colombia & give more power to the Corporations. He says he wants job creation, if that were true he’d support repealing NAFTA.
These Corporations are making nice profit margins by keeping NAFTA as it is; by outsourcing jobs to other countries at cheaper labor costs = higher profit margins. Whose profits are they protecting, these are jobs that we need HERE in the US. We need to demand they clean house YES, audit of the Feds, good place to start albeit 3 yrs late. then audit US Treasury & SEC. The Feds & SEC gave us the biggest Financial Crisis in US History, CLEAN HOUSE!
You need lending & you need jobs, You won’t fix lending as long as you have Bernanke & Geitherner who learned from the master manipulators Greenspan & Paulson. They allowed the bulk of sub prime to be tied to LIBOR & negative amortizing loans When Greenspan ran the Feds, we all knew LIBOR was considered the MOST VOLATILE of all the index’s. There should have been a regulation restricting them on sub prime loans, the Feds didn’t & the SEC didnt that was their job!”It was also their job to make sure things like “Too Big To Fail” didn’t happen, yet it did because they encouraged and approved all of the bank mergers.
Contrary to the HBO show Newsroom stating that the bank mergers started in 1999 after Clinton repealed the “Glass-Steagall” Act. FACT: The mega bank mergers started taking place in the early 1990s, and I know because I worked for Security Pacific when it was bought out by BofA in 1992. To start with there is only a partial list available online that lists the US BANK MERGERS, which begs the question “what happened to transparency” clearly not so transparent if I spent days searching the net for a complete list of mergers, which could not in fact be found.
Based on the list that is available if you look at the mergers that took place between 1990-1999 prior to Clinton repealing anything, there were 67 bank mergers, after he signed from 2000-2010 there were 47 bank mergers. In addition, Clinton did not repeal the “Glass-Steagall” Act, he signed another act that repealed some of the provisions of the “Glass-Steagall” Act, not all of the provisions only some of them. I remember all of the mega bank mergers of the early 90’s thru the late 90’s, we kept saying they’re going to end up with 5 major banks and no competition, which is a ripe mine field for price fixing corruption to take place.
Author: Maradei Ugel


About this author:Licensed by the California Department of Real Estate (1986), she has over 25 yrs. experience Real Estate Acquisitions & Real Estate Mortgage Lending.She has additional background in the entertainment industry and as an Author ofCommentary.


June 20, 2012

Why Obama’s 2nd Term Is At Risk

June 14, 2012

Author: Maradei Ugel




Why Obama’s 2nd Term Is At Risk



The simple fact is this, any President who enter's the oval office & doesn't clean house from the prior administration, thereby leaving the corrupt men who helped to create the worst Financial Crisis in US history are left to retain their high & powerful positions ~ Screams of a sell out and has for the last 2 years. This weeks news touting ironically, leaked evidence from the white house on current plans being made to give more power to Corporations. Implying a repeating pattern of Obama, in selling American's out and specifically selling out his own party to the wealthy & to the corproate god's that are in power. It lends credence to the theory of a sell out, on an epic scale that may have even begun before Obama took office.

There's an invisible party no one speaks of; Where the most powerful & wealthy, regardless of partyline, go behind closed doors to make unethical deals for their own benefit, not for the benefit of the party or the people. The wealthy taking care of the wealthy, and it surpasses party lines. The most powerful will band together to protect their power & wealth. President Obama has done his own party an injustice, he sold out to the wealthy & it might cost him a 2nd term. I just wonder if anyone pays attention. It has all the aires of the Bush administration all over again in terms of the lack of ethics and accountability.


Indeed, the Bush administration set a precedence, and President Obama turns out to be not much more than an extension of the "Bush/Cheney" era. The politic's of wealth versus the politic's of one's party lines, it's the invisible party the public isn't even aware of because it's kept quiet. It's the reason Wall St. happened, it's the reason no one has been prosecuted for the financial crisis of 2008 when it's currently 2012; It is the biggest reason for the bailout, which wasn't for a mere $ 700 billion. A recent audit ordered by Congress revealed early this year that amount at the time of the audit, was in excess of $ 7.7 TRILLION as reported by Bloomberg News.

Make no mistake the foundation was set for "Too Big To Fail" by the SEC & the Federal Reserve in the mid 1990's when they approved the Mega bank mergers. It's not "rocket science", it's glaringly obvious. The reality is that the Federal Reserve and the SEC are supposed to make sure things like "Too Big To Fail" happen, yet they all turned a blind eye for profit and power.




The "Bailout" that started at $ 700 billion, which is now in excess of 7.7 trillion; wasn't just a bailing out, it was a selling out by the WEALTHY of both political parties for trade off's ~ money for power, power for money, Obama agree's and it puts him in the white house. By the time the financial crisis hit, it was known by the most powerful parties in the GOP, that with Sarah Palin as V.P. on the ticket they were going to lose the election. I propose a scenario wherein it's possible that it was decided to broker a deal behind closed doors with the aid of the most powerful & wealthy politically influential men of both partylines and Barak Obama. In this way, these men are able to maintain their power & wealth with the aid of Obama as President in return for their privately undisclosed financial and political support in his election. In this way the wealthiest and most powerful men, regardless of their political party, were able to protect themselves and get support for the "Bailout" to initially get it approved. If Barak Obama isn't a player in this game, then why has he refused to clean house and demand their resignations at any time during his first term of office?

These men retain the influence and power because President Obama allows it due to their wealth. These men profited, they milked this country until it was not only dried up but long dead and rotting. At which point they caused, the entire financial markets to crash. Wall Street crashed, the Banks crashed, the Stock Market crashed, The Financial Crisis went global, Fannie & Freddie crashed, Forclosures are decreasing the values of properties and the Real Estate market is all but crashed; and yet all the while President Obama never cleans house during his first term.

Men like Warren Buffett, Alan Greenspan, Henry Paulson and other's in their sphere of influence, they're the one's who pull the political king's strings. They let us think that there are 2 political party's to choose from, when in fact there's one supreme party that owns them all " Lock, Stock n' Barrel " .   Is it a coincidence that there are no decent candidates in either political party running; or is it being designed that way from behind the scenes because it allows for the optimum power to stay invisible and unobstructed in the hands of this country's wealthiest power players?




Look, when you've got Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase telling the press that "Bernanke" & "Geithner" saved the system. You literally have to laugh to keep from being ill, when they are part & parcel of what caused the financial crisis to start with. These men should be prosecuted, instead they are making money hand over fist at the expense of all American tax payers. Not to mention the system is far from saved and has in fact gone global in a devastating "domino" effect.

At the end of the day, President Obama is at risk of losing a second term because he failed to do what he promised, he hasn't given us change because he didn't cleaned house when he took office. As a result, many democrats feel betrayed, they believe he's done more to support the GOP then he's done for his own party. The President is at risk because he's supporting the wealthy, the powerful & the Corporations; not the people.

June 13, 2012

Beware The Blinders of Certainty ~ They Block Vision & Insight

Filed under: Advice, healthcare, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Pandoroz Box @ 10:12 pm


Tidbits of Wisdom from The Little House of Diva’s
BEWARE the ” Blinders of Certainty “, they keep us from truly learning at times & being truly educated, they keep us from being able to make accurate assessments & decissions of discernment with regard to others & the world around us.

Definition of DISCERNMENT ~ (1) the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure; skill in discerning (2) an act of perceiving or discerning something

Many people walk around with “blinders” on; “blinders” are meant to be on horses, to keep their focus on the view that is directly in front of them, they block peripheral & rear vision; which is precisely why they were made for horses and …not humans. When wearing blinders one cannot see what’s going on around them or behind them, it limits the view to strictly what is in front of them (the obvious, the surface) and no more.

Consider:   how well would that work out if you were driving a car with blinders on & no rear view mirror ?

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Synonyms: wisdom, insight, perception, perceptiveness, perceptivity, sagaciousness, sagacity, sageness, sapience

Synonym Discussion of DISCERNMENT
DISCERNMENT, DISCRIMINATION, PERCEPTION, PENETRATION, INSIGHT, ACUMEN mean a power to see what is not evident to the average mind. DISCERNMENT stresses accuracy (as in reading character or motives or appreciating art) <the discernment to know true friends>. DISCRIMINATION stresses the power to distinguish and select what is true or appropriate or excellent <the discrimination that develops through listening to a lot of great music>. PERCEPTION implies quick and often sympathetic discernment (as of shades of feeling) <a novelist of keen perception into human motives>. PENETRATION implies a searching mind that goes beyond what is obvious or superficial <lacks the penetration to see the scorn beneath their friendly smiles>. INSIGHT suggests depth of discernment coupled with understanding sympathy <a documentary providing insight into the plight of the homeless>. ACUMEN implies characteristic penetration combined with keen practical judgment <a director of reliable box-office acumen>. Excerpt from online Merriam-Webster website.

May 6, 2010

THE LIST – To Go: Bernanke,Geithner,Paulson

D. Maradei Ugel 
 The  LIST 
 Power players that must be removed/or resign.
 Lets just take a moment to consider the reasons that the following men should be removed or forced to step down and resign.  The following entities/ agencies who have failed and what needs to be cleaned up and others who need to be dilligently investigated; similar to Goldman Sach’s CEO.  Blankfein should only be the tip of that ice berg.  It gives the impression that these CEO’s knew they would get bailed out before the bail out even happened, it explains why they held on to and continued abusing sub prime loan’s and their own underwriting restrictions on them.   Let’s review, shall we?
the SEC
Top officials could have cracked down and didn’t in 2/2006 the SEC atty’s were aware of risks and that they were aware of risk at Bear Sterns
the SEC regulatory structure didn’t allow for it to be dealt with, turning a blind eye again.  The SEC also is the one who set the foundation for “TO BIG TO FAIL” when they approved all of the mega bank mergers without any forthought as to potential ramifications for doing so.  The SEC is supposed to protect investors, instead of doing so they turned a blind eye by choice.
Bernanke – The Federal Reserve
Bernanke didn’t do enough for consumers with credit card companies, he failed to force the creditors to reverse those who currently have the 28, 29 and 30% rates such as thru BofA to name just one, there are more.  Bernanke failed to make those unfair increases retroactive to reverse back to the date and rate prior to said increase.  Bernanke is bad blood, if we need a wolf lets get a new wolf who didn’t help to create the mess that we are in.  Bernanke was part of that mess, as was Paulson and Geithner.  Yet Bernanke is head of the Fed. Reserve.  Appearing as corrupt as it is business as usual.  Why does the Federal Reserve still allow the credit card companies to commit “usary” continuing to charge consumers 29% rates.  Nothing has been done to force the card companies to lower the rates or reimburse all the finance charges at those high rates and by doing so all these consumers *(have an audit done to see how many of their consumers  have rates between 25% to 30%)  The consumer can’t pay and ends up filing bankruptcy.  So I have to ask, how did Bernanke , he only helped clients whose rates had not been raised yet.  He did nothing to ensure that they lower all of those abusive rates immediately and reimburse a percentage of the finance charges as a fine for the usary abuse.
Tim Geithner –  Secty’ of The Treasury , previously President of the Federal Reserve in NY & bought “junk” from Lehman, AIG Bailout creator
Tim Geithner, the creator of the worst BAILOUT package ever to be construed; to benefit all these highly overpaid CEO’s, like Blankfein at Goldman to name at least one.  Geithner bailedout all the buddy CEO’s under the basis of “it was a legal contract” and that’s just a wolf’s diversion.  The fact is he did not have to approve any bonus’ and let it be decided in the courts that’s the way to avoid corruption.  Now we have him in the Treasury.  With the knowledge that when Geithner was at the N.Y. Federal Reserve he bought “junk” investments from Lehman (no wonder Lehman thought he was going to be bailed out and was shocked and is still resentful as a result.
Paulson was the head of the Treasury, prior he was the CEO & the CHAIRMAN at GOLDMAN SACHS
Paulson, was the prior head of the TREASURY, he also helped Geithner create the infamously bad AIG Bailout package.  Paulson it’s been shown; was in collusion with Goldman Sach’s when it came to “conflict of interest with intent”.  These are intelligent highly educated investment men, they know what is morally and ethically considered to be a conflict of interest.  Goldman sold investments to clients knowing they were bad investments.  How do we know that they knew?  We know because once they sold the client they turned around and bet against the investment, made bets that the investment would fail and you wouldn’t do that, you wouldn’t place your own bets for your own company in something unless you believed strongly that it was going to happen.  Hence; that show’s INTENT.   Furthermore, it rings of intent to defraud their clients by selling knowingly bad investments.
 Blankfein, Buffet, the major kingpins should be dilligently investigated.
Without criminal prosecution for some and removal for others there’s not much point in haggling over finance reform, if you dont clean out the henhouse.  If you keep corrupted people in power, you’d be a fool not to expect further continued corruption in the future by the very same men.
Agencies such as NHTSA, The Federal Reserve, the SEC, the Treasury and now with the Oil spill we can add Salazaar as another corrupted man with power.
What’s going on in our agencies that they have been allowed to become so corrupted with power and greed and back door shady dealings for loopholes for the wealthiest of the Wall Street Investors and CEO’s.  It’s rampant.
Look I realize that they “Wall St. & the investment world at large” feel that it’s just the way business is done so no big deal.  I have even heard european reporters say that’s its not a big deal.  The problem is and let me sum this up very easily.   If  I sell you a car telling you to my knowledge it’s fine and then 30 minutes later I go with my friends and we all bet with a bookie that the car will break down in 6 to 12 months. And it does.   We have laws for that, it’s illegal, it’s misrepresentation, I’m pretty sure it borders fraude.  conflict of interest is only the tip of the iceberg.   These guys run everything like a “political mafia” protecting each other, bailing each other out, Buffet greedy enough to ask for loopholes from Nebraska Senator, the big power boys.  The Blankfein’s, Warren Buffet whose so powerful he gets away with anything and his company had been bailed out wasn’t Berkshire Hathaway part of all this, I could be wrong but I will say this, Warren Buffet is no better;  Buffet should be the next investigated.

April 20, 2010

Marijuana Healthcare Reform can Reduce Prescription Drug Addiction in US

Filed under: Business, Finance, Green, healthcare, Marijuana, Politics, prescription drug addiction — Pandoroz Box @ 7:45 am

Marijuana & Healthcare Reform;   Reducing the prescription drug addiction in America. 
by D. Maradei-Ugel
revised: Jan.1, 2010
 Yes,there really is an alternative to reducing the prescription drug epidemic facing our country & it isn’t one to be fearful of.  The truth, The reality & The Legitimate need for Marijuana Re-education & rescheduling.
Let me preface this by stating that I’d like to know why it is that there is no high profile spokesperson when it comes to legalizing Marijuana, primarily medicinally speaking to offset the growing epidemic of pill addiction in this country.
There is so much confusion in the general public (non-smokers of cannabis) who have no idea what it really is, what the effects really are, what the variations in strains are and what they represent to the medical community at large.   I have heard people genuinely ask if it has the same effects as alcohol when driving and the answer is a resounding NO….  Alcohol is a menace and a danger, Marijuana is not.  You don’t drive fast or crazy, much to the dismay of those of us driving behind you at 4 mph …. no joke, I knew an older man mid 60’s driving a $90,000 Porsche and he always drove it barely 5 miles per hour…enough to incite road rage, let me tell you.
    There’s also a very big difference between a sativa plant  vs.  an indica plant.   I would say Sativa for anxiety, wont make you tired or feel overwhelmed.  Yet if the problem is insomnia then definitely indica plant, makes a person sleep like a baby.   It’s time people realized this isn’t something to fear , it is something to embrace and utilize for health purposes; and to control for public purposes;  as one can control the potency amount sold to the public vs. at the pharmacy level.
First and foremost there has to be some attention brought to this that is consistency , PR , in a structured way.    Someone consistently needs to explain to the public, up close and personal what the benefits are medicinally speaking and how it measures up to the pill addiction which is epidemic in this country.  Someone needs to make clear the facts, make clear that it’s time for the public to look at this with a clean slate; in part by explaining the history behind how it got the “rap” it has.
Someone has to clearly define how much of a disservice to the American people has been done to them by false propaganda and prohibition.
Clearly there are two main  issues; 
Legalizing medicinally, as an alternative to highly addicting med’s such as Ambien, Xanax, the list is huge, but to name just two of the most commonly abused and addicting drugs on the market.   Insomnia, mild anxiety/panic attacks, nausea, cramps, muscle aches, arthritis, etc…there is a healthier alternative to all of the pill’s that are being handed out like candy.  There is an alternative that is NOT addicting.  To keep this drug from the American people is an injustice that simply HAS TO BE CORRECTED.    A spokesperson must make the conservative, anxious public aware of what this drug really can do for our people and our population. 
In my mind, this is part of healthcare reform; offering the public alternatives that may suffice rather then automatically having doctors prescribe medications we know are highly addicting.  If there is an alternative that will offer the patient relief, such as insomnia, cannabis vs. Ambien.  Ask any Physician if he could offer between those two types of medications which he feels is the best for the patient and just as effective.  I have asked nearly every physician I have met over the last decade and every time the answer is the same.   FYI…it is available in pill form, edible form, spray form, etc…one does not have to smoke it.  There’s education on that topic as well, it’s time the public was informed why they developed a spray; there’s a reason;  it was found that for pain management such as aids/cancer the drug loses potency and is not as effective once it has gone thru the digestive tract, therefore they have now developed a spray to try and circumvent the digestive acids by going thru the saliva and hopefully directly into the blood stream.  The hope is that the effect will be as beneficial as when the drug is smoked.   We are on the right road but there isn’t enough public relations.   What I see, is embarrassing .   We need a poster child , this is not just for aids and cancer patients and its time the public became aware.  Consider the rehab statistics to prescription drug addiction…how much of that could have been avoided.
THE 2ND MAJOR ISSUE;  Legalizing it to control it like alcohol and to tax it;  proceeds to be used to benefit the communities and possibly even build more jails for real criminals who are dealing in dangerous drugs.   There is also a benefit to our border wars with Mexico, obviously it will not stop the desire to continue hardcore drugs such as cocaine, heroin, etc. from crossing the border…but it will give them one less drug to traffic and monitor.  The claim that it is a gateway drug can be said more readily about alcohol, far more so then marijuana.  It just isn’t a good enough excuse to keep it illegal…fear of gateway, when it’s accessible already.  Logically it makes more sense for us to legalize and control it like alcohol or pseudephren.  There are ways to deal with this.  In time this will happen, when do you want to benefit from it?  How long do you want to wait.  Another alternative is that when controlled, there can be certain grades/strain potencies available over the counter, vs. a higher potency with a prescription.  Thereby having more control over what is readily available on the street.    This in reality is a cash crop for this country and we are allowing that money to go towards far more dangerous conquests….all because of a fear that is unwarranted.
Marijuana is in  no way dangerous, nor does it cause the physical addiction that one would find with such things as Alcohol or prescription drugs such as Ativan, Ambian, Xanax, pain killers/muscle relaxers that so many physicians today hand out as if ordering a cheeseburger at drivethru. 
The conservative populace needs to be enlightened if not dragged into reality for the benefit of the American people as a whole.   To continue to only allow addicting drugs to our population when in fact there are alternatives in many cases which are not addicting, thereby reducing health care costs to the overall community and the State.
Please don’t get me wrong I love California and here it is legal with a doctors recommendation. 
That really isn’t the point of this story, the purpose of this story is to bring a spot light to educate the more conservative public; to explain to them once and for all what this herb is, weed, herb, drug, what ever name you prefer.  Too many people even in this day and age have no idea what it really is or how fearful they should be of it; as a result they are all too easily accepting their physician’s prescriptions to addicting drugs because they don’t realize that there really is an alternative. 
People need to know that this alternative is less dangerous to them then a prescription benzopine or sleeping pill.  There is a shadow over this subject and its time to get this issue out from the shadows once and for all.    The other point of this story was that I want to know who are the spokespeople for this, the PR people, who do they have that the conservatives will even consider listening to; that’s what we don’t have and that’s the voice & the face we need.   The time is NOW. 
Healthcare Reform, it’s time we get it right.

March 19, 2010

Sen. Dodd- New Bill Sacrifices Wall Street Investor Regulations for Healthcare 
 D.Maradei Ugel 
March 16, 2010
After reviewing Sen. Dodd’s most recent proposed bill, clearly it has been watered down to such a degree that it’s nearly pointless in respect to Finance Reforms and Wall Street Investor Regulations.  In terms of consumer protection, in order to be effective you have to start with Wall Street Investor Reforms & Regulations in addition to Federal Reserve oversight for the Benefit and Protection of Consumers.
We dont need a “Consumer Protection Agency” that is once again “part of the Federal Reserve”; What we need is a watchdog type of Duel Agency that has 2 branches, Wall Street Investor Regulation Reform & Federal Reserve oversight for Consumer Protection. 
If they dont reign in Wall Street they cant protect the consumer effectively in terms of mortgage loans, housing values on low or no equity loans made during the peak of a real estate market which is almost always followed by bubble bursting; this isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last.   Consider mortgage lending history over the last 100 years and you’ll see a pattern;  The question is:  How bad does it have to get before they realize that you must have reforms and restrictions on Wall Street Mortgage Investors.  Does it have to get worse then what it is now? 
Why the Senate or anyone for that matter, is willing to sacrifice the consumers welfare by refusing to support strong Federal Reserve oversight as well as Wall Street reforms & restrictions.  The politics and self interest of Sweetheart deals should not be allowed in this specific bill, are you kidding? Everyone in power seems to want their own “sweet heart” deal. 
Our government representatives seem to be more concerned with self interest & sweet heart deals; not consumer protection and Wall Street Regulation Reforms for Americans.  When I refer to Americans I mean to say as a nation, as a whole & whats best for the multitude not just one specific state or another. 
Between the Senators and Congress and I’m sad to say even our Supreme Court and our judicial system; self interest, sweetheart deals & self promotion are more important than doing what is right for the nation as a whole. 
The whole mess wreaks of corruption and manipulation.  Who protects the people from their own government administration, not the Senate and Congress their too busy with self interest.  The biggest part of this mess was due to the Bush/Cheney administration’s blind & personal support of the men running the Federal Reserve and the Wall Street Investors who bought these toxic loans knowing they would be bailed out by our prior White House Administration during the prior 8 years they were in office.  The Bush family had ties with these investor firms (at least one firm if not 2 or more) and he had our government bail them out.  The corruption and lack of accountability is never ending.
If the bill passes because they force it thru reconciliation;  with Finance reforms  watered down as it is today to appease republicans;  it will be a travesty to the American people as a nation.  Since the dems will have to push it thru reconciliation without republican support, Sen. Dodd should not compromise when it comes to Finance and Wall Street reforms.  Compromise on the abortion verbage fine, give them what they want but you have to get the American people Wall Street reforms and restrictions back on track and undiluted as it stands with today’s current bill being debated on the hill.
If the dems have to force this bill thru reconciliation they should refuse to sacrifice Finance reforms.  To fail to do so means they will lose the support of more dems which they cant afford.  Therefore if you have to force the bill thru, then force it thru with the original Financing reforms that Sen. Dodd put forth in the fall of 2009.

Mortgage Finance Reforms – Consumer Protection Requires Wall St. Investor Regulations 
D.Maradei Ugel
March 15, 2010
Lending reforms – I’ve been in lending for nearly 30 years.  This doesn’t have to be brain surgery.  If they want to get the housing market moving again as they say they do then we have to have that 2ndary mortgage market back, those private investors aka securitization (seems to be the word they are using lately) You have to have a sub prime market, those loans with proper restrictions such as they had in 1995 during another house bubble burst we had, those restrictions that were put into place during that bursting was key to the difference between good sub prime loans/mortgages vs. bad ones. 
Consider the statistics of how many Americans are “self employed or independent contractors”* and that’s the percentage of the population that has been cut out of the mortgage market/lending market.  We cant refi, we cant purchase , we cant even get equity out of our properties when the equity in property is 50% or 75%.  Self employed borrowers typically write everything off on taxes that’s why LOW DOC and/or EZ DOC/STATED INCOME sub prime programs were created.  They were never meant to be given to anyone with only 5 or 10% down much less to those with nothing down. 
When investors got greedy (Wall St.) they were giving these programs away and that’s where it got messed up.  Greed is fine during the upswing but everyone knew that bubble was on the edge of bursting these are professional investors mind you; they knew what they were doing.  That does not mean the feds should have jumped in and told private investors they could no longer even offer EZdoc/Stated doc and sub prime loans.  The Fed’s basically in haste and  panic, they threw the baby out with the bath water so to speak. 
You have to bring those EZdoc/Stated doc loans back.  Just some of them, not all but you have to have some kind of EZ doc/stated income program for self employed and independent contractors otherwise you possibly cut out over 20 million of the population from being able to buy or refi or even get their equity out on a home they fully own outright.  There is a right way to do sub prime loans and a wrong way and history shows us both if we only look.  That’s first and foremost you have to bring back that sub prime market to some degree just with higher restrictions as they were originally intended.  You also have to set a quota minimum of new mortgage loans, on any banks that are receiving TARP funds, there should be an amendment made to TARP recipients.
Everything on the news makes it sound as if this is the worlds most complicated mess to unravel, yet some of it doesn’t have to be.  It seems that there are a few lenders popping up who offer the stated income programs but the fee’s are astronomical and no one in their right mind would be able to justify using them in my opinion. 
As far as consumer protection; the White House needs to be aware that a good 98% of those borrowers knew exactly what they were asking for; no one pushed them  into that loan product just to make more points on the deal.  As a loan officer I only used stated income EZ doc programs when I had a borrower who really needed it because they are harder to sell, they have higher rates and higher points and the consumer see’s that reflected on the Good Faith Estimate that they are given when they apply for said loan.  The White House is concerned about the consumers protection, yet a lot of that is in fact in place.  Predatory lending laws have been in place for years, therefore I don’t really see this as the big crux to the problem. 
In fact it seems like more of a diversionary tactic to refocus attention elsewhere then where it really should be focused which is on the investors on Wall Street who had the authority to make and set restrictions in the securitization market wherein they agree to buy these “sub prime loans”.  The investors are the ones who set the restrictions on what they were willing to buy, they are the ones who allowed interest only loans on sub prime, or 5% down on sub prime loans etc. They lowered their own restrictions so that they could profit to the fullest extent while they had the Bush administration in office, knowing full well that the bubble was on the precipice of bursting.
We don’t really need additional consumer protection in mortgage lending; essentially the predatory lending laws do a good job of that.  What it seems we do need to have are Wall Street Investor regulations for the mortgage industry that is standard and consistent so that this never happens again.  An example would be to regulate what investors can buy in terms of mortgage loans, set the guidelines for them such as they were in and around 1995.  A few examples; Credit score must be above 680 or 720, equity in property must be at least 20% in a strong market and 35% in a weak market, borrower must have 6 to 12 months in reserves or liquid assets.  Borrower must be an experienced mortgage holder previously.  There must be no late payments on credit history for last 24 months. Additionally the lender is to verify borrowers stated income falls inline with their counties median income for stated job and income on loan application,  etc.  Those are the original types of restrictions that were in place and set by investors when EZdoc/stated income mortgage loans were created;
Therefore, the best way to truly protect consumers is to  regulate the investors and set the restrictions for them, that’s the best way to protect consumers against a bursting bubble in the future when it comes to mortgage lending & potential equity loss in the housing market.  Ultimately that is the goal.  Just as the lenders and banks have regulations that need to be tightened, so do the investors on Wall Street.  We want them to invest in these products we need them; however it must be based on rational restrictions at all times.  Since they clearly showed no desire to be responsible, the best consumer protection really comes in the form of Investor regulating on Wall Street.
Something to consider;   had there been Mortgage Investor Regulations that limit investors to follow specific restrictions in terms of the mortgage loans that they buy in “pools” from the banks and lenders such as “Sub prime Investor Buying Restrictions” .  It would have protected the banks and lenders from a lot of this and as a result it also protects the consumers.  In a way the banks are taking a lot of heat for this when in reality they only approved those sub prime loans because the investors agreed to buy them with the lower restrictions. 
 The banks have underwriting guidelines for Fannie and Freddie loans to protect them, in a nut shell the government says if you follow these guidelines we will protect you.  It goes in a circle if you can imagine, so the bank lends out money for mortgages that Fannie and Freddie will basically insure and the sub prime loans are pooled to be bought by the investors, so it is the investors who set their guidelines/restrictions on the sub prime loans not the bank itself in most cases.   What is being done to regulate the Wall Street investors who lowered those guidelines so they could profit before the bubble finally burst.  Consumer protection requires Investor regulations.
Sen. Dodd has revised the bill to gain republican support I assume, however by doing so he has watered it down and diluted the Finance reform so much that it’s nearly pointless.  If we have to force a bill thru reconciliation anyway, just do it right the first time.  Don’t sacrifice Wall Street reforms for any reason.

*10.4 million
Number of self-employed workers.
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 585 <>

*10.3 million
Number of independent contractors.
Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 588 <>

Federal Reserve turned a blind eye to Wall Street Investing Abuses; Bernanke and Geithner Grilled on the Hill !
D. Maradei Ugel
March 17, 2010
It was difficult for me to sit still and watch Mr. Bernake & Mr. Geithner but I had to force myself.  These men are just unbelievable, I’m stumbling for words and that’s rare!  The reality that these men are still in positions of power within our government.   Makes my body literally wince & coil backwards just recalling the memory.  These guys are enough to drive me to suicidal ideation.  Although after further analysis, all be it momentary; I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not the one who should be committing suicide.  Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Geithner should do the noble thing as the publicly humiliated & disgraced Romans did.  Now that’d be worth paying HBO’s pay per view fee’s just to watch.  Forgive me I think I was just fantasizing in public, ah but wouldn’t it be an appropriate ending to Mr. B and Mr. G’s travesty.
I’ll try to get to the point;  Mr. Bernanke keeps giving the same song and dance.  When a congressman asks him why there isn’t something to protect consumers from Mortgage Brokers and loan products that should not be offered to any consumer because it’s so bad.  Mr. Bernanke replied and I believe it was to Congress woman Maxine Waters in CA. “we did do that”.  Ms. Waters replied back to him something to the effect of, “yes but you waited until it had already become a problem before you did anything about it, why” and he continued making excuses to the point where I had to walk away for fear I might throw something at the TV.
Mr. Bernanke is part n’ parcel of why we and the Federal Reserve specifically are in such an epic financial disaster.  Therefore when I see and hear more excuses come out of his mouth, I am appalled. Actually that’s an understatement I am liquified inside with rage and contempt.  I cant help but wonder if President Obama traded something away for some kind of favor or political support; did he agree to allow those two men to be placed in such powerful positions after what they have done to the American people, to our Nation?  These men should be offering to do their jobs at no expense to the American public for a given number of years to compensate for what they have purposely done to us to get us as a country economically.
Unfortunately, Maxine Waters does not understand a few things and she needs clarification.  Rep. Waters relayed the story of a retired couple with a 5 year fixed interest only loan at aprox. 4.5%, after which the loan turns to an adjustable for 30 years (this also seem to confuse her which means she hasn’t done her homework to me).  That type of loan can be done on a 30 year term or a 40 year term at that time depending on who the lender was and the types of loan products that they offered.  Let me explain why this is NOT a bad loan because Rep. Waters is unaware of how these products work and how they benefit a consumer.  For example;  I am fairly certain I recall that loan program/product.  This loan had a 9.75% cap rate for the life of the loan, after it adjusts which is after the 5 year fixed period of time.  At that time, the cap rate was considered great because most others were significantly higher.  Ms. Waters was distressed that a broker would offer such a loan to a retired couple.
What Ms. Waters does not realize because she is not a loan officer and she doesn’t do this day in and day out decade after decade so she doesn’t have a clear concept.    Truth be told that’s actually not a bad loan at all for that retired couple and here is the reasoning;   The rate is fixed at a very low probably the lowest rate possible at that time similar to a short term ARM (adjustable) loan that goes up every 6 months or once a year at 2% a year based on index plus margin.  I used to use the 5 year fixed program all the time and the 3 or 4 mortgage loans that I have had all of them were on the 5 yr. fixed.  The point is you get a rate that’s low like an ARM rate but it’s guaranteed not to go up for 5 full years, after which if the loan balance is small below 70,000 then at 9.75% cap rate the payment is not much vs. at 7% so those consumers don’t usually refi they might keep the loan after the 5th year. 
However, most consumers such as myself we refinance the loan after the 5th year when it starts to adjust.  I will say this in my opinion I have found that if the loan is small its best to do it on a 30 year term.  If the loan is large, especially on a jumbo loan that 40 year term can save a borrower about $300 per month for a 5 year period.  A borrower could take that savings and pay their loan down if they wanted to but most need that extra household income to stay in the household to meet monthly expenses.  If the loan officer had put the retired couple on a straight 30 year fixed the rate would have been significantly higher and then the payments were most likely to hard to handle therefore the loan officer or broker tried to get them a low rate for a fixed period of time, a product in between the straight ARM loans (short term teaser rates) and a straight 30 yr. fixed.  Therefore that broker in my experienced opinion actually gave them the best loan possible at that time to meet their needs.  We cannot blame everything on the Brokers, it’s Wall St. reform and Federal Reserve oversight that we need.
The Federal Reserve had their chance to protect consumers; repeatedly and consistently they chose self interest.  The notion that we can give them that same power to protect consumers AGAIN is insane, it simply defy’s logic.  Has our government and our representatives learned absolutely nothing from all of this?  It feels dirty, it feels corrupt and unethical to have Bernanke or Gaithner in charge of any kind of oversight or watchdog effort to self govern again.  Oh the insanity of it mystifies me.  It’s disappointing to be so acutely aware that my states representative on the Hill has not done her homework. 
On a subject that is paramount to the American people,  our nation & her constituants.  California has the largest population of any state in the US and Rep. Maxine Waters has not done her homework at all.  How does she knows if she’s being deceived if she doesn’t do her homework first?  Clearly she isn’t psychic ! 
If the majority of representatives are as ill informed as she is it’s no wonder we have gotten nowhere.  Between the two party lines who have made government practically dysfunctional in all areas; and the representatives on the Hill and in the House are ill informed and many have not done their homework.
At this late date, with the bill on the Hill that’s been watered down and diluted to the point that it keeps the wolves in the hen house (Fed.Reserve) and allows them to continue to self govern with minimal true oversight.  To be a representative of the people and fail to do your homework it is no wonder there such disconnect between the people and their government.  If these folks cant do their job they should be fired.

March 18, 2010

TOYOTA Corporate Greed Gone Mad, Spin Control at Congressional hearings today;

Feb. 24, 2010

After watching today’s Toyota Hearings with Jim Lentz, President & Cheif Operating Officer of  U.S. Toyota; whose primary background,  based on his statements today, is Sales & Marketing;  There were many things that were glaringly apparent as I watched muttering to myself during the entire hearing.
I find it interesting that some say Mr. Lentz was the wrong man to be answering questions at today’s hearing because he’s not equipped to answer the questions that relevantly pertain to “manufacturing”.

I beg to differ with that opinion;  Who better to send then a Sales/Marketing expert.  Sales & Marketing is essentially one of the major area’s wherein Toyota was in my opinion criminally negligent.  Mr. Lentz more or less has opened himself up to be crucified because he was made aware of the acceleration issues in europe years prior to having complaints in the U.S.  The complaints reported to Toyota in the U.S. increased 400% yet for the most part it appears that they were not only negligent in denying the issue to consumers for almost 10 years, but in doing so they were in my opinion “criminally negligent”.  Choosing to ignore the deaths caused by their product to consumers in the U.S. when they were fully aware of the issues is what makes it criminal. 
Toyota’s failure to test specific cars that were part of a fatality is yet another blatant example of their lack of sincere concern to the public’s safety.  Mr. Lentz made so many excuses it almost seemed as if I was watching Saturday Night Live;  it was that bad.  Mr. Lentz is a marketing expert and this is a marketing & sales disaster of their own creation. 
 Mr. Lentz gave the impression that he has no power over manufacturing and no power when it comes to his position in terms of making the kinds of changes and tests that were necessary to significantly correct the issues.  Mr. Lentz implies that those choices are made by “higher ups” at Toyota in Japan.
Mr. Lentz responded so many times when asked a question that , “he didn’t know”.    So much in fact,  that it was transparent and obvious he was holding back more fully detailed answers;  that he surely had to be aware of considering his position with Toyota over the last 4 years.
This isn’t sales or marketing in the sense that we would normally think of it in terms of selling automobiles.  This is sales & marketing to congress and the American people as a whole.  This is the selling of pure horse shit.  It will boil down to “what did they know” & “when did they know it” and Mr. Lentz has already admitted that they were aware of the acceleration issues in europe long before they were reported here in the U.S. 
I have no doubt Mr. Lentz is answerable to the heads in Japan, however at the end of the day, the neglect of this company and their representatives is nothing short of criminal.  The choice to willfully endanger the public, resulting in the deaths of some and life long injury to others which will require life long medical care; this lack of corporate conscience is what I see to be the most criminally liable of all.
Mr. Lentz continually made promises that they would test this or that, and they would create this group for quality control for such things, and they would test the cars that were part of fatalities .   The overwhelming question is why haven’t these things been done already?  Why are they in the process of creating these things when in fact they should have done so back in November 2009 at the latest and yet it is nearly March of 2010. 
Mr. Lentz made many excuses, lack of knowledge, lack of authority and power to affect changes on his authority alone and if this is true then there should be some sort of correspondence that reflects his attempts to passionately persuade & encourage the heads in Japan to make the appropriate tests and changes here in the U.S. for the safety of the public
I have a friend in Orange County, California that had the acceleration issue on the 2001 or 2002 Lexus which caused the death of the passenger and resulted in life in a wheelchair for my friend. 
My personal belief is that when an individual such as Mr. Lentz, accepts a position with a company it is their choice.  If the company is endangering the public welfare of their consumers, Mr. Lentz should have blown the whistle or left the company rather then choose to be part of such “inaction” on the part of those in power.  When Mr. Lentz  reported issues & test results to Japan’s Toyota corporate heads and became aware they were not going address the issues,  but choose to deny and ignore them instead; this is where their actions including Mr. Lentz ; become morally and ethically corrupt. 
There are some who say that we should not be so quick to judge until all of the evidence is in.  However based on the testimony of Mr. Lentz today it seems clearly evident that Toyota was aware of the problems and complaints and they chose to deny the issues.    As a company Toyota has blatantly refused to act in a moral and ethical capacity and failure to do so, in a timely manner has cost additional harm to the public safety and further hardship and pain to the families that have suffered a loss due to Toyota’s greed.
At the end of the day,  this companies greed cost human lives and that in my opinion,  is neglect by choice and that in and of itself is criminal corporate behavior.   Toyota’s prolonged denial and  willingness to continue to endanger the public in my mind,  is nothing short of criminal,  resulting in the loss of human life, pain and suffering and they should be dealt with and prosecuted as an example to other corporate greed mongers in the future.


The Justice System is Broken – Family Law in Los Angeles County

In LA County, there is no justice system, there is a legal process that is severely broken and no one will take the time or money to fix it
D. Maradei Ugel
The jails are overcrowded, we already know that.  Does this mean that judges should refuse to enforce court orders to prosecute and jail deadbeat parents?  Apparently so.  Does this mean that perjury in our courts is going unpunished; thereby making a mockery out of the court system?  It would seem so. 
Based upon what I’ve witnessed personally;  the judges refuse to enforce “court orders” to the fullest extent of the law, if at all.  When a parent who has proven over a 3 to 5 year period that they are not working or paying child support, the judges still wont give them jail time when they should.  If the non-paying parent is not working then there is no reason not to sentence them to 48 hours in LA County jail.  LA County jail is a terrifying place to be in for most adults and it would curtail the amount of non paying parents.
There are three major issues on the table.  Lack of enforcement by the judges in sentencing dead beat non-paying parents and lack of enforcement by the judges when it comes to “proven” perjury.  The third issue is that by doing so, the judges themselves are clogging up the courts because they encourage dead beat parents to ignore the system and that it’s a joke, there is no incentive to tell the truth in court if there really is no penalty for perjury as they warn.  In reality there is NO consequences to face when a person commits perjury in the family law courts in our county.  The judges have created a vicious cycle, a revolving door which back’s up the courts and keeps the same dead beat parents coming back over and over.
There should be a minimum mandate that if dead beat parents have proven not to work consistently or pay their child support for 3 to 5 years; then the judges should be compelled to sentence them to a mandatory minimum of 48 hours (36 to 72 on 2nd offense brought to courts attention.)  There should also be mandatory penalties for perjury, which would escalate financially with each abuse. For those who do not have any money to pay fines, then they should be sent to do work on the side of the freeways.  We as the people should be insisting that there be accountability in our courts.  The “people” must fight for change.  We need to let them know if our judges will not enforce the laws, then they will be replaced.
There are ways to deter dead beat non-paying parents, we have given them the tools; yet they refuse to enforce them.
After witnessing Family Law court in LA County up close and personal for over 23 years, I was initially angry at the DA’s office for not prosecuting to the best of their abilities as they don’t even open the case file until a few minutes prior to going before the judge.  When they finally did, which happened repeatedly as this went on for over 2 decades;  what I witnessed was that in the end game, the failure in our system came down to the judges. 
The judges are the ones with the power and discretion, they are the ones who are not using the tools at their disposal or enforcing the law.  Repeatedly, I have been told that the jails are just too full.  I have a problem with that kind of response.  Let’s be clear about this; the judge’s job is to enforce the laws of LA County, period.
The job of a judge is not to worry if there is overcrowding in the jails, that is the County’s concern.  There appears to be little or no recourse against judges that refuse to enforce the law and it’s destroying our system.  The funds they would raise if they penalized for perjury could also help build more jails if need be.
Somewhere, this has to stop, this has to change.  Perhaps there should be investigators to monitor the judges to ensure the laws are enforced and that judges are using the tools provided by the laws.  Or perhaps the problem lies with term limits, or the lack thereof.  A lifetime position for a person in charge of judging the lives of others seems unethical.  They get burned out, dispassionate, moody, I could go on.
The bottom line is that they have peoples lives in their hands and you get a deep sense that they have lost sight of that as well as justice itself. 
You cannot fix the LA County family law courts without everyone being willing, or forced to if necessary, to step up to the plate, making laws or whatever is needed to mandate that the judges enforce penalties for perjury automatically.  If it is proven in court that a person has lied, regardless of the size of the lie, there must be penalties and those penalties must be enforced.  Monetary sanctions are always a strong deterrent, so I would suggest 1) a fine of $1,000 for the first perjury offense; 2) the second time a person perjures themselves, with proven intent, a fine of $3,000; and 3) for the third offense, $5,000.  Some type of penalty, even if it’s cleaning up the highway three weeks a month for three months, must be enforced consistently if a plan is to work. 
 If you do nothing, which is the current situation, it does nothing except make a joke of the laws and destroy the hope and faith of the people they are supposed to be representing (especially if they were voted into their position as a judge).  To sit by and do nothing, takes away justice from the people and leaves them with no real recourse when judges fail them.  When is someone finally going to take a stand and fix the situation instead of making excuses about it?  Judges are too concerned with the fact that the jails are overcrowded, instead of being concerned with simply enforcing the laws in an attempt to curtail the revolving door of the dead beat parent who refuses to pay support as ordered. 
There are ways to raise the funds needed to ease the overcrowded jail situation.  By requiring that judges enforce the perjury laws, including fines, community service and/or jail time, an avenue is created to raise funds to help with the problem so that those that refuse to pay support can be appropriately punished.  These deterrents would have beneficial ramifications beyond simply forcing a deadbeat parent to take care of their responsibilities, responsibilities that are mandated under the law.  Enforcing fines would raise substantial revenue for the County.  Case loads would also drop significantly in the family law courts, as well as for the case workers, freeing up additional funding for the program.  But it cannot work when criminals know that there is no recourse for perjury or failure to pay.  When there is no motivation to care about the penalty for perjury because there are no consequences being enforced for it, the problem will continue, take up more of the court’s time, and allow the attorneys to drag things out, lining their own pockets in the process.  The FBI Most Wanted list is a joke, worthless when no one enforces the warrants.  Taking someone’s license is meaningless if they don’t care. 
To ignore the situation is insanity.  You’re teaching the public that it’s ok to totally disregard the law and there is no substantial or worthy penalty for doing so on a repeated basis.  You need more jail space, empty out a mall, I don’t care, do whatever you have to for the future of this county.  I’ve watched our legal system turn into the ultimate joke.  The public has been taught that laws don’t have to be obeyed because judges will not rule any penalty for perjury, even when proven with a federal document.  Do whatever you want because we are too full at the inn…and too tired.
I’m ashamed of our legal system and of our judges in family law in the LA County court system.  Over the past 23 years, I have seen judges fail the public time and time again and we have no recourse.  It is a disgrace to sit by and watch as a judge will ignore proof of perjury and the person goes unpunished, only to repeat it time and again because they realize there will be no consequences.  They have turned the justice system into a joke, in effect, a system of great injustice.  We can change the laws but what good does it do if the judges won’t enforce them?
I witnessed a case where there were several counts of perjury proven and not one penalty was issued by Commissioner Patricia Ito, even though there was documented physical evidence the person perjured themselves intentionally on the witness stand and in a written declaration.  This teaches the public there is no need to be honest if it does not benefit them to do so and there is no penalty if they lie with intent to mislead a judge with false information.
I am part of a case that has lasted 18 years so far and still continues.  The deadbeat father rarely if ever pays support, is self employed and has lived at the beach in San Diego County for almost 18 years.  He represents thousands of men and families affected by this failure in our judicial system.  This man was initially in arrears by $30,000 when the case first came to the courts, and it has now grown to $120,000.  18 years later and he has still not served one day of jail time.  The judges issue continuance after continuance, then when the man fails to appear, warrants are issued that police ignore and refuse to enforce.  After a year or two, the man surrenders himself to the court, only to be forgiven and new arrangements made that he would each and every time break immediately.  Not once over the 18 years has any judge ordered him to LA County jail.  They continue to claim that if you jail the man, he cannot work.  Reality check – when a person refuses to work or pay support for a period of several years consistently, then it’s clear they have plenty of time to spare a few days in LA County jail and there isn’t much danger it will keep them from finding employment.
This is the best deterrent; enforce the laws; someone has to force these judges to start enforcing the laws regardless of the overcrowding in our jail system.  Something has to be done, the system does not work to the benefit of the majority (the public) and it severally needs an overhaul.
If you want to raise revenue for LA County, make it mandatory that judges in family law enforce a financial penalty for perjury when proven; if financial fines are impossible then freeway work time.  That will pay for more jails so that the deadbeat parents can be sentenced to at least 48 to 72 hours.  Let me tell you, nothing could be more terrifying to the average American person than being tossed in LA County jail for a few days. 
 If you don’t make it mandatory, the judges will not enforce it.  I can think of no other way to gain control of these judges or to get rid of them. There you go.  Raise revenue and teach the public that there is a penalty for lying in court.
I’ve been angry at the DA’s office and rightfully so, however, I can honestly say without hesitation that the bottom line still falls with the judges each and every case that I have witnessed.  It is the judges in our family law courts in LA County that are failing what was initially designed to be our “justice system” and they are failing the people of Los Angeles.
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