FHFA, Nomura Trial Expected to Continue for a Month

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The trial in the case of FHFA vs. Nomura Holdings over claims that the bank misrepresented mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the run-up to the financial crisis is expected to last for at least a month, according to a report from Reuters.Judge Denise Cote, overseer of the non-jury trial which began Monday in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, said she may schedule closing arguments for the trial on April 8, according to the report.FHFA is seeking $1.1 billion in damages. The Agency alleges it suffered monumental losses when the sponsor of the mortgage-backed securities, Nomura, and the securities’ underwriter, Royal Bank of Scotland, did not follow underwriting guidelines on 68 percent of a sample of a bundle of securities backing more than $2 billion worth of mortgages sold to the GSEs prior to the financial crisis of 2008.A lawyer for FHFA said in Monday’s opening statements that Nomura and RBS were “very willing participants” in a scheme to defraud the GSEs, which precipitated the financial crisis. A lawyer from Nomura responded by saying that “no falsehoods were made” and that any losses FHFA suffered were due to declines in the housing market that were unforeseeable, according to the report.Nomura, which is headquartered in Japan and is one of the world’s biggest banks, is the first financial institution to go to trial out of the 18 lenders FHFA sued in 2011 to recoup U.S. taxpayer costs following the government’s $188 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008, after which the government seized control of both Enterprises. The only other financial institution out of the 18 that has not settled with FHFA is Royal Bank of Scotland, which is expected to go to trial sometime next year if no settlement is reached. The other 16 lenders have paid a combined total of about $24 billion to settle with FHFA, including $9.3 billion paid by Bank of America in March 2014. The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honea Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago FHFA, Nomura Trial Expected to Continue for a Month Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save Related Articles Tagged with: FHFA Mortgage-Backed Securities Nomura Holdings  Print This Post The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Previous: Consumer Advocates Concerned Over Non-Borrowing Spouses Facing Foreclosure Next: DS News Webcast: Tuesday 3/17/2015center_img Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago FHFA Mortgage-Backed Securities Nomura Holdings 2015-03-16 Brian Honea Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. March 16, 2015 1,325 Views Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / FHFA, Nomura Trial Expected to Continue for a Month The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Subscribe in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Secondary Marketlast_img read more

FARC Leader Alfonso Cano’s Death Fails to Stop Colombia Violence

first_imgBy Dialogo January 09, 2012 Think tank: FARC’s resurgence a ‘false alarm’ But other analysts offer strikingly different view of the FARC war machine. María Victoria Llorente, who heads the Bogotá nonprofit group Ideas For Peace, said warnings about a major resurgence by the FARC constitute “a false alarm.” Her organization published a lengthy assessment of the conflict in August that painted the FARC in a state of steady decline. The report attributed the recent increase in rebel attacks to a FARC strategy aimed at dispersing government troops and distracting them from their top priority of taking down top guerrilla leaders. These hostilities often involve land mines, sniper attacks and other actions that require minimal military effort by the rebels. Jeremy McDermott, co-director of Insight Crime, a Bogotá research center that tracks organized crime and conflict in Latin America, said that because army pressure has FARC combatants constantly on the run, the rebel organization’s ability to provide serious political and military training to its recruits is severely limited. Rather than combat, he said, many FARC fronts are focused on money-making activities, such as extorting gold miners and trafficking drugs. Young guerrilla recruits “hardly know anything,” a demobilized member of the FARC’s 36th Front told Insight Crime. “They gave us training for something like 20 days… Maybe you learn how to dismantle and re-arm a rifle. More than anything, the 36th Front doesn’t have an instructor who can train a group of new guys. That capacity isn’t there.” FARC fails to disrupt local elections When the FARC does strike, many of the clashes take place in remote jungle regions and border areas where rebels can evade government troops by crossing into Ecuador or Venezuela. But, unlike the widespread havoc wrought by FARC actions in the late 1990s and early 2000s, recent rebel assaults have had little impact on Colombia’s political and economic life. Despite intense efforts by the FARC to disrupt state and local elections held on Oct. 31, for example, only a few incidents of violence were reported — and the voting took place in a largely peaceful atmosphere. Jiménez noted that amid attacks on Colombia’s pipelines and power plants, “the oil continues to flow. The economy continues to grow.” The Ideas For Peace report claims that the decrease in army combat operations against the FARC has nothing to do with troop morale. Instead, the report said the dropoff was the natural outcome of the FARC’s dwindling numbers. A decade ago, the FARC fielded about 15,000 combatants who were active in 377 of Colombia’s 1,100 municipios or townships. Today, the FARC has about 8,000 fighters active in 142 townships. “For these reasons, it’s wrong to talk about a reactivation and strengthening of the FARC,” the report said. Recent events “reflect the opposite. The FARC’s loss of offensive military capacity is irreversible and the group is now desperately trying to guarantee the survival of its rearguard.” Yet even if that’s an accurate X-ray of the state of the FARC, McDermott warns against triumphalism. Army pressure on the rebels, he says, is having the “adverse effect” — forcing the FARC to find new ways to survive, such as establishing temporary alliances with former paramilitary units that once fought the rebels but are now involved almost exclusively in drug trafficking. In fact, these new criminal gangs are now responsible for most of Colombia’s kidnappings and, according to Jiménez, now constitute the nation’s biggest security threat. Acknowledging that there’s little realistic opportunity of total battlefield victory over the FARC, many analysts have applauded Santos for recently opening the door to peace talks with the rebels. That could prevent the further degradation and criminalization of the FARC and allow Colombia to reduce spending on security — which constitutes about 4 percent of GDP — and shift that money to other areas. However, Santos said negotiations could only take place if the FARC releases all of its remaining hostages and refrains from further kidnappings and attacks on the civilian population. And that seems unlikely. The rebels have unilaterally released a few hostages and promise to free six more in coming months. But the FARC refuses to renounce the practice of kidnapping. What’s more, non-uniformed FARC militia members are often based in urban areas where they continue to target civilians. “I am very skeptical about FARC statements that they want peace,” Rangel said. “It’s just a lot of empty rhetoric.” These guerrillas don’t fight because of the social inequality in Colombia — they’re criminals, murderers, thieves, extortionists and cowards who plant drugs, harvest them and make lots of money, which in the end they can’t enjoy because their conscience won’t let them. I congratulate President Santos — stick it to them, they have no souls they sow pain and tears throughout Colombia. BOGOTA — Colombia’s FARC guerrillas bid adieu to 2011 in typical — and tragic — fashion. On Dec. 30, the rebels fired a homemade rocket at a police station in the southern town of Orito, near Colombia’s border with Ecuador. No police officers died in the explosion but it did kill the wife and eight-month-old son of the police chief, who had taken up his new post just two days earlier. “That does not show military strength on the part of the FARC,” said Alvaro Jiménez, a political analyst who heads a Colombian organization that promotes the removal of land mines from the battlefield. “Killing a wife and a baby is simply a crime that generates horror and rejection among Colombians.” Jiménez and other analysts say the Orito bombing and other recent rebel hostilities illustrate Colombia’s battlefield paradox as the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia enters its 48th year of waging war. The guerrillas stepped up their attacks on government troops, remote towns and energy infrastructure in the past year. Yet the FARC also suffered devastating blows, such as the Nov. 4 death of its maximum leader, Alfonso Cano, in an army operation. Analysts debate effectiveness of anti-FARC tactics These conflicting signals over the course of the war in 2011 has led to fierce debates among analysts over whether the FARC is gaining momentum after a decade of decline and retreat. Alfredo Rangel, director of the Bogotá-based Security and Democracy Foundation think tank, points out that kidnappings by the FARC jumped by 10 percent last year, acts of sabotage by 32 percent and attacks on oil infrastructure by 80 percent. In June, for example, the FARC kidnapped three Chinese oil workers and their translator in the southern department of Caquetá. All four men are still missing. The rebels also bombed oil pipelines and trains carrying coal to Caribbean ports. Indeed, the growing perception that security in Colombia has deteriorated led to the August resignation of Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera. He was replaced by Juan Carlos Pinzon, a long-time aide to President Juan Manuel Santos. In a recent interview broadcast on Dutch TV, Tanja Nijmeijer, a Dutch woman who joined the FARC a decade ago, said: “The FARC is pressing forward without Cano. There have been a lot of military actions in the wake of his death…. That proves we are moving ahead and that the end of the FARC is a long way off.” Troop morale is also an issue, according to Rangel. He claims that soldiers have been less aggressive on the battlefield due, in part, to judicial reforms that allow troops and officers to be tried by civilian, rather than military, courts for alleged human rights violations related to their actions against the FARC. If not for the killing of Cano, Rangel said, 2011 would have been viewed as a wash for Colombian security forces. “The day before Cano was killed,” Rangel noted, “the entire Colombian press corps was questioning the effectiveness of the fight against the FARC.” last_img read more

The power of real-member storytelling

first_img 26SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Troy Stang Troy Stang serves as the President and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association. The Association represents more than 175 credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and their 7…. Details Credit unions, as not-for-profit cooperative financial services providers, stand out in the competitive landscape by helping members achieve their dreams. As credit union enthusiasts, we all know the value and impact credit unions make on people and communities, but it is more important than ever that we ensure credit unions stand out as the best financial services choice for consumers. I challenge all in the Credit Union Movement to step up your game and stand out because there is a lot of competing marketplace noise attempting to capture our members’ and potential members’ attention.  For that reason, credit unions must share their members’ true stories more intentionally. We need to be louder than we’ve ever been and use our collective voices to continue to educate members, consumers, and public policy officials about how lives change for the better when consumers have a not-for-profit choice in financial services.You can bet that consumers will go online to find out who offers the best interest rates. And you can count on legislators to review your impressive data. But what really will move the needle for both audiences will be the stories of the lives you changed – or possibly even helped to bring into the world.Consider the story of Camille and Felix, a couple from Nampa, Idaho. Their doctor said they could have children – if they tried in vitro fertilization. That’s a very expensive process, but in a heartbeat, their credit union said “yes” to their loan request. Today, they have twin boys who are almost three, and a six-month-old baby girl. They praise their credit union for helping make their biggest dreams come true.It might not be just about how many loans you have on the books; but rather how your better rates are helping members to save.  One Northwest credit union recently shared a great example with me. They don’t have a “loan goal.” Instead, they have a goal to help their members save money, either by refinancing higher interest loans from elsewhere or by offering lower rates to begin with. That plan is working for the credit union, and for its members. As their CEO told me last week, “In one instance we saved a member more than $20,000 in interest.” That’s a real, tangible benefit that will make its way right out onto Main Street. Another credit union which provides agricultural loans, financed a young dairy farmer’s dream of getting into the goat farming industry. Today, she is raising more than 700 goats, has some of the most innovative dairy technology in the USA, and has an exclusive contract to provide goats’ milk to one of the country’s leading goat cheese manufacturers. Talk about the American Dream!Regardless of whether you are a consumer deciding whether to “Open Your Eyes” to a credit union, or a legislator deciding whether to support common sense legislation to help credit unions better serve their members, aren’t those the stories you’d remember and relate to?CUNA and all of the leagues are proud to work closely with your teams, both on your awareness campaigns and as you prepare for legislative visits.  By collaborating, we can provide a treasure-trove of economic and community impact data, and that’s critically important. But these real-member stories? Those are gold, and they’re what credit unions are uniquely positioned to share.Your stories don’t necessarily need to be district or even state-specific when you are telling them on Main Street or in the statehouses. That’s because examples such as these are what credit unions are doing every day to make their members’ lives better. The more often we tell real-member stories, the clearer it will be to all that everyone can choose, and should choose, credit unions as their trusted financial partners.last_img read more

Linda Newton May

first_imgLinda Newton May, age 75 of Batesville, Indiana passed away on Saturday, March 31, 2018 at St. Andrews Health Campus in Batesville.  The daughter of Robert and Oris Newton (nee: Kemp) was born on July 23, 1942.  Linda married Dr. James Eugene May on December 21, 1962.Linda received her BSN and worked as a nurse until she retired. She later decided to go back to work as a real estate agent.She is survived by her sons, James Michael and Jonathan Elliott May; daughter Michelle Lee Smith; grandchildren Jordon Elliott May and Joshua Erin May; and sister Barbara Mason.In addition to her parents and husband, James, she was preceded in death by her brother Sonny Newton.Visitation for family and friends will be Thursday, April 5, 2018 from 2-4pm at Meyers Funeral Home in Batesville.  Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery in James Island, South Carolina at a later date.Memorials may be given to St. Andrews Health Campus Activities Fund.  Online condolences can be left for the family at www.meyersfuneralhomes.com.last_img read more

To Kill a Mockingbird: As Relevant Now as Ever

first_imgFacebook377Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Harlequin Productions“Theater has always been a mirror to society, a sharp reflection of who we are.”~Edward AlbeeThe audience gives an enthusiastic standing ovation at a recent Harlequin Productions play.Live theater has the power to entertain us, challenge us, and empower us to make changes. Sometimes theater enriches us with perspectives we’ve never considered before. Other times, it serves as a mirror reflecting us as we are – no matter how much we might not like what we see.From August 20 to September 12, 2015, Harlequin Productions is staging Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel, at the State Theater in downtown Olympia. Harper Lee’s American literary classic won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960, has been translated into more than forty languages and sold more than forty million copies. An award-winning film starring Gregory Peck was released in 1962, bringing the beloved tale to uncounted millions more. Today, Harper Lee’s timeless story is as relevant as it’s ever been.Mockingbird gained instant renown due to its bold and honest exploration of issues surrounding racial inequality and prejudice. These are the same conversations we’re having today. The news is swamped with issues from #BlackLivesMatter, to the nation-wide confederate flag debate, to Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Hispanics. The State Theater is situated on 4th  Avenue downtown where just a few weeks ago, protesters marched in the hundreds calling for justice following the local police shooting of two black men. Clearly, the issues discussed in Harper Lee’s story are issues we are still struggling with today. And not just nationally, but right here in our community.Following the matinee performance on Sunday September 6, Harlequin is hosting a forum led by local attorney and human rights activist Reiko Callner, whose mother was held in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Reiko is the current Olympia Chapter Co-President of the Japanese American Citizens’ League, as well as the Executive Director for the Washington State Commission on Judicial Conduct and the former Chair of the State Human Rights Commission. She wrote the hate crimes ordinance for the City of Olympia and is one of the founding members of the anti-hate crime organization, Unity in the Community. Reiko was the recipient of the YWCA’s Woman of Achievement Award for Social Justice in 2000 and the Capital City Pride Day Award in 2005. All those in attendance at the Sunday matinee performance of To Kill a Mockingbird are invited to stay after to take part in this discussion. Anyone with a ticket stub for any other performance during the run may also attend the forum on a first come, first seated basis. More post-show forums may be added during the performance run of the show.As many great plays do, To Kill a Mockingbird reflects who we are and the issues we’re still struggling with. Let’s look into the mirror, Olympia. We may not like everything we see, but it’s as important now as ever that we talk about it.last_img read more