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February 16, 2009

LKL BLOG SURVEY – MADOFF EDITION!

Posted: 11:30 AM ET
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Michael Powers   February 16th, 2009 1:09 pm ET

Dear Mr. King,

At least this one made the news, my case is being dropped by the Department of Labor since the average person is not important enough.

I worked for a company in Dallas TX for 3 years, they defrauded me over $10,000.00 from my 401 K and a total of over $40,000.00 from all the employees. I contacted the Federal Department of labor with documented evidence. The DOL performed an investigation and the owners were found in violation and were given 3 chance to pay. All three times they stated it was an accounting error and it would be corrected. The company is now closed but no out of business and the DOL is telling me that the Federal Courts will not hear the case because the total dollars stolen are not enough and the local Texas DA may not hear since they are over run with cases and since no one was physically hurt the case will be forgotten about.

I want to know who is going to tell my 3 year daughter her dad could not save for her future because she was not important enough, when she is paying off all this debt they are handing out

Please help me keep the DOL doing its job, I will not let this go until I am reimburse or someone is in jail or both if possible.

Michael Powers 1-770-510-8426


Joe G. (From Illinois)   February 16th, 2009 3:36 pm ET

Those people who worked for Enron and invested all their savings and retirement funds into that company’s stocks thinking that they had the upper hand, and could "stick it" to everyone else but then found themselves “dumfounded” when left penniless at the corner.. (Guilty!) All those aristocrats and nobleman who praised and venerated Bernie Madoff and now repudiate him.. (Guilty!) All those who voted to elect Obama on the prospect of riches and prosperity (Guilty!)


Mike, Zephyrhills, FL   February 16th, 2009 4:00 pm ET

Greed begetts Greed!!

Many more fortunes to be lost, Madoff is an individual , but Corporate America has ruined our nation. For years they have stolen and the elite have passed on taxes and fees to the american worker, Providing him with less but for more costs!!

We have a financial services economy, the worst kind you can have.

To think we have to go out and SPEND to keep our economy going!

Now thats a sad option!!


Mike, Zephyrhills, FL   February 16th, 2009 4:08 pm ET

Madoff isnt any worse than all the trial lawyers driving upi the costs of medical and medicine.

Why is very ad on TV now a lawyer firm wantign to sue someone for you??

Guess thats why my Auto Insurance is made up of 60% personal liabilty premium which goes up yearly now .

This FDA and medications, DR's over prescribing and drug companies getting subsidized billions to make drugs that harm us and kill us. Without little evidence they even work!!

Congress spending trillions to bailout bankers who are the problem, and then spend trillions on things that have no chance of creating jobs,

No Madoff has 50 Billion, small piece of the pie!! The rest of the Crooks steal far more than Bernie!!

Besides Im still wondering where Ken Lay is at, cremated my foot, Bush's buddy, he is somewhere!!


Lisa Deanne Whalen   February 16th, 2009 5:38 pm ET

When speaking of regulating and ALL of Americans working together, I find myself wondering why we are still paying ex pres. such a high pension, even if they did not serve well. Should we ALL not only mean the people, and not those that lead us to such a state of affairs. A lot of money is being discussed, none of which the average american will even witness, yet we are all receiving job cuts, pay cuts, home loss, and yet our presidents passed are all very well endowed with a pension that we of course have set up for them, when we have lost our retirements and savings, as well as our benefits to retire on when social security is on the line. This worries one american that does not have such a lofty nest egg for not always working for the american people at all.


Jim Stanton   February 16th, 2009 6:20 pm ET

Please see attached “PDF” file for greater detail.
Will Fannie Mae, Regulators Sink Housing Industry?
In order to have a sustainable recovery in the housing industry it is imperative to restore investor confidence in the mortgage industry…..
Regulators have made blanket generalizations about the problem but have failed to clearly identify what went wrong with the mortgage industry. As a result their efforts have not only failed to stimulate a recovery but are impeding it….
Fannie Mae and FHA continue to approve high risk loans while low risk borrowers, with loan needs of over $417,000.00, are penalized with higher rates and fees or are unable to find financing at all…..
Executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac intentionally removed underwriting criteria designed to identify and assess risk and replaced it with a so called risk based underwriting system that not only made it possible to mask or hide investment risk, but made it possible for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to label and sell loans of unacceptable risk, under the “prime mortgage” label, to unsuspecting investors……
Companies like Countrywide Mortgage and IndyMac Bank followed Fannie Mae’s lead…….. Made it possible for them to sell what can only be described as junk loans to unsuspecting investors…..
The lack of investor trust in the mortgage industry is depriving the market of needed liquidity…..
Financing across the full spectrum of the market is needed to provide the market with the fluidity it needs to achieve a sustainable recovery….
Many Bank owned properties are going unsold because there is no financing available for them….
2008 opened a window of opportunity……… there is a real danger that the window of opportunity will close. A second wave of foreclosures, not related to high risk lending is taking form. If this wave of foreclosures takes hold it will be far more difficult to reverse and far more devastating………
James L. Stanton, President
Advance Financial & Real Estate brokerage, Inc.
(805) 493-7755 Direct Line (805) 492-2235


James L. Stanton   February 16th, 2009 6:29 pm ET

Will Fannie Mae, Regulators Sink Housing Industry?
In order to have a sustainable recovery in the housing industry it is imperative to restore investor confidence in the mortgage industry. This cannot be done unless what went wrong with the mortgage industry is accurately and clearly identified. Once the problem is clearly identified regulators need to spell out in detail what they are going to do to prevent the problem from reoccurring. Regulators have made blanket generalizations about the problem but have failed to clearly identify what went wrong with the mortgage industry. As a result their efforts have not only failed to stimulate a recovery but are impeding it.
At the very core of the problem is a hand full executives, presiding over government sponsored but privately owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These executives have virtual control over the mortgage industry, for better or for worse. Fannie Mae’s control over the industry is such, that respected and well managed banks like Bank of America, Chase Manhattan Bank and Wells Fargo Bank, on behalf of Fannie Mae, solicited approved and funded loans to borrowers that could not afford to make the payments. Regulators failure to identify the problem has compounded it. Fannie Mae and FHA continue to approve high risk loans while low risk borrowers, with loan needs of over $417,000.00, are penalized with higher rates and fees or are unable to find financing at all.
For much of this decade Fannie Mae executives have enriched themselves at at the expense of investors, the housing industry, their stockholders, and at the expense of our economy. Executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac intentionally removed underwriting criteria designed to identify and assess risk and replaced it with a so called risk based underwriting system that not only made it possible to mask or hide investment risk, but made it possible for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to label and sell loans of unacceptable risk, under the “prime mortgage” label, to unsuspecting investors. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac routinely funded loans to high risk borrowers that could not afford to make the payments. Fannie Mae also funded loans on properties it knew were 100% financed even at a time when it was common knowledge in the industry that housing prices were due for a serious downward correction. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were funding loans of such high risk, that I can safely state, that no investor, even one with limited knowledge of the industry would have knowingly invested in the high risk loans hidden in Fannie Mae’s mortgage portfolios.
Companies like Countrywide Mortgage and IndyMac Bank followed Fannie Mae’s lead and instituted their own brand of “risk based” underwriting. Their “underwriting” systems hid or masked all critical risk to investors and therefore made it possible for them to sell what can only be described as junk loans to unsuspecting investors. Executives at some of these companies grossly enriched themselves at the expense of their stockholders, investors, the housing industry and our economy.
The lack of investor trust in the mortgage industry is depriving the market of needed liquidity. Additionally, public policy has concentrated its stimulus efforts in the low to mid range of the housing market, while leaving a financing gap in the upper-middle and high end of the market. Stimulus at the first time buyer level is obviously needed, but will be largely wasted if there is a failure to provide a stimulus, (reasonably priced financing), to the upper-middle and higher end of the market. Financing across the full spectrum of the market is needed to provide the market with the fluidity it needs to achieve a sustainable recovery. Many Bank owned properties are going unsold because there is no financing available for them.
2008 opened a window of opportunity that could lead to a housing recovery. Home prices are once again affordable and interest rates are at historic lows, (for first-time and lower to mid-range buyers). However, if regulators fail to restore investor confidence in the mortgage industry and if policy makers fail to provide financing at the upper middle and higher end of the market, there is a real danger that the window of opportunity will close. A second wave of foreclosures, not related to high risk lending is taking form. If this wave of foreclosures takes hold it will be far more difficult to reverse and far more devastating than the foreclosures caused by “greed based lending practices”.
James L. Stanton, President
Advance Financial &Real Estate Brokerage, Inc.


Stacy H   February 16th, 2009 8:49 pm ET

Dear Larry,
Obama hasn't been in office 30 days yet and it seems he is being blamed for the economical mess. I have not seen any bipartisanship from the republican party. I just see a blame game. Refocusing blame after less than 30 days in office does not give them a pass on what they did in the last 8 years. I have been layed off since June 2008. I can't even find a part-time job because I am over qualified. If Rep from Michigan (R) would like to talk about what we can do for Michigan but not for Las Vegas is ridiculous. That is not even close to bipartisan. She should say give Michigan this and we will give Las Vegas that. Equally all towns, cities, counties, parishes, and states should be given help. Not just Michigan and Las Vegas. I don't think we need bipartisan anymore. I think we need our politicians and government to come together to do what is right for all. Quit crying republicans and quit showboating democrats. If we don't come together soon, it will all be for not.
Put the blame where it belongs on Wallstreet, Banks, "Madoff's". This is no longer the funny papers. This is very serious.
Stacy H


Stephan   February 16th, 2009 9:36 pm ET

Question for Suze (on LKL),
Suze, do you buy lottery tickets?


C Henry   February 16th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

I'm 60, retired, debt-free, don't need any income, where I should I be investing now?


Donna   February 16th, 2009 9:39 pm ET

I owe $10,000 on my car at 5.75%. A credit card company offered me $10,000 at 3.99%, with which I could pay off the car loan and just owe the credit card company. The rate is 3.99 till the loan is paid off.

Should I pay off the car loan and switch the balance to the credit card company? I have no other credit card debt.


Tommy Board   February 16th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

In regard to the Short Sale education message that I just sent regarding the SS education that is provided by Americas Home Rescue I can be contacted at 512-917-4023 should anyone want more information. I have been helping this company for about a year now and they ARE NOT the typical money grubbing, jump on a hot topic organization. TB


Bryan McCormick   February 17th, 2009 12:50 am ET

It is so clear that what is happening is entirely based around both the luxury and convservativism of the upper one per cent that PB ironically spent so much time in investing. The job loss is a measure of that very conservativism protecting as much of the lifestyle they had become accustomed to as they possibly can. Corners are going to have to be cut, none of us can deny it, but corporate CEOs cannot hide behind their companies namesake and have that excuse them from not having to cut corners too. The corners you cut cannot be somebody else’s livelihood. Job loss is not a sacrifice. It is the situation. Beyond the job loss the upper one per cent, who are taxed however heavily, need to get in the mud with us.

I’m looking at you too The Media, which somehow includes Fox News and for that matter Comedy Central at this point. You have to realize that is how we all see it. We all know whatever corners wind up being mandated that you cut that we are aware of your confidence of how well you and yours will turn out after all is said and done. So take some altruistic initiative and hire contractors to downsize your house, conservatively forecast the money you don’t need and donate it, gather committees to assemble in efforts to resolve this crisis, because we are not a nation of money and never have been. We are not a nation of despair or commiseration. We are a nation of conflict, always have been. Step up to this challenge because we and ours will be fine too, but we will never understand the reasons that money make you happy.

We don’t want to understand. We couldn’t understand. In fact, I would go farther and say that it probably doesn’t make you happy as much as it makes you responsible. When we blame government, we blame us all. That is the despair and cyclical nature of the blame game. If it weren’t for the competence, confidence, if rhetorical, countenance of my President, I wouldn’t have near enough faith in this email not falling on deaf ears. Oh yes, we know full well the feeling of falling on deaf ears and the feeling of no say. The problem isn’t with the economy. It is with the shoppers themselves. But only those who can afford to shop. The problem isn’t with bottomless bank accounts but where people with the deepest pockets are spending their money. As far as massive lay-offs go, we frankly have bigger problems at this point. However, the benefit of a smaller problem is the ability to put things in perspective. There are now around 8% of the country looking for a job and a problem that 91% of the country fears. Maybe I’m simply wrong in blaming vetted concerns like the upper one per cent. All the same, there is a rotten apple in this here orchard, and once it is plucked or cleansed everything will fall into the revolution we’ve been waiting for my entire life.

Race plays no bigger of a part in this election than it does in the every day of every american and no lesser a part than it does in all of american history. we are the only nation to my knowledge to have both freed and equalized those we had thought of as slaves. that is every american's blessing and plague to live with the memory of the atrocity of slavery. yet today with a man who bears the skin such that at one time would have been thought of as three fifths of a man actually leading our nation, more people worry about robots sabotaging a world doomed for icing over in yet another global catastrophe. We have to recognize all of our problems as the problems of one loving nation and as such realize our own potential to overtake those odds and utterly overcome our own fears of submission. if we can defy the cuteness of beany babies, we can do anything. we need to recognize the simple beauty of our diversity and end our petty bickering. We need to recognize any bickering as petty. There is so much to be done because we have been misleading ourselves for so long, but in truth, much of what we need to do is simple if hard to accept. I would emphasize education but that would shortchange the youth. I would emphasize conservation but that would undermine both diversity and our own senses of importance.
Truly, I feel that Barack Obama understands where the federal government is important, and myself typically conservative do hope that he is up to the broad parameter of challenge the American people ask and deserve no less of. Excuse my passive voice, I'm a little drunk. God bless us all, the internet included.


ed,vancouver canada   February 17th, 2009 3:57 am ET

donna you would save about 350 dollars.that is if the card is 3.99 fixed.
read the fine print,they have the right to change the rate at anytime.


Kay   March 13th, 2009 12:19 pm ET

Madoff is deeply ashamed and sorry - baloney! He is ashamed and sorry because he got caught. I hope the investors get every dime of the money he has stashed away.


Terry-Minnesota   March 14th, 2009 5:34 pm ET

Where is all the money and will the "investors" get any of it back?


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