PART 2 of 2
Marilyn M. Barnewall
October 26, 2011
A TOPIC OF WHICH I RARELY SPEAK – OBAMA’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE
Obama’s birth certificate was never the real issue, in my view. The most provable disqualification has always been the Kenyan citizenship of his father. On that issue, there is a Supreme Court decision to serve as precedent. Look at Minor v. Happersett (1875) Minor v. Happersett 88 US 162 (1875). In this unanimous decision, the Supreme Court defined a "native or natural-born citizen" as a person born in the U.S. to parents who were U.S. citizens. This very definition excludes Barack Obama from being President of the United States.
There is one issue more important than the past three dismal years of an unqualified President. It is: How do we make sure this does not happen again? How do we make sure Barack Obama or any other Trojan Horse never gets elected (or re-elected) to the office of the Presidency of this Great Nation? Very simple. Had each state passed a law requiring all people vying for political office to provide an actual birth certificate for proof of age, such a law would be non-discriminatory and would have had standing in our contract law-driven court system. The question is: Does a contract exist? If there is an age requirement and for proof of age a birth certificate is required, a contract does exist between state government and its candidates and voters. As long as “birthers” are driven to oust Obama and prove his birth certificate (over which they have no control) is phony, they are going to lose. A sitting President cannot be indicted for crimes. He must first be impeached and that duty falls to the U.S. Senate. I can just see Harry Reid impeaching Obama, can’t you? Anyone who thinks that’s going to happen needs psychiatric help.
Had the same amount of energy devoted to searching for a birth certificate been given to getting qualification laws passed to prevent Obama from running again, the words “2012 election” and “Barack Obama” would be a dead issue. People allowed an issue to divert them from solving the real problem. It is ridiculous to pursue disqualification on the basis of citizenship, which requires access to birth records “they” control. Why go that route when a Supreme Court decision defining the term “natural-born citizen” exists? Laws requiring a birth certificate to prove age (rather than citizenship) to run for office avoid the “natural-born citizen” definitional issue in the first place. Because a lot of people define “natural born” as being born on American soil (disregarding the "of parents who are U.S. citizens"), the legal definition can only be determined via the court process. It will be fought and the 2012 elections will be over before a decision is handed down – and the outcome of litigation is never certain (especially in a corrupt court system).
It makes me very curious why, if I as a non-lawyer can figure this out, none of the bright minds that have been diverting people from the real solution haven’t figured it out… or, maybe they have. If so, they’re diverting people from actual facts. Is that their game? For those who think Obama’s re-election is impossible, I suggest you look at the percentages of people likely to support him: 1) The 47 percent of Americans who pay no taxes; 2) Minority voters; 3) Welfare recipients; 4) Progressives, socialists and communists. That is well over 50 percent of the people in this country.
The best way in the world to lose anything – including elections – is over-confidence that is unjustified. It’s not like we have an Alan West or a Marco Rubio candidate running against the Great Pretender.
WALTZ OF THE BANK OF AMERICA AND THE FEDERAL RESERVE
In September 2011, Bank of America’s (BofA) credit rating was downgraded (in good company with the United States downgrade). But as a result you, Mr. and Mrs. (and Ms.) Taxpayer, just got hit with another Federal Reserve scam. Bank of America has moved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch affiliate to its bank holding company. How many derivatives? According to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), about $53 trillion – or 71 percent – of Merrill Lynch’s $75 trillion derivative portfolio, that’s how many. Why would they move the derivatives from the BofA Merrill Lynch affiliate to its commercial bank holding company?
Deposits with a commercial bank are insured. Deposits with an investment bank are not. Who is the insurer? Why, you and I insure the funds via the FDIC. Does that answer why Bank of America moved its uninsured Merrill Lynch derivatives to its deposit-insured commercial bank? I’d sure be interested in knowing where a non-government private corporation called the Federal Reserve gained the authority to approve such a move.
You didn’t know there were that many derivatives dollars out there? How can the derivatives market be so much greater than the world’s entire financial wealth? The value of a derivative depends on many things… the size of an interest rate, the cost of a barrel of oil or value of a foreign currency, gold, silver, or even a share of stock. The same derivative is often used in several different derivative products. Remember how failed mortgage-backed homes contained in derivatives were “leveraged” 45 or 50 times? That means the same home was placed in 45 or 50 different derivative packages. If that home was priced at $200,000, that one home equated to $10 million in derivative value if it was placed into 50 derivatives packages.
One way derivatives are valued is called “notional,” which represents the total amount of the assets contained in a derivatives contract. If my derivatives contract says I can buy 30 ounces of gold and the current price is $1600, the “notional value” of that derivative is $48,000… but owning the right to buy something for the next six months and actually buying it are two different things. Too, the price I might pay for gold today -- $1,700 – is not going to be the same price I will pay a month or two months from now. The “notional” value of a derivative is calculated on the value of an item at today’s estimated cost. If you’re getting the idea that derivatives are one huge gamble, you’re on the right track. They are the worst kind of gamble. Of course, if you’re Goldman Sachs and want to hedge your bets on both sides, you create and sell both the up and down sides… it’s called a built-in moral hazard and conflict of interest.
Another way to measure the size of the derivatives market is based on how much derivatives are worth if value is calculated on sales outstanding as of today. At the end of 2007, the gross derivatives market was valued at $14.5 trillion – though its “notional” estimate was $596 trillion… about 1/40th of the notional value. Using that statistic, let’s calculate what the Federal Reserve just unlawfully permitted Bank of America to do. One-fortieth of $53 trillion is $1.33 trillion. That $1.33 trillion, not $53 trillion, is the minimum loss Bank of America’s holding company can suffer on the now-insured, safely transferred Merrill Lynch derivatives.
I do not want to hear one “Poor me” out of the mouths of Bank of America customers when that bank goes down the tubes. Good grief! How many warnings do you need before you move your accounts elsewhere?
I WARNED YOU OF THE DANGER OF BUYING A FORECLOSED PROPERTY
Exactly one year ago, I wrote a series of three articles about MERS – Mortgage Electronic Registry System. Specifically, I said: “WARNING: If you are thinking of buying a home that was financed between 2004 and the current time, BE VERY CAREFUL. It may be a home whose legal ownership is yet to be determined by the Courts.” (MERS articles here) I further warned “It wouldn’t be fun to buy a new home and be evicted six months later because the Courts decide that the MERS securitization process is illegal and the original owners (two owners ago, maybe) still own the property.”
On 18 October 2011, the Massachusetts Supreme Court handed down a decision that validates my October 2010 warning by making foreclosure sales in the Commonwealth during the past five years totally void. The Ruling basically says that those who purchased foreclosed homes during the past five years do not have legal title to those properties. Look up Francis J. Bevilacqua, III vs. Pablo Rodrigues (Supreme Court Decision here). Since more than two-thirds of all real estate transactions have been purchases of foreclosed properties, there is a huge problem on the horizon. I can give advice – but I have no way to make people heed it.
The Massachusetts Supremes basically said Bevilacqua wasn’t entitled to “something from nothing” and that a foreclosure conducted by a non-mortgagee (the MERS problem) is wholly void and passes no title to a new buyer of the Title. In a breath of fresh Supreme Court air, the Court told Bevilacqua his remedy was not against the wrongly foreclosed homeowner. Instead, it was against the wrongly foreclosing bank and/or perhaps the servicer (depending on who actually conducted the unlawful foreclosure).
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This decision could literally make visible the insolvency of the entire banking system. What this shouts to you and every other homeowner is this: You MUST know who holds the note on your mortgage… who is the lien holder (to whom is the collateral, the home, assigned?) You MUST make sure that your payments are going to the true lien holder. There is another shoe here waiting to fall and it involves title insurance companies. If a title insurance company fails to do its due diligence – to perform a thorough risk assessment on homes they underwrite, that is a lapse in fiduciary responsibility – and that means class action suits.
It’s a complicated world out there. It shouldn’t be and it doesn’t have to be… but we have encouraged others to make it so by enabling them. Our silence has empowered them, while dis-empowering us. As a famous ancestor of mine once said “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive…” (Sir Walter Scott) For part one click below.
© 2011 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved
Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career in 1956 as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 years (plus) as a banker and bank consultant, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, was U.S. Consulting Editor for Private Banker International (London/Dublin), and other major banking industry publications. She has written seven non-fiction books about banking and taught private banking at Colorado University for the American Bankers Association. She has authored seven banking books, one dog book, and two works of fiction (about banking, of course). She has served on numerous Boards in her community.
Barnewall is the former editor of The National Peace Officer Magazine and as a journalist has written guest editorials for the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Newsweek, among others. On the Internet, she has written for News With Views, World Net Daily, Canada Free Press, Christian Business Daily, Business Reform, and others. She has been quoted in Time, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and other national and international publications. She can be found in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in the World.
Web site: http://marilynwrites.blogspot.com