Getting Ready to Move to the New Blog

Back from a lovely honeymoon (why doesn’t everyone move to Iceland?), and now it’s time to get back to the hustle.

Exciting news: this blog is moving over to a new site: Next New Deal’s Rortybomb Blog. Next New Deal is the revamped and cleaned-up New Deal 2.0 site.  Here is my new rss feed.  The site has that cool “read more” drop-down/expansion of the post within the same page like Salon, which I’m hella excited about.  The site is live currently.  Until Wednesday, I’ll keep posts at both sites, but will encourage you to read at the new site.  This wordpress blog will go into hibernation after that, but might re-awake someday, so feel free to keep this rss in your feed (I won’t have both sites running posts, so no double posts in your reader).

We are still kicking the tires of the new site, so please give us some feedback.  I’m excited to have this blog more formally absorbed into the Roosevelt Institute, who has had a kick-ass 2012 so far and will continue to do so in the future.  You can, as always, get updates at my twitter account as well.  Hope you follow me along on the next phase of this adventure.

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Far Too Low for Far Too Long

by JW Mason

So, what caused the economic and financial crisis of 2007-whenever? It’s an open question. Presumably we’ll continue to argue about it until the next crisis (or until the Moon Men invade.) But right now let’s talk about one possible story, or really family of stories: that the root cause of the crisis is that interest rates were too low for too long.

This is often taken to be a conservative view; one of its more prominent exponents has been John Taylor, who complained last week in in the Wall Street Journal that

the Fed has returned to its discretionary, unpredictable ways, and the results are not good. Starting in 2003-05, it held interest rates too low for too long and thereby encouraged excessive risk-taking and the housing boom.

Rortybomb’s favorite conservative Fed president Thomas Hoenig made a similar argument when he left the FOMC last year:

We as a nation have consumed more than we produced now for well over a decade. Having very low rates for an extended period of time encourages us to continue focusing on consumption, but to correct our imbalances, we have to focus on production. … If I thought zero rates would bring jobs, I’d want it forever. But it distorts the economy. In 2003, when we lowered rates and kept them there because unemployment was 6.5 percent — look at the consequences.

More broadly, this view is associated with so-called Austrian Business cycle theory, which holds that macroeconomic instability is fundamentally due to departures of the market interest rate from the natural rate. (As Don Patinkin pointed out, this would better be called Swedish business cycle theory, since it really originated with Wicksell but came to London “via Austria.”) In this view, an artificially low interest rate encourages investment in assets whose returns are lower than the true social rate of discount; when interest rates return to their natural level, investment will be depressed until this excess stock of physical capital is worked off.

But it’s not only conservatives who argue this. One hears something similar from the global imbalances crowd – most famously, of course Bernanke’s “global savings glut” hypothesis that excessively high savings in Asian countries drove world interest rates excessively low. (I am deliberately leaving unanswered the question of what “excessively” means here.) You can find a whole host of prominent economists making similar arguments, including Martin FeldsteinObstfeld and Rogoff, and Chinn and Frieden. When flows of capital from Asia to the United States (or from northern to southern Europe) pushed down interest rates in the recipient countries, they argue, it was inevitable that the projects funded as a result would be speculative and ultimately wasteful.

You can even find this type of argument among Keynes scholars, like the brilliant Axel Leijonhufvud:

Operating an interest targeting regime keying on the consumer price index (CPI), the Fed was lured into keeping interest rates far too low for far too long. The result was inflation of asset prices combined with a general deterioration of credit quality. This, of course, does not make a Keynesian story. Rather, it is a variation on the Austrian overinvestment (or malinvestment) theme.

In the current crisis, he adds, “The General Theory is not particularly helpful.” (Heresy!) Well, it is certainly true that Keynes wasn’t writing about a situation where the market interest rate was in some sense too low. Indeed he believed that an excessively high rate of interest explained not only crises in rich countries but what would we would today call the underdevelopment of poor ones: “The history of India at all times has provided an example of a country impoverished by a preference for liquidity amounting to so strong a passion that even an enormous and chronic influx of the precious metals has been insufficient to bring down the rate of interest to a level which was compatible with the growth of real wealth.”

One is loath to argue with Leijonhufvud, a far smarter and deeper thinker about the economy than most of us (me certainly included!) can ever hope to be. And yet I can’t shake a nagging feeling that the “far too low for far too long” story doesn’t quite add up.

The first problem is that the different stories, while agreeing that interest rates were in some sense too low, don’t line up with each other. The blame-the-Fed and blame-the-Chinese arguments, while seemingly similar – and even sometimes made by the same people – are actually in tension, if not outright contradictory. After all, if interest rates are set by the Fed, they are not set by international capital flows, and conversely. More precisely, in a world of floating exchange rates and mobile capital – the world we’re normally supposed to live in – expansionary monetary policy should be associated with lower capital inflows, currency depreciation, and a more favorable trade balance. Any macro textbook will tell you that the high interest rates of the early 1980s (supposedly in part due to high federal deficits) were a big factor in the growth of the US trade deficit. So insofar as global imbalances are the issue, looseness at the Fed looks like part of the solution, not part of the problem. There’s a reason why Brazil has called the ultra-loose Fed policy of recent years a form of “currency war.”

There’s also a tension between the Austrians’ version of “far too low for far too long” and Hoenig’s. In the first, after all, the problem with low interest rates is that they result in investment being too high; for the latter, it’s been too low. Since high interest rates are a cost for businesses undertaking investment projects, it’s not at all clear (to me at least) how Hoenig’s version is supposed to work.

Empirically, there are reasons for doubt too. Here is Ed Glaeser, for instance, suggesting that low interest rates can only account for a quarter of the runup of housing prices in the 2000s. More broadly, it is obvious that there have been many times and places where interest rates have been low for prolonged periods, and only some of them have experienced asset bubbles.

But there’s a deeper set of problems here, which it’s not clear that any of the “far too low for far too long” proponents have really grappled with. It’s an article of faith that the private financial system channels society’s investable funds to their best use. That’s why we have a financial system! So if a big increase in funds available for investment – either due to an inflow of foreign savings, or the creation of liquidity by the banking system abetted by the Federal Reserve – flow to activities that are socially useless or worse, what does that tell us?

It seems to me there are only two possible answers. Either we have already invested in everything worth investing in, or the financial system is not doing its job. I cannot see how higher interest rates are an appropriate response in either case.

Let me spell out the thought.

Many of the global imbalancers combine their proposals for less saving in the Asian countries with calls for higher savings in the US. That sounds very reasonable. But on closer examination, there’s something very odd about it. Because if it was excess saving that caused the crisis, why on earth would we want more of it?

Obstfeld and Rogoff, for instance, argue both that the underlying cause of the crisis was the capital inflows from Asia, and that the best outcome would be for the US government to reduce its borrowing. I’m sorry, but this makes no sense. From a macroeconomic standpoint, a reduction in US government borrowing by $100 billion, and a Chinese purchase of $100 billion in Treasury bonds, are identical. Both leave the US private sector holding $100 billion less of treasuries, and both – if you believe the crowding-out stories that are the whole basis, normally, of supporting balanced government budgets – should increase its appetite for private debt by exactly the same amount. In general, the benefit of a more favorable fiscal balance is supposed to be a greater supply of savings available to the private sector, resulting in lower interest rates and higher investment. But if lower interest rates would only lead to asset bubbles, what is the argument for reducing the fiscal deficit? There is no reason to expect the financial system to be any more successful in channeling the savings made available via lower public deficits into productive investment, than it is supposed to have been in channeling the inflow of foreign savings.

I don’t think you can argue that a “savings glut” or low interest rates caused the crisis, and then go on arguing in other, longer-run contexts that higher public and/or private savings are desirable.

People making the argument that, in modern conditions, very low interest rates can only call forth speculative or wasteful investment, have implicitly accepted Keynes’ view that there is finite limit on the capital society requires, so that returns on private investment will fall toward zero as this limit is approached. But they haven’t followed him to the logical conclusion that in such a savings-abundant world, consumption and public expenditure should rise secularly until private investment disappears entirely.

Of course there’s an alternative view, which is that socially useful investment opportunities are far from exhausted, and savings are still scarce, but that the private financial system is no longer adequate for matching the latter with the former. If we were going to go this route, the first step would be to take seriously the idea that there is no “the interest rate,” there are various interest rates, and various degrees of access to credit, and they often don’t move together. And the relationship between the policy rate controlled by the central bank, and those various market rates, depends on the specific institutional and regulatory context.

Has everyone read Ben Bernanke’s classic article, Inside the Black Box? One of the key points he makes there is that in a world where reserve requirements don’t bind, one of the main channels by which monetary policy affects the real economy is via asset prices. Descriptively, I think that’s clearly right; but it’s a pretty crude instrument for steering aggregate activity, especially when you consider the positive feedback that tends to happen in asset markets. What if it turns out that the interest rate compatible with full employment is systematically lower than the interest rate compatible with stable asset prices? Does that mean we have to accept mass unemployment forever? That would seem to be the implication of “far too low for far too long.”

The alternative, of course, means more active management of credit. It means accepting that if we think government has a responsibility to maintain macroeconomic stability, a single policy instrument will not suffice. It means abandoning the conventional wisdom on macropolicy of the past three decades: Leave it to the central bank. It means that it’s not enough to set “the” interest rate, some policymaker will have to decide on the different interest rates for different kinds of borrowers, just like in the old days of European social democracy. (And just like in the old days, we may find that making this effective requires rather stringent limits on cross border financial flows.)

I don’t say this is true; we can debate whether industrial policy is a necessity or not. But I do say that this, or the even less palatable previous alternative, is a logical consequence of the view that the crisis was caused by excessively low interest rates.

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Vacation is all I’ve ever wanted, until April 12th.

And with that, on vacation until April 12th.  Belated honeymoon.  Heading to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and Reykjavik.  Anyone have any tips on things to do in those cities?  Can I approach them like how I approach cities in the United States – find a neighborhood with things I like and then just wander around?  Any recommendations for books to read while traveling by train through social democracy?

(Mental note: find way to sneak away from honeymoon to interview Reykjavik officials on their massively successful mortgage debt reduction plan.)

As Terry Tate would say, just because this blog is on vacation doesn’t mean it’s out to lunch.  Friend of the blog JW Mason of the Slack Wire economics blog will be doing guest blogging.  Social media the hell out of his stuff and leave awesome comments. We may also get some additional guest stars in the meantime.

(Mental note 2: Find way to tweet March job numbers next Friday while in Stockholm.)

See you soon!

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New Article and Paper on the State Public Workforce Losses in 2011

I have a new article at The Nation – For States That Went Red in 2010, Massive Public Sector Job Losses Came Next.  There’s also a very short research brief from Roosevelt Institute - The GOP’s State Project of Slashing the Public Workforce (pdf) - that provides some data background and additional charts. Both are co-written with the Roosevelt Institute’s very own Bryce Covert.  Turns out 12 states are responsible for over 70% of the state and local public sector job losses in 2011 – can you guess which ones?

Everyone has commented on the large number of state and local public sector job losses in 2011.  See Floyd Norris here, Paul Krugman here, Brian Beutler here, Matt Yglesias here, Jack Temple at Demos here, Calculated Risk here, etc.  Floyd Norris: “[G]overnment employment is down 2.6 percent over the last three years…State employment fell 1.2 percent in 2011 — the largest percentage for any year since counting began in 1955.”  There’s a lot of comparsion between Obama’s term and government employment increasing under President Reagan and George W. Bush.  Last year state and local public employment dropped 1.2%, or by about 265,000 jobs.  43% of those jobs were in the education sector.

I had two questions about this that I tried to answer in this article.  The first was where these state losses were occurring, and whether there was anything interesting going on with the distribution of lost jobs.

The second question was how the new Tea Party influenced Republican state legislatures, especially Republicans that took over 11 states in the historic 2010 midterm elections, were governing.  There’s two theories I saw.  The first could be called the “social issue truce” theory, based on a statement Mitch Daniels made.  As Dick Morris put it, “No longer do evangelical or social issues dominate the Republican ground troops. Now economic and fiscal issues prevail…It is one of the fundamental planks in the Tea Party platform that the movement does not concern itself with social issues.”  They aren’t interested in restricting voter restrictions or reproductive freedoms.  (A corollary theory is David Frum’s argument that “these new majorities will arrive with only slogans for a policy agenda.”  They won’t even know what to do as there aren’t independent conservative intellectuals to guide them.)

The second theory could be called the Corey Robin theory, which would argue conservatism is everywhere a “reactionary movement, a defense of power and privilege against democratic challenges from below, particularly in the private spheres of the family and the workplace.”  In this theory, beyond just shredding the public sector in favor of the private, the movement would be compelled to combat challenges against the family that come from reproductive freedoms and threats to entrenched power that come from expanded democratic access.  They might, for instance, be more likely to pass bills restricting reproductive freedoms as well as voter suppression bills than non-GOP states in this theory, where under the “social issue truce” we wouldn’t see a difference.

I think we were able to get an empirical handle on both questions.  Hope you check it out!

From the beginning of the paper:

Key Findings

- There was a 1.2 percent decline in 2011 in the number of public employees, the largest yearly decline of the Obama presidency and one of the largest on record. Public employment declined 2.6percent the last three years, the highest on record. This has had a significant drag on the economy as a whole.

- Most of these losses were at the state level, but they weren’t spread out evenly across all states – the 2011 losses were concentrated in just 12. The 11 states that the Republicans took over during the 2010 midterm elections – Alabama, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – account for 40.5 percent of the total losses. By itself, Texas accounts for an additional 31 percent of the total losses. The remaining states make up the rest.

- The 11 states that the Republicans took over in 2010 laid off, on average, 2.5 percent of their government workforces in a single year. This is compared to the overall average of 0.5 percent for the rest of the states.

- In addition to the large losses in the public workforce, the 11 states that went Republican passed and enacted more reproductive freedom restrictions and voter suppression laws than states with mixed or Democratic legislatures. The push to target and lay off public employees fits in with more traditional conservative political policy priorities.

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What the Principles of the Ryan Plan Look Like in Florida

I want to bring this longer Jacobin post by John Carol Baker on what the state-level budget battles look like in Florida – Austerity in Heaven’s Corridor - to your attention.  We haven’t talked about the Ryan Budget that was released this week.  But if you want to see the general principles – cutting taxes for the rich while eliminating programs for the poor – implemented, check out Florida.  Highly recommended.

I have a very short research brief to go along with an online article coming early next week about some related issues.  For now, Baker has a great glimpse into what the future of conservative politics looks like by watching it at the state level.  First of all, rather than govern broadly, all policy conflicts are entirely surrounded within the right-wing coalition:

A few, such as centrist Paula Dockery, have fairly consistently voiced disapproval of their colleagues’ more egregious actions, but this dissent is highly circumstantial: decisive opposition to the notorious prison privatization plan, for instance, came from two Senators with direct ties to law enforcement. And the Parent Empowerment Act, a highly controversial proposal allowing for the swift conversion of neighborhood schools into publicly-funded charters via parental petition, was scuttled not by a united front of political moderates, but by intra-Republican skepticism

Florida narrowly dodged $100 million in cuts to mental health and substance abuse programs, once again through a last-ditch ad hoc coalition: a motley crew of law enforcement officials, Republican politicians, health care advocates, and members of the judiciary successfully lobbied for funding that approximates 2011 levels. Florida’s per-capita mental health financing is already ranked 50th in the U.S. [pdf], and deep cuts would have had immediate disastrous effects across the state. Even redneck county sheriffs recognize the apocalyptic shadings of forcing hordes of the mentally ill to roam the state’s multitudinous strip malls.

For those looking out for why Paul Ryan isn’t clear about how he wants to reform the tax code, it is worth noting that in the right-wing paradise that is being built in Florida the tax code is rewarding more and more of the GOP base:

The full list of tax breaks paints a grotesque but accurate portrait of the diverse subgroups within Florida’s bourgeoisie: faux-populist ranchers, managerial charter profiteers, neo-Confederate citrus plantation owners, still-panicked real estate swindlers eager to take a mulligan and rewind to 2005. But Scott’s plan—which may eventually eliminate corporate taxes entirely in a right-to-work state that already lacks a personal income tax—is the Hayekian wet dream everyone in Florida’s ruling class freak show can agree on. Banks got in on the feeding frenzy too.

Overall, businesses will pay $750 million less in taxes with another $2.5 billion coming over the next few years, while Medicaid funds for hospitals and nursing homes were cut by a billion dollars over two years.  Cutting taxes on corporations and offsetting it with less medicine for the poor.  Florida’s Chamber of Commerce noted that “lawmakers furthered the Florida Chamber’s goal of securing Florida’s future by ending the 2012 Legislative Session without a single new tax, higher fee, new regulation or union-backed mandate.”  Instead of being yanked back to the center, this reactionary project we see in the states is the future of the GOP.

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Live at Boston Review on Inequality, Rents and Occupy; Plus Comments on Three Types of Rents.

Boston Review has put their forum from their most recent magazine, What To Do About Inequality, online.  My contribution is here.  Check out the rest of the articles as well - Anne Astott’s contribution in particular was excellent.

The lead essay by David B. Grusky argues that Occupy (and his audience of left liberals) should focus less on taxation and more on “rents.”  They should abandon a “tax-based redistributive agenda” and focus instead on the way that “corruption, bottlenecks, and sweetheart deals” embedded in our markets give rise to rents that generate inequality.  Grusky finds “The concept of rent is tailor-made for the OWS argument that power and privilege are built into our markets.”

The exchange is fun because he gets attacked from every possible angle – libertarians who are mad that inequality is even discussed as a problem to liberals who think taxes are being sidelined too quickly in this argument.

A few additional points I didn’t get a chance to make in the article.  First off, taxes are a fine tool for the 1%.  Contra Grusky’s argument that CEOs capture their salaries, I think the evidence is more convincing that they earn their marginal product but that pay is still a rent, and could be taxed at a high rate with no allocation loss.

(Fun aside: a friend who teaches economics at an Ivy League school once told me that, after telling his intro students that Saez’s numbers say that high-end taxes could be over 70% without hurting growth – Saez’s argument is also in the Boston Review forum – a student approached him and said “I’m a total socialist, but that tax rate is far too high.”  Oh Ivy League kids…)

Meanwhile the rent examples in Grusky’s essay aren’t all that threatening or aggressive in regards to inequality.  It doesn’t invoke the three concepts of rents and the way that the government affects the distribution of income that left-liberals needs to be concerned about, ones I’d like to get a preliminary map on here.

The first rents are the ones that actually squeeze workers in the price of necessary goods, like the housing rents in Matt Yglesias’ e-book.  That discussion tends to be wonky and heavily focused on zoning regulations. I think that’s great, but it could use more visualizations of rents like this old brilliant editorial cartoon reproduced on this anarchist economics book cover:

(Why wasn’t this Yglesias’ e-book cover?  Also I may need to get a tattoo of that image, or at least a t-shirt.)

The second is the kind Dean Baker brings up in his excellent End of Loser Liberalism, which is the argument that the government has a massive influence on the pre-transfer distribution of income.  When Baker says that 10 million jobs are missing and this is a choice we’ve made on how to deal with the Great Recession, this has massive consequences for inequality and the wages of workers – far beyond technical changes to corporate board composition.   The way the government sets up laws surrounding patents, the right to unionize, free trade and a whole host of issues influences the distribution of wealth well before we’ve taxed or transfered a single income.

A third related rent issue follows Robert Hale and notes that there’s no easy out of these situation – the whole enforcement of contracts, property rights and the creation of markets requires some sort of government project.  How the fruits of these arrangements and subsequent rents get shared is a project that needs to be addressed democratically, and that’s what I try to address in my essay contribution.  I had high hopes that Grusky would approach his issue more that way – with the way that the government really contributions to inequality – but he ends up reifying an abstract market.

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A Note on Issa’s Brooklyn Foreclosure Hearing, or: The Lucy and the Chocolate Factory Theory of Foreclosure Abuses

Darrell Issa held a hearing in Brooklyn titled  “Failure to Recover: The State of Housing Markets, Mortgage Servicing Practices, and Foreclosures.”  It was filled mostly with members of the banking and regulatory community, as well as Edward Pinto of the conservative think-tank AEI.  I love the “do-tank” nature of Pinto’s testimony, which states that the best thing we can do for the housing market – currently in the middle of several intense legal and regulatory disputes over allegations of systemic fraud – is to “Start by repealing the two biggest job killers – ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank.”  Go Team Red!

Can’t find a transcript, but I want to get to something that I hear was said from several people.  Sarah Jaffe, covering the event for Alternet, wrote “Issa made apologies for banks robo-signing (implying that they committed foreclosure fraud because they were so busy processing foreclosures they simply couldn’t keep things straight)” and Harry Bradford, covering the event for Huffington Post, wrote “Issa…[implied] that homeowners were partly to blame for banks’ reliance on robo-signing — a practice of rushing through home loans that banks used heavily in the lead up to the foreclosure crisis.”

You’ll probably hear more of that if you haven’t already.  The problem with manufacturing foreclosure documents is because there are so many foreclosures, because what else could be done?  It’s like the I Love Lucy episode where chocolate is coming down the conveyor belt too fast – of course Lucy is going to start rubber-stamping foreclosure documents without even looking at them when they are rolling in so fast.

It’s worth noting that the servicing system, with its green/red setup, is designed to cause these problems, in order to maximize profits for intermediaries.  As Reuters has noted about this system:

Interviews, deposition transcripts and LPS’s own records underline that the company keeps its clients happy and maximizes its own fee income by whipping law firms to gallop cases through the courts.

The law firms are on a stopwatch: Kersch confirmed that the LPS Desktop system automatically times how long each firm takes to complete a task. It assigns firms that turn out work the fastest a “green” rating; slower ones “yellow” and “red” for those that take the longest.

Court records show that green ratings go to firms that jump on offered assignments from their LPS computer screens and almost instantly turn out ready-to-file court pleadings, often using teams of low-skilled clerical workers with little oversight from the lawyers. Copies of company newsletters from shortly before LPS was spun off show that the company each year gave awards to the law firms that were consistently the fastest.

Firms that move more slowly were slapped with “red” designations. For them, work offers dried up.

LPS made a series of decisions to further exacerbate this problem in a way that would increase its market domination and revenues. It gave away business free to clients and decided to generate revenue by coordinating a network of attorneys, making its money through charging them fees. It acted as a filter between clients and attorneys handling defaults, which broke the client-attorney relationship. It then created a series of incentives to maximize speed over quality.

LPS handled more than 50% of the industry’s residential mortgage volume. Their business model was designed to strip the legal work necessary for foreclosure to its bare minimum. With no market pressure from consumers — they don’t know if their mortgages will be securitized, and certainly have no say in who will be managing payments if they are — and with the default management system working to obscure cut corners and emphasizing speed over reliability or quality, it is up to the legal system to provide a necessary check.

Also more problematic for this theory is that servicing viewed increased foreclosures and the subsequent speed-up as a counter-cylical strategy.  Let’s go to a Countrywide Earnings call from Q3 2007:

Now, we are frequently asked what the impact on our servicing costs and earnings will be from increased delinquencies and lost mitigation efforts, and what happens to costs. And what we point out is, as I will now, is that increased operating expenses in times like this tend to be fully offset by increases in ancillary income in our servicing operation, greater fee income from items like late charges, and importantly from in-sourced vendor functions that represent part of our diversification strategy, a counter-cyclical diversification strategy such as our businesses involved in foreclosure trustee and default title services and property inspection services.

That call is hat-tipped to Katie Porter who adds this important commentary about how destructive this is:

I think the most damning part of this statement is the reference to “in-sourced vendor functions.” Allegations are swirling around that servicers, and their agents such as MERS, bloat their actual costs of collection or default and build in a profit margin. This is illegal, in part, because most mortgages only permit the recovery of “costs,” which most courts read to mean actual costs incurred, not some amount chosen to “offset” the costs of servicing delinquent loans. Judge Elizabeth Magner has a recent opinion that addresses the propriety of this practice. She writes in the Memorandum Opinion in In re Stewart (07-11113, Bankr. E.D. La. April 10, 2008) that “Wells Fargo’s national counsel has represented to this Court that only $50.00 of each invoice represents the actual cost incurred by Wells Fargo fro a BPO. The remaining amounts, approximately $880.00 in total, were added to the actual costs by Wells Fargo. The Court concludes that these additional charges are an undisclosed fee, disguised as a third party vendor cost, and illegally imposed by Wells Fargo.” Her opinion, combined with the statement in Countrywide’s earnings statement, suggest that Senator Schumer may be too generous in calling servicers’ practices “piling on.” If this practice is widespread, the more apt term may be “ripping off” struggling homeowners.

Keep this in mind the next time you hear the Lucy and the Chocolate Factory theory of servicer abuse.

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