In front of a ballroom full of N.C. bankers in January 2006, Wachovia chief executive Ken Thompson warned of the dangers of “toxic” home loans.
A problem with so-called option adjustable-rate mortgages, he told the group, was that homeowners can end up owing more at the end of the month than the beginning, which can be a “tough situation” for customers and lenders.
“I have literally been amazed at the terms offered by some mortgage lenders, thankfully not at Wachovia and thankfully not so much in North Carolina,” he said.
Four months later in May 2006, Thompson took a $24 billion plunge into the mortgage business by buying Oakland, Calif.-based Golden West Financial. Its specialty? The same loans he had cautioned against: option ARMs.
Had Wachovia executives passed on the deal, the company might still have a future on its own. But once they placed the bet on Golden West, it’s debatable whether they could have escaped the financial meltdown that would follow. “If you look back on it, who could have predicted that?” asks former Wachovia director Robert Brown, who voted to approve the deal.
I love how when the market is on a bull run these robber barons are super geniuses who deserve every penny they earn because of their innovative thinking and extraordinary leadership and all the credit is theirs.
But when it all goes to shit they never saw the train coming down the tunnel and it’s someone else’s fault.
A Saudi court has rejected a plea to divorce an eight-year-old girl married off by her father to a man who is 58, saying the case should wait until the girl reaches puberty.
The U.N. General Assembly Thursday approved a “Defamation of Religion” resolution, largely supported by Islamic countries, condemning critical or offensive expressions directed at any religious faith. What’s not to like?
According to critics of the resolution, quite a lot.
The resolution has been pushed at the United Nations by major Islamic nations such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan over the past nine years. It was approved by a vote of 86 in favor, 53 against and 42 abstentions.
Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” Article 19 expands on this freedom by guaranteeing “the right to freedom of opinion and expression.”
“The ‘defamation of religions’ resolution is a direct violation of the United Nations’ mandate to protect religious freedom, as peaceful religious speech — a manifestation of belief — will be silenced as a result of it,” Angela C. Wu, international law director of the Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement.
And don’t think it’s just muslim groups who will abuse this;