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Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

By Ernie following x   2017 Sep 13, 3:45pm 547 views   0 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    

I watched yesterday on PBS a film called "Abacus: Small Enough to Jail". Since PatNet started as a housing blog, perhaps the topic will be interesting here.

This was one of the best documentaries I have seen on TV. It deals with Abacus Federal Savings Bank, a small family-run bank in New York City’s Chinatown. Abacus became the only American bank to face criminal charges for mortgage fraud in wake of housing collapse. What makes this sad and interesting is that NONE of the big players who made economy go south with their fraud got criminally charged. Instead, DA's office picked a small bank, which had extremely low mortgage default rates - on order of 9/3000 mortgages. By watching this movie, I can not help but think that we are doomed. Big crooks are let free, DA office try to smother small business, and the worst perhaps is lack of common sense in government-affiliated institutions. Fannie May representative in trial openly says that they did not lose any money from this bank yet Abacus should be prosecuted. Family who own the bank spent 10M on their own defense. It is also uplifting in a sense that movie shows Sung family who refuse to bend in front of destructive State power, which is an extremely rare case these days.
Edit: wiki says that their mortgage default rate was 1/10 of national average.

Hopefully we already do not have a thread about this.

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