55% of Americans have received government aid - (money.cnn.com) More than half of Americans have received benefits from government entitlement programs during their lifetimes, according to a Pew Research Center report released Tuesday. The study found that 55% of Americans have been on at least one of the six largest government safety net programs: unemployment benefits, Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, Medicaid and welfare. When factoring in veterans' benefits and federal college loans and grants as well, the number rises to 70% of Americans receiving government aid. Unemployment benefits are the most popular assistance program. About 27% of Americans have received unemployment assistance at some point in their lifetimes. Social Security is a close second, at 26% of Americans.
Spanish Ditch Mobile Phones in Record Numbers - (www.cnbc.com) Recession-hit Spaniards ditched mobile phone lines in record numbers in October, with the two biggest operators continuing to hemorrhage market share to smaller rivals offering subsidies on handsets. Spain, where there are more mobile phones than people, has been hit by a slump that has left one-in-four unemployed and led to a falling number of active phones. Some 486,000 phones were cut off in October, telecoms regulator CMT said on Monday.
The Father Of Cerberus Capital's CEO Lives In Newtown - (www.businessinsider.com) Today Stephen Feinberg's private equity firm Cerberus said it was selling its stake in gunmaker Freedom Group following the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday. In 2006, Bushmaster became part of Freedom Group. A Bushmaster AR-15 semi automatic rifle was used in the school shooting. It turns out Feinberg is connected to the small Connecticut town.
JPMorgan, Goldman Ask Judge to Dismiss Mortgage Lawsuit - (www.bloomberg.com) JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and other banks asked a New York state judge to dismiss a $1.8 billion lawsuit brought by residential mortgage- backed securities investors. The investors, which included Phoenix Light SF Ltd., sued New York-based JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and the other lenders in New York state Supreme Court in Manhattan in May, accusing them of making misrepresentations about the loans backing the securities. The defendants in documents filed on Dec. 14 asked Justice Charles E. Ramos to dismiss the suit, saying the investors failed to show they’re entitled to the requested relief and that their claims are barred by a three-year statute of limitations under German law. The defendants also say the investors have failed to identify “any actionable misrepresentation” that they relied upon.
All Defendants Sentenced in $20M Mortgage Fraud Scheme - (www.mortgagefraudblog.com) All defendants in a $20 million mortgage fraud scheme have been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis. A total of 10 defendants were convicted in the scheme whereby a former Dallas Cowboys linebacker used his name and fame, according to evidence in the case, to get business and further the mortgage fraud scheme. The defendants convicted and sentenced are: As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, Eugene Lockhart, Jr., Carrollton, Texas, a former linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, was sentenced to to 54 months in federal prison and ordered to pay approximately $2.4 million in restitution stemming from his leadership role in a massive mortgage fraud scheme that he and others ran in the Dallas area from approximately 2002 to 2005.