Home > Mortgage Fraud Cover-up > General Electric and the Great Mortgage Cover-up

General Electric and the Great Mortgage Cover-up

November 1, 2013

Bankruptcy form

The Center for Public Integrity reveals one of the hidden causes of the financial crisis – how corporate codes of silence and whistleblower abuse helped lenders flood the nation with toxic mortgages. “The Great Mortgage Cover-Up” has been selected to appear in Columbia University Press’s Best Business Writing 2012 and has been honored with a “Best-in-Business” Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and an Excellence in Financial Journalism Award from the New York State Society of CPAs.

Fraud and folly: The untold story of General Electric’s subprime debacle

Ex-employees say GE ignored warnings from whistleblowers

By Michael Hudsonemail, Center for Public Integrity
January 6, 2012

For General Electric Co., hawking subprime mortgages was a long way from making light bulbs and jet engines.

That didn’t stop the industrial giant from jumping into the subprime business in 2004, lending blue-chip respectability to the market for risky home loans by paying roughly half a billion dollars to buy California-based WMC Mortgage Corp.

What GE got in the bargain, former WMC employees say, was a place where erstwhile shoe salesmen, ex-strippers and even a former porn actress could sign on as sales reps and make big money pushing home loans. WMC’s top salespeople earned a million dollars a year or more and lived fast, swigging $1,000 bottles of Cristal and wheeling around in $100,000 Ferraris and Bentleys.

In pursuit of these riches and perks, several ex-employees claim, many WMC sales staffers embraced fraud as a tool for pushing through loans that borrowers couldn’t afford.

Dave Riedel, a former compliance manager at WMC, says sales reps intent on putting up big numbers used falsified paperwork, bogus income documentation and other tricks to get loans approved and sold off to Wall Street investors.

One WMC official, Riedel claims, went so far as to declare: “Fraud pays.”

How well did GE address WMC’s fraud problems?

GE says it did plenty to deal with the issue. Some ex-employees counter that GE officials didn’t do enough to rein in illicit practices, despite warnings from Riedel and other whistleblowers inside the lender. GE dispatched emissaries to look into the problem, the ex-employees say, but their efforts were too little, too late.

“They sent in people we thought were going to bring us back in the right direction,” Victor Argueta, a former risk analyst at WMC, says. “But it just never happened.”

By 2007, WMC was bleeding bad loans and red ink. General Electric shut the lender and reported related losses totaling more than $1 billion.

‘Everyone knew’

How could General Electric — a corporate icon voted America’s most admired company in 2006 and 2007 — have stumbled so badly?

The story of GE’s subprime misadventure has earned little attention from news media or public officials amid headlines about bank failures and mega-bailouts at other big companies. But now, with the aftershocks still being felt by GE and by WMC’s borrowers, lawsuits and former employees have begun to shed light on what happened and why.

It’s a tale of a 134-year-old industrial concern that’s transformed itself into a financial services juggernaut. It’s also a story about breakdowns in corporate compliance systems amid the chase to cash in on the latest innovations in high and low finance.

In interviews with iWatch News, eight former WMC employees claim WMC’s management ignored them when they reported loans supported by falsified documents, inflated incomes or other legerdemain. Two of them say they were transferred and demoted because they pressed too hard to expose corrupt practices.

Riedel, who worked as quality-control manager for the lender’s largest production division, claims that after he informed a GE official about fraud inside the lender, WMC’s management demoted him — reorganizing him out of his job, taking away his office and his staff and forcing him to sit at a desk for months without a job title.

“I didn’t have any files,” Riedel told iWatch News during a series of interviews. “I basically stared out a window.”

Two other former WMC employees confirm Riedel’s account of his transfer. “Everyone knew,” Argueta, the former risk analyst, says. “We all knew why he’d been moved to our section, from a nice comfy office out to the cubicles.”

General Electric didn’t answer questions from iWatch News about the accounts provided by Riedel and other ex-employees. It also declined to provide detailed answers to a series of questions about how much it knew about alleged fraud at the Burbank, Calif.-based lender and what steps it took to deal with it.

In a written statement, GE says that “following its acquisition by GE, WMC strengthened and expanded its compliance programs and standards. WMC held people to those standards. In those instances where WMC learned of violations of these standards, management took disciplinary action, including terminations of employment.”

‘All kinds of crazy loans’

WMC made a name for itself long before GE came courting.

Founded in 1955, it had been known for much of its life as Weyerhaeuser Mortgage, a subsidiary of the pulp and paper giant Weyerhaeuser Co.

By the late 1990s it had a new owner — billionaire financier Leon Black’s Apollo Management LP — and it had moved into the subprime game, spurring production by rolling out a “Race to the Top” program that gave top sales performers the use of Porsche Boxsters.

The push to book mortgage deals produced a rash of bad loans around the country. WMC claimed it had been victimized by on-the-ground fraudsters who’d used bogus appraisals and other deceits to get mortgages approved.

In Minnesota’s Twin Cities, however, so many WMC loans ended up in or near foreclosure that a local newspaper, the Star Tribune, suggested WMC had “self-inflicted some of its wounds by pushing too hard and fast” to sell loans. An assistant state attorney general told the paper that the company simply didn’t do “some of that due diligence” needed to ensure loan deals made sense.

“I have never seen a company that has been this aggressive,” one mortgage broker told the Star Tribune. “They were doing all kinds of crazy loans. They were doing anything they could do to push these deals through.”

Questions about WMC’s lending tactics were also raised by an academic study that looked at a pool of 5,610 loans the company had made around the country in 1998. By December 1999 almost 25 percent of the loans were facing foreclosure or were seriously delinquent — more than five times the rate for loans originated by other major subprime lenders, the study found.

GE, meet WMC

Despite these problems, WMC’s aggressive sales culture helped it survive and grow.

One of the forces behind its resurgence was Amy Brandt, who had gone from practicing law to peddling mortgages for WMC, quickly rising to become WMC’s No. 1 salesperson and then executive vice president of production. When she joined the executive team in 2000, she later told a business magazine, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy, and she helped lead what was, in her words, an “unbelievable turnaround story.”

By the end of 2003, Brandt was WMC’s president and chief operating officer, and the lender was producing $8 billion a year in subprime home loans and boasting profits of $140 million a year. It had also attracted the interest of General Electric, which was looking to grow in what, since 2001, had been a slow-moving economy.

“We’re going to have to turn up the engines to drive growth,” GE’s chairman, Jeffrey Immelt, told a TV interviewer in late 2003, explaining his company’s overall growth strategy. “The economy is not going to give you much, so what do you do?”

One of the things General Electric did was to seek profits in a home loan market that was rapidly heating up.

The big deal was announced in April 2004.

General Electric has never publicly disclosed the purchase price, but Apollo later revealed in securities filings that GE paid nearly $500 million for WMC, providing a nice profit for Black’s firm, which had paid less than $200 million for the lender seven years before.

GE asked Amy Brandt to stay on. She added CEO to her title. Internal documents obtained by iWatch News indicate GE promised the 31-year-old executive as much as $20 million in compensation over three years — including a $10 million upfront bonus at the closing of the deal.

General Electric declined to answer questions from iWatch News about the acquisition. It won’t say how much scrutiny it gave the lender before it closed the deal, or whether it was aware of WMC’s earlier fraud problems.

GE officials made it clear at the time that their regard for Brandt played a role in the company’s decision to buy WMC. “A big part of us doing the acquisition was Amy, no question about it,” a top GE executive told American Banker.

Immelt and other GE honchos thought so much of what Brandt had done with WMC, Businessweek later noted, they invited her to talk before the parent company’s top 600 executives at its annual leadership summit in Boca Raton, Fla.

As she left the stage, Immelt gave her a high five.

Tricks of the trade

Dave Riedel started at WMC soon after General Electric took over.

Riedel had experience in the banking industry as a real-estate appraiser, loan underwriter and, most recently, mortgage fraud investigations manager at Washington Mutual Bank. At WaMu, he claims, higher ups had told him to keep quiet when he’d tried to warn them about fraud-tainted loans streaming into the company’s mortgage pipeline.

With General Electric in charge, Riedel thought things would be different at WMC. He thought he’d get a chance to do his job and, he says, “catch the bad guys.”

He supervised a quality-control team of a dozen or more people who watched over WMC’s lending in a broad area of Southern California where salespeople were pushing subprime loans as well as “Alt-A” mortgages, another type of risky home loan.

The team, Riedel says, found many examples of fraud committed by in-house staffers or the independent mortgage brokers who helped bring in customers to the lender. These included faking proofs of loan applicants’ employment and faking verifications that would-be home buyers had been faithfully paying rent for years rather than, say, living with their parents.

Some employees also fabricated borrowers’ incomes by creating bogus W-2 tax forms, he says. Some, he says, did it old-school, cutting and pasting numbers from one photocopy to another. Others, he says, had software on their computers that allowed them to create W-2s from scratch.

‘Branded as a whistleblower’

In 2005, Riedel’s team became concerned about a sales manager who oversaw the funding of hundreds of loans a month. An audit of these loans, Riedel says, found that many of the deals showed evidence of fraud or other defects such as missing documents.

This wasn’t enough to get the sales manager fired. At most, Riedel says, the guy got a stern lecture.

“He became a little more shy. He wasn’t so flamboyant,” Riedel says. “But nothing changed.”

Later, during a sit down with a visiting GE compliance official, Riedel recalls, he described the audit and the response.

Over the next few days, Riedel claims, his career was thrown into tumult.

He says a WMC official countered by telling the GE representative that Riedel didn’t know what he was talking about and that the company had already been planning to demote him.

Riedel was stripped of his title, he says, and idled for months with no assignments and no staff.

A former WMC executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, says the fact that GE knew about Riedel’s concerns about fraud may have prevented WMC officials from firing him, but it didn’t stop them from putting him into corporate limbo.

“He was kind of branded as a whistleblower and not a team player,” the former executive says. “They didn’t exactly fire him. They just marginalized him and he didn’t really have anything to do.”

‘Business as usual’

While Dave Riedel was fighting battles inside WMC’s California headquarters, Gail Roman was losing battles on the other side of the country.

Roman worked as a loan auditor at WMC’s regional offices in Orangeburg, N.Y. She and other colleagues in quality control, she says, dug up persuasive evidence of inflated borrower incomes and other deceptions on loan applications.

It did little good. Management ignored their reports and approved the loans anyway, she says.

“They didn’t want to hear what you found,” Roman told iWatch News. “Even if you had enough documentation to show that there was fraud or questionable activity.”

If GE made any progress against fraud at WMC, Roman says, she didn’t notice it. Fraud was as bad at WMC in 2006 as it was when she started at the lender in 2004, she says.

“I didn’t really see much of a change,” Roman says.

Victor Argueta, the former risk analyst, says he didn’t see much change either.

Meetings would be held. Executives from GE would agree fraud was a problem and something needed to be done. “But the next month it was business as usual,” Argueta says.

Argueta was barely a year out of college, with an undergraduate economics degree from the University of Southern California, when he started at the lender in 2004. What he encountered, he recalls, wasn’t what he had expected to find at a branch of a top-flight Fortune 500 corporation.

Twenty-something salespeople with little education or mortgage experience ran the show, he says. They pulled in $250,000 to $350,000 a year while sales managers made $1 million or $2 million, thanks to generous production bonuses and the network of independent mortgage brokers that fed the lender business.

“We had ex-strippers working there,” Argueta says. “The whole point was to have someone attractive to talk to the brokers. One of the salespeople did porn before she worked there. When someone told me that, I couldn’t believe it. Then I saw the video and I realized it was true.”

Argueta says one top sales staffer escaped punishment even though it was common knowledge he was using his computer to create fake documents to bolster applicants’ chances of getting approved.

“Bank statements, W-2s, you name it, pretty much anything that goes into a file,” Argueta says. “Anything to make the loan look better than what was the real story.”

In one instance, Argueta says, he sniffed out salespeople who were putting down fake jobs on borrowers’ loan applications — even listing their own cell phone numbers so they could pose as the borrowers’ supervisors and “confirm” that the borrowers were working at the made-up employers.

Management gave him a pat on the back for pointing out the problem, he says, but did nothing about the salespeople he accused of using devious methods to make borrowers appear gainfully employed.

juicy mugshot

Nightmare loans

Roman and Argueta weren’t alone in their concerns, according to other ex-employees who spoke on the condition they remain anonymous, because they still work in banking and fear being blackballed within the industry.

“It was ugly,” one former fraud investigator at WMC recalls. “I would have nightmares about some of the things I’d find in a file. I’d wake up in the middle of the night going, ‘Oh my God, how did this happen?’ ”

A former manager who worked for WMC in California claims that company officials transferred and essentially demoted her after she complained about fraud, including the handiwork of a sales rep who used an X-Acto knife to create bogus documents, cutting numbers from one piece of paper and pasting them onto another, then running the mock-up through a photocopier.

“They knew I had a lot of crap on them and I wasn’t going to shut up,” she says. “And the easiest way was to pay me off. Create a job where I could just sit and collect my money.”

Both Riedel and another former WMC employee confirm the woman’s account.

Two other ex-employees say that, in their experience, WMC managers didn’t condone fraud. When he identified fraud-tainted loans, one of the two recalls, his managers killed them.

Both add, though, that the lender did push loans that were likely to land borrowers in trouble in the long run. The desire to keep sales numbers growing often trumped good judgment, the other ex-employee recalls. “It was like hitting your head against a brick wall, trying to make sure the right thing was done,” she says.

‘Fraud pays’

By early 2006, Dave Riedel had begun to rebuild his career inside WMC.

He helped put together a presentation in May 2006 aimed at giving GE officials a sense of how serious WMC’s fraud problems were. Riedel says an audit of soured loans that investors had asked WMC to repurchase indicated that 78 percent of them had been fraudulent; nearly four out of five of the loan applications backing these mortgages had contained misrepresentations about borrowers’ incomes or employment.

Riedel also helped work on a computer program designed to dig out fraud across the company’s loan portfolio. It sifted through a swarm of data, including evidence that many borrowers submitted multiple applications with income figures that mysteriously grew from one application to the next. Then it spit out a fraud alert flagging applications that appeared to have false information.

Riedel hoped that the company would use the data-tracking program on a real-time, wide-scale basis, he says.

It was at a meeting about the computer program, Riedel says, that an executive declared “fraud pays”explaining that it didn’t make sense to slow the gush of loans going through the company’s pipeline, because losses due to fraud were small compared to the money the lender was making from selling huge volumes of loans.

The anti-fraud algorithm was never put into regular use, Riedel says.

Final days

In October 2006, Dave Riedel changed his computer password to “finaldays107!” — reflecting his expectation the company would be out of business by October 2007 (10-7).

As home values were starting to fall and subprime loan defaults were starting to rise across the industry in late 2006, Amy Brandt stepped down as WMC’s top executive. She told a trade publication that her contract with GE was ending and, rather than re-enlist, it was time for her “to move on.”

“This was really my baby, and I wanted to wrap up this era because I really love the company,” Brandt explained.

By the spring of 2007, problems in the subprime mortgage market had grown more serious. Borrower defaults and investor alarm had spun the mortgage industry into chaos. In the first half of the year, WMC lost more than a half-billion dollars.

GE officials blamed the mortgage market’s swoon for WMC’s problems. In mid-July, GE revealed it had entered what its chairman, Immelt, described as an “active exit process.” Immelt told investors his company decided to end its three-year subprime experiment because “we just had too many other better choices. And I just think we wanted to get this off the table vis-a-vis the things that investors have to think about with GE.”

Along with taking an immediate hit to its balance sheet, GE also set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to cover investors’ demands that it buy back defective WMC loans.

By October 2007 — as Riedel had predicted — WMC Mortgage was effectively out of business, dead after having pumped out roughly $110 billion in subprime and “Alt-A” loans under GE’s watch, according to industry data tracker Inside Mortgage Finance.

‘Living it up’

And Amy Brandt?

She was “living it up,” at least according to Businessweek.

WMC’s former CEO had a 30-acre ranch outside Los Angeles where she kept a dozen horses. She’d used some of the millions she’d earned at the lender, the magazine said, to start an independent record label, YMA Music Group, which signed such artists as former Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland. She’d also become CEO of Vantium Capital, a private equity fund that planned to make money off distressed mortgages.

Brandt told Businessweek that, looking back, she wished she’d done more to diversify the kinds of loans WMC made.

“We were too aggressive in some areas,” she said.

Others agreed that WMC had been too aggressive in its lending practices.

A study by federal regulators, “Worst Ten in the Worst Ten,” found WMC’s loans accounted for the second-highest number of foreclosures on subprime and “Alt-A” mortgages in the nation’s 10 hardest-hit foreclosure hotspots, trailing only New Century Financial.

In the Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie area in Florida, for example, 47 percent of the loans WMC booked from 2005 through 2007 had ended up in foreclosure as of late 2009, the study found.

Washington State banking regulators accused WMC, Brandt and two other WMC executives of “deceptive and unfair practices.” The regulators claimed the lender failed to make sure all borrowers received legally required disclosures, including paperwork that reported how much they would be paying on their loans.

WMC reached a consent order with the agency that included modest cash payments to a few borrowers. It didn’t acknowledge wrongdoing.

Brandt told iWatch News she couldn’t comment on the state regulators’ allegations or answer other questions about her time at the lender.

One former employee, who spoke on the condition her name not be used, says she believes Brandt “was so far removed from daily operations that she probably didn’t know” how bad fraud was inside the company.

‘Stunning failure rate’

Mortgage investors also are taking a closer look at WMC’s practices.

A review of a $550 million pool of mortgages booked by WMC and another subprime lender, EquiFirst, found inflated borrower incomes, missing documents and other “material breaches” in 150 loan files out of a sample of 200 — a “stunning 75 percent failure rate,” according to an investor lawsuit filed in September in federal court in Minnesota.

One of the defective WMC loans, the suit claims, was supported by paperwork that said the borrower earned almost $180,000 a year doing “account analysis.” The borrower’s tax returns, the suit says, showed he actually made less than $20,000 per year driving a taxi.

GE told iWatch News that it will “vigorously defend” itself against the lawsuit. It says the suit’s claims are “based upon a flawed statistical sampling of a small number of loans.”

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, meanwhile, charges that General Electric misled investors in the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in securities backed by WMC mortgages.

The agency’s lawsuit claims GE didn’t tell the truth about how well WMC followed its loan underwriting guidelines, or about how much borrowers owed on their homes or whether they intended to live in them or use them as investment properties.

GE denies the allegations, and insists that Freddie Mac, which invested in the securities, made out well on the deals.

On the record

Dave Riedel no longer reads the financial news. When someone brings up the mortgage crisis at a party, offering opinions about what happened and why, he keeps his mouth shut. Talking about it makes his blood pressure rise.

After WMC closed, he spent almost two years looking for work before he found a sales job outside the banking industry. Nobody in the banking business was interested in hiring him.

Of the 40 best fraud investigators he knows, Riedel estimates that maybe four of them still have jobs in banking. Meanwhile, he says, bureaucrats without the talent or temperament for fighting corruption have snapped up choice fraud-control jobs at many big banks.

Despite his desire to put his mortgage days behind him, he says he felt an obligation, when iWatch News contacted him, to tell what he knew.

Later, he had second thoughts, worrying there might be blowback against him for talking about what happened inside WMC and GE, even if he stuck to facts rather than opinion. He asked his comments be put “off the record.” When he was told it wasn’t possible to go off the record after the fact, he made peace with going public.

“I have an ethical problem with covering things up,” Riedel says.

Given a chance, he adds, he’d be willing to talk to the FBI about what he uncovered during his time at WMC.

The feds should be turning over rocks, he believes, across the mortgage industry. People who committed or condoned fraud and helped crash the economy, he says, need to be held accountable.

“I can’t tell you who broke the law and who should or shouldn’t go to jail,” he says. “But I can tell you that these people should have to answer to somebody about what happened.”

  1. fluffygrrrl
    November 1, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    this is what bothers me. All of these big corporations and banks gambled with our money and lied on documents and none of their executives are going to jail. Teresa and Joe Giudice are small fish in a big pond, and the feds are using their celebrity to make it look like they are doing something about it. Now that the supreme court has ruled that corporations are people too, they should prosecute all of the banking execs who authorized these shady loans. Millions of americans did just what Joe and Teresa did, loan companies were giving away money with absolutley no proof needed, they could just “state their income”, it didn’t have to be the truth. And if they didn’t do so, the sellers of these loans falsified them to get the commission…so I’ve been telling people before they think joe and T will go to prison, they don’t realize the extent these loan sharks went to make money

    • cass
      November 2, 2013 at 6:30 AM

      Sounds to me like Juicy & T did what most of us do and trusted people in authority that were handling things the way they should be handled. I know if I go to a banker for advice I am most likely to believe what he says if I have no reason not to. Wondering if they were taking mortgage advice from these unscrupulous people? I love them both but think neither of them is smart enough to mastermind this huge mortgage/bankruptcy scam. That is most likely why they have always said most of the charges they don’t understand and that they are innocent. Not saying that makes them innocent but just a thought on why they are commenting the way they are regarding the charges.

  2. November 1, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    How a Loophole Benefits GE in Bank Rescue
    Washington Post
    June 29, 2009

    General Electric, the world’s largest industrial company, has quietly become the biggest beneficiary of one of the government’s key rescue programs for banks.

    At the same time, GE has avoided many of the restrictions facing other financial giants getting help from the government.

    The company did not initially qualify for the program, under which the government sought to unfreeze credit markets by guaranteeing debt sold by banking firms. But regulators soon loosened the eligibility requirements, in part because of behind-the-scenes appeals from GE.

    As a result, GE has joined major banks collectively saving billions of dollars by raising money for their operations at lower interest rates. Public records show that GE Capital, the company’s massive financing arm, has issued nearly a quarter of the $340 billion in debt backed by the program, which is known as the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program, or TLGP. The government’s actions have been “powerful and helpful” to the company, GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt acknowledged in December.

    GE’s finance arm is not classified as a bank. Rather, it worked its way into the rescue program by owning two relatively small Utah banking institutions, illustrating how the loopholes in the U.S. regulatory system are manifest in the government’s historic intervention in the financial crisis.

    Rest of article at link below:


    GE’s Immelt to Head Obama’s New ‘Jobs and Competitiveness’ Board
    National Journal
    January 21, 2011

    President Obama today will name General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt chairman of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the White House announced overnight [earlier in the month, Obama appointed a top executive at JPMorgan Chase as his chief of staff].

    The Jobs and Competitiveness Council’s establishment signals that the president believes the economic recovery has entered a new, more productive phase. It will advise the president on job creation policies and on the establishment of a long-term growth strategy. Its composition was not immediately available.

    The creation of the new entity coincides with the early February dissolution of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB), which was tasked principally with fixing the financial markets and restoring the American economy to equilibrium. Tonight, the administration formally announced the resignation of PERAB Chairman Paul Volcker. Immelt was one of 17 members of the board.

    Rest of article at link below:


    Jeffrey Immelt, the jobs czar from hell
    San Fransisco Chronicle
    April 4, 2011

    The New York Times reported last month that General Electric earned $14.2 billion in international profits, including, $5.1 billion in the United States. Yet GE did not pay a dime in federal income taxes last year. Oddly, President Obama chose GE Chairman and Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt to head his President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

    According to the Associated Press, Immelt’s compensation package doubled to $15.2 million last year, while this year GE is seeking major concessions from the unions that represent its shrinking American workforce. That makes Immelt the wrong guy for the job of jobs czar.


    General Electric Paid No Federal Taxes in 2010
    ABC News
    March 25, 2011

    The top tax bracket for U.S. corporations stands at 35 percent, one of the highest rates in the world. So how is it possible that a giant of American business, General Electric, paid nothing in federal taxes last year, even as it made billions in profit?

    And should the CEO of GE, Jeffrey Immelt, be advising the president on business?

    For two years, President Obama has been talking about the need for corporate tax reform, declaring that the system is too complicated and that companies pay too much.

    “Simplify, eliminate loopholes, treat everybody fairly,” Obama said in February.

    For those unaccustomed to the loopholes and shelters of the corporate tax code, GE’s success at avoiding taxes is nothing short of extraordinary. The company, led by Immelt, earned $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, but it paid not a penny in taxes because the bulk of those profits, some $9 billion, were offshore. In fact, GE got a $3.2 billion tax benefit.

    Rest of article at link below:


  3. November 1, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Great blog as usual Fame! And these corporations are going scott free and they are prosecuting the Guidices for 50 years.

  4. November 1, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    Totally off topic (sorry Fame), but does anyone else find it odd that Danielle went to Penny’s party tonight?

  5. Maze
    November 1, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    This is the result of over 30 years of deregulation. Gutting the restrictions that used to keep financial institutions in check. TR must be spinning in his grave. The resurgence in popularity of laissez faire capitalism under its new name for the new millenium (free market capitalism) has resulted in all the same excesses and rampant corporate greed as existed in the late 19th- ear. 20th cent.. We can’t trust business to police itself, and we can’t trust politicians who claim we can. Corporate America owns both major political parties, they work for them not us. Don’t listen to people who say the Federal gov’t should be doing less, they should be doing MORE. Federal regulatory agencies need to be given their power back and regulatory laws their teeth back.


    • Maze
      November 1, 2013 at 2:03 AM

      On a related topic I saw a really great video on youtube a few years ago about how corporate culture punished anyone who urged a cautious or even realistic look at financial situations in the years leading up to the economic collapse. They were negative nancies, not proactive positive thinkers. Oftn passed over, marginalized, demoted and let go. Combine that with outright corruption and little to no government oversight into business practices? It’s a wonder we aren’t WORSE off economically as a Nation.

      As far as whistle blowers? Big Biz has NEVER had a great track record doing anything but punishing and blacklisting them.

      • black enga
        November 1, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        Thank you Fame for this article. And thank you Maze for posting this. As I was reading the post this through me for a loop.

        President Obama today will name General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt chairman of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the White House announced overnight [earlier in the month, Obama appointed a top executive at JP Morgan Chase as his chief of staff].

        Isn’t this like setting the fox loose in the hen house. Wake up people!


        YouTube – 1/6 U.S. banking insider blows the whistle on planned economic collapse

        JP Morgan has been involved in corruption since the first economic collapse in 1929 and is still involved to the highest levels to this day.

        YouTube – 1/6 U.S. banking insider blows the whistle on planned economic collapse

        • black enga
          November 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM

          Sorry I didn’t know how to link this video without putting it on the screen. I think it is a must see.

          YouTube – 1/6 U.S. banking insider blows the whistle on planned economic collapse


        • November 1, 2013 at 3:33 PM

          McDonough is the chief of staff – no jpmorgan ties

          • black enga
            November 1, 2013 at 4:43 PM

            I thought I was referencing Jeff Immelt not Denis Mcdonough (which seems to be a nice guy) from my neck of the woods.

    • November 1, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      The problem is corporatism. Corporatism isn’t out-and-out socialism — in out-and-out socialism, the industries are owned by the government. But in corporatism, private industry exists, heavily regulated and subsidized by its friends in government.

      Woodrow Wilson was a corporatist; so was Teddy Roosevelt. “The effort at prohibiting combination (corporate growth) has substantially failed,” said progressive Roosevelt. “The way out lies, not in attempting to prevent such combinations, but in completely controlling them in the interest of the public welfare.”

      Franklin Roosevelt felt the same way. “If all employers in each trade now band themselves faithfully in these modern guilds — without exception — and agree to act together and at once, none will be hurt and millions of workers, so long deprived of the right to earn their bread in the sweat of their labor, can raise their heads again.” Government combination with corporations springs from the socialistic left, not the free market right.

      But the right has been fooled into accepting the “crony capitalist” language. That’s because so many on the right, in knee-jerk fashion, assume that corporations are inherently capitalistic. They aren’t. Corporations simply act in their own self-interest. They are no more capitalistic than the citizens who vote themselves welfare dollars. When Gordon Gekko says, “greed is good,” that’s not the essence of capitalism — it’s the essence of the corporate mission, which says that shareholders must gain value, whether through taxpayer dollars or market competition.

      That’s why Thomas Edison, one of the greatest American entrepreneurs, believed in corporatism — corporatism run by him. “A lawyer cannot draw a law covering the complicated conditions of modern industry,” he said in 1911. “What is wanted is some person familiar with the selling and buying, the technical as well as the financial end of all industries, to devise some generic scheme that business can work on.”

      Today, Jeff Immelt, who runs Edison’s GE, says the same thing. And both Edison and Immelt want to be the corporate gurus who write the laws.

      Capitalism is not crony. Capitalism is far more. In the words of ultra-capitalist Ayn Rand, “Above all, capitalism does not permit anyone to expect or demand, to give or to take, the unearned.”

      What we are watching today is corporatism — the same economic fascism that destroyed Nazi Germany, threatened Depression-era America and is busily ruining American industry today.


      • Maze
        November 1, 2013 at 3:17 PM

        Corporatism is DEFFO not out and out Socialism. If anything, it is the polar OPPOSITE of Socialism. Instead of industry being owned BY the government, industry OWNS the government. They are the antithesis of each other. I would personally argue that corporatism is the end result of laissez faire (free market) capitalism. Business being allowed to grow and expand and profit with minimal government regulation. Government deregulates business, business buys government. TR and FDR believed in regulation of business. Not business regulating government. That’s why we usedto have antitrust laws. Because too big to fail also means too big not to have an influence on government policy. This has all happened before. It is NOT some crazy coincidence that all of this has happened AFTER the gutting of Federal regulatory laws and the disempowerment of regulatory agencies. When antitrust laws still had some power, the Feds broke up Ma Bell. After decades of deregulation we now instead have too big to fail. It’s simple cause and effect.

  6. Spaghetti Kitten
    November 1, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    Corporations are people tho!

  7. Spaghetti Kitten
    November 1, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    (Penny and Danielle look great in those pics…I like Penny with this sleek hairstyle vs the do’s we saw her with on the show…and Danielle looks good with a somehow “fuller” face. Also her boobage doesn’t looked as bolted on in this pic…you go Jersey girls!)

  8. adioslunatic
    November 1, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    Great blog, Fame.

  9. Miami53
    November 1, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    OT- Sorry, but I just watched NeNe’s wedding…had me in tears…True Love with Greg or he is a good actor when he met his sons at the alter. Beautifully decorated….dam, what money can do!

    • Sylvia smith
      November 2, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      Didn’t he only hug and cry with the younger son he has with Nene?

      • November 2, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        I noticed that too and felt bad for NeNe’s other son who was in tears and should have gotten a nice big hug too. The wedding was great (over the top for my taste) but, i also felt that hug was a little much seeing Gregg has many many more kids including NeNe’s son. Might not be his by blood but, he did help raise him.

  10. November 1, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    This CEO Amy Brandt have any connection to Scott Dunlop, creator of the Real Housewives Franchise? I found this that sheds some light on timing

    ” For example, the opening credits removed the commentary saying, “There’s a mystique of living behind the gates.” The construction-real estate crash, the beginning of which coincided almost exactly with the first season’s broadcast, has since trimmed the housewives’ lifestyles with job losses, evictions, mortgage defaults, foreclosures, and marital stress—all recorded in progressive seasons of the show. ”

  11. suedechik79
    November 1, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    The fraud and its unchecked-ness indicates to me that this was a movement on purpose in order to get people out of homeowning and into apartments or crowded into multifamily homes. It makes no sense that a company interested only in financial gain wouldn’t listen to or want any fraud prevention specialists unless its for a greater purpose.

    • Maze
      November 1, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      Why would GE care about the eventual crash? They got the benefit of all that money while it was still in the pipeline and when the bubble burst? Declare the drained subsidiaries bankrupt, get your high powered lawyers to minimize the cost to the parent company, and declare innocence of any wrongdoing committed by underlings. If the right hand stays purposefully ignorant of what the other extremities are up to, they’re covered from a fraud standpoint. Plausible deniability. Poor naive GE. They had the government to bail them out with your tax dollars anyway. Democracy at work.

  12. November 1, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    This country is a mess. A mess!

    • danadoll007
      November 1, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      God help us

      • black enga
        November 1, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        Amen! Greed is corruption is what got us hear. God is the only one who can save us.

  13. November 1, 2013 at 10:25 AM
    • black enga
      November 1, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Forgive me kayswhims for my ignorance of the law and statutes, but at the end of the court order does it mean he can file a chapter 34.05 RCW and get away without paying any fines and keep his license?

      • November 1, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        I do not know. Maybe someone else can answer that.

        This may also help understand RCW

        • black enga
          November 1, 2013 at 4:19 PM

          Went there as soon as I finished reading your link,lol. Don’t know what the heck they are talking about but thanks anyway.

  14. November 1, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Don’t even get me started on General Electric…has anyone every wondered “where” G.E. got the monies to “invest” to begin with? How about all the “blackmail” they used against the common workers to take wage reductions including but not limited to, coast of living wages, pension plans, 401k investment plans, etc. Yes they did do this., and after the employees agreed (some union/non union) G.E. took it and ran with it. and to find out NOW that possibly those “monies” were used for this….well as the saying goes “G.E. we bring good things to life” oh wait a minute, now their slogan is” G.E. Imagination at work” . (odd why they changed this slogan in 2003)Well folks there ya go…use your imagination cause no longer do they bring good things to life……just sayin*.*

    • November 2, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      Was G.E bought out by National Grid? I heard they also (G.E) went bankrupt. Dont know much about that stuff and didnt understand half of what i read…lol

  15. November 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    the TODAY SHOW had tiny manzos friend on this am that got out of prison this june

  16. Miami53
    • Miami53
      November 1, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      Seems like a lot of men don’t take their marriage vows serious…I can’t stand it…why bother getting married…I just don’t get it!!!

  17. black enga
    November 1, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Thanks celi and Miami53, I didn’t know about this. I would like to know the name of the construction company though he he.

    Wow, he went to jail and he feels bad for the the young Black men who are in prison doing ten years for getting caught with selling 5 grams of cocaine the size of a nickle. Some of which he and his cronies arrested and put there. Which is probably how he made it up the ladder as fast as he did. All of a sudden (after his 3 year stint), he wants to fix it.

    Hmmmmm, sounds like someone is about to run for office.

  18. Jack Hole
    November 1, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    It was as if Fame and I had some ESP going on…I am playing hooky today(for a much needed calm before the storm of my life) and I was half watching an E THS about Secret Societies of Hollywood and towards the end, I found it very interesting what they were revealing about Washington DC, corporate moguls and Hollywood key players(like Speilberg and Ted Turner, not “small fries” like Clooney and Affleck…decision makers!!) The show went on and on about things like Kabbalah and Scientology but then it talked about there being a few secret, like top secret yearly meetings (one was called Bohemian something or other, it has been going on since the 50’s) where these big wigs already mentioned go to this place up by San Fran for 2 weeks and this is where major things-that the public and lower level ppl have no clue of. I am not really surprised, it is not like an “ooh ahhh” moment in that sense. I mean, I think we have all known for sometime how all of these things intertwine BUT how it became so alarming right now is that some of us (myself included) have been speculating and vacillating about how “far and wide” Bravo’s reach is…when they were showing the shot about this Bohemian retreat, CNN was part of that scene. Then I come on here to shout about it and here is this story reinforcing what I just saw on TV about these connection and relationships and influence.

    I tried and tired to find even just a clip of the E! THS to no avail. It aired originally on 10/24/13-which is surprising to me that I couldn’t even find it on youtube…help anyone?

    Oh and BTW, I am not suggesting that during one of these retreats, the Giudice’s were some hot topic or that Rupert Murdock even has a clue who they are. What I am suggesting is this is evidence about how “the club” mentality works and consequently runs the world. This is what many of us have felt we have witnessed being played out in the public sphere among Cohen and his crew (Cooper, Wiliams, Ripa…) some of us have noted that it appears as if, regardless of any morals, realism or human feelings, these newscasters have taken a position towards a person as if they meet up and decided “no matter what, this is what we will say!” And low and behold, a whole entire show about how these things really do happen. Organized evil, that’s what it is.


    • black enga
      November 1, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      You know what is really strange about that airing to me Jack Hole, is that I found out about it on Teresa’s official website telling us to watch it.

    • November 1, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Hi Jack Hole,

      I never comment on here but read the blog a lot because of the insightful posts. I just wanted to comment on the Bohemian Grove that you mentioned above. The Bohemian Grove is in Monte Rio,CA which is in Sonoma County, about 2 hours north of SF. I grew up in Sonoma County and my mom and sister still live there. I remember seeing limos and Secret Service cars driving through town in July in the 80s and 90s going to the Bohemian Grove. Everyone who lives in the area knows about it and knows that the rich and powerful come there every summer for secret meetings. Including the Wikipedia article on it but there are lots of other articles concerning this “club”. 🙂

      • November 1, 2013 at 2:36 PM
        • Jack Hole
          November 1, 2013 at 7:47 PM

          Thanks layla 🙂 Oooooh, so you were in the thick of it!! Interesting I bet! Some of what I was seeing online about it was really “far left conspiracy theorist-y” and/or homophobic (saying derogatory things about them being homosexuals) which, who cares if they are? The fact that many of them (Republicans) vehemently denounce homosexuality and are likely married are both problematic but to each his own I suppose.

          And I get that these “exclusive” clubs and societies have been around from the beginning of the Americas and before. But it just blows my mind how much we has NOT changed!!!! l am really agreeing with danadoll said about how scary it is!!

          Thanks again for the info!!

      • runtheball
        November 2, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        There is a great episode of Brad Metzler’s Decoded on Bohemian Grove

    • danadoll007
      November 1, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Jack Hole, Bohemian Grove. It’s horrifying and almost impossible to believe. Makes me feel like I’ve awakened to a real life nightmare. You guys are very sharp!

      • November 1, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        “The Bohemian club! Did you say Bohemian club? That’s where all those rich Republicans go up and stand naked against redwood trees, right? I’ve never been to the Bohemian club but you oughta go. It’d be good for you. You’d get some fresh air.”—President Bill Clinton to a heckler

        • November 3, 2013 at 7:38 PM

          I once read, what, Jack Hole called “left wing conspiracy theorist” story about Bohemian Grove. It was a very, very disturbing story that gave me nightmare’s. I didn’t want to believe it at first but the way the world is now, I wouldn’t doubt if certain powerful leader’s would participate in such evil. This story was disgusting. The young man who told the story was named Paul Bonnaci (sp?). He was an orphan boy who was a “Boy’s Town” Nebraska resident who was used and abused by the system (he was a prostitute). If your interested in reading a truly disturbing tale, google “Paul Bonacci Bohemian Grove”. I once went on youtube and watch a man by the name of Alex Jones (who is kind of annoying) but had live footage of an event that took place called the “Cremation of Care” (I think).

    • black enga
      November 1, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      Your in luck Jack Hole, its showing today at 5pm.


      • Jack Hole
        November 1, 2013 at 5:58 PM

        Ah!! Thanks enga!! And for the rest of you for NOT thinking I was crazy making the association 🙂 Yes, and very interesting that Teresa promoting watching…hmmmm

  19. AutumnL
    November 1, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Great expose’, Fame.

    I’ve followed GE a little because of Comcast taking over controlling interest in NBCUniversal (thus, Bravo, et al). Maybe everyone remembers that when Comcast first bought in, there was some speculation about the “direction” of some shows, including network news, being SO slanted in favor of liberal agenda-politics. Ppl speculated that Comcast would influence such leanings-it didn’t happen (as we see with Bravo).

    I am not optimistic about the Giudice’s upcoming Federal case. The government is very adept at using ‘wire fraud’ as part of their prosecution and very successful with such charges. Even if Giudices plea the charges down, they will end up with something because FedGov never completely downgrades every charge-and they will have to appear in Federal Court for sentencing at a minimum. So it remains to be seen how that ends up.

    In my personal experience: Federal sentencing judges are not that sympathetic to those who stand in front of them-so I don’t believe things are going to go “great” in 2014 or 2015. If the Giudices agree to bargain the charges down it can go better. They will need deep pockets to fight the Govt. (which has unlimited funding and time).

    • dch60
      November 1, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      The “wire fraud” charges in these incidences are a joke IMO. As is the “mail fraud.” They’re an inane glom to the mortgage fraud. They’re like all those add-on charges and taxes to a telephone bill whose only conceivable purpose is nickel and dime us to death.

  20. AutumnL
    November 1, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Penny looks great. Danielle looks so much healthier..! In a perfect world, Danielle would film some scenes with Dina for the upcoming season of #RHONJ (((wishfully thinking!!)))

    • November 1, 2013 at 6:15 PM

      I would love it!

  21. November 1, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    I never thought I would understand my grandma as much as I do these past few years. She died in 1976. To her the world had changed so much. “This world is going to hell in a handbasket” She didn’t know what was happening in my world. I think today’s news would shock her to the core. Everything I hear about that makes me just break down and cry like people bashing the homeless in the head with a ballbat for entertainment and the rape trees along the border.

    Someday my children will deal with much more, I am sure. Through genealogy research and old newspapers, plenty of things happened to my ancestors and they most likely said “This world is going to hell in a handbasket” This Thanksgiving, I will express my thankfulness for many things, but most of all I am grateful that everything ugly and evil I see in this world, my faith reminds me that this world is not my home.

  22. November 1, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Fame great work as usual. I will say that I wish there was a way to private message you as I have signed an NDA but there is a large bank with a lot of skeleton’s in its closets that are slowly dripping out. I know that a lot of folks have been victimized and I wish I could do something about this. Thank you for speaking for the victims.

  23. black enga
    November 1, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    I feel the same way kayswhims, I constantly worry about the future of my grand children. What will the world be like when they are my age.

    I come to the site to share conversations and listen to opinions and try to share mine.

    I’m a simple woman who works at a not so great job and peddle my wares on the side to make ends meet. I dream of the day of owning my own home, but if my job were to fire me today I would be homeless in a month.

    I don’t watch the news much anymore unless I run across it online or hear about it form friends and family because it depresses me. I don’t know how this world has gotten to the point we are in now but the rich seem to keep getting richer and the poor are forgotten and tread upon.

    I dropped out of school in the 10th grade and got my GED when I was 18. I didn’t know much about economics or politics until I went to college in 2008. My instructor was fascinating and insightful. He introduced me to a world that I hadn’t thought much about because I was trying to single handedly raise my children, keep them fed with a roof over our heads,and escape an abusive spouse.

    Simple arithmetic to me was 6+2 = to many darn kids and 1 box of macaroni noodles+two cans of tomato paste+1 pack of onion soup mix = a full and happy family.

    I might not be the brightest bulb in the package but I can be turned off and on just like the rest of them.

    Mean while back at the ranch, the point of what I ‘m trying to say is that my family is suffering because of the end result of someone else’s greed and corruption. I’m just the little person on the bottom of the totem pole of the world that they think they run.

    I like you Kay am thinking of the next world and I lay up my treasures there. I know I get religious sometimes on this site and passionate about my beliefs if I made some people uncomfortable with the things that I post or reply too, I’m sorry and apologize. I know some of them are extreme but where and the heck else can I talk to about Gods blessings, the Giudices woes, the elite, the (evil) banking institution, and how much Bravo annoys me on a single blog. And besides, I would be ridiculed for my spelling alone on any other site.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist nor do I believe in aliens. There are things that I have read about that make me go hmmmm though. I have been merely sharing information that I have came across that was intriguing to me. I hope I have not offended anyone in my doing so.

    As always, Thanks Fame for creating this site and atmosphere to which I am hopelessly and truly addicted to.

    • momajackie
      November 1, 2013 at 8:16 PM

      Great comment. I hope and pray one day you will own your own home.

      In my opinion the few honest people that are elected to Congress are either eaten alive and never get re-elected or conform to the system. A person I went to school with, who lived right up Hwy. 20 from me, was elected to Congress. He grew up in a family that was just above “meager means”. Meaning they could afford shoes for their children who attended school. (For all you younger people. In my day many children came to school without shoes.) He was hard working, put himself through law school and was considered to be a very good and honest family man and a great State Representative.

      Well let me tell you, just a few years after arriving in D.C., he conformed to the system like a fish takes to water. He divorced his pretty little Cajun wife, married Virginia Kennedy’s sister (Ted’s wife). Both these girls are the daughters of a very wealthy banker in Lafayette, La. He became a multi-millionaire even before he retired as a Congressman. After he retired his son ran for his position, hoping the fact that they shared the same name, the son would be a shoe in. I could go on and on about why he is such l a big disappointment to the people in this community.

      Just “Google” U.S. Congressman from Chackbay, La.

      • black enga
        November 1, 2013 at 8:49 PM

        Thank you momajackie from your lips to Gods ears,lol. it was hard to get to where I am and I consider myself blessed to be here.

        I have been disappointed by my constituents here too, who promised better jobs and such. It’s funny how power and money change people.

      • Rosalie Marie,
        November 1, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        Moma, That’s with all congressmen and women. It’s the only occupation in the world you walk in penniless and come out a multi-millionaire.

        • Rosalie Marie,
          November 1, 2013 at 10:38 PM

          Enga, this line….. Simple arithmetic to me was 6+2 = to many darn kids and 1 box of macaroni noodles+two cans of tomato paste+1 pack of onion soup mix = a full and happy family…………

          Has brought back so many memories of my own childhood and growing up with three sisters (lost one sister to brain tumors) and two brothers. My parents didn’t earn a lot, so my mother would put really cheap meals together and prayed for leftovers. Macaroni was always in the cabinet. Back then, macaroni used to get tiny bugs in the box, quite often! My mother would cook the macaroni, we helped to pick the little bugs out and then she would add cream of chicken to the macaroni and some pepper. It was really good actually. Cabbage was really cheap back then to, and we would eat that for several days a week. Macaroni and tomatoe was another filler for a complete meal. We weren’t even fortunate enough to take a lunch to school. I envied the children who had those little metal lunch boxes. I thought they were the rich kids. lol
          I’m only 42 years old and while things are different nowadays, I am very grateful I was born before computers took over families. Young people are so stuck into their phones and computers, there is no imagination in them. They are smart, but they are also very stupid and unfortunately, the boom of knowledge, Mentioned In The Bible, has come in a flash, and gone with the wind. You know, if Rembrandt were born nowadays, he would not be a master artist. His head would be in the phone, texting.

          God Bless You Black Enga! Your story made me cry.

          • black enga
            November 3, 2013 at 4:34 AM

            God bless you too Rosalie Marie, may he bless and keep you and your family.

    • November 2, 2013 at 1:44 AM

      ((((((blackenga))))))) Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us. You’ve come along way and have true perseverance and will be a wonderful role model for your kids.

      I always love your comments!

      • black enga
        November 3, 2013 at 4:36 AM

        As I do yours, God Bless You mzjulesaz!

    • November 3, 2013 at 12:11 AM

      I grew up eating plenty of buckwheat cakes, bean soup, homemade bread, and eggs. My grandma would spread strawberry jam on a slice of bread and then top it with sour cream. It was her favorite treat. To this day when I miss her, I make things that remind me of her. I think no matter what you are eating, when you feel love and enjoy each other’s company, it is a good meal.

      I come here everyday for the same reasons that you mentioned. I don’t talk very much anywhere unless I feel comfortable. I have some friends and family that share their ideas and opinions on many issues, but they don’t want to talk about RHONJ lol. I do have other people in my life who enjoy talking about God and heaven. I like finding people online who talk about the things they have overcome or the things they are going through. I like conversation beyond the weather lol. I may not respond to everything, but I am “listening”

      • black enga
        November 3, 2013 at 4:45 AM

        Your grandma sounds like a lovely woman and she left you with some wonderful memories. I am so glad you are here on this site, there would be a huge void without your comments.

        • November 3, 2013 at 7:07 PM

          Black Enga and Kayswhims –

          We all have so much to share and to be gained from each other’s experiences and insights. You both add an abundance of richness to all of us here at FW with the sharing of yourselves and for that I want to say thank you so much!

    • Deb G
      November 3, 2013 at 6:59 AM

      Black enga, I believe the same about building our treasures in heaven. I enjoy yours, Kay’s , Jeannie’s, and so many more I’m grateful for Ms. Fame she always brings the truth! Keep posting!

    • November 3, 2013 at 8:07 PM

      Thank-you for sharing your story, Black Enga. I love reading your posts and I thank-you so much for your recipe’s! Your macaroni, tomato paste and onion soup mix sounds good to me! I didn’t think I would enjoy reading conspiracy theories, but being an insomniac who doesn’t want to wake my family up at night, I find some sites interesting. I’m like you about the Aliens, though, that is way out there. Also, time travel? That’s hard for me to believe, too.

      • black enga
        November 3, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        Thank you Jeannie you add to the richness of this site also. I suffer from depression and it’s been many a times you have lifted my spirits with your post, so I thank you too.

        Deb G, I try to stay positive as much as I can. And when I get low some times a warm comfort envelops me and I know that I am not alone and that he’s with me. It’s little things like this that keep me going because I know whats waiting for me.

        A lot of people think that Gods speaks in a loudly in a quaking voice, I think he whispers and shows you little signs that you know in your heart can only be him because of the profoundness of it.

        ceeeseee I have some serious trust issues but there are some people on this site that I would trust with my life. Their kindness and love pours into the words they post and you are one of them. Thank you!

        At my group meeting for women, we all are so different but we have one thing in common, insomnia,lol.

        One site that I found that was very interesting was when I goggled “The Golden Ratio” and how you can find it in nature, works of art, and even in advertising. I was so fascinated reading through information on the subject that when I finally looked up from the computer it was daylight and I was almost late for work.

        • momajackie
          November 3, 2013 at 9:37 PM

          Another beautiful post. You are spot on about the whispers.

          The whispers show me the little gems imbedded in nature. When I am going on errands, while traveling, I look at the trees, the sky, the flowers, etc. all made by the divine creator, I am amazed at the detail of it all and the peace it brings me.

          “He/She/Mother Nature” is always with us, our creator.

          Now let us deal with “insomnia”, two glasses of wine right before bedtime. I alternate between white and red.

          May you be blessed black enga.

        • November 4, 2013 at 9:05 AM

          That really means a lot to me, Black Enga, thank-you for your kind words! I would trust you with my life, too! I was able to sleep last night and it felt so good. I don’t know about you, but when I’m up all night I’m pretty worthless the next day!

          • November 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

            we were coming to massenutten fri and way up on a mountain was all the beauty of the fall colorsand our lil eli said ”grandmother look a yellow flower in all the trees” I looked up and in front of us was only 1 yellow tree in all those brown trees,,he knows that’s my fav color.it makes me happy.
            you all make me happy and I love you all,you are a yellow rose in my day

        • Deb G
          November 4, 2013 at 5:30 PM

          Black enga, amen he is always with us. I also agree he whispers to our hearts. I relate to everything else you have going on. God bless you.

    • Saddle_River_NJ
      November 4, 2013 at 12:03 AM

      Let me assure you – things do get better. Just *believe* it and thank God for every wonderful moment in your life. When I was a kid – there was a point when we were dry sticks poor. I remember cold days waiting to get a delivery of heating oil, huddled under blankets with a hair dryer for heat. Lucky for me – my mother taught us that the world is wonderful and things always get better. And they did for me and they will for you. One day in the not to distant future you will have a home of your own and a more secure future. I’m not a psychic or anything. I read your posts and see a good, decent person that is deserving. God, the Universe, whatever your belief system might be – has a way of taking good care of people like you.

      • November 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

        That is a beautiful post, Saddle River!

      • black enga
        November 4, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        Thank you Saddle, you are a truly unique and beautiful person. I am writing this through tears of happiness that you guys have brought me this morning, looking like a raccoon as I have totally ruined my makeup, lmao! Off to get the cotton balls and go to work. I hope you all have a blessed day.

  24. runtheball
    November 1, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    $100K Ferrari? Only if it is 10 years old and due for service.

  25. John
    November 1, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Comcast now owns NBC/Bravo completely. They’ve owned 51% of NBC/Bravo since 2009 before acquiring it all.

    “On February 12, 2013, Comcast announced an intention to acquire the remaining 49% of General Electric’s interest in NBCUniversal. Comcast completed the purchase on March 19, 2013.”

  26. November 2, 2013 at 1:35 AM

    Jo$eph Wakile didn’t want to hand out candy to the kids on Halloween (his parents were on a plane returning home), so he left this message for the youngins:

    Kathy tweeted, “Joseph don’t you dare! Be nice!” and Rich tweeted, “Good boy Joseph!”

    • November 2, 2013 at 1:39 AM

      They think they are funny, but they are just gross.

      • Detroitrockcity
        November 2, 2013 at 6:23 AM

        Wow, where is Mum and Dead?? Let your children out this night?? Karma is what I’d be wondering about! Anyone who has Netflix? Watch Burke and Hughes! The truth be told!! Dark comedy, very telling!? A laugh at it all, but some food for the soul?

    • LifeIsGood
      November 2, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      He’s growing up to be an a$$ like his parents.

      • November 2, 2013 at 8:52 AM


    • November 2, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      The kid is illiterate on top of being a smarmy douche in training.

    • elle
      November 2, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      I guess he doesn’t just look like his father…

    • hummusbreath
      November 3, 2013 at 2:11 AM

      I think what Young Joseph really meant was,

      Dear Trick-or-Treaters,
      I am so sorry that no one is here to personally give out candy but alas, my parents are out building an empire (entirely based on their own ingenuity and hardwork, and certainly not on the back of a more appealing and charming cousin). Otherwise they would be here—my darling mother would greeet you with her new face, i mean bright smile and lots of sweet muttering under her breath and my Dad would use his wholesome wit to critique your costumes (and weight, socio-economic class, intelligence, etc. What an delight you are missing!) Anyway, please help yourself to this big bowl of chicklets (just leave a few for the ‘ol man, in case he needs to do some dental maintenence when he gets home). And if any of you dear children have the attention span for some truely pointless and tedious busy work, make your way over to the “Cannolli Assembling Table” (i hope you have some dry ice in your trick-or-treat bags!). And if you still have room in your tummies, help yourself to some store bought pizzelles (Copyright My Nonna). Happy Halloween!

      ps As an extra treat for you history buffs, take a peek in the garage to get a glimpse of a genuine antique car—wear your sunglasses though, because our obvious wealth is blinding!!

      • Pittsburghfan
        November 3, 2013 at 4:11 AM

        This is hilarious!!!!

      • Balashi
        November 3, 2013 at 9:02 AM

        Perfect. LOL!!

      • November 3, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        Love your imagination and wit!

      • Miami53
        November 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        Too funny…ROTFLMAO

      • November 3, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        Tooooooo funnny 🙂

      • November 3, 2013 at 7:03 PM

        Oh, thank you for such a great laugh! The Wakile children are true chips off the old block – not so nice as they and their parents would have people believe.

        A pure case of fame making their young heads swell enormously. Perhaps they should be very careful when eating Halloween candy, or more specifically, chewing gum; they may wind up like Violet Beauregarde:

    • November 3, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      I can’t help point out the contrast to what I saw from kids the same age as Joseph when I took my kids trick-or-treating. They were kind, sweet, and gentle with the little ones, asking questions about the costumes, playing along when the boys said “rarrrr” to scare them, and sooooo happy to dole out the candy. At one point, my son tripped over his costume walking up to one house and before I could make it up the stairs to help him, the young man who answered the door jumped out to help him up and helped refill his basket with the treats that fell out. SUCH A DIFFERENCE!

      • November 3, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        That’s how young men should act. Glad to hear we still have some good ones out there.

    • November 3, 2013 at 8:22 PM

      I so hope the rumor that Kathy was demoted is true! I know that may sound mean but this family doesn’t know how to handle their “platform”. They seem to think their “platform” is for them to stand on and criticize people and their own family! Richie seems to think he is so famous that he can call people out by using “reverse psychology” when his “hater’s” question his integrity! He uses the, “thanks for thinking of us last night!” when someone jeers at him on twitter! He can’t seem to ignore his hater’s, even though he is a hater himself when it comes to the Giudice’s, his wife’s cousin’s family! The hypocrite!

      • November 3, 2013 at 9:14 PM

        I hope it true and Dickie has a very limited role if any and please no hubby talking heads!!!

        • November 4, 2013 at 9:16 AM

          I will say that TB and Richie’s talking head’s helped ruin the show! Most of their talking heads were cruel and brutal insults toward Tre and Juicy! Yet, when someone tells Richie what a jerk he is via twitter, he can’t take it, he’s too big of a coward I guess! I hope the last time I see him on my TV is when Bravo run’s S3-5!

  27. Detroitrockcity
    November 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    I just wanted to say F@#ck Natzi Grace!!! What did she do for Caley?? Kasey got off scott free! Screaming with the “Stars” Epic fail!! These people make me sick!! She was so sure of herself then?????

  28. November 2, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    OT recipe site
    Somone ask awhile back about an oatmeal pie recipe. I saw one on Yesterdish.com

    • November 3, 2013 at 7:34 PM

      wasn’t me kay, but thanks for the site. It sounds good.

  29. November 2, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    She’s loud and rude just the way Andrew Cohen likes it…….it makes him smile*.* (hasn’t HLN been doing a lot of Housewife stuff lately) hummm

  30. November 2, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    OT — Heart rendition of Stairway to Heaven at the Kennedy Center Honors for Led Zeppelin — WOW


    • Honnie Badger
      November 3, 2013 at 10:39 AM

      Heart has been doing Zep covers for decades — and I swear they’re just as good if not better than the originals! Honestly, I love, love, love both bands and the ethereally beautiful and ageless Wilson Sisters have a deeply special place in my rock and roll heart.

      Thank you so much, Jules, for sharing this. You made my day and I love you for it! 🙂

    • November 3, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      WOW is right Jules! Stairway to Heaven – brings back so many memories of a young girl just out of high school. And this cover by Heart – yes, it did bring tears to my eyes!! And I agree completely with Honnie!! Thanks for sharing, Jules – I loved it!!

      • November 3, 2013 at 7:36 PM

        Thanks jules, that brings back some awesome memories for hubby and I.

  31. Miami53
    November 3, 2013 at 1:11 AM

    OT- Sushi Lookers claims she didn’t have any work done to her face…..

    • Miami53
      November 3, 2013 at 1:15 AM
      • Miami53
        November 3, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        Supposedly she has a lot of contouring done on the sides of the nose if you at this picture….loads of brown strips running from the eyes down.

        • Miami53
          November 3, 2013 at 12:54 PM

          Note to self…Please proof read what you write before you post….I need to go back to school with my grandchildren..

    • November 3, 2013 at 3:51 AM

      Wow, That pic really shows the old nose. Why must this women lie about everything? I don’t get it.

    • Honnie Badger
      November 3, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      In my viewpoint, Melissa looked her exotically gorgeous best in the first two seasons. She should have simply stopped after that first rhinoplasty. Girl can wear her hair luxuriously and riotously curly and sleek, sexy straight. She ruined herself trying to buy her JLo look. Fugly and fake.

    • November 3, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      She looks like a Vegas whore far from the actual strip.

    • Sharon
      November 4, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      Wow, what a honker. When did she have her first nose job? Was it before or after some guy from Lookers bought her new jugs? Gee I wonder how she repaid him. ; )
      Thanks for the photo. How can she deny she had it “fixed”? Oh that’s right she is a habitual liar.

  32. Pittsburghfan
    November 3, 2013 at 4:07 AM

    OT. I went to T’s Bravo Blog about a week ago and posted some positive comments. They are not there. Out of the last 50 comments only 16 are positive. There are several attacks from the same 3 bloggers. They have picked her apart with the nastiest comments. I know this is not realistic because T is the only one of these women that is likeable. I don’t blame T for posting her last blog on her personal website.

    • patriciafromco
      November 3, 2013 at 9:00 AM

      it’s happen several times for mine and others positive post to be deleted. and still getting rant reply’s that the original post no longer exist.. especially don’t get into all the name calling at me and other posters..

  33. November 3, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    What a smart bunch of cookies we have here!!!!!!!!!!!! Hello friends!!! I have a part time job now, trying to regain my mind having lost it to Baby Brain and I’m not ready for my proper job. I miss you all terribly!!

    • November 3, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      Congrats Sackem! What will you do will Ava while you are working?

    • momajackie
      November 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      We miss you too. Enjoy your part time job and your association with the adult world. I know what you mean about “Baby Brain”. If I babysit for any great amount of time, I will share my day with my husband using cartoon characters to describe my experiences.

      • November 4, 2013 at 12:47 AM

        OMG moma, your little one is soooooo precious! I hope he enjoyed Halloween.

        • momajackie
          November 4, 2013 at 9:15 PM

          Not certain he enjoyed Halloween for what Halloween is. I do know he enjoyed being pulled around in his little red wagon. He is growing like a weed and he still has that baby smell.

    • November 3, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      Hi Sackem! Glad to see you are doing something to call your own – very important, I think, at times to keep your sanity! 🙂

  34. November 3, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Good morning everyone- I am finally home!!! Had a great vacay and now am facing mounds of laundry!!

    I have genuinely loved reading everyone’s posts and would love to respond to some but time is a’wasting – it is off to the soccer fields for me today – two tournaments equals six games!!! It is BRRRR here in the Northeast so I will be wearing my winter woolies!!

    I hope everyone enjoys the day!!! Love to all!

    • November 3, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      Glad you had a great time, Jeannie.

    • November 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      oh im so happy you are home safe.blessings gift is comn

    • November 3, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      Welcome back! Glad you had a great time! Enjoy soccer and stay warm.

    • momajackie
      November 3, 2013 at 4:33 PM

      So happy you had a great trip. Enjoy the soccer games. Jeannie you are a jewel.

    • Miami53
      November 4, 2013 at 8:25 AM

      Welcome back, Jeannie….Glad you had a wonderful time in California!! I didn’t know if you were leaving or were were back yet you when they had the shooting/murder of a TSA employee at LAX airport…It had to be so frightening for everyone there.

      • Miami53
        November 4, 2013 at 8:27 AM

        omit one “were”. I wish there was a way to edit after we post on here…it is so embarrassing to see mistakes and can’t fix it before anyone sees it.

  35. lilliag
    November 3, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Totally, well not entirely, OT, talk about peeps who are covering things up:


    Here is a pic of the lovely Tamera Mowry and her adorable son. Andy mentioned once the similarity between Mowry and Mel. (Mowry is prettier.) Anyway, to the point: Why does Mel continue to lie about her ancestry?? And if she is 100% comfortable with her true ethnicity, then why has she taken unbelievable pains to change her looks?? Melissa Gorga keeps getting whiter, (and there is no real way to achieve paler skin other than skin bleaching, which is UNSAFE!), blonder and blonder, her naturally tightly curled hair is straighter by the day, her nose is magically much MUCH thinner…Yet she insists it is all makeup; she did not get plastic surgery for her nose!! “It’s called contouring, Andy!! Can’t you see a white line in the center of my nose??!!” It reminds me of my aunt’s old cliche: “She could sell you a dead donkey and make you ride it!!” I mean–Mel is a piece of work. The thing that is so hard to understand is WHY? Some of the most beautiful women on this earth are BLACK!! And of course, we have photographs of Melissa in her youth. Was she “contouring with makeup” as a teenager?? To make her nose look much wider?? If a person will outright lie about the most basic facts of who they are–what else will they lie about??

    • Pittsburghfan
      November 3, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      To be fair some Southern Italians look black.

      • November 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        Thank you.

        We are all, as humans, unique to our own genetic makeup. Once again, I will say my husband’s best friend for 50 years – is 100% Italian – 100% – and is the spitting image of Sammy Davis, Jr. – wide nose included. My husband is Napolitan – light skinned, wavy hair, and blue/green eyes. His full-blooded brother and sister – dark skinned, wavy/kinky hair and brown eyes. My son-in-law – full blooded Italian – light skin, brown eyes and kinky hair. My husband’s full- bolooded Italian former admin is the spitting image of an Irish colleen with red hair, blue eyes, and milky white skin. I have met Nordic people – Nordic people are stereotypically fair skinned, light hair and eyes. My friends are the opposite – dark complexion with dark hair and light eyes.

        Heritage, genetics and geneology are tricky and can, at times, be difficult to discern depending on a person’s lineage which goes all the way back to the beginning of time. Characteristics that are dominant or recessive are capable of showing up in any future generation. The Roman empire at one time reached as far north as England and as far south as Africa. The southern point of Italy is very close to the African continent.

        Melissa Marco Gorga has said she is Italian – and it is one of the few things I believe she is NOT lying about.

        • November 3, 2013 at 7:55 PM

          not that its wrong but I think shes mixed black and the reason she wont acknowledge her nose is we can keep talkin makin her relavent which shes not

          • November 3, 2013 at 9:04 PM

            My son in law 100 percent Italian very fair skin. Robert De Niro look alike dark eyes hair. Big nose. Very handsome young man. He is also as sweet as sugar. They are having a baby in 19 weeks. A little boy. So excited.

            • November 3, 2013 at 9:16 PM

              How exciting Mehonogo! Congrats on the new upcoming grandbaby!

          • November 4, 2013 at 8:45 AM

            I think she was just a homely Italian girl (look at her mother) who is purchasing the face she wants. No big deal.

        • Deb G
          November 4, 2013 at 5:49 PM

          I agree Jeannie, I’m all Italian and 1 grandfather very dark and the other 1 a redhead! My brother is very dark with kinky hair, back in the day he had an afro. My sister and are lighter and she has blue eyes. My youngest grandson is a redhead with dark brown eyes!

        • November 4, 2013 at 10:15 PM

          That Milan italian soccer player Mario Balotelli is real dark skin and he’s italian

    • November 4, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      Beyonce is the new Michael Jackson.

  36. lilliag
    November 3, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    And I do want to express that I have NO problem whatsoever with women coloring their hair, and whatnot. I color my hair! Research shows that at least 90% of women light or darken their hair. Most of us do.

    A woman should express herself in any color she likes!!

    I’m talking about ridiculous denial of who one is.

    And the question is why? In this day and age where diversity is welcomed, her denials are just bewildering.

    • November 4, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      I wish I was black so I could have completely different hair every other day.

  37. November 3, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Off topic… All you Cajun people out there, my friend makes the most amazing mashed potatoes with Morton’s hot salt and it has been discontinued. Does anyone know of a good brand substitute? Thanks!!

  38. Miami53
    November 4, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    OT-Here the latest photos of Sushi Lookers and TB at her latest “book”signing. She is starting to age…


    • November 4, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      She looks very tired in most of these. In #17 she reminds me of Jacqueline.

      • Miami53
        November 4, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        That was my impression too when I was looking at the photos. Its like its been a bore to do these signings and can’t wait until its finished. Hey, she’s a mother of three children and I’m sure school and other activities are taking up her time. The problem is that they are not rich enough to stop this fiasco of being a hot, Italian wife, doting daughter in-law, special sister in-law and singer….not!!!! Get off the merry-go-around and get your act together…get a job if need be, to help out your family!!

        • November 4, 2013 at 12:52 PM

          Agree Miami, If Joe works all those long days that she keeps telling us about, how does he find time to follow her around. You don’t see juicy with Theresa everywhere cuz he is at home caring for their girls. These two are a couple of phonies. It’s pretty obvious to me that they don’t have much trust for each other, I feel that the lack of trust in their marriage is the main reason he follows her around like a puppy dog. Trust is such a major part of any good marriage. So glad I have my life and not theirs.

        • November 4, 2013 at 1:40 PM

          Teresa’s fan pics always look so happy, she never looks bored.

    • November 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      Formaggio Cheese sponsored this event her …. LOL. Boycotting them.

  39. November 4, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    Is Danielle Staub the key player in all of this?

    1. Danielle is friend of Danny Provenzano, grandnephew of Anthony Provenzano also known as Tony Pro, Caporegime (or captain) in the Genovese crime family of New York City. Danny Provenzano became a made man, movie director, and a producer after building a successful printing company in New Jersey. He served a portion of a ten-year sentence for racketeering. Danny appeared in the second season of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey –

    2. Kevin Maher, Danielle Staub’s ex, was a paid undercover FBI informer, now he is a private investigator. Their marriage sounds like they could have had couples night with TB and TSIL.

    3. Danielle made friends who became enemies or so it is made to appear that way. Kim G, Jaq, Caroline, etc.

    Caroline Manzo “I am small but I am scrappy and you don’t want to mess with me,” she said. “You believe what you want to believe. It’s sticks and stones. I will go head to head and toe to toe with anybody that would like to challenge me to say that my husband and his family are involved with organized crime. I am proud to be Caroline Manzo.”

    Tiny Manzo was executed mob-style in August 1983

    4. Teresa is friends with Victoria Gotti

    5. Joe Gorga connected? Yea @melissagorga better tell @joegorga to stop send me messages that he’s connected. Don’t make me lol, you got nothing. Yeah, I got the messages, they think their mobsters! Lol… Am I suppose to be scared! Make the threats public tuff guy.” – Anthony Arater (@AArater), August 4, 2013, Twitter – https://famewhorgas.wordpress.com/category/anthony-arater-melissas-ex-boyfriend/

    The RHONJ cast and friends are involved in things concerning bankruptcy, financial problems, construction work, flipping, real estate etc.

    “The FBI said professionals working in the mortgage industry were involved in many of the cases, with organized crime playing a significant role. “There have been numerous instances in which various organized criminal groups were involved in mortgage fraud activity. Asian, Balkan, Armenian, La Cosa Nostra, Russian and Eurasian organized crime groups have been linked to various mortgage fraud schemes, such as short sale fraud and loan origination schemes,” the FBI said. Many of the perpetrators are using past experiences in banking and mortgage-related industries to engage in the schemes. Law enforcement data suggests fraud occurs most often in California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Texas, Georgia, Maryland and New Jersey. ”


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