Liquidating Thy Neighbor – Part I

LEWISBURG, Tenn. — Five years ago, this small factory town was struggling to pay the interest on a bond for new sewers. Bob Phillips, Lewisburg’s part-time mayor and full-time pharmacist, was urged by the town’s financial adviser, an investment bank named Morgan Keegan & Company, to engage in a complex financial transaction to lower interest rates.

Mr. Philips was urged by an investment bank to engage in a complex financial transaction to lower interest rates…And when Lewisburg decided to go ahead with the transaction, who was there to make the
deal? Morgan Keegan.

In January, local officials were shocked to discover that annual interest payments on the bond had quadrupled to $1 million.

Read more…

Click here for Morgan Keegan’s website

Click here for a list of its officers

It appears that Morgan Keegan was also active in the subprime mortgage market:

Morgan, Keegan Investor Alert

Morgan Keegan Ordered to Repay $276K

Morgan Keegan is owned by Regions Bank:

Click here for the annual proxy of Regions Bank listing its officers and directors and lead shareholder.

The US Treasury, through the TARP bailout program, is the largest named potential shareholder of Regions Bank, which means that each American citizen is indirectly a shareholder. I looked at Regions Bank about a year ago. Their largest investor at that time was Deutsch Bank.

As described in its annual proxy, Regions next annual meeting of shareholders is in Birmingham on April 16th, the day after most of us file our taxes. Region’s slogans promote “going green” and community service.

Since this is all happening in the “bible belt,” I invite the pastors of all participants involved and everyone impacted by state and local financial support of Wall Street high finance, which includes most Christian congregations in Tennessee, to begin a discussion about why mortgage fraud, illegal drugs and marketing derivatives to municipalities are common in our state.

Step one may be for the municipalities in Tennessee to determine whether a proper application of disclosure laws and the theory of fraudulent inducement is a basis for successful abrogation of any and all swap contracts. Step two may be inviting Morgan Keegan and Regions Bank to leave. Step three may be cleansing state and local pension funds and reserves of providing fees and financing to Wall Street.

This Sunday we gather to celebrate our Lord’s crucifiction and resurrection. The resurrection is a reminder that anything is possible — even the miracle that we might integrate the commandment “love thy neighbor” with the practices we use to make and invest our money.

Your prayers are invited.

(Continued in Liquidating Thy Neighbor – Part II)


  1. When we re-engineer that way the money works then the small town won’t be the victim of the big banks. They will use their local banks and will hopefully have more control. After all if the small bank fraudulently induced them to take out bad loans they would lose all their customer base. The big national and multinational bank is insulated and even bailed out. More reason to stay close to home.

  2. Interesting. I just read this post and all of a sudden, Tennessee by Arrested Development came on my ipod.


    Lord I’ve really been real stressed
    Down and out, losin ground
    Although I am black and proud
    Problems got me pessimistic
    Brothers and sisters keep messin up
    Why does it have to be so damn tuff?
    I don’t know where I can go
    To let these ghosts out of my skull
    My grandmas past, my brothers gone
    I never at once felt so alone
    I know you’re supposed to be my steering wheel
    Not just my spare tire (home)
    But lord I ask you (home)
    To be my guiding force and truth (home)
    For some strange reason it had to be (home)
    He guided me to Tennessee (home)

    (Chorus) Take me to another place
    Take me to another land
    Make me forget all that hurts me
    Let me understand your plan

    Lord it’s obvious we got a relationship
    Talkin to each other every night and day
    Although you’re superior over me
    We talk to each other in a friendship way
    Then outta nowhere you tell me to break
    Outta the country and into more country
    Past Dyesburg into Ripley
    Where the ghost of childhood haunts me
    Walk the roads my forefathers walked
    Climbed the trees my forefathers hung from
    Ask those trees for all their wisdom
    They tell me my ears are so young (home)
    Go back to from whence you came (home)
    My family tree my family name (home)
    For some strange reason it had to be (home)
    He guided me to Tennessee (home)


    Now I see the importance of history
    Why people be in the mess that they be
    Many journeys to freedom made in vain
    By brothers on the corner playin ghetto games
    I ask you lord why you enlightened me
    Without the enlightment of all my folks
    He said cuz I set myself on a quest for truth
    And he was there to quench my thirst
    But I am still thirsty…
    The lord allowed me to drink some more
    He said what I am searchin for are
    The answers to all which are in front of me
    The ultimate truth started to get blurry
    For some strange reason it had to be
    It was all a dream about Tennessee


  3. The Market Ticker explains, and posts a warning: Who sold this crap to municipal governments, Ben?
    That would be your REGULATORY CHARGES, right?
    Even worse, I’m hearing rumblings that there are still municipal governments that are being swindled in this fashion.
    Let me be very clear:
    If you are a municipal government, whether state or local, issuing any sort of swap or variable-rate anything right now is ABSOLUTELY IDIOTIC.
    We are in a period of generational low borrowing costs. As such the correct course of action is to issue fixed-rate term debt securities that fully cover the anticipated amortization of the asset(s) you’re attempting to finance.
    Nothing else makes economic sense and the “salesmen” from these banks are conning you, just as they were a few years ago.

  4. John Perkins free audio’s on how to change the corporations CEO’s into individuals, like us, who have kids and grand kids to think of…..How to change their mindset that thinks all the profit goes to them, instead of working for the good all mankind. Change must come to the CEO”s , Change must come to Corporate profiteers and Wall Street/ Bankers Sponges………change must come cuz no longer will the people tolerate their greed and selfishness. We must stand up against them before they totally destroy us……Government Must begin to say NO to the Federal Reserve, the IMF , the CFR, the “moneychangers” table must be Over turned, before 300 million Americans March to Washington DC.!

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