Archive for September 16th, 2011

Banks Turning on Each Other – the Prisoner’s Dilemma

I’m not an FBI agent or criminal detective, nor do I pretend to be.  That said, I’ve watched enough TV shows like Criminal Minds and CSI to know that when criminals conspire to commit a crime, they usually get caught, and when they do, they all turn on each other faster than bees on honey.  The phenomenon of two people getting arrested for the same crime and having the incentive to throw each other under the bus for their own benefit is so common that it has a name – the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

Given all of their criminal misconduct, it should hence be no surprise that the banks have begun turning on each other, filing suit against each other regarding fraudulent practices in the mortgage industry.  Like the Prisoner’s Dilemma, these criminals (cough, I mean banks, cough) are looking out for themselves, even if it means throwing other banks under the bus.   

All of the diligent reporters who have been covering foreclosure issues (several from the St. Pete Times, Shannon Behnken of the Tampa Tribune, Kim Miller of the Palm Beach Post, David Streitfeld of the New York Times, etc.) – make sure you check out the public records in these cases.  The banks know their own misdeeds more than anyone, so I’m quite certain there will be some interesting information disclosed in these cases.

Mark Stopa

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