Anderson Cooper on CNN, October 2011
Hmmm....can you say "conflict of interest"?
Between January 1996 and June 2008, Countrywide Financial, the scrapped mortgage arm of Bank of America, exercised its influence by handing out hundreds of
Between January 1996 and June 2008, Countrywide Financial, the scrapped mortgage arm of Bank of America, exercised its influence by handing out hundreds of discounted VIP loans to key Congressional members, White House employees, Fannie Mae executives, and other high-ranking government officials and staffers.
Traditionally, Countrywide used its VIP Loan program to process loans for company executives and their friends, but a new report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform shows the program was also used to incentivize members of Congress, including former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, Former Republican California Rep. Tom Campbell, New York Democrat Rep. Edolphus Towns and California Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly.
"Countrywide's VIP unit processed loans for key senators and Senate staff who could be helpful when legislation that affected the company was drafted or up for a vote," the report explains.
The report reveals Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo, along with a number of lobbyists, often connected members of the Senate Committee on Banking and the House Committee on Financial Services to the company's VIP program in California, which handled the company's favored clients. In some cases, the report says lawmakers and executives saved thousands of dollars on their loans through the program.
The U.S. government on Tuesday filed two civil lawsuits against Bank of America that accuse the bank of investor fraud in its sale of $850 million of residential mortgage-backed securities. Read more...
On Sep. 17, 2011 Occupy Wall Street started a revolution. One year later, join us for three days of education, training, and protest in New York City.
The 1% is controlling our fates; we are drowning in loans, student debt, fraudulent Read more...
Here's our latest explainer video, on the storied history of money in politics. Lyrics follow.
Act I: Brown Paper Bags"I made my mistakes, but in all my years of public life, I have never profited . I've earned every cent." Read more...
Federal prosecutors hit Bank of America with a $1 billion lawsuit Wedesday, accusing the bank of mortgage fraud that contributed to the housing crisis. Bank of America became entangled in the scheme -- known as “High-Speed Swim Lane” or “Hustle” -- when it purchased Countrywide Financial in July 2008, just as the economy was slipping into recession. Countrywide, a mortgage lending giant, was already known for approving risky loans when it introduced its “Hustle” program to churn out more loans, effectively eliminating a system that ensured the mortgages were being made to buyers who could afford them. A top U.S. attorney said the bank’s fraud was “spectacularly brazen in scope.” Read more...