I can get deals on tanning beds for members of Congress, too
The former Countrywide Financial Corp., whose subprime loans helped start the nation’s foreclosure crisis, made hundreds of discount loans to buy influence with members of Congress, congressional staff, top government officials and executives of troubled mortgage giant Fannie Mae, according to a House report.
The report, obtained by The Associated Press, said the discounts — from January 1996 to June 2008 — were not only aimed at gaining influence for the company but to help mortgage giant Fannie Mae. Countrywide’s business depended largely on Fannie, which at the time was trying to fend off more government regulation but eventually had to come under government control.
Fannie Mae was responsible for purchasing a large volume of Countrywide’s subprime mortgages. Countrywide was taken over by Bank of America in January 2008, relieving the financial services industry and regulators from the messy task of cleaning up the bankruptcy of a company that was servicing 9 million U.S. home loans worth $1.5 trillion at a time when the nation faced a widening credit crisis, massive foreclosures and an economic downturn.
“Documents and testimony obtained by the committee show the VIP loan program was a tool used by Countrywide to build goodwill with lawmakers and other individuals positioned to benefit the company,” the report said…That’s Congresstalk for BRIBES!
Some of the discounts were ordered personally by former Countrywide chief executive Angelo Mozilo. Those recipients were known as “Friends of Angelo…”
Among those who received loan discounts from Countrywide, the report said, were:
—Former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.
—Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
—Mary Jane Collipriest, who was communications director for former Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah…
—Former Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Calif…
The report said those who received the discounts knew the loans were handled by a special VIP unit.
IMHO this still all rolls back to 1994 and Newt Gingrich’s contract on America. Since that grand election of good ol’ boys from the GOP, the value of loot floated through Congress by lobbyists and the corporate bosses they front for has increased 1000%. Republicans changed the rules. Both Republicans and Democrats hopped on the gravy train.
There’s a straight line that can be drawn from Newt’s “reforms” and Fannie Mae as an example of the corruption that spills from the garbage can labeled CONGRESS.