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Senior Contributor

Issa looking for answer.

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Taxpayers wanting the whole story of how Countrywide Financial used its VIP loan program to grease politicians and reward its partners at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may soon have it. Thanks for this belated act of political hygiene go to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, who Wednesday issued a subpoena to Bank of America, which bought Countrywide during the financial crisis.

By March 7, the bank will need to produce all documents related to the company's VIP program, also known as the "Friends of Angelo" program in honor of former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo. Mr. Mozilo ran the subprime factory at the center of the housing bubble. Sweetheart loans for his "friends" at Fannie, Freddie and on Capitol Hill were part of a strategy to keep the mortgage party going, with minimal oversight of the loans originated by Countrywide and then guaranteed by Fan and Fred (and taxpayers).

In 2009 Mr. Issa persuaded then-Oversight Committee Chairman Ed Towns to issue a similar subpoena. But to protect the less-than-innocent, Mr. Towns asked that names be redacted. The identities of political "friends" in the House were sent only to the ethics committee, where they seem to have fallen down a well. Senate names were not shared with anyone.

Mr. Issa's new subpoena seeks the whole story, unredacted. The scuttlebutt is that most of the 30 Capitol Hill loans went to staff, not elected officials. But revealing internal discussions of why the firm helped "friends" like former Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Kent Conrad may suggest important reforms. However that turns out, it probably won't take a subpoena to understand why such reforms were absent from the law Mr. Dodd co-authored last year.

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703373404576148330979109912.html?mod=WSJ_newsreel_opin...

5 Replies
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Veteran Advisor

Re: Issa looking for answer.

I suppose one could say that it is encouraging that someone is considering using legal mechanisms...or something sorta' like a legal mechanism...a Congressional supeona wouldn't actually be one but kinda', sorta'....to look into what's gone on with the banking industry.

 

I'd prefer the Justice Department doing the digging...it would keep grandstanding politics such as what Mr. Issa's agenda would be in it's entirety...he's publicly declared as much.. out of it.

 

Once this geneation of Keatings and Lays are behind bars, it will be easy then to look up who facilitated them. They might actually get all the way back to Phil Gramm.Or, heck, maybe even back to  Bill Clinton himself for signing the piece of crap that Gramm engineered.

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Advisor

Re: Issa looking for answer.

Yes, but the justice department doesn't appear interested in doing particularly anything.
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Veteran Advisor

Re: Issa looking for answer.

All about the new President saying that we weren't going to look backwards. Part and parcel of that. That and the spook story of Sept. 2008 when we had the previous President. Same response. Mess with the banks and all becomes feral.

 

 So instead we take a different route to the same destination. The rest of us anyway. The perps get to run off with what's left.

 

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Advisor

Re: Issa looking for answer.

You mean the perp's are given cabinet posts
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Veteran Advisor

Re: Issa looking for answer.

Well, one for sure. I suppose if somebody decided that they wanted to hang it all on Timmy, he'd be just down the hall.