Chris Dodd, lefty demigogue extraordinaire, has been out front attacking the big bad capitalists and the “appetite for risk” that he holds put us in this jam.
Naturally, he not only benefitted handsomely from that same risk – he benefitted from my loathsome mortage paper-holder and one of the key offenders, Countrywide.
Former Countrywide Financial loan officer Robert Feinberg says Mr. Dodd knowingly saved thousands of dollars on his refinancing of two properties in 2003 as part of a special program the California mortgage company had for the influential. He also says he has internal company documents that prove Mr. Dodd knew he was getting preferential treatment as a friend of Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide’s then-CEO.
That a “Friends of Angelo” program existed is not in dispute. It was crucial to the boom that Countrywide enjoyed before its fortunes turned. While most of the company was aggressively lending to risky borrowers and off-loading those mortgages in bulk to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Mr. Feinberg’s department was charged with making sure those who could influence Fannie and Freddie’s appetite for risk were sufficiently buttered up. As a Banking Committee bigshot, Mr. Dodd was perfectly placed to be buttered.
Is it too late to bring back public flogging?