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I'm so glad our government rulers are so good at stopping corruption.

Just when you thought the seemingly endless rabbit hole of Wall Street-Washington corruption, cronyism, co-option, crime and kickbacks may have finally come to an end, here comes the House Ethic Committee to pronounce that no ethics breaches were found among House members in its investigation involving the scandal surrounding Countrywide "VIP loans" and the "Friends of Angelo." And in just doing so, the House effectively cleared itself of any wrongdoing and that's it, case closed - move along... Move along. For those who may have forgotten, it was only back in July(see link inside) that yet another House Committee, that for Oversight and Government Reform, found "Countrywide used its VIP Program to aid its lobbying efforts as well as to strengthen its relationship with taxpayer backed Fannie Mae.  Countrywide partnered with Fannie Mae in a strategic business alliance that also included joint lobbying efforts." Specifically, the report alleged that: “The Committee’s investigation found Countrywide lobbyists and CEO Angelo Mozilo used discounted loans as a tool to ingratiate itself with policymakers in an effort to benefit the company’s business interests,” said Issa.  “A former lobbyist for Countrywide testified that Members of Congress, staff, and other government officials were directed to the company’s VIP program as part of an effort to create a favorable impression of the company on Capitol Hill.  This preferential treatment – that varied depending on the influence of the borrower – was not routinely offered to the public.” A log of all loans processed by Countrywide’s VIP unit showed 17,979 loans between January 1996 and June 2008. Borrowers included Members and employees of Congress, the White House, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, federal agencies, and other government entities. The log listed hundreds of duplicate loans – the actual number of VIP borrowers was considerably less than 17,979. Lawyers for Bank of America acknowledged that the log may not contain the full roster of VIP borrowers. Countrywide established the VIP unit in 1991 toprocess loans for senior Countrywide officials and their friends. Referred to internally as Branch 850, the unit had 13 full-time employees trained to provide enhanced customer service. According to VIP Loan Unit operating procedures, the suite of benefits available to VIP borrowers included program/underwriting and pricing exceptions. (MOAR INSIDE...IF YOU DARE)


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