Sen. Dodd Took Up to Six VIP Countrywide Loans, Says Oversight Committee

Dodd photoSen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) received up to six sweetheart home loans from Countrywide Financial, even though he has only publicly admitted to accepting two special deals, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The revelations were brought to light by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, raising questions about a previous Senate ethics committee investigation into Dodd’s dealings with Countrywide that just disclosed information about two of the loans.

In 2008, Dodd was accused of accepting two very favorable home loans in 2003 from Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo, through the bank’s “Friends of Angelo” program. The program offered VIP mortgages to “influential” individuals, like Dodd, a five-term senator and chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

While Dodd admitted to accepting two favorable home loans from the now-defunct Countrywide, he said he did not believe the dealings were improper or in violation of Senate ethics rules.

But Countrywide …

Dodd’s Financial Services ‘Reform’ Would Mean More Bailouts

Sen. Christpher Dodd, D-Conn.The word “reform” in the age of Obama has taken on a clear meaning: aggressive expansion of government control over economic decision-making by businesses and consumers. The recently-passed health care bill, rammed through Congress via highly unorthodox parliamentary procedures, is evidence enough of that. Yet even supporters of new financial services reform legislation now before the full Senate may be hard-pressed to explain how the mammoth 1,336-page measure is supposed to improve efficiency and integrity in credit markets. The bill’s most likely legacy, if passed into law, would be the creation of powerful federal bureaucracies that in the long run not only would fail to avert future banking crises, but may well increase their likelihood. The House of Representatives, led by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., passed its own somewhat different package last December 11 by a 223-202 vote.

The Senate bill, unveiled last Monday, March 15, is called the Restoring …

Congress Seeks to Expand Community Reinvestment Act, Encourage Shakedowns

housing collapseOf all the factors behind the collapse of America’s financial institutions during the second half of 2008, few have been as trumpeted – or misunderstood – as the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). This Carter-era legislation, intended to boost residential mortgage lending in lower-income urban neighborhoods, increasingly has served as a blank check for community groups to shake down depository institutions into lowering their credit standards to reach marginally qualified borrowers. In extracting such concessions, these groups have contributed to the ongoing explosion in loan defaults and foreclosures. Undaunted, House Democrats, led by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Tex., are proposing to make the CRA even more aggressive in rooting out “redlining,” the practice by which mortgage lenders allegedly refuse to extend credit to low-income and often nonwhite minority neighborhoods. 

The bill is called the Community Reinvestment Modernization Act of 2009 (H.R. 1479). What’s being “modernized” isn’t clear. What is