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Friday, January 30, 2009

Chris Dodd, Where is the Self Outrage?

As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Chris Dodd (D-CT) has held several hearings denouncing unethical behavior. Obama found the payment of Wall Street bonuses "shameful." But as the WSJ points out today, when will anyone shine the spotlight on Chris Dodd (or Kent Conrad or others) who took bribes from Countrywide in the way of discounted mortgages?

In June a former Countrywide loan officer charged that Mr. Dodd received preferential rates and had fees waived on those loans as part of a VIP program the company had for "friends" of the company's then-CEO Angelo Mozilo. Mr. Dodd first issued a denial and then, days later, acknowledged that he was a "VIP" with Countrywide but said he thought it was "more of a courtesy." In late June he pledged to make all pertinent documents public "at some point." We're still waiting.

...[Countrywide] loan officer Robert Feinberg, who oversaw Countrywide's VIP program, says Mr. Dodd knew he was getting favors from Mr. Mozilo. Mr. Feinberg says his job was to remind beneficiaries at every step of the process that they were getting a special deal because they were "Friends of Angelo."