H/T: The Largest Minority
The predatory lending industry has a partner in the White House
Here is the piece in the Washington Post this video refers to:
Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime
How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers
By Eliot Spitzer – Thursday, February 14, 2008
Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders. Some were misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to consumers’ ability to repay, making loans with deceptive “teaser” rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying illegal kickbacks. These and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.
Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers.
Predatory lending was widely understood to present a looming national crisis. This threat was so clear that as New York attorney general, I joined with colleagues in the other 49 states in attempting to fill the void left by the federal government. Individually, and together, state attorneys general of both parties brought litigation or entered into settlements with many subprime lenders that were engaged in predatory lending practices. Several state legislatures, including New York’s, enacted laws aimed at curbing such practices.
What did the Bush administration do in response? Did it reverse course and decide to take action to halt this burgeoning scourge? As Americans are now painfully aware, with hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure and our markets reeling, the answer is a resounding no.
Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye.
From Brasscheck TV on this video:
It’s one of the most amazing displays of journalistic incompetence and malpractice in recent memory.
The US news media failed to draw the obvious connection between the bizarre federal law enforcement investigation and leak campaign about the private life of New York Governor Spitzer and Spitzer’s all out attack on the Bush administration for its collusion with predatory lenders.
While the international credit system grinds to a halt because of a superabundance of bad mortgage loans made in the US, the news media failed to cover the details of Spitzer’s public charges against the White House.
Yet when salacious details were leaked about alleged details of Spitzer’s private life, they took that information and made it the front page news for days.
To the 9/11 fiasco, the Iraq War, the travesty of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, and the shredding of the US Constitution, we can now add a deliberate and reckless undermining of the credit and banking system of the US to its list of “accomplishments.”
On this last Friday (March 21st), the Miami Herald wrote a piece about who sent the letter to the FBI to set this ball in motion. It came from the attorney for Republican political operative Roger Stone.
Stone, known for shutting down the 2000 presidential election recount effort in Miami-Dade County, is a longtime Spitzer nemesis whose political experience ranges from the Nixon White House to Al Sharpton’s presidential campaign. His lawyer wrote the letter containing the call-girl allegations after FBI agents had asked to speak to Stone, though he says the FBI did not specify why he was contacted.
”Mr. Stone respectfully declines to meet with you at this time,” the letter states, before going on to offer ”certain information” about Spitzer.
Over the years, he’s [Roger Stone] shown up at the center of a lot of controversial Republican efforts to bring down Democrats in questionable ways. And that’s why, it piqued our interest to read these paragraphs from a New York political reporter about a phone call with Stone concerning the unusual federal government prostitution sting operation (which ostensibly began as a money laundering investigation) against Eliot Spitzer:
“I didn’t make him go to a prostitution ring,” said the most famous and ruthless Republican dirty trickster who still walks the earth. “He did that all on his own.”
Stone said that even before I asked if his hand was somehow in Spitzer’s latest trouble. I figured, somehow or another, it had to be.
“No comment on that,” Stone said. “I will say I knew it was coming. That’s why I wasn’t too upset about the results of the special election,” where a Democrat grabbed a supposedly safe Republican State Senate seat, leaving Democrats just one vote shy of control.
So an infamous Republican dirty trickster who now heads a highly offensively named and controversial anti-Clinton 527 called Citizens United Not Timid (okay if you’re slow, put the four capital letters together — and we are not making this up) happened to know in advance about the Bush partisan DOJ’s unusual takedown of a rising Democratic governor over sex. And he wasn’t just any governor, he was the head of the Empire State who had alienated Wall Street by aggressively taking on white collar crime when he was the New York AG.
In fact, Stone may have a larger role in the pursuit of Spitzer since he has worked for the Republican opposition in New York and was even fingered, if you can believe how low he’ll go, trying to anonymously threaten Spitzer’s father over the telephone.
How is this all connected? I don’t know, but my gut tells me it is. These are the same Republican dirty tricks used to shut down anyone who gets in this administration’s way – take the story of Don Siegelman for example.. Or the outing of Valerie Plame.. And the list goes on..
Where is the media? Where are the real investigative journalists in this country? Do they still exist?
I don’t condone the conduct of Mr. Spitzer. His choices brought shame, embarrassment, and condemnation on himself – and unbelievable pain to his family. I do question the bigger picture though. There is a lot more to this story than just Eliot Spitzer spending a lot of his own money, on his own free time, on high end call girls. Its time somebody had the courage to look a little further and do some real reporting.