Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BofA's internal review of the housing bill

It's right here. Click on it, and then print it out before you lay out your next short on the financials.

You'll see why the Tampa Tribune had this to say about it:

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - "We call it the 'Bank of America bill on steroids.'" A House staffer told me that, demanding anonymity, but speaking on behalf of aides to GOP members of the House Financial Services Committee.

He was talking about the bill whose Senate version has been brought to the floor this week by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-CN, and Sen. Richard Shelby, R-AL. Dodd-Shelby would let mortgage lenders off the hook for bad loans, shifting the burden ultimately to taxpayers. Dodd has received approximately $70,000 in campaign contributions from Bank of America in the last year-and-a-half.

Dodd-Shelby hit the Senate floor this week amid controversy over sweetheart loan deals Dodd and other powerful politicians received from Countrywide Financial, the lender with the most exposure to subprime mortgages at risk of default.

Some journalists and Republican lawmakers are asking if Countrywide bought a bailout bill with its VIP loans to Dodd, who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. But when asking cui bono? about Dodd's bill, we need to look to Bank of America.

Bank of America agreed in January to buy Countrywide, and the deal is near completion. House and Senate staffers opposing the measure say Bank of America operatives wrote that chamber's version of the bailout.

One Senate staffer was told by a lobbyist, "the bailout section is exactly what Bank of America and Countrywide wanted." The Senate staffer added "its obvious they got what they asked for."

Countrywide Financial is the poster-child of the subprime mortgage crisis. The lender's immense exposure to potential defaults is why the company's stock fell from $45 in early 2007 to just above $5 a year later.

That's also why Bank of America was able to buy Countrywide for around $7 per share. Countrywide's exposure to default is why Bank of America would benefit so acutely from a subprime mortgage bailout like Dodd-Shelby.


Some pundits like Cramer were gesticulating last week that CFC would take BAC down. BofA's PAC contributions seemed to have paid off in spades.

And the systemic risk on Wall Street and banking, gets passed off to the taxpayer!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My god... I'm fed up with the irresponsible legislation in Washington. Message to CEO's - make the mess big enough and costly enough, grease the congressional pigs, and your greed will go unpunished. Leaving the shareholders and taxpayers holding the bag. Oh, by the way, after congress "cleans up" the mess by spending our childrens money, then they go and "fix" it with invasive and costly regulation - not unlike SOX.