The latest federal lawsuit over alleged mortgage fraud paints an unflattering picture of a doomed lender: Executives at Countrywide Financial urged workers to churn out loans, accepted fudged applications and tried to hide ballooning defaults.
The suit, filed Wednesday by the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, also underscored how Bank of America’s purchase of Countrywide in July 2008, just before the financial crisis, backfired severely.
The prosecutor, Preet Bharara, said he was seeking more than $1 billion, but the suit could ultimately recover much more in damages.
“This lawsuit should send another clear message that reckless lending practices will not be tolerated,” Bharara said in a statement. He described Countrywide’s practices as “spectacularly brazen in scope…”
What a country! Cheats and liars such as Lance Armstrong are lauded as heroes until damning evidence is presented. Real heroes are prosecuted for their good deeds:
Former CIA agent John Kiriakou pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to crimes related to blowing the whistle on the US government’s torture of suspected terrorists and was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Kiriakou, 48, agreed to admit to one count of disclosing information identifying a covert agent early Tuesday, just hours after his attorney entered a change of plea in an Alexandria, Virginia courtroom outside of Washington, DC…
From Wall Street Journal:
As consumers wise up about education spending, for-profit colleges are getting schooled… They are facing increased competition from nonprofit and state schools and growing skepticism about the value of a high-cost education…
ThinkProgress reports on an immodest proposal regarding poor mothers and newborns:
…Despite the fact that low-income women who give birth to children would logically need increased assistance to care for their larger family, Pennsylvania lawmakers — State Reps. RoseMarie Swanger (R), Tom Caltagirone (D), Mark Gillen (R), Keith Gillespie (R), Adam Harris (R), and Mike Tobash (R) — don’t want their state’s welfare program to provide additional benefits for that newborn. If a woman gives birth to a child who was conceived from rape, she may seek an exception to this rule so that her welfare benefits aren’t slashed, but only if she can provide proof that she reported her sexual assault and her abuser’s identity to the police…
The more money they make, the more they want:
…Koch Industries and fossil fuel groups are mobilizing to defeat the extension of modest tax incentives for wind energy, even though oil tax breaks are permanent. The American Energy Alliance, which has Koch ties, aims to make the credit “so toxic” for Republicans it would be “impossible for John Boehner to sit at a table with Harry Reid.” The Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity is also campaigning against wind energy. Meanwhile, the industry has argued its own century-old tax breaks are necessary to maintain, despite years of record-breaking profits…
Alternet on the danger of complacency:
…The truth is, national polls don’t amount to a hill of beans in this election. What counts is turnout and, as AlterNet reported in July, political operative and former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed is putting together an impressive get-out-the-vote operation, via his organization, Faith and Freedom Coalition, which funded by right-wing billionaires. Now that the New York Times weighed in with a front-page Sunday piece by Jo Becker about Reed’s organizing, perhaps the liberal establishment will take a deep breath and reassess whether its triumphalism is warranted — or even helpful to the liberal cause…
Economist Joseph Stiglitz on Obama and Romney bowing to the banks:
Peter Wolf and Shelby Lynne:
On Robert Gibbs. America used to be better than this.