Monday, February 02, 2009

Chris Dodd's "mortgage papers" press conference

CTNewsJunkie reports on Chris Dodd's press conference today.

But I'm still much less concerned about Dodd's mortgages, than I am about him tag teaming with Bush to create last fall's bailout. And I still think Dodd owes an apology for that. Nonetheless, with all the reporting I'm sure most people are more concerned about his mortgage papers.

So I offer some thoughts...

Over at the progressive MLN, Dodd seems to be getting a less-than-enthusiastic reaction. But I still have no idea how to understand the nuance of mortgage. And since Dodd created this odd situation where reporters were allowed to see the papers, but not photocopy the papers... it makes me wonder... since the only people who will probably be able to parse the nuance will be lawyers or mortgage lenders... and they'll need more than 30 minutes.

This look, but don't touch approach seems like a circus. And it leaves me questioning him.

Anyway, CTNJ has one particularly interesting comment on their cursory review:

Another Countrywide document generated on April 23, 2003 had the business card of Robert Feinberg, a senior account executive with Countrywide, Xeroxed to the page and another page had: *VIP FOA* written on it. FOA, may refer to “Friends of Angelo.” Angelo Mozilo was Countrywide’s former CEO.

And the WSJ just had this piece on the Dodd mortgage papers. Most concerning to me is this part:

Perhaps Connecticut's longest serving Senator was bamboozled by Mr. Mozilo and used bad judgment in backing the reckless lender. But 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." If true, it would mean that the Senator had a clear conflict of interest as a legislator promoting the business of a company doing him personal favors.

Dodd should just post the mortgage papers to the web and let them get parsed, answer questions and wait for the Senate investigation to conclude.

Tim White

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