Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd reportedly received two mortgages under a special Countrywide Financial Corp. program that gave preferential interest rates to "friends" of the company's chairman.
A spokesman for Dodd, D-Conn., said Friday that the senator did not seek any special treatment.
"The Dodds received a competitive rate on their loans," spokesman Bryan DeAngelis said in a statement. "They did not seek or anticipate any special treatment and they were not aware of any."
Conde Nast Portfolio magazine first reported Dodd's participation in a special program that awarded preferential rates to people considered "friends" of the company's chairman and chief executive, Angelo Mozilo.
Portfolio reported that Countrywide made two loans at special rates to Dodd in 2003. One was a $503,000 loan to refinance a Washington townhouse. The second was for refinancing a loan on a home in East Haddam, Conn.
Countrywide waived three-eighths of a point, or about $2,000, on the townhouse loan, and one-fourth of a point, about $700, on the second, according to internal documents cited by Portfolio. Both loans were for 30 years, with the first five years at a fixed rate.
The magazine said other participants in the company's "V.I.P." program included Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and former U.N. ambassador and assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke.
Portfolio said that according to company documents and e-mails, the participants got deals that were better than those available to ordinary borrowers.
Now, admittedly, $2,700 isn't that much in the big scheme of things. But then, if it is a program which provides preferential treatment to some over others, the amount isn't particularly important.
What is significant though is the fact that the customer receiving the preferential treatment is the chairman of a body (Senate Banking Committee) which has regulatory oversight over the industry providing the break.
Sounds like a perfect case for a little Senate investigation to me.
"Sounds like a perfect case for a little Senate investigation to me."
Yeah, right - when the Dems control things. Now subsitute "Dodd" for a Republican, and "Mozilo" for "Abramoff," and, heck you have a scandal. But only if it involves Republicans! The Obamaton mainstream media says, "What scandal? Nothing to see here! By the way, what sexual peccadilloes has any Republican been caught in recently?"
Remember that Chris Dodd’s father, Thomas, was also a US Senator from Connecticut, and in 1966 and 1967 was under investigation for being a crook - he was finally censured by the Senate, lost his seat, and died from a broken heart.
The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree in Dodd’s family.
Dodd needs to do hard time with Bernie Ebbers, Skilling and the others our self-righteous Senators felt so privileged to judge. What kind of pathetic answer is Dodd’s "we didn’t ask for any special treatment" anyways? Asking or not, a bribe is a bribe. An inappropriate gift inappropriate.
Sheesh... in my day job, we put up with Sarbanes Oxley, FFIEC, Payment Card Industry and numerous other regulations. We’re also self-regulated, as most certified professionals in our world must comply with the code of conducts of our professional associations (e.g. the IIA, ISACA, ISC2, CFA Institute, etc.). We’d be done in our profession by taking Dodd’s "un-requested gift" at that very amount. We’d be expelled from our professional organizations, terminated from employment, and if the bribe er gift came from a client or vendor, most likely subject to criminal charges at the felony level.
No more of these pork-stuffing fat cats and their bribes, gifts and other crap. Put Dodd in jail with the rest of the crooks.
A minor quibble: the amount of benefit wasn’t $2,700. The benefit applies as long as the interest rate on the loans, originally pegged at 4.875%, remains at 4.25% on the Washington home and 4.5% on the Connecticut property. That equates to a savings for the good senator of about $58,000 on his Washington residence and $17,000 on the Connecticut home over the life of the loans.
Furthermore, according to the Conde article Countrywide also contributed approx. $21K to Dodd’s election campaigns since 1997. Added all together, not really chicken feed and certainly enough to take him to the woodshed (IMO).