Here’s some more bad news for embattled Senator Chris Dodd.
It looks like Bank of America (BAC) may release details on Countrywide’s controversial ‘Friends of Angelo’ program, which gave preferential loans and fee waivers to influential folks — influential folks like Senator Chris Dodd.
CNBC: At the beginning of June, Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, a member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Bank of America, which bought Countrywide last year, asking it to produce documents related to the VIP program for the period between January 1, 2000 to October 1, 2008.
“In many cases, Countrywide facilitated and expedited the loan process for VIPs by ignoring company lending standards,” Issa’s letter said.
“According to documents obtained by the Committee, when evaluating whether or not to offer preferential treatment to a potentially influential borrower, Countrywide officers openly weighed the value of developing a strategic relationship with that borrower against the cost in dollars that would be forfeited by the company to establish that relationship,” the letter added.
The idea of a cost/benefit analysis here is almost silly. Whatever few thousand Countrywide forfeited by giving Dodd (and others) a Friend of Angelo loan, it would almost certainly be worth it by making nice with the powerful Senator.
That being said, Issa’s line about “ignoring company lending standards” seems pretty rich, given, well, Countrywide’s lending standards, which were famously awful.
Between Issa’s investigation into ths program, and Angelo’s own legal problems — which give him an incentive to rat on all his old friends that have now abandoned him — Senator Dodd’s office ought to prepare for more incoming fire.