Did the Calabasas mortgage lender ever consider the words "conflict of interest"? The latest appalling revelation, according to a letter released by Rep. Darrell Issa, involves the company offering special VIP loans to 153 employees of Fannie Mae, the giant, federally backed financial institution that just happened to have helped fuel Countrywide's growth. Another 20 VIP loans went to Freddie Mac employees, another big government-backed buyer of loans. From the WSJ:
Mr. Issa said the new information provides further evidence that Countrywide Financial was improperly trying to "curry favor and get an edge" by passing out financial favors. He said the downfall of the two giant government-backed mortgage buyers, particularly Fannie Mae, was due in no small measure to troubled loans purchased from Countrywide, whose own financial problems led to its 2008 purchase by Bank of America Corp. VIP program records subpoenaed last fall from Bank of America by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have been the basis for Mr. Issa's recent disclosures on who received mortgages.
Issa, who has made the VIP program something of a crusade, released a letter last week saying that 30 VIP loans appeared to have been made to senators or Senate employees.