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Remember at the outset of the financial crisis when the government told us only “healthy banks” were going to receive bailout funds? Well apparently that requirement does not apply to banks with friends in high places.
Judicial Watch received new documents from the U.S. Department of Treasury about the controversial $12 million bailout grant provided to Boston-based OneUnited Bank.
We got the documents through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit we filed against Treasury. Included are internal Treasury emails describing the substandard condition of OneUnited prior to the taxpayer funded bailout, which allegedly occurred at the behest of Reps. Maxine Waters and Barney Frank.
Here’s what we found out in a nutshell: OneUnited Bank was in deep trouble due to incompetence and mismanagement. Government officials knew all about it. And yet, they bent the rules for Waters and Frank and “invested” taxpayer funds in the floundering enterprise.
Consider this September 15, 2008, email from former Treasury Senior Advisor Michael Scott to Director of the Office of Financial Institutions Mario Ugoletti. It includes a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) evaluation administered by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) noting serious issues with OneUnited’s lending practices:
2004 CRA Public Evaluation: While the institution received a CRA rating of “Low Satisfactory” on an overall basis, OneUnited Bank’s CRA rating for Massachusetts was “Needs to Improve” for both the Lending Test and the Investment Test. Under the Lending Test, the report stated that “OUB has done a poor job of meeting the credit needs of its [Boston, MA] assessment area. A review of the 2002 and 2003 HMDA data revealed a total of one loan. There were no reported Community Development Loans (CDL) and any innovative or flexible lending programs were apparently ineffective.”
For the Massachusetts Investment Test, the report stated that “the level and complexity of investments within the Boston assessment area is less than satisfactory there were no equity investments or qualified deposits within the assessment area. The low volume of qualified investments within the assessment area is a concern.”
In Florida, the institution received a CRA rating of “Substantial Noncompliance” which also represented the subordinate rating for the Lending Test…
A subsequent 2007 CRA evaluation noted continued problems with OneUnited’s lending program, particularly in Florida.
The documents also include a January 3, 2009, email from Brookly McLaughlin, Treasury’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, to former Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari highlighting Barney Frank’s intervention in the OneUnited Bank bailout and calling attention to significant concerns about the OneUnited transaction:
According to the WSJ [Wall Street Journal] Barney Frank told them that he specifically put section 103-6 in the bill in order to help this particular bank. Apparently this bank also had an issue with a Porsche that the regulators had made them get rid of. The story will run later this week and will highlight three banks that they think raise questions and are not “healthy” banks…
A man arrested for allegedly placing a backpack he thought contained a bomb near Chicago’s Wrigley Field got the fake explosive from an FBI undercover agent, authorities say.
Sami Samir Hassoun, 22, a Lebanese citizen living in Chicago for about three years, was charged Monday with one count each of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted use of an explosive device.
Judicial Watch made an explosive announcement today about the Obama Justice Department’s stonewalling in the New Black Panther voter intimidation case dismissal.
Forced to bring a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit after DOJ rebuffed its public records request (so much for transparency), Judicial Watch obtained a privilege log from the DOJ last week.
Senator Harry Reid had an unusual form of praise for New York’s junior senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, this morning at the fundraiser Mayor Bloomberg hosted for him at his townhouse – referring to her as “the hottest member” as she sat just a few feet away.
The comment prompted Gillibrand to turn red, according to the sources, and created a bit of stir among the small crowd there.
The UK’s tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which it would deduct the appropriate tax and pay employees by bank transfer.
The proposal stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.
Federal Reserve data showed a drop of $1.5 Trillion in the household net worth of American citizens in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the first quarter of this year.
This was attributed to declined value of stocks, mutual bonds, real estate property and the increasing unemployment rate. Total household net worth was recorded at $53.5 trillion.
On Sunday, September 19, 2010, the Obama family attended church for only the third time in a year. They went on foot to the St. John’s Episcopal Church situated across the Lafayette Park.
But what is widely not reported is that on that particular Sunday in that particular church, Dr. Ziad Asali, M.D., a Muslim, founder and president of the American Task Force on Palestine, was the guest speaker.
Authorities say they’re trying to determine what caused the engine problems that prompted a small plane to make an emergency landing on a busy stretch of Interstate 85 northeast of Atlanta.
The plane landed smoothly and without hitting any cars on a southbound stretch of the interstate Monday afternoon a few miles from Peachtree DeKalb Airport. Television shots showed traffic snarled for miles.