From the Times comes this major story: again, with all that complaining about how the government has done nothing about how the crash caused people to lose their homes, etc etc. Here’s the big news (Jury Finds Bank of America Liable in Mortgage Program Nicknamed the ‘Hustle’ – NYTimes.com.):
Bank of America, one of the country’s largest banks, was found liable on Wednesday for having purposely sold defective mortgages, a result that will be seen as a victory for the government in its aggressive effort to hold large American banks accountable for their role in the housing crisis.
Moreover, the jury also found a top executive at Bank of America’s Countrywide unit liable, pinning some — if not all – of the responsibility for the bad acts on an individual.
During the trial, federal prosecutors accused Rebecca Mairone, a top executive at Countrywide at the time, of having opted for quantity over quality in its mortgage writing program, which resulted in the bank churning out housing loans that were destined to fail.
In its case, federal lawyers claimed that Ms. Mairone, who now works at JPMorgan Chase, led a program nicknamed the “hustle,” derived from HSSL, or the “high-speed swim lane.” The program linked bonuses to how fast bankers could originate loans. As a result, the credit quality of the borrower was given short shrift, the government contended. When these loans were sold on to mortgage giants like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they failed, generating more than $1 billion in losses.
Now, don’t you all remember how Republicans screeched about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, blaming them for the mortgage mess? Well, yeah — better to blame quasi-government agencies that are dedicated to helping not-extremely-rich people own their own homes than to blame the banks that profited from the muck they created. Especially when those big banks dump at least some of those ill-gotten profits into your campaign war chest.
This is great news and proves again that government has a powerful, beneficent role in our lives.
I am wondering why Bank of America let this case go to a jury. What were they thinking? That We the People who serve on juries would feel for one of the banks that screwed so many millions of our fellow jury members?
Stupid. But of course they were all stupid to begin with, every single one of ’em.