Bank of America, after receiving large tax payer bail out money, is attempting a $335 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over a lawsuit alleging that Countrywide, owned by BofA, violated fair lending practices from 2004 to 2008. This is the largest settlement of its kind to date. This also explains some of the reported "record profits" on WallStreet over the past few years. It is simply not logical to believe that banks made record profits by following the letter of the law.
Over 200,000 African-American and Hispanic buyers were discriminated against by Countrywide's practices of charging them higher interest rates than white customers and guiding them towards sub-prime adjustable rate mortgages.
This also is not the first time that Countrywide has been in trouble. In 2008, Countrywide reportedly participated in a "V.I.P program" allowing executives from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to buy homes at "favorable rates." In December, 2010, Bank of America settled with Fannie and Freddie for a total of $3 billion for another Countrywide ethics breach. There is still some discussion as to the accuracy of those numbers and the legality of the actions involving Fannie, Freddie, Countrywide and BofA.
Now, add to that mix Newt Gingrich advising Freddie Mac. Gingrich received a $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac in 2006. That happens to be right in the middle of the time period when all the illegal lending was taking place.
And for good measure, consider the allegations of Tea Party racism.
What are the take-aways?
1 - WallStreet needs government supervision to prevent lawsuits arising from their illegal lending practices. They will rip off the consumer any chance they get.
2 - Bank of America should have never received one penny of bail out money. The Occupy protestors are at their front door demanding their stolen money back, and they should get it.
3 - Do not trust anything that Newt Gingrich says. Remember, he was found guilty of ethics violations when he was in Congress. He is most likely involved in these illegal lending practices somehow even if a paper trail cannot be produced to prove it.
4 - Republicans are racists. In one breath they talk about immigration being the heart and soul of American. In the next, they talk about deportation of illegal immigrants. And when the cameras shut off, they are taking advantage of blacks and Hispanics to line their own pockets. Or, as is the case with Mitt Romney, hiring illegals to do cheap labor. When the camera turned back on and he was "running for President for Pete's sake," the illegals could not be used any longer.
Newt Gingrich also made racists statements when advocating that young black children work in their schools instead of becoming "pimps and prostitutes." He didn't use the word "black" in his comments, it was implied.
Remember, it was a Republican (Richard Russell) that used the filibuster in the Senate to keep the Civil Rights Act from being passed.
And the most blatant evidence of Republican racism in Congress is their vow to stop doing anything until our black President is out of office.