January 30, 2009

CHRIS DODD UPDATE: Wall Street bonuses and sweetheart mortgages: Compare and discuss.

Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd has been in typically indignant form this week, opining on the financial crisis. Before his Tuesday hearing on Bernard Madoff, he demanded that regulators get to the bottom of any crime: “American investors deserve an explanation and the responsible parties must be held accountable!” And yesterday the Connecticut Senator denounced Wall Street bonuses and said, “I am urging — in fact, not urging, demanding — that the Treasury Department figures out some way to get the money back.”

Pardon us, Senator, but how about taking your own advice?

We refer to his promise to release mortgage documents for the two properties that he and his wife refinanced with Countrywide Financial in 2003. In June a former Countrywide loan officer charged that Mr. Dodd received preferential rates and had fees waived on those loans as part of a VIP program the company had for “friends” of the company’s then-CEO Angelo Mozilo. Mr. Dodd first issued a denial and then, days later, acknowledged that he was a “VIP” with Countrywide but said he thought it was “more of a courtesy.” In late June he pledged to make all pertinent documents public “at some point.” We’re still waiting.

It has now been 189 days since Dodd promised to release his mortgage documents.