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The investigative journalist strikes again, if anyone is watching.

Since the Bush regime came to power, a new species of loan became the norm, the `sub-prime' mortgage and its variants including loans with teeny "introductory" interest rates. From out of nowhere, a company called `Countrywide' became America's top mortgage lender, accounting for one in five home loans, a large chunk of these `sub-prime.'

[What] kind of American is `sub-prime.' Guess. No peeking. Here's a hint: 73% of HIGH INCOME Black and Hispanic borrowers were given sub-prime loans versus 17% of similar-income Whites. Dark-skinned borrowers aren't stupid - they had no choice. They were `steered' as it's called in the mortgage sharking business.

[When] the Bush regime took over, Countrywide and its banking brethren were told to party hearty - it was OK now to steer'm, fake'm, charge'm and take'm. [But] there was this annoying party-pooper. The Attorney General of New York, Eliot Spitzer, who sued these guys to a fare-thee-well. Or tried to.

Instead of regulating the banks that had run amok, Bush's regulators went on the warpath against Spitzer and states attempting to stop predatory practices. Making an unprecedented use of the legal power of "federal pre-emption," Bush-bots ordered the states to NOT enforce their consumer protection laws.

Indeed, the feds actually filed a lawsuit to block Spitzer's investigation of ugly racial mortgage steering...

[When] the housing bubble burst and the paint flaked off, investors were left with the poop and the bankers were left with bonuses...

[Bernanke] opened the vault and dumped $200 billion on the poor little suffering bankers. They got the public treasure - and got to keep the Grinning's house. There was no `quid' of a foreclosure moratorium for the `pro quo' of public bailout. Not one family was saved - but not one banker was left behind.

And that very same day the bail-out was decided - what a coinkydink! - the man called, `The Sheriff of Wall Street' was cuffed. Spitzer was silenced. [Headlines] in the financial press - one was "Wall Street Declares War on Spitzer" - made clear to Bush's enforcers at Justice who their number one target should be. And it wasn't Bin Laden.

It was the night of February 13 when Spitzer made the bone-headed choice to order take-out in his Washington Hotel room. He had just finished signing these words for the Washington Post about predatory loans:

"Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye."

Bush, Spitzer said right in the headline, was the "Predator Lenders' Partner in Crime." The President, said Spitzer, was a fugitive from justice. And Spitzer was in Washington to launch a campaign to take on the Bush regime and the biggest financial powers on the planet.

Spitzer wrote, "When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners the Bush administration will not be judged favorably."

But now, the Administration can rest assured that this love story - of Bush and his bankers - will not be told by history at all - now that the Sheriff of Wall Street has fallen on his own gun.

Not all crimes lead to federal bust or even public exposure. It's up to something called "prosecutorial discretion."

Funny thing, this `discretion.' For example, Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, paid Washington DC prostitutes to put him in diapers (ewww!), yet the Senator was not exposed by the US prosecutors busting the pimp-ring that pampered him.

Naming and shaming and ruining Spitzer - rarely done in these cases - was made at the `discretion' of Bush's Justice Department.

by das monde on Tue Mar 18th, 2008 at 01:44:57 AM EST

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