John Fund points out that the problem with Countrywide Financial extends beyond Jim Johnson.
. . . The kind of sweetheart mortgage deals that forced Washington fixer Jim Johnson to resign as Barack Obama's vice presidential vetter are now haunting other leading Washington figures.
Both Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget committee, also got special below-market mortgages from Countrywide Financial, all arranged by Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo. Other recipients of a "Friends of Angelo" program that waived points, lender fees and company borrowing rules were former Bush HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, and former Clinton cabinet officers Donna Shalala and Richard Holbrooke.
Conde Nast Portfolio says Senator Dodd received two loans through the program in 2003, saving him about $70,000 in fees. His wife told Portfolio that two other lenders had also offered comparable interest rates. Senator Conrad borrowed money to refinance his vacation home and saved at least $10,000. He told Portfolio: "I never asked for, expected or was aware of any special treatment." . . .
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