The biggest financial story which continues to get absolutely no mention on CNBC just got its latest multi-step escalation: Senator Al Franken has just blasted a letter to Tim Geithner, Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Eric Holder, John Walsh, Controller of the Currency, Sheila Bair, and, drumroll, Ben Bernanke, telling the recipients that “each of your agencies has an important role to play in addressing this egregious situation and holding all appropriate actors fully accountable. As such, I respectfully request that you collaborate to conduct a thorough investigation into the alleged misconduct. As part of this investigation, it is crucial that Ally and its employees are held fully accountable for any criminal misconduct.” Since if this pervasive mortgage fraud is more than just alleged, the stink will reach to the very top of places like JP Morgan, Ally, and possibly every single bank that has been in the mortgage origination business, something tells us that Ben Bernanke, whose job is precisely to protect the banks’ interests will not rush into any investigation for the duration of FASB’s existence. It gets better: “Additionally, all homeowners who may have experienced illegitimate foreclosure sales, those who have been forced to defend against illegitimate foreclosure actions, and those who have been harmed must be identified. These individuals must received proper restitution and compensation, as provided for under the law.” And the punchline: “It is critical to confirm that no loans provided through the FHA or in conjunction with the HAMP program were associated with Ally’s misconduct.” Yes, oddly enough the government is about to lose even more credibility once it is discovered that it worked in collaboration with the biggest mortgage fraud scheme in history.
The letter concludes:
“Concerns have been rasied that Ally’s practices are not an anomaly in this industry, and that these bad practices are used by numerous other companies as well. Therefore, I request that you report on the actions your agencies are taking (and plan to take) to improve oversight of mortgage servicers overall. In particular please inform me of steps that you will take to ensure that similar misconduct is not currently occurring within other mortgage service companies and how future improper activity can best be prevented.”
We will spare you the Donkey Kong graphic today.