The stunning hypocrisy of Andrew “Give back those A.I.G. bonuses!” Cuomo
Posted by danishova on March 17, 2009
How many people who share responsibility for the housing crash heard round the world are now beating their breasts in self-righteous outrage over A.I.G. bonuses ? The prime players on the stage right now are Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and, ta da… Andrew Cuomo.
Let’s see what the Village Voice had to say about Andrew’s contributions last summer:
Andrew Cuomo and Fannie and Freddie
How the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history gave birth to the mortgage crisis
By Wayne Barrett
published: August 05, 2008
There are as many starting points for the mortgage meltdown as there are fears about how far it has yet to go, but one decisive point of departure is the final years of the Clinton administration, when a kid from Queens without any real banking or real-estate experience was the only man in Washington with the power to regulate the giants of home finance, the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), better known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Andrew Cuomo, the youngest Housing and Urban Development secretary in history, made a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001 that gave birth to the country’s current crisis. He took actions that—in combination with many other factors—helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments. He turned the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded "kickbacks" to brokers that have fueled the sale of overpriced and unsupportable loans. Three to four million families are now facing foreclosure, and Cuomo is one of the reasons why.
What he did is important—not just because of what it tells us about how we got in this hole, but because of what it says about New York’s attorney general, who has been trying for months to don a white hat in the subprime scandal, pursuing cases against banks, appraisers, brokers, rating agencies, and multitrillion-dollar, quasi-public Fannie and Freddie.
Read the rest here…
How much does Attorney General Cuomo make, do ya think? Maybe we should “tax virtually all of it” as recompense for his contributions to this fiasco. He’s paid by the taxpayers, after all.
By the way, I love this unintentionally ironic gem from Chuck Schumer, who said that “providing performance bonuses to employees of the insurance giant ‘defines’ ‘Alice in Wonderland’ business practices … it boggles the mind."
To which I say:
Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York announced late Monday afternoon that 9 of the top 10 bonus recipients at the American International Group had given back their bonuses.
He also said 15 of the top 20 bonus recipients in A.I.G.’s financial products division had given the money back, for a total that he estimated at about $30 million. “Those bonuses will be returned in full,” Mr. Cuomo said during a conference call with reporters…
Mr. Cuomo reiterated Monday that his office was sensitive to the security and privacy concerns of A.I.G. employees and that it would conduct a risk assessment before releasing name. More than 400 people received bonuses in A.I.G.’s financial products division.
Aww, isn’t St. Andrew the Hypocrite the kindest, most considerate A.G. ever.