Maxine Waters: Banking on Hypocrisy
At a flail-and-wail House hearing
last month, California Democratic
Rep. Maxine Waters melted down in front of big
"Raise your hand! Raise your hand!" she shrieked as
she harangued the executives on their business practices
and management of federal bailout money. Sneering at the
"captains of the
universe", whom she refused to address by name ("You,
Bank of America!"), Waters excoriated the
corporate heads for their greed.
"All of my
political life," Waters bragged,
"I have been in
disagreement with the banking and mostly financial
services community because of practices that I have
believed to be
not in the best interest always of the very people
that they claim to serve." [Video
As you`ll soon see, however, the
ethically conflicted Waters has her own special
definition of what`s in
"the best interest" of the people she claims to serve. While she
crusades against crony pseudo-capitalism, she is one of
its most hypocritical beneficiaries and advocates.
Cronyism comes in all colors.
Waters has once again earned her title as one of the
members of Congress from the left-leaning (yes,
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
The bank CEOs sat meekly during
Waters` verbal flogging. But as she frothed at the
mouth, House Financial Services Committee Chairman
Barney Frank covered the microphone and briefly
chastised her. To no avail. Waters` motor mouth kept on
Did the banks raise
interest rates on credit card customers after they
took Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money, she
thundered. Thumping her fists on the table, she then
railed about their loan modification policies.
"How many require
that you have to be behind by two months?"
Blustering about underwriting fees they paid themselves
on government-backed bond sales, she yelled,
"You made money
off the TARP money!" One of her fellow Democrats
finally ended the diatribe:
"I`m going to
have to calm you down because when the chairman gets
back he`s going to have to penalize me."
Fast-forward a month later. The
Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the high-and-mighty
Waters had a personal and financial stake in
Boston-based OneUnited, a minority bank that received
$12 million in TARP money under smelly circumstances.
The banks` executives donated $12,500 to her
congressional campaigns. Her husband,
Sidney Williams, was an investor in one of the banks
that merged into OneUnited. They`ve profited handsomely
from their relationship with the bank:
"Congressional financial-disclosure forms show Ms. Waters acquired
OneUnited stock worth between $250,000 and $500,000 in
March 2004, as did Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams joined the
board of OneUnited that year.
"Each sold shares in September 2004—including Ms. Waters` entire
stake—but Mr. Williams continued to hold varying amount
of the company`s stock. In the lawmaker`s most recent
financial-disclosure form, dated May 2008 and covering
the prior year, Ms. Waters reported that her husband
held between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of the bank`s
"Mr. Williams also received interest payments from a separate holding at
the bank, also worth between $250,000 and $500,000. The
2008 form doesn`t specify what that is. Mr. Williams
stepped down from the bank`s board last spring. It
couldn`t be learned whether he still owns stock in the
bank. Mr. Williams didn`t return calls seeking comment."[Waters
Helped Bank Whose Stock She Once Owned, By Susan
March 11, 2009]
Waters (along with Frank)
participated directly in pressuring the feds for
OneUnited`s piece of the bailout pie. She personally
contacted the Treasury Department last December
requesting $50 million for the company—and failed to
disclose her ties to the bank to them. The government
ended up coughing up $12 million in TARP funding for
OneUnited—despite another government agency rapping the
bank in October 2008 for
"operating without effective underwriting standards and practices,"
without an effective loan documentation program" and
speculative investment practices."
Oh, and get this: The favored bank
of Maxine Waters was also penalized for alleged
executive compensation. The FDIC ordered the bank to
"sell all bank-owned automobiles," require reimbursement for
executives` car purchases (according to the
Boston Business Journal, OneUnited CEO
Kevin Cohee was cruising around in a 2008 Porsche
SUV), and cease payments on a $6 million Santa Monica
beachfront home purchased by Cohee, his wife, Teri
Williams, who served as bank president, and others.
Responding to scrutiny of the
bank`s special treatment, Cohee is now accusing critics
of—yep, you guessed it—racism.
OneUnited calls itself
"The First Black-Owned Internet Bank," and
Mr. Cohee is an African-American, as is
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Michelle Malkin [email
her] is author of
Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores.
here for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click
here for Michelle Malkin`s website.
Michelle Malkin`s latest book is "Unhinged:
Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."