NPR logo

Report: Countrywide Won Influence With Loans

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/156275698/156275753" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Report: Countrywide Won Influence With Loans

Business

Report: Countrywide Won Influence With Loans

Report: Countrywide Won Influence With Loans

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/156275698/156275753" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The former Countrywide Financial Corp. made hundreds of discount loans to buy influence with people on Capitol Hill, according to a House report being released Thursday. Countrywide's subprime loans helped start the nation's foreclosure crisis.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the back story on VIP loans.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WERTHEIMER: A former mortgage company, Countrywide, used a VIP loan program to buy influence with members of Congress, staffers and other officials, including a number at Fannie Mae, the government-backed mortgage giant central to Countrywide's business. That the bottom line of a new report out today from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The report says until the housing market crashed, Countrywide's effort to build good will on Capital Hill worked. It said the failed company became a trusted adviser in Congress and was consulted with Congress considered reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and also considered unfair lending practices.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.