A few days ago we posted "The Great Highway Robbery Continues: How the FDIC is Legally Transferring Billions in Taxpayer Money to Hedge Funds" which presented a clip by Think Big Work Small, highlighting what was seemingly a grand scheme to defraud taxpayers with the FDIC's complicity. Today, the FDIC strikes back, issuing a Press Release claiming the video contains "blatantly false claims", "perpetrates other falsehoods" and has "no credibility." The counterargument which is supposed to render all allegations of impropriety false: "OneWest must first take more than $2.5 billion in losses before it can make a loss-share claim on owned assets" and that "in order to be paid through loss share, OneWest must have adhered to HAMP." Unfortunately, reading between the lines of the response indicates that not only are the falsehoods actually truehoods, but the video is still, sorry Shila, quite credible.
So to make sure we get this straight. OneWest could have an accrued loss balance of $2.499 billion as of today, and just one more loss will be enough to force the FDIC to make a lump sum payment instead of linear payments? And somehow we are supposed to be comforted by this? A cursory public filing search for OneWest bank reveals no such organization. Maybe while it is denying the validity of the video the FDIC can advise taxpayers where they can get some information on what the correct reserve or loss accrual at OneWest is? Courtesy of the most opaque accounting rules in the history of America, OneWest could have already gotten way beyond the $2.5 billion threshold and is simply waiting for the proper time to spring this to the unwitting FDIC.
And as for adhering to HAMP? Would that be the same program that will ultimately benefit less than 1% of US first mortgages due to ridiculous constrains that make the vast majority of participants ineligible? Aside from scoring one for the stupidity of the administration, does the FDIC actually believe that Americans will find this to be a relevant gating issue?
Sorry FDIC, but not only did your press release not refute the video's claims in the least, but you just dug yourself an even deeper grave as every aspiring blogger and investigative reporter will now do everything in their power to find comparable examples of blatant "slap in the face" fraud expecting you to retort to any and all allegations, ensuring 15 minutes of fame for all implicated.
From the FDIC press release:
FDIC Provides Additional Information on its Loss Share Agreement With OneWest Bank
February 12, 2010
FDIC Director of Public Affairs Andrew Gray said, "It is unfortunate but necessary to respond to blatantly false claims in a web video that is being circulated about the loss-sharing agreement between the FDIC and OneWest Bank. Here are the facts: OneWest has not been paid one penny by the FDIC in loss-share claims. The loss-share agreement is limited to 7% of the total assets that OneWest services, and OneWest must first take more than $2.5 billion in losses before it can make a loss-share claim on owned assets. In order to be paid through loss share, OneWest must have adhered to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
The producers of this video perpetuate other falsehoods. The FDIC has not requested to borrow money from the Treasury Department. Indeed, we continue to be funded by the banking industry through assessments, not by taxpayers as claimed in the video.
This video has no credibility. Regardless of the personal or professional motivations behind its production, there is always a responsibility to be factually correct and transparent. The FDIC made available a fact sheet on the day that the sale of IndyMac was announced that details the terms of the contract. It's too bad that the creators of this video opted to premise it on falsehoods."
Those who may have missed the full video, here it is again.