Tuesday, January 29, 2008

FBI Probing 14 Companies in Subprime Lending Crisis

According to Bloomberg, "The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating 14 corporations for possible accounting fraud and other crimes related to the subprime lending crisis, officials said.

Neil Power, chief of the FBI's economic crimes unit, wouldn't identify the companies, though he said the cases involve 'valuation-type stuff.'"

We warned about these problems in 1991. In 2001, we worked to create the first investment vehicle designed to address subprime lending problems. Fraudulent valuation is a key component in predatory home mortgage lending.

A key question concerns the lack of early warning from the Federal Reserve Board's Consumer Advisory Council: "The Consumer Advisory Council was established in 1976 at the direction of the Congress to advise the Federal Reserve Board on the exercise of its duties under the Consumer Credit Protection Act and on other consumer-related matters.The council membership represents interests of consumers, communities, and the finance services industry." All three have been damaged in the subprime lending crisis. Most Council members appear to be industry insiders.

On a more positive note, The Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced the termination of the enforcement action against Black-owned United Bancshares, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Written Agreement dated February 23, 2000. Terminated January 22, 2008. United Bancshares, Inc. owns United Bank of Philadelphia.