The Boston bank that is at the center of controversy involving Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who intervened with regulators to protect and reward the bank (her husband had a financial interest in the bank), apparently lied about helping poor people, reports the Boston Globe:
Five years ago this month, Mayor Thomas M. Menino stood with community leaders in Roxbury to hail plans for a new OneUnited branch in the neighborhood. The bank's president pledged to make loans worth hundreds of millions of dollars across Boston, with a special emphasis on low-income borrowers.
OneUnited said it would partner with the city to offer the mortgages to first-time and current homeowners, and provide financial literacy training to residents. "As a child of an inner-city community I can tell you, it doesn't get any better than this,'' the bank's president, Teri Williams, told the crowd that day.
But no loan program ever emerged -- one in a long list of failures by the nation's largest minority-owned bank, which is controlled by Williams and her husband, Kevin Cohee, the bank's chairman.
In recent years, regulators have admonished the bank for poor performance and lavish executive pay, and Cohee himself has had personal run-ins with the law in California. And the bank, despite its diminished role as a community lender, sought and received help from US Representative Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, to secure $12 million in federal funds after the bank lost money on risky investments. Waters now faces House ethics charges in the matter because her husband had a stake in the bank.
The spin that the bank would help the poor acquire housing and jobs was just that: spin. A few dollars trickled out to help some poor people -- but not in Boston, Miami, or Los Angeles, where it opened offices. But large sums did go to a wealthy developers in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, executives rewarded themselves with fancy cars and high salaries. The president had run-ins with the law; a sexual assault allegation (dropped) and a drug charge that was dropped after he agreed to counseling. The plight of the poor was a ruse to ransack.
Quiet a crew that Maxine Waters bent -- actually broke -- the rules to help reward with our money. She should be ashamed, instead of defiant. And Congressman Barney Frank logrolled for her -- did favors to help her while attempting to keep her role hidden. He should be ashamed of himself, as well (let alone for his role in creating the housing crisis by his drive to promote home ownership among those who could not afford it).