Daily Revolt

January 12, 2008

Banks Probed For Hiding Risky Loan Details

The banks don't care whether loan takers get into debt, they profit from it:
Authorities in New York and Connecticut are investigating whether Wall Street banks hid crucial information about high-risk loans bundled into securities that were sold to investors, Connecticut's Attorney General said Saturday.

The investigations, first reported Saturday by The New York Times, center around "no-doc" or "exception" loans, that did not meet even subprime standards, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said.

"The loans were made to people who did not have any documents to verify their income or other verification for key requirements normally applied to mortgage borrowers," he said. "Many of the lenders made large amounts of loans, so that the exception swallowed the rule, or became the rule."

The loans were sold by subprime lenders to Wall Street firms that bundled them with other, less risky, loans into securities.

Investigators want to find out whether the banks properly disclosed the high risk of default on those loans when selling those securities to investors in Connecticut and elsewhere, Blumenthal said.

"The investment banks may have used very broad, boilerplate disclaimer language that effectively failed to disclose fully and fairly all the information," he said.

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