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Bailout-Bush: "No Bail-Out for Speculators"

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I don't know why I bother reminding people about these kind of things. Its never done any good before, and it won't make a bit of difference this time either.

But I must, if for no other reason, so my own head doesn't explode.

So here we go again – more proof that America has become a land with two sets of rules. One set for  “them” and one for the rest of us.

One of “them” -- George W. Bush –  commented last week on the nation's mounting mortgage mess. He noted that lots of innocent folk bought houses with mortgages that should never have been made and now over 2.5 million face foreclosure.  He offered to help 80,000 of them. (The other other 2.49 odd million are on their own.)

But – and he was firm on this --   he not going to lift a finger to bailout reckless lenders or greedy speculators:

“The Federal government will not bail out lenders -- because that would only make a recurrence of the problem more likely. And it is not the government's job to bail out speculators, or those who made the decision to buy a home they knew they could never afford.” (Full)

What? Hey, George, why this sudden change of heart, dude? There was a time, not all that long ago, when the Bush family not only welcomed lender and speculator bailouts, but encouraged them. In fact – and I am not going out on a limb here either -- nearly every dime in the coffers of George and his two siblings, Jeb and Neil, is the fruit of one bailout or another, some of them funded by you and me.

Let's review. Since this is an old story,  I will be mercifully brief.

Jeb Bush:
Jeb Bush defaulted on a $4.56 million loan from Broward Federal Savings in Sunrise, Florida. After federal regulators closed the S&L, the office building that Jeb used the $4.56 million to finance was reappraised by the regulators at  $500,000, which Bush and his partners paid. Federal banking regulators, then working for Bush's dad, forgave over $4 million, accepting just what they could get the building when they sold it at a foreclosure sale. Jeb Bush and his partner never had to repay the balance.  (More on Jeb's other highly questionable buisness deals here.)

Who paid the Broward Savings money back to Uncle Sam? Well you did, silly.

Neil Bush:
Neil Bush may be the Rainman of the Bush clan, but he redefined the term “conflict of interest" after he was named a director of Silverado Savings and Loan in Denver. It was 1985 and Neil was just 30. 

First Neil received a $100,000 "loan" from friend and business partner, Ken Good, of Good International. It was not the kind of loan you or I would get, since there was no contract requiring Neil to repay the money, and he never did. It was, in reality, a bribe.

At the  same time Ken Good purchased a large number of shares in  Neil Bush's oil exploration company JNB Explorations, a company that never found a drop of oil. Neil then encouraged Silverado S&L to approve Good International for a $900,000 line of credit.  The two men kept their business relationship secret.

When buying more stock in JNB got dicey, Good funneled more bribes to Neil disguised as “salary, bonuses and consulting fees.”

But it didn't end there. Eventually Good, with Neil's help, was able to squeezed over $32 million in loans out of the thrift. Neither man bothered to mention that Good kicked back $3 million from those loans to Neil through Good, of course, defaulted on the entire $32 million in loans.

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a Pulitzer.

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