Tag Archives: Chris Dodd

Chris “I will never become a lobbysist” Dodd’s new salary as a lobbyist

$1.5 million per year. If that keeps him out of Connecticut and off the Senate floor I supposed it’s worth it.

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More Teri Buhl

Just because I like her (I’ve never met her actually – Teri, can we have coffee?)  doesn’t mean I’m her flack, but this woman is going to make Greenwich Time a must read for anyone interested in the financial world’s Greenwich roots. Check out her blog today on who lost their money when Dodd quit. Great stuff.

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Who is Bruce Rose and Carrington Capital?

Word that this guy and his Greenwich hedge fund are pals of Chris Dodd made me curious to learn more about them. No friends other that Dodd, it would seem, but then, Dodd’has always been willing to be your friend as long as your mommy pays  him to do so.

Seeking Alpha has bad things to say.

ZeroHedge says they’re liquidating

One group is suing them for racketeering

While the state of Ohio is just plain old suing them.

This all sounds like trouble so it’s no surprise that Bruce Rose would want the help of the Chairman of the Banking Committee. I’ll bet Dodd doesn’t come cheap in emergencies like this but obviously it was money well spent. Odd thing about Rose: he’s shown as the owner of 22 Carrington Drive (there’s a coincidence) but it’s either raw land or he’s content to live in a squatter’s shack. The total value is assessed at just $1.5 million and all but $50,000 of that is land. So where does Dodd’s constituent and benefactor actually live?

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Chris Dodd has prostate cancer

I wish him well. Fortunately, this seems to be one of the cancers medicine has gotten the better of and he should be fine. He says it won’t stop him from running for reelection and judging from the experience of friends of mine who’ve had this disease, it shouldn’t. Naturally, I hope that a Republican prevents him from serving another term, but that’s a different matter.

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Draining the moral swamp that is D.C.

Democrats refuse to issue subpoenas that would reveal Friends of Angelo in their ranks. The Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee says he’s “too busy” for such nonsense and he’s right; these poor folks are just snowed under with investigating Roger Clemons and his possible use of steroids years ago.

Nothing to see here, move along, move along.

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Why not send Dodd and Frank on a fact finding tour of the Philippines?

Repentant sinners crucified in our former colony.

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Chris Dodd’s already offered a government limo

Owner of Irish land overlooking Ring of Kerry offers to swap for a luxury car. Word is that Dodd’s offered a limo with a government-paid driver, but Teddy Kennedy’s also in the running with a certain Oldsmobile Delmont 88 that has it’s own historical significance. Tough choice, especially if the Kerry himself tosses his mountain bike into the race.

(hat tip: Himself2Thou)

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Chris Dodd leaves Senate, will grow ethanol in Iowa with Countrywide funding

Chris Dodd, already in trouble with his sweetheart mortgage deals, his Irish castle and his attempt to protect the AIG bonuses, is encountering serious difficulty raising money for his upcoming reelection campaign. I heard yesterday from a reader that her father, a great guy who actually took a chance hiring a 23-year-old philosophy major as a Colombian drug runner – where do you think I met Andres?) is pretty connected to the local political scene and reports that Dodd will not run. I would be cheered by that news were it not for the name of his replacement: Dick Blumenthal. In this state, Blumenthal is a shoo-in (the only kind of campaign Blumenthal will risk), and that’s a shame. I doubt he’s as crooked as Dodd – who could be? – but his overweening egotism and opportunism will hardly be an addition to the Capital. Ugh.

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Dodd’s at it again – wants sweetheart deals for credit card deadbeats,too

Why should the senator from Connecticut be the only one to get easy credit from banks? Today he rammed through a bill easing credit card terms for consumers who can’t afford credit. This, of course,will drive rates up for everyone and end up restricting credit, not expanding it but Dodd, knowing how much he did for poor folk who deserved to own their own homes, will fix that, too in due course. Just as banks aren’t allowed to redline or otherwise discriminate against home loan borrowers who lack the ability to repay what they take, look for relief for those who need 52″ plasma TVs. It’s their right to have and our obligation to provide, all courtesy of Dodd.

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The Connecticut senate race begins

Republican Simmons, the only announced challenger to Dodd that I’m aware of, is going after the man for his AIG “Dodd Amendment”. Good for him, but I doubt this tempest will last long enough to deprive Dodd of the Democrat nomination and with it, reelection. Maybe that Irish Cottage will have longer legs – I hope so.

Will Blumenthal take a run at Dodd? A friend of mine, a Democrat, and I discussed this over coffee this morning and we both agreed that the answer is no. Lieberman is toast and will be out of the picture, one way or the other, in 2012, and that’s what Blumenthal’s waiting for. The man only goes for sure things- one reason I dislike him so much, is that he always waits for others to lead the way – tobacco, Microsoft, whatever, and only steps in when he can’t screw it up but can get publicity. Doubt me? Why did he wait so long to move on the AIG bonus play? It was only when his hated rival, Andrew Cuomo, started grabbing headlines that Dick figured out he was missing the train.

Anyway, the prediction here is that Dodd outlasts this scandal as he has all the others and retains his seat. Dodd and Blumenthal – what a future we have to look forward to.

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Abby’s Irish Rose

Chris Dodd may need a case or two of the swill if he’s going to forget about his Irish cottage deal. I was screaming about this months ago but now the big boys have noticed (thanks to the Hartford Courant, who’s been on the story for some time). Today the Wall Street Journal weighs in. Like Rangel, Pelosi and maxine Waters, the Democrats aren’t going to do anything about Dodd but if the polls are right, Connecticut voters just might. Time to send this crook back home, where he can devote his time to looking for his father’s real killers.

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What’s the difference between Congress and the European Union?

Congressmen have not demanded $7,500 espresso machines on their Air Force jets, so far as I know. Although Air Nancy uses everything it can lay its hands on to service the people’s leader, from 737s to Gulfstreams so who knows how those planes are equipped?

The story here is not so much the abuse of privilege by politicians but the sense of entitlement these people acquire once in power. Dodd thinks he deserves sweetheart mortgage deals because, damn it, he’s in charge of banks! Nancy Pelosi demands a Gulfstream to divert from San Francisco – Washington to New Jersey so that she and her aides can attend a conference at Princeton, Barney Frank uses taxpayer dollars to attend homosexual rights conventions in Spain. Joe Biden reserves a senate seat for his son, European bureaucrats order up espresso machines (and limos and jets and  etc.) and every single one of these people think he deserves it. It’s his right!

You can’t stop this – it’s part of human nature. What we can do is deny so much power to government officials to begin with.

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Chris Dodd, Scoundrel (cont.)

Dodd's Tax Haven
Dodd’s Tax Haven

The details of Chris Dodd’s dealings keep coming, but not, of course, from the Senator himself who is as silent about his financial matters as Teddy Kennedy is about Chappaquiddick. Here’s the latest from the Hartford Courant.

It takes considerable political skill for a U.S. senator to win a presidential pardon for a friend without the traditional review by the Justice Department. Sen. Christopher Dodd moved the furtive levers of power in 2001 for Edward R. Downe, convicted of tax and securities fraud eight years before. A man will do a lot for a former real estate partner.

It was reported here two weeks ago that Downe’s real estate development partner, William “Bucky” Kessinger of Kansas City, Mo., purchased a 1,700-square-foot home in Ireland with Dodd in 1994 for $160,000. Downe’s name appeared on the transfer document filed in the Irish Land Registry as the witness to Kessinger’s signature. Kessinger owned two-thirds of the property, Dodd one-third.

Dodd’s spokesman told The Courant in 2001 that the senator and Downe, who pleaded guilty to insider trading in 1993, had been friends for many years. No one mentioned that Dodd and Downe together purchased a condominium in Washington, D.C., in 1986. Dodd bought Downe’s share 3 1/2 years later.

When Dodd owned a condominium with Downe in the 1980s, while Downe was carrying on his illegal stock scheme, no details of their arrangement were in the deed or mortgage filings.Who paid which expenses associated with owning the condominium didn’t fall into the public’s view. Neither did who used the condominium.

It raises the prospect that a senator, working much of the time in Washington, could have had his living expenses subsidized when the senator owned that real estate with a rich New York socialite. Even members of the smart set can be in only one place at a time. Downe already had homes in some of the nation’s finest neighborhoods when he bought the D.C. condominium with Dodd, who used to be called, but no more, one of the poorest members of the Senate.

Dodd was never required to name Kessinger (on Senate disclosures) as the co-owner of their house on 10 acres of waterfront property on the west coast of Ireland for the eight years they owned it together. As with the condominium, the public doesn’t know who paid the expenses associated with it when Kessinger owned two-thirds of it.

[snip]
Waterfront properties on the “Irish Riviera” don’t often come on the market. In today’s dire real estate market, a 750-square-foot, two-bedroom townhouse in nearby Roundstone is for sale for $750,000. A 900-square foot, three-bedroom semi-detached house, boasting of a view of Inishnee, the island where Dodd’s house stands high above Bertaghboy Bay, is offered for $700,000.

Dodd said through a spokesman two weeks ago that the price he paid Kessinger — $122,351, according to the Land Registry, for his two-thirds share in 2002 — was based on an appraisal. He hasn’t released it.

A presidential pardon is a rare possession, especially when the man pardoned, Downe, still owed millions to the Securities and Exchange Commission for his violations.

Rarer still, however, is the real estate developer, like Kessinger, who appears to have left hundreds of thousands of dollars in appreciated value on the table for his minority-share partner. Dodd appears to have latched onto one — and, on paper, has turned a profit like the Wall Street pirates he once loved but now disdains.

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Chris Dodd loves Bernie

Oh my – it turns out that Bernie Madoff and Ruthie forked over $300,000 of stolen money to the Democrats and, of course, those with their paws out included Chris Dodd, Charles Rangle and Chuck Schumer. That this doesn’t surprise me is a rather sad commentary on Dodd and the company he keeps, but I wonder whether he’ll be returning any of the loot to Madoff’s victims? About as likely as his thatched roof on that illicit cottage in Ireland suddenly getting up and dancing, I’d say.

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Finally, Riverside takes its place in the sun

We’ve all been jealous down here, east of the Mianus and west of Long Meadow Creek.  Greenwich has Walt,Monica and the Fabulous Five, Old Greenwich has Mark Madoff and his former wife, even Cos Cob probably has some bit- player in the financial scams, but what about Riverside? When would it ever be our turn?

It looks like it may finally have arrived. According to the Financial Times (I’d credit a specific reader for the tip but “Chicken Little” doesn’t sound legitimate), Riverside’s own, Jay Levine, of  Dawn Harbor Lane, is at least peripherally involved with Royal Bank of Scotland’s failure (and Greenwich Capital, just to keep things local). And, get this, he’s a major contributor to Chris Dodd! Soooee!

A ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND executive who led its investments into “toxic” sub-prime loans was paid close to £40m in just three years, The Sunday Times can reveal.

Jay Levine, 47, was the bank’s highest-paid employee, earning almost four times more than former chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin.

Levine, who ran the group’s American investment bank RBS Greenwich Capital, received the bumper pay deals over 2005, 2006 and 2007, according to sources close to the bank.

His pay has never been disclosed since he was not a main-board director. The pay deals came as the bank ramped up its exposures to sub-prime mortgages, asset-backed securities and collateralised debt obligations (CDOs).

Levine, who lives in well-heeled Riverside, Connecticut, became co-head of Greenwich in 2000 after RBS acquired the business as part of its takeover of NatWest. In 2004 he was promoted to a larger role that also saw him head up corporate banking for the group across North America.

RBS has unveiled about £12 billion of write-downs since the credit crunch began and is poised to unveil full-year losses of up to £28 billion – the biggest loss in UK corporate history.

There are now six class-action lawsuits that have been filed against the group in the Southern District Court of New York, alleging that RBS misled investors on the true state of its accounts in a series of filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

One of the lawsuits details how the bank’s exposures to CDOs ballooned from 2005 onwards. The filing, lodged under the name Gary Kosseff, quotes an SEC document in which RBS said that 76% of its £5.9 billion CDO portfolio had been acquired since 2006.

Levine announced he was retiring from RBS in December 2007, but has since been appointed chief executive of Capmark Financial, a lender specialising in commercial real estate.

Levine has donated thousands of dollars to the US Democrats over the past three years. Some of his biggest donations have gone to Chris Dodd, the head of the US Senate’s banking committee. He also supported former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, in his presidential campaign.

And Levine was on the board of a financial lobby group that sued the state of Connecticut over new laws that would force political donors to disclose donations made through spouses or children.

Are you asking yourself, can even a rich Democrat afford to live in “well-heeled Riverside” if Chris Dodd’s got his snout in the poor guy’s pants? Fret not. The town values Mr. Levine’s house at $9 million, which is okay, I suppose, but this Riverside non-waterfront looks a little low-brow  for a man who made off with $40 million. Then again, there are those Dodd payments to consider.  

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So take Dodd, please!

Tax cheat Daschle withdraws nomination. I don’t know how Connecticut can get by without our own corrupt Senator but now that he’s refinanced his houses at a lower interest rate perhaps he’ll run honest for a brief spell. It’s worth a try, I think, so Barack? Take  ‘im, he’s yours.

Or try Charlie Rangel, if you can pry the fat fraud from his beach chair.

rangel1

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Chris Dodd, scoundrel

The Hartford Courant continues to bash our Senator Dodd for his repeated refusal to release loan documents showing the details of the sweetheart deal he received from Countrywide Mortgage, once a large contributor to his coffers.

Sen. Dodd:

Release The Documents • Connecticut deserves straight talk about your loans

U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd says he’s got nothing to hide. Yet for months he’s issued confusing and conflicting statements on whether he’ll publicly release documents relating to two loans he and his wife received from failed mortgage giant Countrywide Financial Corp.

He still hasn’t released them. On Jan. 23, Mr. Dodd was asked if he intends to await the conclusion of a Senate ethics inquiry before making the documents public. “Not necessarily,” he told a reporter for The Courant. “At some point soon we’ll do it.”

Mr. Dodd should have released the documents months ago. Countrywide was a major player in the subprime mortgage debacle. Five years ago, it issued the loans to Mr. Dodd, then a member of the Senate banking committee, as part of the company’s VIP program, trimming the upfront costs for refinancing two of the senator’s homes and allowing the rates to “float down” as interest rates dropped.

Countrywide collapsed last year and was acquired by Bank of America. Its failure sent shock waves through the economy and raised the question of why Congress didn’t act sooner to curb subprime lending by Countrywide and others. 

His continued waffling about whether or when he’ll release the documents only fans speculation. That’s a disservice to Mr. Dodd’s constituents, who deserve straight talk and accountability from the state’s senior senator.

That question becomes even more pointed when directed at Mr. Dodd — now chairman of the Senate’s banking committee — in light of his preferential treatment from Countrywide.

The Hartford Courant is taking the lead on this story, which makes sense, as the smarmy politician is from our state. But I wish the national press would realize that the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, at this time when all sorts of deals are being cut to bail out the very banks Dodd oversees, should be open and candid about favors he’s received from the industry in the past, particularly Countrywide. The New York Times joined the Courant in calling for release of the documents in this editorial published last October but since the election, I, at least, can find no further mention of the matter.

Dodd, of course, is no dummy. He’s betting that he can continue to stonewall because a Republican has no chance of evicting him from his seat next year and his fellow Democrats won’t dare go after a fellow Democrat with 28 years of accumulated favors to his credit. Charles Rangel has place the same bet, or hadn’t you noticed that the House panel that was supposed to be investigating Rangel’s tax fraud quietly disbanded after the election. Look, this shouldn’t be a partisan issue – there are crooks in both major political parties and I’d like to see them all driven from office. But the only party who can remove Dodd is his own, and it won’t do it. Without public pressure, which, so far, the Hartford Courant’s voice is insufficient to provide. 

Of course, if anyone would track down Dodd’s illegal financing of that vacation cottage in Ireland, progress might be made.

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Dodd outraged by special treatment from banks – demands it stop

Er, that would be special treatment for executives. Sweetheart mortgage deals for all Connecticut residents who also chair the Senate Banking Committee? “Not going to discuss it. Next question.”

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George Bailey to the rescue

Small, local  banks moving back into mortgage businesses as the big boys flee. Their loan officers actually know the neighborhoods they’re being asked to loan money on – what a concept! Does this mean our home-grown scoundrel Chris Dodd will have trouble refinancing his Ireland properties or Washington homes? Not as long as he’s Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee – there’ll always be a Countrywide or its moral equivalent, so don’t lose sleep over our leader’s woes.

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From Instapundit and Mathew Parris

INDEED:

 

This recession is not a failure of market economics. It is a reassertion of market economics after a decade in which we paid ourselves more than we were producing, and funded it precariously and temporarily by complicated credit instruments that it took a while for the market to rumble. Now a prosperity that always baffled ordinary citizens has collapsed. The collapse of confidence is not irrational; it’s the correction to a long run of irrational confidence. All that stuff about the emerging Asian giants wasn’t just phrasemaking for party conference speeches. It was true. We’re falling behind. We face a mountain of debt: the difference between the life we are able to sustain and the life we were enjoying.

 

Professor Reynolds: The “stimulus” isn’t about fixing things — it’s an embodiment of Rhett Butler’s theory of wealth accumulation in bad times. My take remains this one: “This is not so much a stimulus, as a massive transfer of wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected.”

And just in time to prove the point, this:

BOSTON HERALD: Barney Frank’s Hypocrisy:

Ah, the dirty little secret is out. That $700 billion TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bill was in part simply a variation on congressional pork – except this time the recipients were banks with friends in high places.

One of those powerful friends was Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. And one of the recipients of a $12 million infusion of federal cash was the troubled OneUnited Bank in Boston – a bank that had already been accused of “unsafe and unsound banking practices.” Its CEO, Kevin Cohee had also been criticized by regulators for “excessive” pay that included a Porsche.

Frank admits he included language in the TARP legislation specifically designed to bail out OneUnited. He also acknowledges contacting officials at the Treasury Department about the bank’s bailout application.

Transferring wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected. Hope and Change!

Our own Chris Dodd’s identical efforts in protecting his favorite banking contributors is missing from the Herald’s coverage of Barney Frank, but now that Dodd has released the loan documents from his Countrywide deal he’ll no doubt receive the attention he deserves. What? He still refuses to produce them? What’s he hiding?

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