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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Judicial Watch Files Ethics Complaint Against Obama

(H/T to Red State) Judicial Watch has filed an ethics complaint against Barack Obama in the aftermath of the revelation that he got a sweetheart deal.

The complaints said the Illinois senator received a loan at the interest rate of 5.625 percent, which Judicial Watch says is lower than the standard rate of between 5.93 and 6 percent indicated by surveys.

The complaint asks the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate whether the favorable rates constitute a prohibited “gift” under Senate rules.

“It appears that due to his position as a U.S. senator, Barack Obama received improper special treatment from Northern Trust resulting in an illicit ‘gift’ which has a value of almost $125,000 in interest savings,” wrote Judicial Watch President Thomas Fitton in a letter to the Ethics Committee.The complaint also notes that Northern Trust employees have given $71,000 in donations to Obama’s campaigns

Now, Obama's defenders have insisted that there was no special deal because his rate was only slightly below market. They maintain that the bank gave him a small discount only because he was bringing a lot of investment dollars to the bank.

This is a distortion of reality created by sloppy reporting on the part of the Washington Post, which initially broke the news. Those that have followed the news have made it CW that the average rate was just below 6% at the time Obama got 5.625%. It wasn't. That was the average rate on a loan up to $850k. Obama's loan was $1.32 million. His loan was significantly larger and thus more risky. The reason that the Washington Post made this comparison is that there aren't enough loans done on loan sizes as large as the on Obama received to form an average. That should give everyone an idea of just how much more risky a $1.32 million loan is over a loan of $850k.

His defenders make it seem as though only about a quarter of a percent was shaved off the interest rate and that was merely an incentive for Obama to move his money to Northern Trust. That is simply inaccurate. It is much more likely that a full point and more was shaved. A bank would never shave a full point of a million plus dollar loan simply to incentivize the borrower to move investment dollars to the bank. Certainly, it would have to be a lot more than the few million the Obama's had. The Obama's are playing fast and loose with the facts, and they are counting on the public's lack of understanding of the situation.

The whole truth must be told and that is that the Obama's received a loan no one would have ever gotten no matter what the incentive. Banks don't simply shave a full percentage point off a million plus loan for no reason. Clearly, Northern Trust expected something in return. Furthermore, Northern Trust provided Obama was significant campaign contributions. Thus, we all must ask what exactly was Northern Trust expecting in return. This is what the ethics complaint must examine.

Here is an updated summary of all of Barack Obama's corrupt exploits in mortgages and real estate.

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