Even in retirement, Henry Paulson is giving money away to his favorite charity — the financial industry. It seems that the former Treasury Secretary made his book deal and is giving all the profits to the Homeownership Preservation Foundation. See book deal article. Of course the foundation does run the Hope Hotline that allegedly provides help to people.
My questions are these:
1. I wonder if he defined profits in the contract using the same mechanism for valuing troubled assets in the TARP? You remember when he explained to Congress and the public that he needed one trillion dollars to buy all the troubled assets and put the financial markets on the road to recovery. You remember his version of the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bill he submitted that was three pages and gave him absolute discretion. He tried to scare everyone he needed it passed in just two days. Good thing Congress slowed it down some and put some restrictions on it otherwise we would not know where the money went. It might have just ended up as bonuses or vacations for industry executives.
2. Does he realize that the Homeownership Preservation Foundation is not a typical foundation — it was started by the industry and is run by the industry (using its staff). The board is composed of … yep, the industry. For awhile they even were located in an industry building. Article. Does it give money away to lots of great little agencies? Hardly. Its claim to fame is the Hope Hotline. So does he know the truth about the foundation? Answer: No doubt.
3. Does he understand that the Hope Hotline was created by the industry to save them money and divert people to counselors that are taught to merely get borrowers to pay up? Article. Answer: Probably.
4. Is he trying to start a movement so that the public starts giving money to the industry? He already did that to the tune of what will be trillions of dollars.
This reminds me of my local foreclosure prevention task force that was started with NeighborWorks money. The task force is mostly a group of servicers who still rake in their cut of 1-2 percent of the loans they service (plus they keep 100 percent of the late fees and other fees they charge) – making them millions. These servicers are the same folks who are looking for more handouts for doing workouts under Obama’s plan. They are having a 5k run to raise money for some more hand-picked counselors in a few weeks. Maybe Hank will come and run.
Filed under: National Foreclosure News