8.30.2007

Gretchen Morgenson: Master of Puppets to Chucky Schumer

Gretchen Morgenson is a lightweight business reporter at the New York Times. She is high-profile, and the NYT's star business columnist, but that's kind of like being the star knitting columnist at American Rifleman.

Morgenson tries to cultivate a "crusader" image. She takes bold and controversial stands against corporate corruption, greed, and fraud. I wish the NYT would show a little balance by having a pro-corruption columnist.

Despite these bold stands, her columns rarely contain much new information. They are often lukewarm oatmeal rehashes of the blindingly obvious, with a few gossipy details thrown in to spice up the mush. Last week's Countrywide profile was typical. Mortgage lenders are greedy scumbags out to rip off the customers? I'm shocked!

While this may not have been news to anyone with a Fahrenheit I.Q., it was news to New York Senator Chucky Schumer. And, by golly, he's going to do something about it. Right on command, he dances to his master's tune:

Countrywide Financial Corp. should stop paying brokers higher commissions for steering borrowers to adjustable rate subprime home loans, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday.

"Startling reports have shed light on how Countrywide has led the industry in the practice of steering borrowers into risky subprime loans," said Schumer, who is chairman of the Senate Housing Subcommittee. Schumer said that as of June 30, approximately one in four of the subprime loans issued by Countrywide was delinquent.

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