More questions about OneUnited Bank

There are more questions today about how a bank with connections to Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters qualified for a federal bailout two years ago. A House ethics committee is investigating whether Waters pushed to give that bank special treatment.

The consumer protection chief for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation says OneUnited was one of very few banks overinvested in mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. When the government took over Fannie and Freddie, OneUnited was sunk.

The bank got bailed out by the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. A report in the “Washington Post” says OneUnited qualified for that bailout after federal regulators counted among the bank’s assets TARP money it hadn’t yet received.

Democratic Congressman Barney Frank wrote a clause in the TARP bill that allowed that kind of accounting. OneUnited is based in the congressman’s home state of Massachusetts.

L.A. Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters once owned stock in OneUnited. Officials who oversaw TARP bailouts say the decision to OK money for OneUnited was not affected by political influence.

OneUnited eventually got $12 million in TARP money; it’s missed six scheduled repayments totaling nearly a million dollars.

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