Another hole in financial disclosure


The New York Times report that Rep. Maxine Waters helped arrange a meeting between Treasury officials and the CEO of a bank that her husband may or may not have owned $250,000 worth of stock in:

Top banking regulators were taken aback late last year when a California congresswoman helped set up a meeting in which the chief executive of a bank with financial ties to her family asked them for up to $50 million in special bailout funds, Treasury officials said.

Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, requested the September meeting on behalf of executives at OneUnited, one of the nation’s largest black-owned banks. Ms. Water’s husband, Sidney Williams, had served on the bank’s board of directors until early last year and has owned at least $250,000 in stock in the institution. Treasury officials said the session with nearly a dozen senior banking regulators had been intended to allow minority-owned banks and their trade association to discuss the losses they had incurred from the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But Kevin Cohee, OneUnited’s chief executive, instead seized the opportunity to plead for special assistance for his bank, federal officials said.

Here you had a tiny community bank that comes in and they are not proposing a broader policy ” they were asking for help for themselves, said Steve Lineberry, a former Treasury aide who attended the meeting. I don’t remember that ever happening before.

Ms. Waters declined on Tuesday to comment on the meeting, or to say if her husband still owns OneUnited shares.

We won’t find out whether he owned the shares at the time because members won’t release their 2008 personal financial disclosure forms until June 14, 2009. We also won’t be able to see, until then, which members were dumping bank and financial stocks ahead of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act’s passage. June 13