The McCuistion TV episode can be viewed by following this link:
The award–winning McCuistion Television Program, now in its 26th year on KERA, PBS TV, and The National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization with a goal of developing and promoting private, free-market alternatives to government regulation and control, teamed up this spring for a six part series on the financial crisis.
Our Bank Whistleblowers United team, Michael Winston, Bill Black, Gary Aguirre and I were invited to be featured on the McCuistion segment on whistleblowers, to discuss why whistleblowers feel compelled to expose the wrongdoing we see in our organizations. Unfortunately, our fourth co-founder, Gary Aguirre, the SEC whistleblower, was not able to join us.
The host, Dennis McCuistion, gave each one of us the opportunity to tell of our personal experience. Unfortunately as each one of us can personally attest to, while the public value of whistle-blowing has been increasingly recognized, even encouraged by the Department of Justice, the reality is very different. Whistleblowers are often retaliated against – losing their job, incurring financial hardships and even being blackballed from working in their professions ever again.
Each one of us addressed the situation that led to our exposing the wrongdoing within our companies and the unfortunate personal outcome of our whistleblowing.
My colleague, Michael G. Winston, PhD was the Countrywide Financial whistleblower who was initially celebrated as a hero for exposing fraud at Countrywide Financial and won a $4 million trial verdict which was then reversed under very unusual circumstances. Michael told of Countrywide’s policy to fund loans, regardless of the individual’s income, assets or even their having employment. Countrywide essentially funded anyone who could “fog a mirror.” Asked to misrepresent information about the company to Moody’s, he refused. The retaliation was especially virulent.
William (Bill) K. Black, PhD, talked about his role as a former bank regulator who played a central role in prosecuting the corruption responsible for the S&L crisis of the late 1980s, with over 1,000 felony convictions (no bankers have gone to prison from this crisis).
Bill is a serial whistleblower, who helped bring down Charles Keating of Lincoln Savings and the former Speaker of the House, Jim Wright. Bill pointed out how financial fraud is the most damaging type of fraud and is also the hardest to prosecute.
I told of my experience as a Business Chief Underwriter for Citigroup during the housing bubble financial crisis meltdown, where I saw fraud firsthand inside the organization as the company certified poor mortgages as quality mortgages and sold them to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and mortgage securitizations. And, I spoke about my testimony before the Securities and Exchange Commission where I gave them 1,000 pages of evidence of fraudulent activities to no avail, with the bank bailouts occurring three months later. I also told about the attempts to hide my SEC and FCIC testimony from the American public.
The host, Dennis McCuistion, and Executive Producer/Producer Niki McCuistion , “applauded our moral courage and the courage of other individuals who have taken the right and ethical actions and become whistleblowers regardless of the resulting consequences.” They have committed to tell more of our experiences and the egregious lack of ethics of the Too Big to Fail banks on subsequent programs in the series which I’ll be telling you more about in future articles.
Please forward the program to your government representatives and join us in eliminating the fraud and corruption on Wall Street.