Home to roost • Federal prosecutors in New York filed yet another lawsuit against Bank of America, this one seeking damages of $1 billion for fraudulent loan practices of Countrywide Financial. Countrywide was the poster boy for troubled mortgage loans during the run-up to the financial crisis that spawned the Great Recession. Bank of America acquired Countrywide in 2008. The government alleges that Countrywide churned out loans without proper due diligence, then sold them to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-chartered companies that bought the loans in the secondary market. Losses on defective loans became so severe that the government had to bail out Fannie and Freddie. The lawsuit contends that Bank of America continued some of Countrywide's fraudulent practices after B of A bought Countrywide. This lawsuit is too little too late when it comes to holding the whales of the mortgage crisis accountable. But it's something.
End campaign lies • The Alliance for a Better UTAH and Democratic members of the Legislature have scheduled a press conference Friday morning to call for an end to the use of dishonest and intentionally misleading campaign materials. That's a noble cause. There's no doubt that campaign lies degrade political debate, turn away voters and discourage good people who might otherwise run for public office. The problem is how to distinguish a lie from an honest disagreement about what is true. There's the rub. And while it seems that the latest campaigns are a new low in the race to the bottom, sleazy politics go back to the Founding Fathers. They are nothing new. We can take heart, though, that the system is sometimes self-correcting. Candidates who offend voters with outright lies do end up burying their own election hopes. Maybe that explains the location of Friday's press conference. It's the Salt Lake City Cemetery.
Glass recycling • Salt Lake City began rolling out its new curbside glass recycling program this week. Crews delivered 35-gallon bins on wheels to people on the city's east side who have signed up for the new optional program, which costs $6 per month and will be billed with other monthly city utilities. So far about 1,200 customers have signed up. Pickups will begin Nov. 1. The goal of the program is to reduce garbage that is sent to the city's landfill. Recycled glass will be used in the manufacture of fiber glass insulation and in the making of new beverage bottles. To sign up, go to www.slcgreen.com. Meanwhile, people who do not choose curbside recylcing still will be able to take their bottles to some 20 bins located throughout the city.