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HUD Chief Blasts Mortgage Aid, Jackson Cooperated, SEC Madoff Investigation

POSTED: 10:30 AM ET, 12/17/2008 by Chris Matthews

Good morning, and welcome to Wednesday's Daily Read. As always, feel free to comment and let us know if we missed anything.

HUD Chief: Mortgage Aid a Failure» Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Steve Preston said the centerpiece of the federal government's effort to help struggling homeowners has been a failure and he's blaming Congress. — Washington Post

Jackson Cooperated With Feds » Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) told federal investigators that Gov. Rod Blagojevich asked for a $25,000 campaign contribution and may have exacted retribution when the money did not arrive... meanwhile, an inquiry into the impeachment of Blagojevich met resistance on Tuesday, with federal prosecutors indicating that it might interfere with the criminal case against him and a lawyer for Blagojevich requesting that the proceedings not move forward without the lawyer in attendance. — Washington Post, New York Times

SEC Chief Wants Madoff Investigation» SEC Chairman Christopher Cox on Tuesday said he has asked for an investigation into how Bernard Madoff's alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme went undetected despite repeated "credible and specific allegations" made to SEC staff since at least 1999... and, the spotlight is turning to middlemen who served as messengers and salesman between Madoff and potential investors. — USA Today, New York Times

U.S. Ratchets Up Citi Oversight » Federal banking regulators have toughened their scrutiny of Citigroup Inc., becoming involved in internal discussions about the company's strategic direction and discouraging executives from pursuing certain acquisitions. — Wall Street Journal

Feds to Limit Nuke Program's Sites » The Energy Department gave final approval Tuesday to a program to limit the most dangerous nuclear material to five sites, improving safety and security, and consolidating management of the country's nuclear weapons. — Associated Press

Two Indicted in Medicare Fraud» Two San Bernardino County medical company executives have been indicted on charges of defrauding Medicare out of more than $2.5 million as part of a larger scheme that led to the arrests of 18 others three months ago. — Los Angeles Times


After the jump...

Best of the Rest
» 27 Years Later, Case Closed in Abducted Child Slaying (NYT)
» Yahoo Sets Limits for Data Retention (WSJ)
» Prescription Leaflets Lack Key Safety Data (WSJ)
» Three Accused of Illegally Exporting Night Vision Goggles (LAT)
» Risky, Ill-Timed Land Deals Hit Calpers (WSJ)
» Obama Works to Overhaul TARP (WSJ)
» Election for Illinois Senate Seat Rejected (WSJ)
» Tony Rezko Sentencing Delayed (AP)
» Dynamite Found At Store In Paris (WaPo)

By Chris Matthews |  December 17, 2008; 10:30 AM ET The Daily Read
Previous: Case of Ex-White House Aide Heads to Jury | Next: The First Ponzi Scheme

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