His mom started La Raza Unida.
His dad was a mathematics school teacher.
His brother is an identical twin and also a politician.
His education was only made possible by affirmative action.
“Joaquín and I got into Stanford because of affirmative action. I scored 1210 on my SATs, which was lower than the median matriculating student. But I did fine in college and in law school. So did Joaquín. I’m a strong supporter of affirmative action because I’ve seen it work in my own life”
Julian Castro has been on the high road to political success for many years. He was mayor of San Antonio, keynote speaker at the 2012 National Democrat Convention, was touted as H. Clinton’s best candidate for vice president on her ticket, and is the current Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, appointed by Barack Obama.
But his high road has crashed into a sinkhole, and his choice as v.p. candidate with Hillary might just look like two politicians both in bed with Wall Street and serve as symbols of a cozy relation with politicians and financiers.
Julian’s disaster is called “Distressed Asset Stabilization Program. (DASP)” It is HUD’s attempt to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by selling more overdue mortgage loans to nonprofit community organizations, rather than Wall Street banks. Julian, who once had his own law firm with his brother, knows that the big banks want to buy these loans at a discount, then hound the homeowners into paying the full amount of mortgages, rather than working with borrowers.
Castro has done just the opposite. Look at last year’s results: 98% of homes sold through HUD’s DASP program went straight to Wall Street (15,309 out of 15,624). Community Development Financial Institutions only got 1% of loans sold in 2015, despite promises in April 2015 by Castro to stop feeding the loans to Wall Street. (That promise only came after pressure applied by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Other political leaders are also concerned with Castro’s caving to Wall Street.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., requested a briefing on the program in a Feb. 1 letter to Castro. (full text of letter)
The letter cites the Center for Public Integrity’s investigation of the program: (Link to story).
Over 98,000 mortgages have been sold through DASP with the stated goal of helping homeowners to avoid foreclosure while also getting troubled loans off the FHA’s books. The Center investigation revealed that the mortgages were sold for as little as 41 percent of their value and that only 16.9 percent of DASP mortgages avoided foreclosures.
The Blackstone Group bought the majority of these loans last year. With some $311 billion of assets it is best known for its founder, Pete Peterson, an ancient magnate, who has backed everything from Fix the Debt to The Fiscal Times in his war to cut Social Security benefits and to raise the retirement age.
An excellent expose of Blackstone’s rental housing practices is here.