Candid Crisis Catchphrases

"The Hustle," a damn-the-torpedoes loan program described in the Justice Department's recent fraud suit against Bank of America and Countrywide, is the latest in a series of unfortunate internal nicknames and expressions unearthed since the financial crisis. The following is a look at all-too-candid language from emails and other insider communications (excluding profanities) from the boom years and the meltdown that have entered the popular lexicon.

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'The Hustle' 'The Hustle' Countrywide's High Speed Swim Lane, or HSSL, allegedly removed quality controls to expedite loans headed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to the government's lawsuit accusing the Bank of America unit of defrauding the GSEs.

Related Article: B of A Lawsuit Shines Light on Soured Ties to Fannie, Freddie

(Image: Shutterstock)
'Muppets' 'Muppets'

A disparaging term used by Goldman Sachs employees to describe clients, according to Greg Smith, who quit the firm this year and wrote a tell-all New York Times op-ed and memoir.

'Friends of Angelo' 'Friends of Angelo' The VIP loan program offered by Countrywide (and named for its founder and CEO Angelo Mozilo), in which members of Congress and other influential people received favorable mortgage terms.

Related Article: Countrywide Built Web of Influence Through VIP Program

(Image: Bloomberg News)
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'Close More University' 'Close More University' Events held by (now defunct) subprime lender New Century that encouraged mortgage brokers to arrange loans with multiple risk factors "no money down, less-than-perfect credit, stated income, unusual circumstances, and all of them at once on one deal."

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'Repo 105' 'Repo 105' An accounting manipulation that allowed Lehman Brothers to hide its indebtedness from investors, described in the bankruptcy examiner's report.

Pictured: Dick Fuld, former Lehman Brothers CEO

(Image: Bloomberg News)
'Fast and Easy' 'Fast and Easy' A forerunner to the Hustle, this loan program required little or no documentation of finances from borrowers and was reportedly abused by Countrywide's loan officers and brokers. The lender sold the loans to Fannie Mae.

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'Jingle Mail' 'Jingle Mail' Mortgage industry term for house keys sent in the mail by borrowers who walk away from their mortgages.

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'This Chicken' 'This Chicken' A Barclays trader's description of a scheme to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate, cited in the U.K. Financial Services Authority's settlement with the British bank.

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'Structured By Cows' 'Structured By Cows' "We rate every deal. It could be structured by cows and we would rate it," said an S&P analyst discussing a questionable securitization that a colleague called "ridiculous."

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'Liar's Loans' 'Liar's Loans' Industry term for stated-income loans during the boom.

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'Fabulous Fab' 'Fabulous Fab' Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre's nickname for himself, from emails describing his misgivings about the firm's complex trades cited in an SEC securities fraud complaint. Goldman settled the case out of court.

(Image: Bloomberg News)
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"The Hustle," a damn-the-torpedoes loan program described in the Justice Department's recent fraud suit against Bank of America and Countrywide, is the latest in a series of unfortunate internal nicknames and expressions unearthed since the financial crisis. The following is a look at all-too-candid language from emails and other insider communications (excluding profanities) from the boom years and the meltdown that have entered the popular lexicon.

Comments (1)
The Street reported that both the President and the COO of the Countrywide lending operation that ran "The Hustle" program now work for JPMorgan Chase. Hired for their . . . skills, integrity or what????
Posted by jim_wells | Friday, October 26 2012 at 5:43PM ET
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