Was it only Wednesday we were mocking Edwards' claim that he joined a hedge fund in order to learn about financial markets and their connection to poverty? The WaPo goes beyond mere mocking and points out (as I could have, darn it) that Fortress Investment Group is a player in sub-prime loans:
The hedge fund that employed John Edwards markedly expanded its subprime lending business while he worked there, becoming a major player in the high-risk mortgage sector Edwards has pilloried in his presidential campaign.
Edwards said yesterday that he was unaware of the push by the firm, Fortress Investment Group, into subprime lending and that he wishes he had asked more questions before taking the job. The former senator from North Carolina said he had asked Fortress officials whether it was involved in predatory lending practices before taking the job in 2005 and was assured it was not.
Edwards said yesterday that he recalls being told at the time of his hiring that some of Fortress's private equity holdings did lend to start-up businesses, which is why he asked about predatory lending practices. But he could not recall whether the firm's partners told him it had a major stake in Green Tree.
"Those are the things I remember," he said. "They may have told me more." Had he learned that Fortress owned a loan servicer with a history of predatory lending practices, he said, "I would have asked some very specific questions about it."
Fortress's growing role in the subprime lending market provides a second contrast between the firm's business practices and the positions Edwards has taken as the presidential candidate who has made poverty a major campaign theme. The Washington Post reported last month that Fortress's partners and its foreign investors benefited from the kind of offshore tax breaks Edwards has criticized as a candidate.
So let's see - he wanted to learn about the link between financial markets and poverty, but forgot to ask the follow-up questions about his employer's involvement in sub-prime lending. His curiosity failed him at a critical juncture, on might say,
Jiminy - Edwards voted for war in 2002 on the basis of faulty intelligence, took a job in 2005 on the basis of faulty intelligence - when does he start with the tough follow-up questioning?