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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Your tax dollars at work: US funding home mortgages for 'Palestinians' in Judea and Samaria

Your US tax dollars are hard at work in the 'West Bank.' The US government has funded $313 million of home mortgages in the 'West Bank.' No, not the 'West Bank' of the Mississippi River. The 'West Bank' of the Jordan River. As in Judea and Samaria. Yes, the United States government is funding mortgages for 'Palestinians.'
The GAO report released Tuesday described some of the actions OPIC is taking in the emerging market of the Palestinian territories.
“U.S. agencies and implementing partners participate in various programs with the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) or PIF-owned entities that include home mortgage financing, loan guarantees, and educational initiatives,” says the report. “First, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) along with PIF and other entities have committed to lend $485 million to the Affordable Mortgage and Loan Company (AMAL) to support mortgages for low- and medium-income borrowers in the West Bank.
“OPIC has committed to lend about $313 million; PIF has committed about $72 million, and two banks account for the balance of the committed lending,” says the GAO. “However, as of April 2013, OPIC and PIF had not yet disbursed any funds. Second, OPIC and PIF are co-guarantors in a Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF) program in the West Bank, guaranteeing up to $110 million and $50 million in loans, respectively, to nine regional banks to support lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises.”
The PIF is an entity that was created by the Palestinian Authority president.
“PIF is governed by a board of directors and a general assembly appointed by the Palestinian Authority President, and manages investments throughout a number of sectors, including real estate and hospitality, infrastructure, finance, capital markets, small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and manufacturing,” says the GAO.
What the heck is a 'low and medium income borrower in the West Bank'? We keep hearing that these 'poor Palestinians' make $2 per day. I wonder if they're bothering to check the borrowers' income levels and ability to repay. Maybe they should put Fannie and Freddie in charge.

What could go wrong?

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