SUPERVISORY GOODWILL: A NATIONAL SCANDAL
"It is the obligation of the United States to do right. Every free government can be judged by the degree to which it respects the life, liberty and property of its citizens. The United States stands tall among the Nations because it is a just Nation. In the instant cases the United States has not acted in a manner worthy of the great, just, Nation it is. Because the dollars at stake appear to be so large, the government has raised legal and factual arguments that have little or no basis in law, fact or logic".
--- Hon. Loren A. Smith, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Federal Claims
"A number of us felt strongly that the elimination of goodwill was wrong and that a deal was a deal. Even governments should keep their word. Now, our government lectures the newly-democratized countries about the "rule of law" and how, in a free society, contract rights must be respected. Our government's position on these goodwill lawsuits makes a mockery of those words. It's an embarrassment to our country and I'm amazed and disappointed that we're going into our third administration without anyone's having had the courage to admit the mistake and rectify a terrible wrong".
--- Former U.S. Congressman Thomas B. Evans, Jr. (R-Del.)
“I made a commitment . . . and the government breached it and I find that very offensive . . . I made a promise . . . that we would count goodwill as part of capital for 15 years, amortized on a straight-line basis. It was a very conscious decision on our part. We knew what we were doing and I don't think anyone after me had the right to turn their backs on that. If you can't count on the government to live up to its word, then the FDIC is never going to be able to do business with people in the future”.
--- William M. Isaac, former chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
"This is a problem we should have anticipated. I argued (in 1989) that an undue emphasis on being tough . . . in FIRREA would result in yet greater cost to the taxpayer in the long term and argued against the rapid imposition of the new standards (disallowing goodwill) -- unfortunately to no avail. The possibility I foresaw may unfortunately now become a reality. It is sometimes cost effective to be temperate . . . "
--- U.S. Congressman John J. LaFalce (D-NY)
"These Winstar (supervisory goodwill) lawsuits arouse my civic conscience. The wrong that has been done is really an affront to law and order on the most basic of levels. Parties have a right to rely on a contract. If the government (of all parties!) is not required to honor its contracts, even though possibly in pursuit of the public interest, the most basic contamination of justice has occurred."
--- Hubert Stiles, Baltimore, Maryland
"What the government did here is really no different than what they did to the Indians 150 or so years ago. They proposed a deal to these banks and then, after they signed on the dotted line, they simply confiscated their property. And then when they were caught, they argued for years that screwing them was justified -- because it was in the public interest."
--- The Goodwill Report, July, 2000
"In my 30 years . . . I've never seen anything like it. If I didn't read what I read and hear what I hear, I wouldn't believe it was happening. If the government can get away with treating rich, white Republican bankers like this, then what in heaven's name are they doing to ordinary people who can't afford to put up a fight? It's no wonder that people (didn't) believe their version of (what happened at) Waco."
--- Name withheld by request