Who’s Behind the Financial Meltdown?

Published — May 6, 2009 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

No. 10 of The Subprime 25: WMC Mortgage Corp./General Electric Co.


Total high-interest loans 2005-2007:

At least $49.6 billion

Federal bailout money received:


Company overview

  • Status: CLOSED
  • History: Originally Pacific Western Mortgage Company, WMC went through several mergers and name changes, going by Par West Financial and later Weyerhaeuser Mortgage Company. WMC became the sixth-largest subprime lender in the country before it was purchased by General Electric in 2004 and became part of the GE Money division. When the subprime bubble burst, GE tried to sell the company. It eventually laid off most of its staff and shut down lending operations in the fourth quarter of 2007. The company reported to the SEC that it sold what was left of its U.S. mortgage business in December 2007.
  • Parent/subsidiary companies: GE Money Bank, part of General Electric Co., was the parent company.
  • CEO: CEO (WMC Mortgage): Amy Brandt left as CEO of WMC at the end of 2006 and was replaced by Laurent Bossard.
    • Most recent salary: Not available
  • Location: Woodland Hills, California
  • Year founded: 1955
  • Backers: An SEC filing shows that in the year before being acquired by GE, WMC financed the funding of its loan originations using credit from Lehman Brothers, Credit Suisse First Boston, Merrill Lynch, Residential Funding Corp., and CDC Mortgage Capital.

Lobbying overview

  • Lobbying: No lobbying activity for WMC was found, although General Electric lobbies on numerous issues. **
  • Total Contributions: At least $11,676,506 *
  • Top Recipients:
    1. Republican Governors Association $523,000
    2. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee $391,450
    3. National Republican Congressional Committee $366,201
    4. Democratic National Committee $363,940
    5. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee $348,750

** Lobbying totals calculated by the Center for Public Integrity using data from the Senate Office of Public Records.

* Contribution grand total includes employee and soft money contributions from the lender and its subsidiaries. Top recipient totals include employee and political action committee contributions. Data provided by CQ Money Line, analysis by the Center for Public Integrity.

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