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Quick Picks: Target of Probe Eyes Stimulus and Banks Fund Lawmakers' Charities

Quick Picks focuses on a select few of the day's stories from "Breaking on the Web."

  • A company that may have helped nudge the U.S. into its current financial crisis is now asking Congress to give it a tax break in the stimulus package, reports the Charlotte Observer. The Atlanta-based homebuilder, which has the FBI, IRS, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the North Carolina Real Estate Commission on its heels over suspected mortgage fraud, is also lobbying for a tax break in the stimulus plan that would cost an expected $19 billion or more.
  • Banks that got bailout funds might have curried favor with lawmakers by supporting their charitable causes in the second half of 2008, reports The Hill today. Take the lavish December event organized by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce at which Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) – chairman of the House Financial Services Committee – was the keynote speaker. BofA, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, which have received a combined $105 billion in bailout bucks, all made hefty donations. (The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Frank has gone to bat for a bank seeking bailout money.)

Check out more of our roundup of the best investigative stories around the Web.

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