Friday, May 21, 2010

How did ShoreBank get shored up with federal bailout funds?

How did ShoreBank get shored up with federal bailout funds?

U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) joined U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) in a letter to Obama asking for records concerning ShoreBank. The South Side bank, known for its community lending and with personal ties to Obama aides, has lined up at least $125 million in capital from major banks to qualify for a potential $75 million from the federal government.
Citing unspecified reports of pressure on Wall Street mega-banks, whose interests are involved in a financial regulations bill, the representatives asked for all material, “including e-mails, phone logs and meeting records,” that deal with ShoreBank.
They said ShoreBank may be getting special favors when other banks have been forced to close. The letter asked Obama to respond by June 2.

So who came to ShoreBank’s rescue? The list includes Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and JP Morgan — all heavily involved in bailouts themselves, and all heavily connected to the administration. These all have accepted and repaid TARP funds, and as a consequence, all have to account for themselves to Treasury on salaries, bonuses, and business practices.

ShoreBank is a Windy City investment bank with all the right (or, rather, left) ties. Its stated progressive mission isn’t merely to make good lending decisions, but to engage in Barack Obama-esque social engineering to “create economic equity and a healthy environment.” The ShoreBank corporate slogan: “Let’s change the world.”
The company website features a video of Obama in Kenya championing ShoreBank microlending projects overseas. ShoreBank has also touted itself as a “green” bank from its founding days — promoting dubious carbon credit programs, subjecting new borrowers to eco-litmus tests (“we look at how you use water, how you recover water and clean it, how you use energy, if you produce clean energy, how you manage CO2, whether you are offsetting CO2 that your product produces, if you are using sustainably produced materials”) and encouraging customers to participate in “EcoDeposits” to “directly support the green agenda.”

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