ShoreBank Successor Named Crooked Contractor to Board

It’s only been four months since the FDIC seized the Obama-favored ShoreBank, changed management, adjusted some of the director oversight, and kept the machine running as Urban Partnership Bank. But it turns out a name change makes no difference when it comes to institutions born, raised and protected under Chicago politics. Crain’s Chicago Business reports:

Urban Partnership Bank, the successor to ShoreBank, late last week hastily withdrew the application it had submitted to state banking regulators to name as one of its directors Donald Beal, owner of Arrow Lumber Co., the South Side firm just barred from doing future business with the city after admitting to defrauding it.

Arrow Lumber is a customer of Urban Partnership Bank, a bank spokesman confirmed. The new lender was financed by a host of Wall Street giants like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and formed in August to take over the

Read More ➡

Corporate America’s Carbon Offsetter Wants U.S. Out of Cancun

Cancu photoThe 13th annual global warming alarmism fiesta is well underway in Cancun, but Eric Carlson, president of carbon offset organization Carbonfund (whose corporate partners include Hyundai, Motorola, Volkswagen, Staples, JetBlue, Dell, Virgin America, Avis and Amtrak), wants the United States to just go away:

Carbonfund.org, the leading U.S. nonprofit climate change solutions organization, is calling for the U.S. to stay out of the way of international climate negotiations which began November 29 in Cancun, Mexico. The organization is encouraging participating countries to extend the Kyoto Protocol-set to expire in 2012-or agree on a new emissions reduction treaty without the United States.

“The U.S. has been the 800-pound gorilla in the room at climate negotiations,” (Carlson) said…. “As the largest global emitter per capita with enormous entourages at the meetings, all attention goes toward the U.S. Put simply, the problem is that there are not 67 votes in the U.S. Senate

Read More ➡

Green Leader Says Corporate Shakedowns Will Continue

EDF logoTaking measure of the new political construct nationally, and of the overall blowback against the global warming movement’s corrupt science and disturbing public relations, you’d think the Environmental Defense Fund’s Fred Krupp would be somewhat humble and conciliatory. Instead he has taken some tips from his union allies in the “Green Jobs” movement and is issuing new threats against businesses who reject climate change environoia, as exhibited in a piece he wrote for the Huffington Post:

We have well-financed enemies in this fight, and it is time to sharpen the nation’s focus on the businesses that obstruct vital progress.

For EDF, that means our historic interest in cooperation over confrontation will be recalibrated. We will always negotiate where possible, and we will continue to look for collaborative opportunities and flexible solutions. That is who we are, and we will continue to pursue those goals.

But there are companies that

Read More ➡

Did Green ShoreBank Escape Bankruptcy Because of Politics?

Shorebank logoIt’s been a week since the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation swept away ShoreBank’s bad assets (cost: $367.7 million), changed its name to Urban Partnership Bank, and left it largely in the hands of the same people (and investors) who ran it before. Since then there have been several articles that called the process and new arrangement “unusual.” I guess institutions loved by two presidents call for special treatment.

Distinctions need to be made to fully understand what transpired. ShoreBank, the community development lending institution and bank with a presence in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland, was owned by a holding company: ShoreBank Corporation. The bank failed, but not the holding company, which still oversees some community development nonprofits, an international microlending advisory company, and a bank it co-owns in the Northwest. FDIC announced the parent corporation would continue to operate, but that its “investment in ShoreBank is now worthless.”

Real Read More ➡

Political Pressure Saved ShoreBank Management

Geithner photoAmong other things, it looks like the Chicago lobbying to save ShoreBank paid off. Earlier this month I discovered a letter sent by Windy City power player and big Democrat donor Lester McKeever, Jr., to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, which urged his intervention. “It is my hope,” McKeever wrote, “and one shared by others who care deeply about its most vulnerable communities, that the ShoreBank recapitalization plan with investment coming from the U.S. Treasury will enable it to continue servicing its customers and fulfilling its mission.”

In a post today on ShoreBank’s blog, online channel manager (whatever that is) Sarah Ewing welcomes customers to the renamed institution, Urban Partnership Bank, that survived thanks to the FDIC lopping off ShoreBank’s bad assets. Reading like a press release, Ewing explains how UPB will continue the same services that ShoreBank used to deliver, under the leadership of chairman David Vitale, who replaced … Read More ➡

FDIC Seizes ShoreBank; Installs Management in New Bank

Shorebank logoOn Friday the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation momentarily took over politically-connected ShoreBank, just long enough to relieve it of some of its woes and then turn it back over to the same people to continue its same failed mission. According to a press release, the FDIC Deposit Insurance Fund will take a $367.7 million hit in the transaction.

Looks like FDIC chairman Sheila Bair succeeded in her pursuit to save her baby. The Wall Street firms she reportedly pressured to help save ShoreBank – Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and General Electric, among others – are all investors in the new ShoreBank, which will now be called Urban Partnership Bank. Roughly the same amount of capital — $140 million – that had been raised from those financial institutions for the purposes of winning TARP funds will instead back the new venture.Read More ➡

Greens to Ratchet Up Shareholder Activism

$ green imageIf you think environmentalist shareholder tactics like those employed by Rockefeller descendants on Exxon – which push their agenda via resolutions at annual meetings rather than promote company profitability – then you haven’t seen anything yet, according to a Marketwatch report yesterday. After the BP oil leak disaster and the Massey Energy coal mining accident that killed 29 workers, green activists are expected to increase pressure on corporate executives next year:

Investors hope in 2011 to build on the strong vote-counts and a record number of proposals that shareholders considered in 2010. More than 100 climate and energy-focused shareholder proposals were put before shareholders of 88 U.S. and Canadian companies this year, almost 50 percent more than in 2009, according to a July report by Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmental groups.

The investor measures tackle a wide variety of issues, including environmental risks associated with coal ash, policies

Read More ➡

ShoreBank to be Split and Saved?

Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business Network reported yesterday that the Obama Administration, Federal Reserve and Wall Street firms (like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, etc.) are exploring a “face-saving” measure by splitting the presidentially beloved ShoreBank Corporation in two, with the community/green jobs lender surviving with the “good” assets while the FDIC and private investors absorb the toxic assets. Another reporter following the story told me that ShoreBank’s Friday deadline from the investors has been extended but he didn’t know how long. A spokeswoman from Goldman Sachs refused to comment on the issue.

Here’s the split-the-baby scenario explained by Gasparino:

This is asinine: as was reported last week by Bloomberg , ShoreBank’s Tier 1 capital has fallen from $43.5 million in December 2009 to $4.1 million at the end of June. It is almost entirely worthless and is only being saved – while other Read More ➡

Can Chicago Lobbying Save ShoreBank?

Shorebank logoProbably not. Seems like the more that presidentially-prized ShoreBank gets extensions from private financial institutions (Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, etc.) and from its federal regulators (the FDIC and Federal Reserve), the deeper in the hole it finds itself. Earlier this week the Chicago Tribune reported:

ShoreBank’s capital deficiency worsened in the second quarter, according to newly submitted financial results to regulators, and the Chicago-based lender now needs to raise at least $190 million just to meet targets set out in March by state and U.S. banking regulators….


The South Side bank has arranged a capital infusion of about $150 million from Wall Street investment firms, big banks, insurance companies and philanthropic groups. It’s hoping that private investment will then make it eligible for about $75 million in bailout funds from the U.S. Treasury Department.

Concerns have been raised about whether $225 million will be enough to save

Read More ➡

Is ShoreBank Sheila Bair’s Baby?

Sheila BairThe deadline for ShoreBank to come up with sufficient outside capital has been extended again, with the Federal Reserve saying more than $150 million from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup and $75 million in TARP money aren’t enough to save the politically-connected community lender. Crain’s Chicago Business reports it’s the third extension the Wall Street firms have granted to enable ShoreBank to get its act together, with the new deadline August 6.

While the Obama administration has denied pressuring big lenders to bail out ShoreBank, these extensions (while other community lenders have been allowed to fail) only serve as further evidence that powerful political forces are at work on their behalf. Charlie Gasparino of Fox Business Network has reported that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was a big player in convincing the Wall Street finance companies – all who received government bailout funds themselves – to ante Read More ➡

Page 32 of 33« First...1020...2930313233