Is GM IPO Being Rushed for Political Purposes?

Whitacre/GM photoThe unexpected departure of General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre (right) last week was reportedly due to tensions over the timing of a public offering, which the Obama administration wants to take place before the November Congressional elections so that it can declare some kind of “success” for the still-unpopular auto bailout.

A premature IPO must be a really bad idea if it’s too much for Whitacre, who has not exactly demonstrated principled leadership. There’s the problem of taking the GM job in the first place. What kind of capitalist would be a party, or more precisely an accessory after the fact, to the violation of private property rights represented by the crushing of GM bondholders? While CEO, Whitacre did not disappoint his masters in the White House, even appearing in a TV commercial in April in which he falsely claimed that GM had paid back the US government in full … Read More ➡

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Charles Rangel Attacks NLPC on House Floor

Even though he could not get our name right, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) concluded his remarks on the House floor on Tuesday with this:

“And lastly, I close by saying that there is an organization that some of you know — certainly the DCCC. National Truth in Government, whatever. And the only thing I can say that some of my more important Democrats on the list that sent out mail soliciting money in order to get rid of me, even before I became the chairman.

And they have a Web site that I will be giving you, because they’ve got a lot of members, including Black Caucus members, on their list. And one I do remember, ‘Send your money in now. We’ve got Rangel against the ropes. And we’ve got to get rid of him.’ Everyone knows who they are.

And they followed me on vacation. They followed me when … Read More ➡

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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 ➡

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John Kerry’s Yacht: Another Tax on Rich Republicans

Kerrry boatSen. John F. Kerry has just passed another tax onto wealthy Republicans – by having his wife pay half-a-million dollars in back taxes on his yacht.

Kerry has been docking his $7 million, 76-foot yacht, Isabel, in Rhode Island, which has no yacht tax, since he purchased it in March. However, Massachusetts has a 6.25 percent “use” tax on any item bought elsewhere for use in Taxachusetts. State officers regularly track down those purchasing tires, alcohol, or other consumer goods in neighboring states, such as tax-free New Hampshire.

Keeping the boat stashed out-of-state saved Kerry more than $500,000, including “$440,000 in Massachusetts sales taxes and $70,000 in annual excise taxes.” However, the Department of Revenue had begun investigating claims the sloop had been seen off the Nantucket coast.

The senator insisted to the press that the matter was “not an issue,” and testily demanded, “Can I get out of Read More ➡

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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 ➡

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FBN: Flaherty Assails Racial Mandates in Financial Regulatory Overhaul

I was interviewed by David Asman on the Fox Business Network on Wednesday, July 21. The topic is the racial mandates contained in the Dodd-Frank financial services regulatory overhaul. Here’s a transcript:

David Asman: The financial regulation Bill is now law and while we know that the twenty three hundred page document is full of new bureaucracies and regulations you may not know there is actually language in this law that requires racial profiling. Peter Flaherty is President of National Legal and Policy Center an ethics watchdog based in Washington. He has done some digging into this Bill. Peter, you know, I couldn’t believe it when I first heard it – I mean this is an Administration that prides themselves on being anti-racial. They are against racial profiling that doesn’t exist, for example in the Arizona immigration law. Get this: lenders will – these new data collection system that … Read More ➡

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George Soros’ New Plan for Globalism and Crony Capitalism

Soros photoWhen George Soros invests $50 million to revolutionize the way Americans think about a certain issue, it would normally be deemed newsworthy. Not so with the formation of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). Three months after a summit in New York state last July, Soros pledged $50 million to INET, which promises “to promote changes in economic theory and practice” by “providing the proper guidance” to “the next generation.” 

Despite its name, its philosophy is nearly a century old. The group blames the economic crisis on free market capitalism and promotes a return to the theories of John Maynard Keynes. INET hosted its inaugural conference April 8-10 at King’s College, Keynes’ school, and called on economists to “apply the same Keynesian courage and innovation” to ending the worldwide recession.

That conference’s proceedings reveal INET is applying its talent to “contracting” the U.S. economy, redistributing its wealth, and creating … Read More ➡

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Goofy Green Investments Fueled ShoreBank’s Problems

money in trash canA significant portion of ShoreBank Corporation’s progressive vision is investment in “sustainability” and the creation of a “green” economy, which may be part of the reason the distressed lender is in need of a bailout, seeking millions of dollars from Wall Street firms so it will then qualify for funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

For example, ShoreBank has two sub-entities based in the Pacific Northwest: the FDIC-backed ShoreBank Pacific, and the nonprofit ShoreBank Enterprise Cascadia. Both are institutions whose lending criteria are based upon progressively defined notions of “sustainability,” with the bank a partnership between ShoreBank Corp. and the environmental group Ecotrust. The bank’s mission is to “profitably assist businesses, and through them their communities, to be sustainable in economic, social, and environmental practices.” Here’s how they explain their lending criteria:

…Unlike other banks, we are conscientious to whom we lend, and

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White House Denial on ShoreBank is Sestak-Like

Shorebank logoIllinois Republican Rep. Judy Biggert on Wednesday inserted into the financial regulatory reform bill an amendment calling for an investigation of efforts to rescue ShoreBank. Meanwhile the White House issued denials that it pushed for a bailout of the politically-favored community lender. The Chicago Sun-Times reported yesterday:

As Chicago’s ShoreBank struggles to survive, the Obama White House issued a strong statement Wednesday denying that it is interfering in any way with federal regulators or influencing financial institutions willing to pump money into the bank.

“White House officials have not met with ShoreBank regarding support measures for their bank, nor has the White House ‘made asks’ of financial assistance to other financial institutions for ShoreBank,” said Amy Brundage, a White House spokeswoman.

Keeping with the policy to “put nothing in writing, ever,” and the historical precedent the administration made in a non-offering of a non-job to Pennsylvania Democratic Senatorial candidate Joe Read More ➡

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NLPC’s Horowitz is Featured Expert on American Greed’s ‘Mob Money’ on CNBC Tonight

Horowitz/Mob Money photoDr. Carl Horowitz, director of NLPC’s Organized Labor Accountability Project, is a featured expert on CNBC’s “Mob Money,” a special presentation of “American Greed,” narrated by Stacy Keach. The program premieres tonight at 9PM ET.

I’ve previewed an advance copy of the program and it lives up to its billing. The show performs a real public service by highlighting the relationship between corrupt labor unions and organized crime. Carl provides commentary as the publisher of our newsletter Union Corruption Update, published on line and twice monthly in print.

Carl even appears in the trailers for the program:

According to CNBC, the program:

… takes viewers inside the inner-workings of a mob family. From loan-sharking and labor racketeering to illegal gambling and murder for hire to its recent invasion into Wall Street it’s all part of the life and death business of organized crime.

The one-hour program chronicles the rise

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