Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Obama's Sub-Prime Conflict

By Dennis Bernstein
February 28, 2008

“A penny earned is a penny saved,” my father told me, as we dropped the first few coins into the opening, and I heard them hit bottom and bounce. And I can’t tell you how excited I was when we broke it open, after a year or so, and I couldn’t fit another penny into the slot.

Read on.


MacLeod said...

Ray Cushing of Powell River, BC here. I had been wondering if there was any connection between the Pritzkers and Barack Obama. Leave it to Dennis Bernstein to deliver the goods when it comes to shenanigans originating in the corrupt Illinois/Indiana political nexus. His fans will recall he is the reigning authority on the late Rep. Henry Hyde. Thanks, Dennis and thank you, Robert Parry, for this extremely valuable story. Should be on the AP wire, but alas. . .How about a followup on the Pritzkers' holdings? They own so many US companies you would probably run out of space listing them all.

Bob Feldman 68 said...

If Barack Obama is opposed to the kind of financially reckless subprime mortgage lending and predatory lending that Superior Bank engaged in when his campaign's national finance chair, Penny Pritzker, sat on the bank's board, why did Obama say on Jan. 31, 2007:

"Penny shares my belief that we can change politics in our country to work toward our common interests. I'm roud that she has agreed to partner with me in this important venture."

In the Feb. 2002 report of the Office of Inspector General, Gaston Gianni concluded that "based on our review of the failure of Superior Bank it appears that some of the decisions made by Superior management rise to the level of insider abuse." Yet as the U.S. Senator from Illinois, Obama apparently did not call for a full U.S. Senate investigation of the role that the Pritzkers played in the Superior Bank failure that negatively affected thousands of Illinois residents in the 21st-century.

Anonymous said...

Terrific story. Now look into the Crown family's backing of Obama's campaign. Big biz likely will remain in the saddle to ride mankind, no matter who is elected. Issues on the margin (abortion rights, gay rights) may be slightly better for the people with the Dems in charge, so long as capitalism and profits are not threatened. But universal health coverage? Even a stop to predatory lending? Don't hold your breath.

Anonymous said...

I was at Harvard with Penny Pritzker. She was very nice, outgoing ---never snobby---& generous. Her family gave a dinner & dance for our entire dorm (about a hundred people's) senior class. She has always stayed active in class affairs.

I don't know the story behind the Capital scandal. Maybe it was *incompetence* not bad intentions that led to the bank failure?

However she should resign if the Republicans can make an issue out of her. IT LOOKS BAD & SHE SHOULD GO.

Anonymous said...

These anti-capitalists rants and posts make me nostalgic for my college years. But in the present day they seem wildly unfair and certainly do a disservice to the fine corporate and charitable work of Penny Pritzker and her family. Is this what happens when a successful woman enters public service? Apparently it's all about scorched earth campaigning -- trying to drive good people out of the process -- and not the truth. No wonder so many Americans are turned off by politics.

The fact is, Penny Pritzker left her position as chairman of the board of Superior Bank 14 YEARS AGO, and years before there were any questions about the work of its managers and auditors. The Pritzker family lost millions by investing in the bank. The roughly 1,400 bank customers who had more than $100,000 in deposits are substantially whole.

The activities of Superior Bank in the mid-90's have no bearing whatsoever on current mortgage and lending conditions affecting the US economy. This is old news being manipulated by people who have agendas. The Pritzker family has done more to help Chicago than any family I know. They shouldn't be driven out of politics by the shock and awe tactics of mean-spirited and mostly anonymous bloggers.

As a former investigative reporter in Chicago, I’d say these old stories were thinly reported and agenda-driven back in 2001 … and carry even less weight in 2008.

Anonymous said...

The Obama Bubble: Why Wall Street Needs a Presidential Brand

Wednesday, 05 March 2008

by Pam Martens

Despite Barack Obama's claim that his campaign represents a mass "movement" of "average folks," the initial core of his support was largely comprised of rich denizens of Wall Street. Why would the super wealthy want a perceived "black populist" to become the nation's chief executive officer? The "Obama bubble" was nurtured by Wall Street in order to have a friend in the White House when the captains of capital are made to face the legal consequences for deliberately creating current and past economic "bubbles." Wall Street desperately needs a president who will "sweep all the corruption and losses, would-be indictments, perp walks and prosecutions under the rug and get on with an unprecedented taxpayer bailout of Wall Street." Who better to sell this "agenda to the millions of duped mortgage holders and foreclosed homeowners in minority communities across America than our first, beloved, black president of hope and change?