Crony Capitalism in Chicago

Shore Bank in Chicago is teetering on the edge of failure.  Its ownership and management are very closely tied to President Obama, his family, and to other establishment Democratic Party players in Illinois.  It has been conspicuously "politically activist" for a bank; for example, it campaigned heavily for the "community reinvestment" mandates that played such a signal role in the mortgage market meltdown.  It has often been touted for its "micro-lending" portfolio.  Its owners and managers have also been heavy political contributors.

A politically-driven effort to get the Illinois State government to be the primary actor in bailing out the bank fizzled earlier this year.

Goldman Sachs and other national players are now moving to see if the bank can be saved.  Their interest in what otherwise might be deemed a minor and obscure bank arrests one's attention.  The love-hate relationship between Goldman Sachs and the Obama Administration continues to fascinate.

The Wall Street Journal also posts a video report on its website;  the theme: "This is crony capitalism at its worst." It is a brisk and accurate summary and merits watching.

Other reports published today will be found here and here.

This situation merits monitoring.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky