This is the man who would keep our banks safe?
Today’s banking crisis demonstrates that keeping our banks safe is the President’s highest responsibility. If our banks are collapsing, we can’t pay our bills, and our government can’t fund health care, fight wars to defend us, rebuild our roads, or make our cities safe from hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Franklin Roosevelt’s first “fireside chat” famously began, “I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking.” Our next President’s first words to the nation are also likely to be “about banking.” So which man do we want to be talking to us about banking in January 2009? Obviously, we want someone who understands why banks fail, because he’ll be able to keep our banks safe.
Which makes it all the more significant that Barack Obama has posted on his campaign website a naive and ignorant defense* of his campaign finance chair, Penny Pritzker, concerning her key leadership involvement in the largest bank failure in the 18 years between the last great banking crisis (the 1980s S&L debacle) and today’s even-more-massive banking crisis. The excuses, misdirections, and spin Senator Obama offers in defense of this billionaire failed bank executive are Pritzker spin from start to finish, and expose Obama’s profound inability to understand why banks fail and how to keep banks safe.
Seldom has the special access of the wealthy into the inner deliberations of a Presidential candidate been more clearly exposed by the candidate himself. Just as the press is “in the tank” for Obama, Obama is in the tank for Pritzker. And a man in the tank for Pritzker cannot keep our banks safe.
THE BANK FAILURE I REFER to is the 2001 failure of Superior Bank, right in Senator Obama’s Chicago hometown. Superior Bank, a part of the $15 billion, 1,500-company “Pritzker Family Business Unit” as testified under oath by Glen Miller, a key manager of the “FBU,” was the biggest bank failure of the early 2000s, losing hundreds of millions of dollars.
Superior Bank failed because of the same problem that is bringing down all the banks now: subprime loans. Who got the bank into those loans? Obama’s own finance chair, Penny Pritzker. Sworn deposition testimony puts Penny Pritzker not only on the board of the bank and its holding company, Coast, but personally leading the meeting to persuade regulators to let the bank into the subprime market.
You have Enron-style accounting that hid the real asset values, two disgraced bank executives under her supervision whom the government forced out of the banking industry with official cease-and-desist orders, a Department of Justice Expert Report placing the blame squarely on the executives and owners, and the Pritzkers agreeing to pay $460 million over 15 years to escape government lawsuits and sanctions.
This all happened in Illinois while Obama was an Illinois state senator. What did he know about it? According to his website, the accountants were to blame. Should a presidential candidate accept such an excuse from a failed bank owner? On 60 Minutes last Sunday (Sept. 21), Senator Obama blamed the current banking crisis on “greedy CEOs and investors taking too much risk.” Well, Senator, you’ve got one of those “greedy CEOs and investors taking too much risk” financing your campaign, and writing your website for you, passing the buck to the accountants.
Superior’s failure was studied by the United States Treasury Department and by banking regulators in special Inspector General reports, and has been documented in the open files of the Court of Federal Claims, available to Obama throughout his term as a U.S. Senator. Did he ever read any of them? Apparently Senator Obama’s friendship with Penny Pritzker — and her billions of dollars — caused him not to look into any of these reports and documents to understand why, during a period in which almost no banks of any size failed, Penny Pritzker’s bank failed so massively that she and her family agreed to pay $460 million. And failed right in Senator Obama’s hometown.
Obama on his website writes that Penny Pritzker and her family paid the $460 million essentially out of the goodness of their hearts.
The United States Department of Justice, in official court filings, offers a different explanation:
The Pritzker Family Pays Money to Settle Proposed Charges Arising from the Failure of Superior: Coast-to- Coast Financial Corp. v. United States of America
A Presidential candidate serious about understanding why banks fail ought to read the conclusions of the United States Department of Justice concerning the failure of the bank run by his own campaign fundraiser, before promoting that failed bank executive’s spin on his official campaign website for millions of Americans to be tricked by.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?