"No more bailouts, no more greed, how many profits do you need?" That's been a signature chant of community organizers and Big Labor thugs who have stormed bank offices and financial executives' private homes decrying corporate welfare over the past several months. But now that the federal government and a coalition of big banking interests are poised to bail out a crony Chicago bank with longtime ties to the Obama administration, Saul Alinsky's avenging angels are nowhere to be found.
ShoreBank is a Windy City investment bank with all the right (or, rather, left) ties. Its stated progressive mission isn't merely to make good lending decisions, but to engage in Barack Obama-esque social engineering to "create economic equity and a healthy environment." The ShoreBank corporate slogan: "Let's change the world."
The company website features a video of Obama in Kenya championing ShoreBank microlending projects overseas. ShoreBank has also touted itself as a "green" bank from its founding days -- promoting dubious carbon credit programs, subjecting new borrowers to eco-litmus tests ("we look at how you use water, how you recover water and clean it, how you use energy, if you produce clean energy, how you manage CO2, whether you are offsetting CO2 that your product produces, if you are using sustainably produced materials") and encouraging customers to participate in "EcoDeposits" to "directly support the green agenda."
Social and environmental justice may make for good Volvo bumper stickers. They do not, however, make for a good bottom line. While the bank was on do-gooder missions around the world, business at home was in trouble. As The Wall Street Journal reported, "Losses racked up during the recession have left the bank facing a demand to raise new capital or face likely closure by regulators."
Enter the Chicago political friends and family of ShoreBank. The ties are long and deep, as the Central Illinois 9/12 Project has been chronicling for months:
-- ShoreBank co-founder Jan Piercy was a Wellesley College roommate of Hillary Clinton's, who has long supported the bank along with former president Bill Clinton.
-- Former ShoreBank Vice Chairman Bob Nash worked for Mrs. Clinton's presidential bid as deputy campaign manager. Board of Directors member Howard Stanback is a Hyde Park neighborhood pal of President Obama, who served with Stanback on the board of the radical Woods Fund (where Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers also sat).