John on May 20, 2010 at 8:29 am
There is now a demand by congressional republicans for a probe into the mysterious survival of Shorebank. The letter they sent to the President yesterday asks “why did government-supported Wall Street banks decide to save ShoreBank rather than the numerous others [failing banks] that faced a capital shortage?”
The answer, as I’ve previously noted, is that ShoreBank is politically connected to both Bill and Hillary Clinton and Michelle and Barack Obama. On the latter front, consider this photo from 1998:
Yesterday Morgen dug up a newsletter from a socially responsible investment group which contained a sidebar which adds some context to the photo:
As the sidebar notes, Obama’s connections to the world of socially responsible investing are both longstanding and personal. His friend John Rogers later became one of his campaign fundraisers. John Rogers was also the husband of Desiree Rogers who became the White House social secretary (she was let go after a couple of reality TV stars crashed a state dinner).
The sidebar also gives some more detail on the photo:
Obama…is pictured above in 1988, honoring one of the founders of ShoreBank, one of the largest Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in the US.
And you have to love the second part of the sidebar, which notes (favorably) Obama’s connection to Saul Alinsky:
The first social shareholder proxy initiative was organized by the iconic Chicago-based community organizer Saul Alinsky against Eastman Kodak in the late 1960s. Alinsky died in 1972. Barack arrived in Chicago 13 years later to work with the Developing Communities Project, an offshoot of Alinsky’s network, a context which must have made him conversant with proxy voting strategies.
So, getting back to the original question: Why is all of Wall Street and GE desperate to save Shorebank? No doubt one reason is because the President wants his old friends bailed out.