SIGTARP agrees to audit Chicago’s politically connected ShoreBank 

Neil Barofsky, the no-nonsense special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), has agreed to look into allegations that key officials in the Obama administration applied political pressure on major Wall Street firms Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Bank of America, themselves recipients of government bailouts, to bail out Chicago’s ShoreBank to keep it from being liquidated by federal regulators.

Barofsky agreed to audit the bank after a request from Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., ranking member of the House Banking Committee. The bank, which received $75 million in TARP funds, got another $150 million infusion from Wall Street recently to prevent a takeover by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation because a quarter of its outstanding loans are delinquent.

Even “Goldman [Sachs] CEO Lloyd Blankfein took time out from his busy schedule to make calls on behalf of ShoreBank,” Fox Business Network’s Charlie Gasparino reported.

Why the mad scramble to save this particular community bank when so many others have gone belly up?  Michelle Malkin says it’s because the bank “is too politically connected to fail.” One of its co-founders was a friend of the president’s late mother; another was college roommates with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Former White House “green jobs” czar Van Jones sits on the bank’s board of directors.

“Although the Obama administration has officially denied any involvement in helping to prop up Shorebank, the rush by other banks to come to its aid has been nothing short of remarkable,” according to Big Government. Especially since the big banks in question are already under the White House’s heavy thumb.

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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