Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Senate candidate Giannoulias: Broadway Bank will "quite likely" close

Any hope that Chicago's Broadway Bank, the platform from which Democrat Alexi Giannoulias launched his political career, will survive its current financial problems probably ended this morning when the state treasurer and US Senate candidate said in a press conference, "It's quite likely that the bank will not be around" by Election Day in November.

Federal regulators have asked that the Giannoulias family-owned bank find an additional $70 million in capitol, or face shutdown.

Oh, I remember as if it was yesterday four autumns ago when Giannoulias appeared on WBBM-AM's "At Issue" when he repeatedly declared "We need a banker in the state treasurer's office."

Alexi won that race, but his office managed a college savings fund for Illinoisans, Bright Start, which lost almost half of its value.

Which brings us back to Broadway Bank. Bad real estate loans, including some to organized crime figures, appears to have drviven the North Side financial institution to a dead end.

Now that Alexi says Broadway is likely to close, don't expect any saviors to come forward. Confidence is crucial in any business deal. "Please buy my failing business" is not the best opening line in a sales presentation.

As for his Senate run--the Democratic nominee is defending Roland Burris' seat--since the United States could be headed to the financial abyss, do we need someone like Giannoulias to accelerate it?

Barack Obama's state senate campaign banked at Broadway, as did convicted-political swindler Antoin "Tony" Rezko.

In 2007 and 2008, the Giannoulias family pulled $70 million from the bank, just as the real estate market began heading south.

Thanks to Tom Mannis of the Chicago News Bench for tipping me off to this story.

Related post:

Obama's "sweetheart" mortgage: Was the competing lender Broadway Bank?

Thanks for the link: National Review's Campaign Spot. Wow!

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