Obama bank failure policies, ACORN, Penny Pritzker, Cellini trial witness Rosenberg dredges up old memories, Capri Capital, Where is House Judiciary Committee?
“During its 15 years in New York City, ACORN has helped squatters claim derelict city-owned property, forced bankers to invest in low-income communities, and organized a war against the city’s workfare program.
It’s also developed a reputation for no-holds-barred tactics—getting results through adversarial campaigns against bankers, politicians and bureaucrats using confrontation and concession rather than consensus.”…ACORN document, February 1999
“There is enough corruption in Illinois so that all it takes is someone who is serious about finding it to uncover it. If a U.S. attorney is not finding corruption in Illinois, they’re not seriously looking for it.”…Northwestern Law Professor James Lindgren
I was doing some research on Obama’s ties to Capri Capital and Tom Rosenberg, the subject of the Cellini Indictment, when I came across an old article about Obama’s past. I am not finished with Obama’s involvement in the IL Teachers Retirement System, TRS, corruption, but since the Occupy Wall Street, et al folks are focusing their energy on Bankers and such instead of the real culprits, Obama et al, it is appropriate to do so.
From The Common Conservative October 1, 2008.
“Obama’s Links to Real Estate Scandals, Bank Failures, and Rezko Far Deeper”
“If there is one thing Obama has been very good at, it’s been covering
his tracks. This time, I believe I have made a link that is undeniable
to his knowledge and possible participation in the real estate
dealings and the corruption in Chicago. His links to not so savory
individuals and friends have supported almost every attempt for
political office he has ever made. It is amazing how someone who came
from nowhere has risen to the position of power in such a short time.
He stands to lose much, if Tony Rezko actually tells all he knows as
his Federal sentence is about to be imposed. Possibly he is playing
“lets make a deal” in exchange for bringing down the house on Chicago
real estate ventures at public expense. Everywhere you turn, the major
players are tied directly to Sen. Obama.
First, let’s start with the Superior Bank in Chicago. That bank failed
directly under the control of Penny Pritzker. She is Obama’s Campaign
Finance Chairman and has been instrumental in raising millions for his
campaign. The regulators closed Superior Bank in 2001 because of a
vast number of sub-prime mortgage loans. She took over a failed
savings and loan in 1988 and it was renamed Superior Bank.
During the years of that Obama was actively in Chicago as a community
organizer, one interesting person comes into the picture. Stanley
Kurts reports this in his N.Y. Post article:
ONE key pioneer of ACORN’s subprime-loan shakedown racket was Madeline
Talbott – an activist with extensive ties to Barack Obama. She was
also in on the ground floor of the disastrous turn in Fannie Mae’s
Long the director of Chicago ACORN, Talbott is a specialist in “direct
action” – organizers’ term for their militant tactics of intimidation
and disruption. Perhaps her most famous stunt was leading a group of
ACORN protesters breaking into a meeting of the Chicago City Council
to push for a “living wage” law, shouting in defiance as she was
arrested for mob action and disorderly conduct. But her real legacy
may be her drive to push banks into making risky mortgage loans.
In February 1990, Illinois regulators held what was believed to be the
first-ever state hearing to consider blocking a thrift merger for lack
of compliance with CRA. The challenge was filed by ACORN, led by
Talbott. Officials of Bell Federal Savings and Loan Association, her
target, complained that ACORN pressure was undermining its ability to
meet strict financial requirements it was obligated to uphold and
protested being boxed into an “affirmative-action lending policy.” The
following years saw Talbott featured in dozens of news stories about
pressuring banks into higher-risk minority loans.
IN April 1992, Talbott filed an other precedent-setting com plaint
using the “community support requirements” of the 1989
savings-and-loan bailout, this time against Avondale Federal Bank for
Savings. Within a month, Chicago ACORN had organized its first “bank
fair” at Malcolm X College and found 16 Chicago-area financial
institutions willing to participate.
Two months later, aided by ACORN organizer Sandra Maxwell, Talbott
announced plans to conduct demonstrations in the lobbies of area banks
that refused to attend an ACORN-sponsored national bank “summit” in
New York. She insisted that banks show a commitment to minority
lending by lowering their standards on downpayments and underwriting –
for example, by overlooking bad credit histories.
By September 1992, The Chicago Tribune was describing Talbott’s
program as “affirma- tive-action lending” and ACORN was issuing fact
sheets bragging about relaxations of credit standards that it had won
on behalf of minorities.
And Talbott continued her effort to, as she put it, drag banks
“kicking and screaming” into high-risk loans. A September 1993 story
in The Chicago Sun-Times presents her as the leader of an initiative
in which five area financial institutions (including two of her former
targets, now plainly cowed – Bell Federal Savings and Avondale Federal
Savings) were “participating in a $55 million national pilot program
with affordable-housing group ACORN to make mortgages for low- and
moderate-income people with troubled credit histories.”
What made this program different from others, the paper added, was the
participation of Fannie Mae – which had agreed to buy up the loans.
“If this pilot program works,” crowed Talbott, “it will send a message
to the lending community that it’s OK to make these kind of loans.”
This was exactly the time frame Superior Bank was very active in the
sub-prime lending and no doubt, Obama knew exactly who Penny Pritzker
was and her involvement in the ACORN sponsored lending practices.
Another direct link early on to Obama is with another foundation that
Pritzker in involved in. Pritzker is very much involved in the reform
of Chicago’s public education system. Currently she is vice chair of
the Chicago Public Education Fund, the successor organization to the
Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which is the same Board Sen. Obama served
with William Ayers.
Obama no doubt needed the financial backing of the Pritzker’s. They
are the owners of the Hyatt Hotel chain and Obama had inside
connections. David Mendell recalled in his 2007 book Obama: From
Promise To Power:
“Obama was confident that he was destined for more than a day job
running a foundation or practicing law or languishing in the minority
party in the Illinois senate…He invited a group of African-American
professionals to the house of Marty Nesbitt, who had served as finance
chairman of his congressional campaign. Nesbitt is…vice-president of
the Pritzker Realty Group, part of the Pritzker family empire…Nesbitt
arranged a weekend gathering to help Obama reach inside the deepest
pockets he knew—those of the Pritzker family…
“…Nesbitt knew that if Obama could sell himself to Penny Pritzker, her
support would not only reap huge immediate financial dividends but
also be a crucial step in the foundation of a fund-raising network.
“So in late summer 2002, Obama, Michelle [Robinson-Obama] and their
two daughters drove to Penny Pritzker’s weekend cottage along the
lakefront in Michigan about forty-five minutes from Chicago…”
Also notice this report from WNBC in New York:
On Feb. 10, 2007, Senator Barack Obama launched his bid for the White
House in Springfield, setting himself on a course that has become one
for the history books. But Obama might not have made it even to the
Old State Capitol Building that frigid day if not for a private
meeting he had with friends and advisers in late 2002 as he was
mulling a run for the U.S. Senate. In a South Side high-rise
overlooking the lake, the junior state senator vetted his lofty
political ambitions with a group of Chicago’s African American
business elite that included Frank M. Clark Jr., Valerie B. Jarrett,
Quintin E. Primo III, James Reynolds Jr., and John W. Rogers Jr.
Remember the name Quintin E. Primo III, as he is CEO of Capri Capital
in Chicago. Capri Capital will reemerge later in this article as they
have direct ties to Obama, Pritzker, and also direct ties to Rezko.
Also during the time frame that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were buying
sub-prime mortgages, Franklin Raines was CEO of this institution from
1998- 2004. It was during this time, Superior Bank was in real trouble
and under scrutiny from regulators. Pritzker assured regulators there
was nothing wrong, and no doubt, she had to have known Franklin
Raines. Her bank was using Fannie Mae funds since the largest book of
their business was in sub-prime lending. Finally, in December 2004,
Mr. Raines was forced to resign because the Office of Federal Housing
Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), the regulating body of Fannie Mae, of
abetting widespread accounting errors, which included the shifting of
losses so senior executives, such as himself, could earn large
Another interesting connection to Pritzker is from the Chicago
Community Loan Fund published in 2006:
Bank is financing partner
CCLf had the resources to make a $1 million loan for the first time in
its history in 2005, thanks in large part to a $3 million loan pool
investment from Charter One Bank. Charter One’s investment in CCLF was
part of a record-setting infusion of new investment capital in 2005.
In fact, CCLF’s partnership with Charter One and the Historic
Pacesetter Limited Partnership is now multi-faceted: the bank plans to
provide a portion of the financing for the project’s construction.
Then we take a look at Sen. Obama’s request for earmark requests for
2005 and we find a very interesting request:
Obama Requested $2.5 Million (And An Additional $ 5 Million Over Two
Years) For A Pacesetter Redevelopment Program In The Village Of
Riverdale. I2 2005, Obama requested $2.5 million for the Village of
Riverdale and their Pacesetter Redevelopment Program. The
redevelopment of the Pacesetter neighborhood is essential to the
successful industrial development in Riverdale. The Pacesetter
neighborhood is adjacent to Riverdale’s industrial redevelopment area.
The poor quality of housing, crime and image that the neighborhood
portrays must be changed in order to make the Village’s overall
efforts a success. Pacesetter Redevelopment, Phase I, would be
comprised of approximately 100 units and cost approximately $22
million. It is proposed that all of the units in this first phase be
rehabilitated. The development team would acquire these properties
from individual landowners. The plan is to control all properties
along Lowe Avenue by the end of 2005. By location and number, these
properties would create the critical mass required for economic
feasibility, while providing a development of sufficient size to make
a visible impact. The Village is seeking an initial investment in the
project of $5 million over a period of two federal fiscal years.
[Obama Request Letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on
Transportation, Treasury, the Judiciary, HUD & Related Agencies,
The Pacesetter funding by Charter One Bank and the Obama earmark
request are not so coincidental. Charter Bank is the same bank that
took over the Superior Bank assets in 2001. From the FDIC:
FDIC APPROVES SALE OF
SUPERIOR FEDERAL BANK, FSB, HINSDALE, ILLINOIS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR-78-2001 (10-31-2001) Media Contact:
David Barr (202) 898-6992
The Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
(FDIC) approved the sale of the branches and deposits of Superior
Federal Bank, FSB. The winning bidder is Charter One Bank, FSB,
Superior Federal Bank, FSB is the conservatorship established by the
FDIC after the Office of Thrift Supervision closed Superior Bank, FSB
on July 27, 2001. Charter One has agreed to pay the FDIC a premium of
$52.4 million to assume the 17 locations and the $1.1 billion of
deposits held in conservatorship.
In addition to assuming all the deposits, Charter One is acquiring
approximately $45 million of Superior’s assets. These assets consist
mainly of home equity lines of credit, overdrafts assigned to each
branch location, cash and cash equivalents.
Now one has to wonder exactly how Sen. Obama’s request, which was
apparently denied or died on a Bill, was then funded by Charter One
Bank. Penny Pritzker was Obama’s big money and fundraiser for his
Senate campaign and also was directly responsible for Superior Banks
failure. This is no coincidence, or if it is, it surely raises red
flags to the possibility of influence peddling by the Obama camp or
even Sen. Obama directly. Read the FDIC press release. There were $45
million of home loans, and most were sub-prime loans. Questions need
to be asked regarding if Sen. Obama was able to pull a few strings
with Fannie Mae to get these loans spread to other sources of funding
in exchange to lending the project funds.
Once we look into the Rezko trial, we find something very interesting
once again. Rezko was convicted of of six counts of mail fraud, six
counts of wire fraud, two counts of money laundering and two counts of
abetting bribery. He was acquitted on eight counts, including a charge
he tried to extort as much as $2 million from Lakeshore Entertainment
Group founder and former Capri Capital principal Thomas Rosenberg, who
testified against him at trial.
Once again we find Penny Pritzker having ties to Capri Capital as they
both serve on the Boards of The Real Estate Roundtable with Ms.
Pritzker as it’s Treasurer as late as March, 2008. Much of there
efforts have been to lobby for many changes in real estate and real
estate funding laws. One letter was directly to Sen. Chris Dodd
requesting changes in allowing the Federal Reserve to purchase loans
and asset-backed securities, identically the type of securities being
sold by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac to Wall Street. Bear in mind that Ms.
Pritzker is President of Pritzker Reality Group L.P.
Another place we find Capri Capital is in the CCLF (above). In their
2006-2007 Annual Report, we find that Capri is listed as one of the
Sponsors. Also we find that CCLF was also funded by Fannie Mae as
well. All of these funds are directed primary at the
The Rezko/Pritzker connection goes deep and finding the link hasn’t
been easy. On October 1, 2006, Daley appointed Martin Nesbitt
chairperson of the Chicago Housing Authority. The CHA was created for
“the purposes of engaging in the development, acquisition, leasing,
operation, and administration of a Low Rent Housing Program and other
federally assisted programs,” according to the agency’s 2005 annual
Where is the House Judiciary Committee?