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Friday, July 20, 2012

Obama’s Fatcats

Michelle Malkin
Your guide to sleazy Democratic party–backed banks.

Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod and his hatchet people are still yammering about GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney’s overseas investments. It’s time for the Romney campaign to educate voters about all the shady financial institutions embraced by Democrats right here on American soil.

Republicans can’t make the fatcat-narrative attacks go away by making nice with the White House — or by relying on Beltway journalists to drop their double standards and vet the president’s own bad-bank entanglements. Indeed, the New York Times admitted this week that their staff and other political journalists from every major media outlet submit their work to the White House for unprecedented review, editing, and “veto power.”

Fortunately, the truth manipulators and message massagers haven’t gotten to this column yet. So, let’s talk sleazy Democratic party–backed banks, shall we?

Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. Forget Switzerland. The mother and father of all financial-industry outrages are rooted in Washington, D.C. And Obama Democrats are among the biggest winners of lavish, out-of-control compensation packages from fraud-plagued Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Obama confidant James Johnson raked in $21 million. Former Obama chief of staff and current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel “earned” at least $320,000 for a brief 14-month gig at Freddie Mac. And Clinton Fannie Mae head and Obama economic confidant Franklin Raines bagged some $90 million in pay and stock options earned during the government-sponsored institution’s Enron-style accounting scandal on the public dime.

Self-appointed banking policewoman and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has, uncharacteristically, kept her mouth shut about these wealthy barons.

Superior Bank. One of the Obamas’ oldest Chicago friends and wealthiest billionaire bundlers, former Obama national finance chairwoman Penny Pritzker, headed up this subprime lender. Even after it went under in 2001 and left 1,400 customers destitute, Pritzker was pushing to expand its toxic subprime-loan business. Pritzker and her family escaped accountability by forking over $460 million over 15 years. Obama happily accepted the nearly $800 million in campaign and inaugural funding Pritzker drummed up for him. To protect her family’s multibillion-dollar fortune, Pritzker’s enterprises park their money in the very same kind of offshore trusts her candidate is attacking Romney over.

Broadway Bank. In 2010, President and Mrs. Obama personally raised money for their Chicago friend and fundraiser Alexi Giannoulias. As I reported then, Giannoulias’ Greek-immigrant family founded Chicago-based Broadway Bank, a now-defunct financial institution that loaned tens of millions of dollars to convicted Mafia felons and faced bankruptcy after decades of engaging in risky, high-flying behavior. It’s the place where Obama parked his 2004 U.S. Senate–campaign funds. And it’s the same place that a mutual friend of Obama and Giannoulias — convicted Obama fundraiser and slumlord Tony Rezko — used to bounce nearly $500,000 in bad checks written to Las Vegas casinos.

Chicago’s former inspector general blasted Giannoulias and his family for tapping $70 million worth of dividends in 2007 and 2008 as the real-estate crash loomed. Broadway Bank was sitting on an estimated $250 million in bad loans. The cost to taxpayers after the bank was shut down two years ago: an estimated $390 million.

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