Sleazebag subprime anti-union banker nominated by Obama for Commerce

Time for a little stroll down memory lane. This is what I wrote about Penny Pritzer, Obama’s just-announced appointee as Commerce Secretary, back in February:

Penny Pritzker, union buster.

Penny Pritzker, sub-prime lender who drove Superior Bank into the ground.

Penny Pritzker, Chicago Board of Ed members who thinks your children only deserve enough education to make them a member of the workforce.

Penny Pritzker, billionaire tax dodger.

Penny Pritzker, potential Secretary of Commerce nominee? Is this a joke?

No, it was not. Okay, just kidding. Yes, it was. The joke’s on us. Ha, ha!

(MoneyWatch) The position of U.S. Commerce Secretary has often been a political plum for top fundraisers, so it was no surprise that President Obama continued that tradition today when he named Penny Pritzker, the Chicago billionaire heiress to the Hyatt fortune.

Said to be worth nearly $2 billion, Pritzker put together nearly $800 million for Obama’s presidential campaigns.

Pritzker’s appointment shows that the administration is abandoning even a fig leaf of a relationship with labor unions — Hyatt has had many run-ins with its work force, and Pritzker herself was deeply unpopular with the Chicago Teachers Union during her tenure on the Chicago Board of Education.

The appointment also suggests the administration is betting that people don’t care much anymore about the subprime meltdown that succeeded in bringing the world to the brink of financial ruin. Her role in the banking business may startle those not familiar with the history of the subprime meltdown.

The Pritzker family, along with a partner, bought the failed Lyons Savings Bank in 1988 for $42.5 million, getting $645 million in tax credits in the process and rechristening it Superior Bank. Under Pritzker, who served on the board, Superior bought Alliance Funding, which moved aggressively into subprime lending.

Bert Ely, an independent banking analyst who testified about the failure of Superior, noted the garish pitch the bank was making at the time. “I remember the basic message to mortgage brokers: ‘Send us the applications that no one else will accept.’ ”
As one of the earliest pioneers of risky loans that were then bundled off and sold as securities, Superior was also one of the practice’s earliest casualties: The bank collapsed in 2001. “The kinds of lending they were doing were outrageous,” Ely said. “But what was also outrageous was that when Superior failed — there were a lot of uninsured depositors who took losses. It was more outrageous given the wealth of the family, which may have walked away without any losses.”

Tim Anderson, a retired banking consultant who has written and testified about the failure of Superior, said Penny Pritzker played a direct role in persuading people to park their money in a bank that was taking wild-eyed risks. He points to a letter she wrote in May 2001 to bank employees and managers, assuring them that the bank was being recapitalized. But while that pledge of support may have convinced people that the bank was sound, the recapitalization never occurred. In fact, the bank failed two months later.

The letter was also indicative of the approach the bank was taking, and of Pritzker’s hands-on role in strategy. “Our commitment to subprime has never been stronger,” she wrote.
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Anatomy of the grocery store anecdotal story…..

Yeah but don’t you just hate it when you’re checking out at the grocery store and the person in front of you has a designer very expense purse- one that I can’t afford and then buying shrimp with their food stamps and then they go get into their new escalade! Hmmm. I was that person in line watching! I want my guns and I don’t use food stamps.

This a cut and paste of an actual comment from a social network string I read last weekend.

This is what I call “the grocery store anecdotal story.” It is used to explain one’s disapproval of “something.” It has a very predictable structure.

First, the scrutinizing of items in the check out line. It goes like this:

…and she bought lobster and steak with her food stamps.

Other variations include shrimp, or more descriptive filet mignon, t-bone, or the buggy full of steaks. My personal favorite is the “buggy full” remark. It is most likely to occur on holidays. Usually, followed by, “…I can’t even afford THAT!”

….you should have seen her food choices. Frozen dinners. Coke colas. Little Debbie’s cakes. She should have bought brown rice, beans and some vegetables to cook REAL FOOD. She was buying alcohol. I thought you couldn’t buy alcohol on food stamps.

Next, are remarks about personal possessions and appearance.

…. how could she afford a manicure?

…she was wearing a designer dress and had a designer handbag.

That is followed by the, “how can she afford that!” comment.

…she was just squawking away on a new iPhone.

Or a variation on this is spoken in hushed tones,

…and she’s talking on one of those free Obama phones!

Of course, a last bit of evidence that is suppose to make this anecdotal story more believable.

…and she pushed her buggy out into the parking lot and loaded up an Escalade with all those groceries and her child and drove off

Variations on the type of vehicle include a Mercedes or Lexus. Older people will use a Cadillac in the story, indicating the storyteller has been telling this story since the Reagan era.

It concludes with the taxes rant. The person ranting will confuse the debt and the deficit. This is followed by a tender remark about their children’s future.

I am constantly amazed by the ‘grocery store’ anecdotal story.

Really, it very difficult for any one of us to tell exactly HOW someone is financing their food purchases because it is mostly done by debit card. I wonder if these story tellers directly ask women in the check out line if they are on food assistance.

How completely classless it is to be so nosy as to investigate the grocery store purchases of a complete stranger. I guess frozen dinners help the storyteller strengthen the image laziness. Some people just have bad diets. The alcohol remark reinforces the belief that recipients of assistance are all frauds.

There are people out there that do take pride in their appearance. I wonder what exactly is appropriate attire and accessories for a woman on food assistance. An Obama phone? I wonder how to identify one.

It takes real huevos to follow a complete stranger into a parking lot to find out what they drive.

I just want to ask these storytellers, “What was the one initial thing that made you know without a doubt that the woman in your story was on food assistance?”

Haters gonna hate.





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