Friday, April 2, 2010

Giannoulias Bank Dealings Get Shadier and Shadier

The more we learn about Alexi Giannoulias' activities and decisions when he was a senior loan officer at his family's Broadway Bank, the greater concern there seems to be that some really questionable decisions were being made by Alexi.

Let's recall that when Alexi campaigned for his current position as State Treasurer, he leaned heavily, if not exclusively, on his experience as a loan officer for why he should be put in charge of the state's finances. But now that many of his decisions as a loan officer to, shall we say, 'colorful' characters, are coming to light, Alexi has been working overtime to distance himself from the taint of these decisions.

I think the Chicago Tribune said it best a few weeks ago:

"When the family bank was flying high and Giannoulias had his eye on the treasurer's office, he was the senior loan officer, but when the tough decisions were made or the questionable characters came to call, it was almost always Alexi's day to empty the wastebaskets."

The Tribune has relentlessly been pursuing the behind-the-scenes doings at Broadway Bank during Alexi's tenture as a loan officer and VP, and just keeps finding more and more dirt. Today's scandal is as follows:

The family bank of Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias loaned a pair of Chicago crime figures about $20 million during a 14-month period when Giannoulias was a senior loan officer, according to a Tribune examination that provides new details about the bank's relationship with the convicted felons.

Broadway Bank had already lent millions to Michael Giorango when he and a new business partner, Demitri Stavropoulos, came to the bank in mid-2004. Although both men were preparing to serve federal prison terms, the bank embarked on a series of loans to them.

Was Alexi emptying wastebaskets that day too? Seems that's their story, and he and his family (including his brother, Demetris Giannoulias, who now runs the bank) are sticking to it:

Alexi Giannoulias, who started his professional career at the bank in 2002, said in his statement that he was "one of" the senior loan officers at the bank and was not a member of the loan committee that approved the financing for Giorango.

Alexi Giannoulias' role was limited to "getting the appraisals ordered, getting the loan documents prepared, coordinating with attorneys, getting commitment letters prepared. All that kind of stuff," Demetris Giannoulias said.

Sure. I guess that once the Tribune finishes digging, what's left of Alexi's significant banking experience (if you can call it that) will be such that the citizens of Illinois will be astounded that they elected such an inexperienced and unqualified buffoon to the office of State Treasurer.

But, they've been fooled often before. Let's hope they are not fooled again.


Anonymous said...

If you are on the giannoulias mailing list as I am you notice he hired dan hynes campaign manager. There was a story this morning in the washington post on a-1 above the fold where it was noted several times how little campaigning obama has done for alexi. These events are not unrelated.

The bank is set to fail in a few weeks, then the blago trial starts which is going to cause all hell to break lose. My guess is Alexi has 4 days to drop out gracefully with dan hynes gets brought into to run against mark with a big show of white house firepower to back him up or alexi gets humiliated by the white house and told he's on his own. He's also going to be out of a backup job if this bank fails and I don't know what the employment prospects are for a guy that fails this badly. Blago's wife had to eat bugs.

Either way, we're 7 months from a major Mark Kirk blowout. And the first republican u.s. senate candidate to get over 56 percent here since the nixon administration.

Between this, blago, scott lee cohen, the abysmal job numbers in Illinois we are looking at a major katrina style hurricane that is going to wipe out democrats across the state.


Anonymous said...

Yup - Alexi is the gift that keeps on giving. Go Team Kirk!

Anonymous said...

Bringing Rahm Emmanuel in will worsen this. Emmanuel made $11m in 9 months working as the key man for Kleinworth Benson, then is the lead man on the Blagojevich tapes that will be run during the criminal trial.

You better hope Emmanuel is the man, it will collapse the vote as the Blago trial plays all the Emmanuel tapes.

So that's better than Alexi?

Anonymous said...

This is not a great story and I realize many families in the north shore are in a similar spot, but it begs the question how dan seals can live in wilmette for 6 years WITHOUT a job. this guy tried it for 1.5 years after 30 years of working and saving and is close to ruin. How can DAN do it over 6 years. Perhaps I missed team kirk finding his tax returns but its some serious fuzzy math.


Badge of Honor said...

Alexis' shady deals are taking a toll - PPP's lastest Poll has Kirk leading.