The bell rings once again on “Foreclosure Friday”. The toll this week is 8 banks. One of the banks, Shore Bank, has ties to the Obama administration, Goldman Sachs, and other notables.
Eight Banks Shuttered as 2010 Failures Reach 118
Bloomberg reports ShoreBank, Seven Others Shuttered as 2010 Failures Reach 118
ShoreBank Corp., the Chicago lender operating under a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. cease-and- desist order for 13 months, and seven other banks were shut by regulators as 2010 bank failures climbed to 118.
Regulators also closed four banks in California, two in Florida and one in Virginia. All eight closures cost the FDIC’s deposit-insurance fund $473.5 million, the agency said yesterday. This year’s bank failures will surpass last year’s total of 140, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said last month in a Bloomberg Television interview.
Regulators Allow “Unusual Bid” for Shore Bank
The Wall Street Journal reports Regulators Seize ShoreBank; Management Takes Over
Regulators seized ShoreBank Corp. on Friday and agreed to sell assets to a team led by the community lender’s executives and backed by several large U.S. financial firms.
The bank closure, among the 118 failures in the U.S. this year, caps months of uncertainty for a $2.16 billion Chicago bank that had ties to the Obama administration and deep roots on Chicago’s South Side. The new institution will be known as Urban Partnership Bank and led by William Farrow, a former First Chicago Corp. executive who was ShoreBank’s president and chief operating officer at the time of its failure.
The decision to sell to management is a rare move by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which generally bars investors who own more than 10% of the failed bank from bidding on its assets. The FDIC also typically wants to know if bidders have “ever been an officer or director of a failed institution” and “participated in a material way in one or more transactions that caused a substantial loss to any such failed institution,” according to an FDIC document.
The structure of the deal “is unusual,” said Atlanta banking attorney Chip MacDonald.
The holding company will remain intact, according to a person familiar with the deal. Urban Partnership is backed by a consortium of large U.S. financial institutions, including Bank of AmericaCorp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley.
Follow the Money
After a lengthy attempt to bail out his pet bank, ShoreBank Chicago, Illinois, which included several alleged armtwisting episodes by the administration, the president has finally let the bank die (with its assets valued at about 50% of face). Yet instead of going to hell, it was immediately resurrected with a bevy of new owners, among them Goldman, Morgan Stanley, and BofA, all of whom received nearly $400 million in taxpayer money for their “generosity” to keep the bank zombified even in the afterlife.
Some details on the bank from the FDIC press release: “As of June 30, 2010, ShoreBank had approximately $2.16 billion in total assets and $1.54 billion in total deposits.” In other words, the value of ShoreBank’s assets was well below 70% of face, if the bank was undercapitalized at its current deposit level.
As it stands, Goldman and 11 other banks are receiving a multimillion dollar gift to conduct a portfolio liquidation run-off of ShoreBank’s assets, while merely making sure existing deposits are serviced.
The funniest bit: this is how efficient the auction process was (from the press release Urban Partnership Bank, Chicago, Illinois, Assumes All of the Deposits of ShoreBank, Chicago, Illinois):
“FDIC received only one bid, which included an asset discount of $146 million and a 0.5 percent deposit premium. This saved the FDIC’s insurance fund $250 million to $334 million over liquidation.”
This also padded the top line of the above mentioned banks by $368 million off the bat, over and above whatever they make as they collect the proceeds from the portfolio run off.
In other words, Wall Street’s core banks could have come up with any bid they wanted, and the FDIC would have had no choice but to fund the difference, because the alternative would be, gasp, so much scarier. Hm, where have we heard this before.
Whether or not the above math is totally accurate is essentially irrelevant.
This is what matters: It is crystal clear there were irregularities in attempting to keep this turkey of a bank alive, irregularities in who was allowed to bid, irregularities in selling the assets to failed management, and a suspicious single bid by a consortium of large U.S. financial institutions, including Bank of AmericaCorp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley.
The FDIC’s handling of Shore Bank smells as bad as a pile of dead alewives on a Chicago beach in mid-July.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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