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July 01, 2009

Crony Capitalism...Sen. Daniel Inouye's (DEMOCRAT-HI) Office Gets Results, Saves Local Bank And Their Boss' Investment

It's good to have friends in high places, especially ones with a significant financial interest in your bank and a huge amount of federal money being handed out.

The bank, Central Pacific Financial, was an unlikely candidate for a program designed by the Treasury Department to bolster healthy banks. The firm's losses were depleting its capital reserves. Its primary regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., already had decided that it didn't meet the criteria for receiving a favorable recommendation and had forwarded the application to a council that reviewed marginal cases, according to agency documents.

Two weeks after the inquiry from Inouye's office, Central Pacific announced that the Treasury would inject $135 million.

Many lawmakers have worked to help home-state banks get federal money since the Treasury announced in October that it would invest up to $250 billion in healthy financial firms. But the Inouye inquiry stands apart because of the senator's ties to Central Pacific. While at least 33 senators own shares in banks that got federal aid, a review of financial disclosures and records obtained from regulatory agencies shows no other instance of the office of a senator intervening on behalf of a bank in which he owned shares.

Inouye denies any personal involvement or that his his staff was trying to influence anybody.

Most of Inouye's personal wealth is tied up in Central Pacific, I'm sure if he were here he'd want to thank each and everyone of you for backing his personal portfolio.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:16 AM

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