Monday, April 21, 2014
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Obama's Pritzker pick upsets bank critics, unions

A Chicago billionaire Democratic donor family's subprime history

Obama's Pritzker pick upsets bank critics, unions

President Barack Obama looks to longtime fundraiser and philanthropist Penny Pritzker, right, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 2, 2013,  where he announced that he will nominate Pritzker to run the Commerce Department and economic adviser Michael Froman, left, as the next U.S. Trade Representative. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama looks to longtime fundraiser and philanthropist Penny Pritzker, right, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 2, 2013, where he announced that he will nominate Pritzker to run the Commerce Department and economic adviser Michael Froman, left, as the next U.S. Trade Representative. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Obama's selection of billionaire Democratic fundraiser and Hyatt Hotels boss and heiress Penny Pritzker as his next Secretary of Commerce is sure to outrage anyone who still thinks reckless subprime-mortgage lenders should go to prison.

Her family's Superior Bank was among the high-risk lenders that failed at shareholders', insurers' and some depositors' expense in the early 2000s, when sharper reaction by the G.W. Bush administration -- instead of a doubling down on the Clinton administration's easy-money home-lending support policies -- might have prevented the home inflation of the mid-2000s and the 2008 financial crisis. And Hyatt is a long-time target of Obama's restive labor-union backers, who have won little traction at Pritzker-owned hotels.

More from the Chicago Tribune here and from Dennis Burnstein at leftish Consortium News here.

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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