Thursday, April 29, 2010

You know you're hurting when the President has to give you a hug

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Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias got a hug and a "shout out" from President Barack Obama yesterday in Quincy, Illinois at one of several speeches Obama gave during his pump-up-the-economy tour through the Midwest.

If anyone politician needs a hug, it's Giannoulias, the youngest child apparently of the infamous Illinois Democratic family of trouble.

You know the name Giannoulias, but not from his having achieved anything spectacular while her served as Illinois' treasurer. During his entire time in office, it is hard to think of one major policy move he initiated that "wowed" anyone, except maybe his campaign contributors and political cronies.

As treasurer, Giannoulias would put on his Banking Hat -- which is really the only place you know anything about the guy -- and discuss issues like how the State of Illinois COULD HAVE stepped in to help consumers who are being exploited by the Credit Card companies which are charging interest rates that are making the Chicago Outfit blush. Yes, some credit card companies charge 30 percent interest, once you have rackedup enough debt and can't do anything about it except to pay the robbers in three-piece-suits.

When I asked Giannoulias about that last year on my morning Radio Show, he basically said the problem wasn't the credit card companies. The problem is with consumers who don't know how to manage their money. Well, not everyone comes from a family of bankers who have made millions of dollars in profit, and then took $78 million out of their bank months before it became clear that the Federal Government was going to step in and takeover that bank.

Oh, that's right. Maybe Giannoulias, who was an OFFICER at Broadway Bank, might have understood the issues with credit card rip-offs and overcharging and abusing consumers. Maybe that's why, as a banker, Giannoulias thinks the problem with credit cards is not the rip-off policies of the credit card companies, which are OWNED BY BANKS, but rather the problem of the consumers.

Unfortunately, Mr. Giannoulias. The consumers being ripped-off by the credit card companies ARE VOTERS. And right now, not many voters are happy with your selfish insensitivity.

Sure, we are impressed that you won state office, thanks to the millions your family and banking pals and friends poured in to your election to win that office, where you acted like a typical banker, I guess. And sure we are impressed that you are a basketball pal of President Obama's. Wow. That's great for you, not us schlubs, the consumers and voters, of course.

So now Broadway bank is taken over by the Federal Government -- thank God! And your family walks away with how many millions in profits from a bank failing? Usually when a business fails in everyday America, the business owners are the ones that suffer, not the public. Well, at least President Obama's Federal Government stepped in to rescue the bank from your grip, while you go around the state of Illinois and complain that, "Well, I was an officer at the failed bank but I had no responsibility for its problems or bad loans." We've heard that excuse before.

Thanks a lot Alexi for sticking it to the consumers one more time. At least President Obama is there to pat you ont he back and hug you and promise you a big job when the election is over in November. Maybe Obama will put you in charge of overseeing the nation's credit card company and banking fiasco after the November elections when U.S. Congressman Mark Kirk, who cares even less for the public's interests, take office.

You could do the right thing and step down, like Scott Lee Cohen did in the face of scandal that in his case was personal and had nothing to do with his business decisions. Maybe the Democrats can get their act together and appoint someone who has not only a chance of defeating Kirk, the flip-flopper, but also paying more attention to the needs of consumers and voters in this state.

but then, that would be like the credit card companies sending me a letter apologizing for the years of  excess interest rate charges at more than 20 percent, that they jacked up on me after breaking their contracted promise to give me a card at only 14 percent.

Hey President Obama. Here's a shout-out for you. How about some hugs and shout outs for the American people instead of your insider basketball buddy pals?

Wouldn't that be a story!

-- Ray Hanania

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