The Financial Times has a scoop: "Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs chief executive, is playing a personal role in helping to arrange a $125m rescue for a Chicago community bank which provides loans to lower-income communities, people familiar with the matter say. The lender, ShoreBank, was told by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in March that it had 60 days to raise capital or risk being seized. Mr Blankfein has been making phone calls to rally support for a deal that would see some of the country's biggest financial groups help the Chicago community bank."
The ShoreBank Web site lists as its mission: "ShoreBank invests in people and their communities to create economic equity and a healthy environment" and explains "Since its inception in 1973, ShoreBank has been a pioneer. In those days of officially sanctioned discrimination on the basis of race and income, ShoreBank was created to demonstrate that a regulated bank could be instrumental in revitalizing the communities being avoided by other financial institutions. In 2000, ShoreBank expanded its focus to include environmental issues, believing that communities cannot achieve true prosperity without also attaining environmental well-being."
The bank's history page also discloses its political connections: "Ron Grzywinski accompanied President Bill Clinton in the Rose Garden as the President signed the Community Development Financial Institutions Act," and " Hyde Park resident Barack Obama was elected 44th president of the United States; First Lady Michelle Obama grew up in the South Shore neighborhood. Former Southern Development board member Hillary Clinton is designated as Secretary of State in the new administration."
The bank actually seems more closely tied in with the Clintons than with the Obamas; a key figure was Bob Nash, "Hillary Clinton's deputy campaign manager in her campaign for the Democratic nomination for President. He was formerly vice chairman of ShoreBank Corporation, chairman of ShoreBank Enterprise Detroit and the Detroit Bank Advisory Committee, and chairman of the board for ShoreBank Neighborhood Institute and ShoreBank Enterprise Cleveland. He served as undersecretary of Agriculture, managing USDA's small-community and rural development programs, and then as director of presidential personnel to former President Bill Clinton. Prior to working for the Clinton Administration, he worked for governors Bumpers, Pryor, and Clinton in Arkansas and joined Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation as its vice president."