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Obama Nominates for OPIC a Banker Who Took Bailout Then Went Bankrupt

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 23 -- It was late Tuesday afternoon when the Obama administration announced it was nominating Roberto R. Herencia to be a member of Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

  It seemed routine. His biography, as presented in the announcement, states that “between 2009 and 2010, Mr. Herencia was the President and CEO of Midwest Banc Holdings Inc. and Midwest Bank and Trust.”

  But there's a problem, most straight-forwardly found in the case In re Midwest Banc Holdings Inc., 10-37319, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago.)

  In that case, Midwest listed $9.7 million in assets but $144.7 million in debt. It had taken $84.8 million in bailout funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The bank and its 23 branches were shut down on May 14, 2010, with Firstmerit Bank of Akron, Ohio then taking over its $2.42 billion in deposits.

  So why is Obama naming a banker would took an $84 million TARP bailout and then went bankrupt to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation?

  Previously Inner City Press has questioned the appointment of Jay Powell from Deutsche Bank and Carlyle to the Federal Reserve Board, click here for that.

 Since he was confirmed, Powell has been put in charge of ruling of Federal Reserve appeals of Freedom of Information Act denials, of which Inner City Press has filed several.

  More so than his predecessors, Powell nearly automatically upholds the denials of access, sometimes finding reasons other than the ones asserted to justify continued withholding.

  But in the wake of the financial meltdown and the lack of prosecutions, how about naming a banker who not only took the bailout, but then declared bankruptcy, to a government post on the OPIC board? Watch this site.

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