consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

This is an unpleasant post to write, since however time resolves things, it hurts. The Hill published about alleged investigation of Jane Sanders' role in Burlington College gaining a real estate purchase loan while serving as head officer of the college. [UPDATED]

It was wholly proper of The Hill to publish, facts are unclear until sorted out. If any lasting problem exists Bernie has the spousal privilege against having to testify, but then he will, if the problem is not favorably resolved, have the nagging question haunting him, "What did Bernie know and when did he know it?"

The motivation for posting this here is similar to what is thought to motivate The Hill; a belief that it is better getting the story out into the sunshine, whatever happens.

A local Vermont internet publisher has been actively following the case, and reported that an FDIC complaint was instigated by a Vermont Republican:

Sanders was asked by WCAX on Friday about allegations from Vermont GOP Vice Chair Brady Toensing that Sanders’ Senate office pressured People’s United Bank to grant the $6.7 million loan Jane Sanders secured as Burlington College president.

The college used that loan to purchase a lakefront campus in 2010. Burlington College closed last year under the “crushing weight” of debt incurred in that land deal.

Toensing sent a letter to the U.S. attorney for Vermont and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. calling for a probe into whether Jane Sanders committed fraud by overstating pledged donations used to secure the loan. The Justice Department has been investigating the college, according to documents, donors and former employees.

Just after the school closed, Toensing sent a follow-up letter to the feds saying he was approached by someone who told him Sen. Sanders’ office “improperly pressured” People’s United Bank to approve the loan.

Toensing has not said publicly who approached him or how the alleged pressure was applied.

[...] Toensing was Trump’s Vermont campaign committee chair, not the president’s Vermont campaign manager.

[...] “The FBI has not disclosed what prompted its investigation, but it was started more than a year ago under President Obama, his Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and his United States attorney, all of whom are Democrats,” Toensing said.

That Vermont internet outlet has further posted, e.g., here, here and here; and that site is referenced by The Hill, with linking.

The Hill published on May 7, 2017. It is the only national news outlet known by Crabgrass as carrying the story. Readers interested in the question are urged to research as they feel inclined in coming days. Nothing more on the question will be posted here. This is notice and notice is enough. The story adds nothing to the positive aims and thoughts of posts here.

Hope for a better nation and a better Democratic Party continue here, with this story not quelling any dedication toward such ends.

After saying the above was the last I'd write, the better statement is this post is the last. After reflecting about the situation as reported, it begs reminding: No borrower is responsible for a bank's doing its due diligence. That is a bottom line. It is a banker responsibility owed depositors. That's how the world runs.

Jane Sanders was busy in many ways serving as head of a University. She is not a professional with regard to banking practices and duties. The loan was an important part of her work, but not all of it. Nobody knows the future. Everyone goes on best understandings of likelihoods. Promises given or believed to have been given. The Hill uses the headline term "fraud" but there is negligent or wholly innocent misstatement; particularly as to representations hinging upon oral promises about future acts of another.

If the bank did not require signed documents on endowment understandings, that was banker negligence, not Jane Sanders'.

They are presumed professionals, and in lending other peoples' money they are held to act accordingly.

Now, the entire thing is Jane Sanders' problem, having her career separate and apart from Bernie, but the Republican official raising the stink is suggesting Bernie "pressured" the lending institution. That's how he's instigating a complaint against Bernie. Evidence would be needed to bolster that. If a bank official comes out saying, "I was pressured, but for that pressuring we'd have wanted endowment promises on paper from the donors," what does that say? Making excuses is one answer.

But the bottom line is you're making a living as a banker having custodial responsibility for sound handling of other peoples' money. Do your job, and if you waive a normal requirement you do it knowingly or inattentively, but in any event it's your fuck-up, not Bernie's. That's how you have to weigh any "he said - she said" business about university endowment future health absent documentation.

The only way Bernie might be at fault would be if there were letters or some email trail of "pressure" beyond his asking along with Jane, is there a loan or is there not one. Banks can stall and jolly people along in the process, and if that was going on, a facility purchase delayed by bank foot-dragging but without any due diligence insistence on endowment promises in writing; then the bottom line seems to be the real property security was the nub of things and any collateral security was just that, collateral, and clearly because the check was cut, not a deal killer.

From there, it appears Bernie has had it slung at him, but it has not and without some real proof to the contrary should not stick.

Coming from a Trump Republican operative in Vermont, there is a miasma to the genesis of the business, and the bankers and the Republican instigator have a big rock to push up a steep long hill if this is going to in any proper way discredit Bernie Sanders and his spouse Jane Sanders.

Indeed, had the Republican intervenor not stepped up, was the bank satisfied snapping up the real property; or however else they recovered on that security interest? The Hill and the Vermont reporting is unclear about that. Yet it looks as if in the absence of a fly in the ointment there'd be no case or controversy. But that is unclear from the reporting.

Now, that UPDATE truly is all coverage here ended on that note, regardless. Readers can track developments if they care.

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