Alex Giannoulias Says Silly Things

Now that political investing (and its cousin, political risk) is all the rage, with elected officials using the levers of government and politics to keep dead businesses alive (autos, banks, window manufacturers) it should be entirely unremarkable that Illinois State Treasurer Alex Giannoulias considers part of his job to threaten Wells Fargo with the loss of the State's business if the bank "doesn't back off its efforts to force Chicago suit maker Hartmarx into liquidation."

Per his website his "primary responsibility is to protect and wisely invest taxpayers’ money." Since he's Illinois' treasurer, it's safe to assume he'll avail himself of the wildest mental gymnastics possible to excuse whatever needs excusing. Take this statement from Giannoulias for example: "We want to make sure that state and federal businesses invest in American companies and in American jobs." If that means leaning on Wells Fargo to do whatever he wants them to do to keep a dying business on life support JUST A LITTLE LONGER, then so be it. Maybe Hartmarx is salvageable, maybe it isn't. I haven't got any idea. Safe to say, if it is and is priced right, a bidder will emerge (or maybe one already has) and Wells Fargo won't liquidate the business gratuitously.

Just like the essay I didn't write yesterday about outsourcing, I won't take up server space with my views on when and where the Treasurer's office should be inserting itself. This will come as no surprise, but I think the State should choose vendors for the value they provide as a vendor, not for their political suppliance.

I will, however, ask this rhetorical question (dripping sarcasm intended):

WTF is a "federal business"?

1 comment:

Chris Janc said...

GM, Chrysler, B of A, Citibank.....