Financial News, Politics, and other Skullduggery

Financial News, Politics, And Other Skulduggery

Friday, November 4, 2011

Vultures take to the Squawk Box

John Kanas is Chairman and CEO with Bank United. Oliver Sarkozy, brother of Nicolas Sarkozy, is on the board of Bank United and Managing Director of the Carlyle Group, buying troubled financial institutions around the world. When financial players toss around figures, numbers seem to enter the realm of the imaginary. Indeed, we live in a world devised around many fictions where livelihoods become statistic rather than actual tangible reality.

While "urgent action is needed" in the global economy today, you'll not find any of the profiteers offering genuine solutions other than that of extended borrowing and further bail-outs. Those making such pleas are generally on the ground protesting while being ridiculed for expressing their opinions. And as long as the rich are still able to siphon off the lowest tiers (where wealth is created) it's business as usual, at least until the rigged game is finally revealed for what it is.

What's John Kanas up to? (May 2010)
By Steve Cocheo, executive editor,

The former CEO of North Fork Bank and his private equity partners is converting Florida’s BankUnited, a failed S&L, into “North Fork South,” using the same aggressive tactics he used in New York.

John Kanas and a group of private equity players—with help from FDIC—work to remake Florida’s failed BankUnited using the North Fork Bank playbook

John Kanas isn’t one for apologies. He brings a New Yorker’s direct attitude and action to the Florida banking market. His $11.1 billion-assets BankUnited, since its recapitalization after closure, has made a very public effort to snatch up bankers from other organizations who can help the reborn savings institution build and transform its business. When told that a Florida community banker accused BankUnited of “lack of decorum,” Kanas smiles, raises his hand, and says, “Guilty.”

“Look,” says Kanas. “Banking is changing. For many years the relations between bankers have been collegial, fraternal. Times are different today. Our job is go find the best possible employees we can, and put them to work managing our capital base, and turning their work into successful results. Unfortunately for some of our competitors, some of our people used to work for them. And we have been aggressive going after them.”

Kanas has never been shy in this regard. He built North Fork Bancorporation into a major New York-area player and the sixteenth-largest bank in the country from a community bank in rural Long Island. He accomplished that, in part, by courting commercial lending “rainmakers.”
BankUnited actually ran ads in 2009 urging Florida bankers who wanted to enjoy their work again to fill out a coupon in the ad to resign, and come to join Kanas.

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