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The [Monday] Papers

"The family that owned Mutual Bank of Harvey pocketed millions in dividends, spent bank funds on a lavish wedding and held a board meeting in Monte Carlo, all as the politically wired bank careened toward failure, regulators allege," Crain's reports.

"The allegations come in a lawsuit filed last week against members of the Veluchamy family and other former officials at the south suburban bank, which failed in 2009 after what the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. describes as a spree of reckless real estate lending.

"The tales of excess add drama to a case already riveting local bankers and their lawyers. It's the biggest government suit against insiders at a failed local bank since the banking crisis began two years ago. The FDIC expects to suffer a $775-million hit to its insurance fund from the failure of Mutual Bank, which had $1.7 billion in assets at its peak."

Harvey is a long way from Wall Street, but banks (apparently) are banks no matter where they're located; dens of iniquity, you might say.

Then again, Harvey isn't that far removed from our power centers.

"Mutual was the bank that financed the purchase by the wife of political fundraiser Tony Rezko of a side lot in a deal that enabled Barack Obama to buy his dream house," the Tribune reminds readers in the second paragraph of its story.

In fact, former bank president Amrish Mahajan was a bit of a political operator.

"[He] was appointed to the Chicago Plan Commission in 1989 by then-Mayor Richard Daley," the Tribune reported in August on the occasion of Mahajan's plea deal in a different disgusting matter.

"Mahajan [also] held events for [Rod] Blagojevich and raised at least $500,000 for the former governor's campaigns. He was so well-known to the former governor and his family, Blagojevich's children called him 'Uncle Amrish.'"

Awwww. Cute.

Wall Street To Occupy Chicago: Drop Dead
"Our money was your money."

Springfield Eviction
"Several Occupy Illinois groups came together Saturday in Springfield for Occupy Your State Capital Day," Will Reynolds writes on his blog. "I've been to enough protest rallies that it gets routine, but this event had some of the most exciting, energetic moments I've seen at any grass-roots political event.

"It started with reading a proclamation from Occupy Wall Street. Then several Occupy groups from central Illinois, including Occupy Peoria, were given a chance at the mic. Bloomington-Normal brought a large delegation and had someone sing a great song on banjo.

"Next came the first reading of an eviction notice delivered to the lobbyists for the 1% and their servants in elected office who currently occupy the Illinois Capitol Building. It reflects that the same issues raised by the Wall Street Occupiers exist in Illinois state government. Rather than a request for temporary fixes, it's an indictment of a broken, corrupted political system that's largely unresponsive to the 99%."

Take a look at the whole post; Will has the eviction notice, a couple of videos and lots of images that really seem to capture the day.

Missing Link
"Alton's Historic Museum of Torture Devices isn't for the faint of heart," the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

"Displays and diagrams focus on the horrible ways people have punished, terrorized, maimed and killed their enemies over the centuries.

"There were cauldrons for boiling people alive, racks that stretched joints until they popped apart, sharp instruments for inserting in body orifices and vices that crushed hands, feet, chests and heads."

How barbaric. Good thing we've evolved from those dark ages.

Hunger In The Back of the Yards
"A survey of local residents conducted by the Illinois Hunger Coalition, finds that a majority of families surveyed were two parent households with one adult working full-time," the coalition says in a press release. "In spite of that, 51 percent of participants reported sometimes, rarely, or never having enough money for food to feed their family.

"Despite these findings, the Illinois Department of Human Services closed the local Oakland office, located in Back of the Yards, on Friday, disrupting services for local 20,524 households.

"The Latinos Organized for Justice, an arm of the Illinois Hunger Coalition, opposes the closure of the Oakland IDHS office and is calling on IDHS to reopen a facility in the community."

60 Minutes P.S.: Madoff's Chicago Ties
Chicago options traders almost blew the whistle on Madoff in 2006.

The White Girl Who Went As Snoop Dogg
It might play in Wrigleyville, but what if she took it down south?

The Week in Chicago Rock
I don't know about you, but it takes a lot more to get me to watch a video on the Internet than it does to simply click on a link. Videos don't offer quick scans the way articles and posts do.

Nonetheless, I implore you to watch the videos we post every Friday and Monday showcasing bands playing at local venues. I pick them out and, while there is sometimes a somewhat random aspect to what I choose, I do apply a certain quality standard.

It's also a great way to get introduced to bands and artists you might not otherwise.

And the music is rewarding. Trust me. So go check out today's Weekend in Chicago Rock. If you love rock, I guarantee you'll find at least a couple things you'll like a lot.

The Cubs' Real Curse
Hint: It's not a goat.

Programming Note
I'm back behind the bar tonight at the venerable Beachwood Inn. We have giant spiders on the wall. Order our famous Monday Night Happy Meal: rail bourbon and an Old Style for five bucks. 5p - 2a.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Rock steady.


Posted on October 31, 2011

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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