Odd behavior at Old National

April 8, 2008
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Lots of big news is swirling in banking circles these days, including what might become of financially challenged National City Bank.

But a small piece of unusual news that unfolded yesterday is generating about as much talk locally.

Old National Bancorp announced that a former loan officer in Indianapolis had forged loan documents. But the bank doesnâ??t seem to know why the officer did it.

No money was skimmed. The borrowers were legitimate businesses that had sought the loans and presumably would have been given their money without the need for forged signatures.

Whatâ??s more, the borrowers didnâ??t even know the signatures had been forged.

Maybe an FBI investigation that started recently will turn up more.

Old National isnâ??t releasing the name of the employee, who was fired, but CEO Bob Jones says heâ??s utterly mystified about what might have motivated the officer to engage in misconduct.

What do you think?
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  • As the saying goes, Follow the money. Today's corporate world is full of greed. While the ONB situation is apparently all about an individual motivated by greed of some sort, the people at the helm at National City should be held accountable for the decisions they made to turn a mighty banking power into a piece of rubble. When they sell, who stands to make the most from the disaster? Those at the top who should share the spoils of their dastardly deeds (leaving them with even greater losses in their portfolios) with their minions that will undoubtedly lose their jobs with little to show for all the hard work they've done over the years.

    Let us hope that the FBI uncovers the true intent. Surely, it's all about the money.
  • Follow the money...ONB concurrently announced a $17 million reserve for bad loans and a reduction in anticipated EPS. This looks and sounds like a cover-up of something else that was mismanaged. This was a convenient excuse for a write-off.

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  1. PJ - Mall operators like Simon, and most developers/ land owners, establish individual legal entities for each property to avoid having a problem location sink the ship, or simply structure the note to exclude anything but the property acting as collateral. Usually both. The big banks that lend are big boys that know the risks and aren't mad at Simon for forking over the deed and walking away.

  2. Do any of the East side residence think that Macy, JC Penny's and the other national tenants would have letft the mall if they were making money?? I have read several post about how Simon neglected the property but it sounds like the Eastsiders stopped shopping at the mall even when it was full with all of the national retailers that you want to come back to the mall. I used to work at the Dick's at Washington Square and I know for a fact it's the worst performing Dick's in the Indianapolis market. You better start shopping there before it closes also.

  3. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  4. If you only knew....

  5. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

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