director of the Boston-based bank, which has branches in Miami and L.A. to serve low-income and minority communities. The South Los Angeles Democrat has interceded timeand again on OneUnited's behalf. Last September she used her influence as a member of the House Financial Services Committee to arrange a meeting between the Treasury Department and OneUnited CEO Kevin Cohee.
L.A. Observed's business writer Mark Lacter does a fine job pulling together choice quotes from the Wall Street Journal and N.Y. Times on L.A. Congresswoman Maxine Waters' ties to OneUnited Bank. Until a few years ago she was an investor and her husband was once a
The WSJ quotes financial-services committee chair Barney Frank
as urging Waters to "stay out of it" when he was trying to assist
OneUnited last year. Waters' intercession on behalf of OneUnited at
various points in its history has not been unappreciated: According to
the NYT, bank executives have contributed $12,500 to Waters' election campaigns.
the larger mural of mega-bank failures and investment-house failures,
the matter of OneUnited and its L.A. congressional advocate probably
amounts to a mere footnote. However, Waters' open intervention on
behalf of the bank, along with her racializing the debate over the
banking system (she has referred to at least one large lending
institution as a "white bank") can only harm the cause of both
minority-owned banks and of banking reform in general. Does she really
want the public to view OneUnited as the King-Drew of lending