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A troubled Chicago community bank with a philanthropic reputation has won uncommon Wall Street backing to save it from a government takeover, while similarly sized rivals flounder and fail.

Privately owned ShoreBank, a community development lender on Chicago's South Side near the home base of President Barack Obama and some of his top aides, is getting assistance from a consortium of Wall Street banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Citigroup (C.N), JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Bank of America (BAC.N), sources have said.

Gee, that's odd.

Felix Salmon gives the charitable explanation. Basically, it boils down to the idea that ShoreBank can serve as a "city on a hill" for the banksters:

By rescuing this storied institution they will help a lot of Chicagoans who need all the help they can get; they will learn how to improve their own products for lower-income customers; and they will help to transition the underbanked part of the US population into becoming banked, which is ultimately good for everybody.

Needless to say, if the banksters were going to abandon the usorious, predatory rentier business model, they would already have done so.

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