For Alexi Giannoulias, it’s probably better for this to happen now instead of three weeks because the general election:

Banking regulators seized Broadway Bank, the family-run lender that helped launch U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias’ political career. Giannoulias worked for his father at Chicago-based Broadway before entering politics, and the bank’s struggles in recent years with real estate loans gone bad have weighed on Giannoulias’ Democratic bid for higher office.

The government said Broadway’s four branches will reopen Saturday as branches of MB Financial Bank.

This was among several closures of Illinois-area banks on Friday, but the implications for the Senate race in Illinois are obviously greatest here. Broadway Bank had been expected to fold for months, and questions about particular dicey loans to men who became convicted felons have plagued the bid for Giannoulias, the state Treasurer, to win Barack Obama’s old US Senate seat (this element of the story is more politically troublesome than a bank failure, which we’ve seen all over the country). Giannoulias has claimed that the bank was healthy four years ago when he left it to become Treasurer, but certainly his opponent in the Senate race, Rep. Mark Kirk, will make this a headline issue in the fall.

It’s never a good sign when you have to announce that you’ll still run for office:

Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias appeared undaunted by the shuttering of his family’s bank, saying he would continue his bid to keep President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat in Democratic hands with renewed purpose.

“My campaign for the United States Senate goes forward with a renewed determination to turn Illinois’ economy around and to fix what’s broken in Washington, D.C.,” he told reporters late Friday, just hours after regulators shut down Broadway Bank.

I think Democrats are a bit more panicked about this than the facts warrant, but having the top of your ticket tied to a failed bank, in this political climate, isn’t exactly the best-case scenario.

David Dayen

David Dayen

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