Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ports sales and the Seaman's Bank

A number of years ago, the Seaman's Bank for Savings was for sale. It was started by mariners and had its headquarters at 30 or 40 Wall Street, a building next to Federal Hall, where a statue of George Washington stands near the famous stock exchange. The price of the bank was what I thought, a paltry $17 million and I asked "how come" of a banker of the Sound Federal Savings Bank. He said the sale is only to other banks and conditions had to be met in order to purchase. Mr. Rockefeller of CitiBank bought it and donated the merchant marine memorabilia to the South Street Seaport in NYC for a write-off of over $2 million, and it became part of a huge bank. Donald Trump now owns the building. Anyway, was the sale of the ports management company a "selective" sale or were just other countries invited? There's a ferry NYC can't (built in Australia went Rochester/Toronto) have because of the Jones Act, travel to and from US ports must be on vessels made by America, so if something goes faster, better, and cheaper, built by another country, we can't have it. Maybe that's what's at the bottom of it and the "selective" sale...How many American companies were offered the deal I'd like to know?

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