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Home / Articles / News / Local News /  The Thornburg Variations
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The Thornburg Variations

What happened and how will it all play out?

October 27, 2009, 12:00 am

Thornburglars
In May 2007, the Santa Fe City Council approved a $45 million bond to build a new campus for the eponymous companies of local finance tycoon Garrett Thornburg.  By that fall, Thornburg’s mortgage company began investigating a new strategy: Had it succeeded, Thornburg might have been eligible for some of the $700 billion federal bailout that followed. Things worked out differently.

Updates You Might’ve Missed
On a Friday-going-on-Saturday when the Carlos Fierro trial dominated local headlines, the company that was Thornburg Mortgage announced that its founder, H Garrett Thornburg, Jr, was stepping down as board chairman. Journal North editor Mark Oswald had the story
, which you can’t read unless you subscribe to that paper.

Thornburg Exec Told KSFR Of Plans For Bank; Didn’t Mention Plans To Divert Creditors’ Cash
Recently forced-out Thornburg Mortgage CEO Larry Goldstone told KSFR of his plans to start a bank back in March, before the company went bankrupt. Listen to the segment at their site.

Briefs: Sept. 16
More Damn'd Thornburgery! Plus, the New Mexican's gas card thief and the Wall Street Journal's treatment of Zozobra.

Feds Claim ‘Gross Mismanagement’ At Thornburg—Or ‘Incompetence’ At Best
Pretend you’re a newspaper. Don’t worry, it’s only temporary. Now say one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in US history occurs on your turf. Then imagine that, in the course of the bankruptcy case, federal investigators determine the company’s management—which includes some of your city’s wealthiest and most prominent citizens—has “improperly divert[ed]” company resources and “cannot now be entrusted” to act transparently and honestly.

Thornburg ‘Disclosure’ Confirms CEO, Others’ Departure
This out today from the company that was Thornburg Mortgage: Confirmation of our report yesterday on CEO Larry Goldstone’s departure. (That’s him, pictured.) Also out are CFO Clarence Simmons and director Ike Kalangis.

Big Shakeups, Bad Omens At Thornburg
Last week, Reuters reported that the federal Justice Department official overseeing the bankruptcy, as well as the company’s creditors, are examining “potential misappropriation” of assets by Thornburg Mortgage executives related to their new venture, SAF Financial Inc.

Try, Try Again
Multiple sources now tell SFR Thornburg plans to start a new company, structured as a savings and loan or thrift. That could mean a fresh start as a bank, with new government regulators. Partly because of its corporate structure, Thornburg Mortgage was ineligible for federal bailouts last year. (Thornburg Investment Management, a separate company, remains in business.)

Documents Reveal Executive Pay At Thornburg Mortage, Post-Bankruptcy
Why is this man smiling
? Perhaps because, as the CEO of defunct Thornburg Mortgage, Inc., Larry Goldstone still draws a pretty good salary. The company paid him $188,274 in wages in July, according to bankruptcy documents filed Aug. 20 (Here’s the PDF). This screengrab shows compensation for that period for other Thornburg Mortgage principals, including Chief Financial Officer Clarence Simmons III and six directors, whose backgrounds SFR described in a previous story on Thornburg:

The House Thornburg Lost
As rise-and-fall stories go, Thornburg Mortgage's is neither the biggest nor the most shocking. But it is worth studying because Harold Garrett Thornburg Jr. is more than a man of his time. He is a man who made his time.
So how did it come to this?

Payback Time
On Feb. 27, a public pension fund in Michigan filed a class-action complaint against Thornburg in Santa Fe’s 1st Judicial District Court.

 

 

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