Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Obama (again) Urges Bankers to Lend more Money


It was a little like financial Groundhog Day at the White House today-- President Obama again met with a group of bankers, and again asked them to provide more loans to business owners so they can hire more people.

The difference is that this group consisted of a dozen owners of smaller, community banks.

Obama said he had "the same conversation that I had with some of the larger banks last week and that I've been having with CEOs of companies across the country."

The goal, he said, is to see "that businesses are getting the capital that they need and that we are starting to see people hired again, people able to finance their homes, finance college educations and so forth."

And again, banking analysts pointed out that it's not that easy to find credit-worthy borrowers in this economy.

And many lenders are "getting a lot of grief from the banking examiners," said banking consultant Bert Ely. "They're criticizing the bankers for some of their loans."

At the White House meeting, Obama echoed a message he has used for months, and will continue to use as long as the unemployment rate remains in double digits. "Everything that we're going to be doing here in the White House over the next several months," he said. "is going to be geared towards catalyzing and spurring additional lending."

Obama also asked this second set of bankers to back new financial regulations that are pending in Congress.

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