Pepperdine University today released a study showing banks are denying 60% of the loan applications they receive from private businesses. Click here to read more from Pepperdine.
“Banks on the other hand report feeling increased pressure from regulators to avoid making risky loans and because of that they are denying loans that otherwise would have been accepted,” John Paglia, lead researcher of the “Pepperdine Private Capital Markets Project” and associate professor of finance at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.
“The result is that small business owners are left without access to capital,” he said.
So banks blame the regulators, but where’s their economic incentive to lend? They can borrow money from the Federal Reserve for virtually nothing. They can collect deposits from their customers for next to nothing more. They can then invest in something as simple as Treasuries or munibonds and make a juicy spread.
Why would they bother lending to a private business that might hire employees and spark the economy back to life?
Posted by Al Lewison June 13, 2011 Al On TV /
Banks seem to have regulators over a barrel. If they regulate too much, they risk crimping lending and foiling the economic recovery. It they don’t regulate enough, the banks blow themselves up and threaten the global economy.
I talk about it with Kirk Montgomery of Denver’s NBC affiliate 9News.
I also talk about President Obama’s remarks about patience when it comes to the economic recovery. What everyone seems to forget is that we are recovering from a debt crisis, not a garden-variety recession.
How heavily should banks be regulated following the 2008 meltdown that almost sent the U.S. economy into another Great Depression?
How high can regulators raise their capital requirements without stifling lending?
These are not easy questions. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon got in Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s face about them last week. He’s one of the few who can get away with it.
Regulators, as history has shown, don’t always get it right. Dimon, however, risks a little blow-back, though, from people who see banks as basically taking bailouts when they fail and then telling their regulators what to do.
Click here to read my column in the Sunday Wall Street Journal.
Doomsday preacher Harold Camping still needs to get his signs down predicting Judgment Day on May 21. I mean, it’s the middle of June already.
May 21 came and went, and everyone knows the big judgment that came down: The 89-year-old preacher was wrong.
Can’t he at least generate some more economic activity by changing out these signs to reflect his new prediction, that Jesus is now coming back on Oct. 21?
Camping has said he will remove these signs, but I’m still finding the roadsides littered with them, including this one along Interstate 25 north of Christian-right Mecca, Colorado Springs.
“We don’t need to talk about it anymore,” says Camping in the San Francisco Chronicle. “The world has been warned – my it has been warned. We have done our share and the media picked it up. The world has been warned that it is under judgment.”
Yep. It sure has. So take down your signs, already
Posted by Al Lewison June 10, 2011 People /
Thomas Hoenig, chief of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, has long been warning that if the Fed keeps interest rates at zero for two long it risks severe consequences in the future.
He has not wavered from this position, even as the economy appears to be softening once again.
I followed Hoenig on a tour of the Moots bicycle plant in Steamboat Springs, Colo., this week. Moots makes bike frames from titanium. A decent Moots-mobile can set you back $10,000. Yet even amid all this economic turmoil, the company is not only thriving, but making bikes in America and selling them in Asia. How’s that for a switch?
It’s an example of the kind of manufacturing America can still pursue. Hoenig has said he worries America has focused too much on its financial companies and not enough on enterprises that actually make things.
Click here to read my column about Hoenig on MarketWatch.
Posted by Al Lewison June 09, 2011 People /
Carl Gibson, 24, is smart, creative, college-educated — and has nothing better to do than cause trouble for big companies.
As the co-founder of activist group, US Uncut, he been organizing protests at companies that do not pay sufficient taxes, including Apple, maker of gadgets and technology that make modern protests easy to organize.
Click here to read my column on MarketWatch. And be sure to watch this video of a small US Uncut protest in Washington D.C. over the weekend. Humor and mockery displayed online, says Gibson, go a lot farther than any protest.
So what if a guy cheats on his wife? It’s none of anybody’s business.
How many times have we heard that nonsense when a politician or a CEO gets caught in an affair?
Here’s why it matters: A guy who cheats on his own wife will cheat anyone. I understand marriage is tough, and the allure of a new thing can be pretty overwhelming to anyone with an unchecked ego, but that’s why we have divorce.
Aside from that bit of moralizing, though, here’s the practical reality. Things can snowball. If you cheat on your wife, you may have to lie about it, and to lie about it, you may have to misappropriate some funds, and the next thing you know, you may be charged with a felony.
John Edwards’ felony indictment today is a case in point. Click here to read more. Too bad he couldn’t get as far as Arnold Schwarzenegger, revealing the love child AFTER serving in office and moving back to Hollywood.