Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Enough Already

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Enough Already

Article excerpt

"THIS TOO SHALL PASS," IS A wise and comforting saying, but by no means does it imply simply waiting for a flood of trouble to recede. All floods recede in time, but you've got to do everything in your power to keep them from overwhelming you. Sometimes you win, sometimes not, but you never win if you don't try.

The folks in Fargo, N.D., gave us a heroic and literal example of this just last month, as they battled the 100-year flood of the Red River. They never gave up the fight.

The crisis that banks have been weathering since last September has produced a flood of very negative headlines, comments, testimony, sound bites, and blogs--even comic strips. The President of the United States himself in a televised address to Congress used highly critical language about banks.

Just as the people of Fargo worked shoulder to shoulder to fight the flood, bankers cannot stay quiet as their industry comes under attack.

At the national level, ABA's leadership--staff and bankers--have given countless interviews, and delivered hundreds of pages of testimony in Congress to try and correct the erroneous impressions left by so many negative headlines and statements. ABA CEO, Ed Yingling, even wrote President Obama after his speech pointing out that failing to distinguish between Wall Street and Main Street banking undermines confidence in the banking industry.

There have been some positive developments in recent weeks, which may help get credit markets functioning more normally. But even here, the notion comes through in most of the commentary and reporting that the measures are aiding a crippled banking industry unable and/or unwilling to lend.

Are you crippled? …

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