Magazine article American Banker

Regulators Get a Dose of Reality: Ryan Describes First Stop in Credit-Crunch Field Trip

Magazine article American Banker

Regulators Get a Dose of Reality: Ryan Describes First Stop in Credit-Crunch Field Trip

Article excerpt

Timothy Ryan, director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, and three officials representing other federal banking agencies are touring the country, asking businessmen for ideas about how to end the so-called credit crunch.

Last week they met in Los Angeles, in the first of seven nationwide stops.

The team included John LaWare, a Federal Reserve governor; C.C. Hope, a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. director; and Stephen Steirbrink, acting comptroller of the currency. Mr. Ryan said they got an earful of candid answers from borrowers who need loans but can't find a bank willing to lend.

Mr. Ryan shared his Los Angeles experiences with reporter Bill Atkinson of the American Banker's Washington bureau.

American Banker: Isn't this nothing more than a political move by the Bush administration to demonstrate its concern over the economy?

Timothy Ryan: I don't see it as a political move at all. I don't see the politics of it being a factor. Most of these meetings are going to take place after the election.

AB: Do you think the meeting helped matters?

TR: C.C. Hope and I thought it was one of the best things we've done since we've been in these jobs.

AB: Why?

TR: People where candid. I had an opportunity to meet people who were on the firing line.

AB: What did you learn from the meeting?

TR: I think there is a credit availability problem in [several] areas. I think it is incumbent upon the federal government to do whatever we can to address the issues if we can.

AB: What can you do? …

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