Posted by: Yuval D Bar-Or on Feb 05, 2007
At time of writing, rising unemployment, as well as personal and corporate bankruptcies, are contributing to morale's downward spiral.
The federal government has already pledged hundreds of billions of dollars to revive the nation's financial system, and hundreds of billions more are currently being contemplated. Perhaps the greatest disappointment is that the immense volume of liquidity injected into the financial system failed to get banks to loosen credit standards. This has meant that people with jobs and decent credit who could be helping to shore up housing prices by bidding on properties, are unable to do so because they cannot be approved for mortgages. It has also meant that businesses which are well-run and capable of taking over and saving some of their peers are also unable to do so due to a lack of credit.
In every possible future scenario, short of one--doomsday--we can expect many individuals to still have jobs and steady incomes, and many firms to be well managed. A key to reducing the depth and shortening the duration of the downturn is to empower these capable and qualified businesses and individuals to share their personal discipline and good decision making. Currently, our bankers seem happy to receive bailout funds, and equally happy to hoard them, thereby depriving worthy recipients
We need one courageous bank CEO to commit his institution to aggressively finding the solid credits and providing them with funds. A banker who knows his job should be comfortable doing this. After all, this is supposed to be the reason for banks existing: finding good borrowers and benefitting from their success. A wise CEO will recognize that this is a unique opportunity to win market share from timid CEOs. Many solid potential borrowers are being shunned. Now is the time to claim them as long term customers, share in their growth, and win the gratitude of a nation hungry for responsible leadership within the financial community.