Beatniks, Pyromaniacs and Gangsters

Mortgage and Lending with Willamette Falls Financial

It's the Wall Street Journal's lead story this morning.

"Lending Drops at Big U.S. Banks."

That's right. As we've talked about here in this space, a lot of the recipients of bailout, the so called TARP, funds, have gathered the cash to their bosoms and don't plan to let go anytime soon.

10 of the 13 banks surveyed by the journal lent LESS money in the 4th quarter. Flying in the face of a federal program designed to have the opposite effect.

And it's not just a problem here in the United States.

Franz Muntefering, chairman of Germany's Social Democrats told a German newspaper, "...most of the bankers are competent and responsible, but there are also some beatniks, pyromaniacs and gangsters."

If you have a WSJ online subscription, you can read the rest of it here.

Folks, it's very simple. This whole TARP thing won't work if bankers around the world are hiding under the bed. According to the Journal article, 59% of businesses feel like they are being hampered by the lack of credit. That means otherwise credit worthy companies are delaying expansions and/or cutting jobs.

Not exactly a recipe for recovery.

We should give kudos to Suntrust, US Bank and BB&T Corp, the three banks that actually did lend more money in Q4.

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