News

    Obama Administration Seeks More Bank Lending to Spur Economy

    Although the squeeze has eased, many continue to face hurdles to getting loans

    us Money
    us Money
    Michael Bowman

    U.S. officials say American banks that received unprecedented government assistance to weather a financial meltdown must lend more money to businesses and consumers to help foster a fledgling economic recovery. 

    Banks and major financial firms stood at the epicenter of last year's financial crisis and credit crunch that plunged the United States and much of the world into recession.  American banks were among the primary beneficiaries of an $800-billion federal emergency rescue package designed to stop the financial meltdown and prevent economic collapse.

    Although the credit squeeze has eased during the past year, many businesses and consumers continue to face hurdles when it comes to getting loans.  Tight credit limits purchases, business operations, and other activities that spur economic expansion, constraining growth at a time when the United States and many other nations are beginning to emerge from a deep and painful recession.

    The situation is unacceptable to President Barack Obama's top economic advisor, Larry Summers, who spoke on ABC's This Week program. "The country did incredible things for the banking industry.  Those things had to be done to save the economy.  But no major bank would be intact if that extraordinary support [from the rescue package] had not been provided.  The bankers need to recognize that they have obligations to the country after all that has been done for them.  And President Obama is going to be talking with them," he said.

    Mr. Obama is scheduled to meet Monday with heads of the banking and financial services industry, and is expected to urge a boost in lending, particularly to small businesses.

    Across America's political spectrum, there appears to be agreement on the need for more credit availability.  Republican Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia also appeared on "This Week". "No question that there is still a depravation of credit in this country for small businesses," he said.

    But Cantor says banks are not the only culprits, and that federal officials are making a bad situation worse. "When the president meets with the bankers, I hope that the discussion centers on what seems to be a real overreaction on the part of some auditors in the regulatory arena that are looking at risk-taking as something that should not be done at all," he said.

    It was excessive risk taking that led to a rash of home mortgage defaults that, in turn, helped spark last year's financial meltdown.  The U.S. Congress is currently debating financial reform aimed at preventing a repeat. 

    President Obama has accused Republicans of attempting to stifle meaningful reform.  Republicans say the measures under consideration would give the government too much authority over the country's private financial sector and increase the likelihood of even more taxpayer-funded bank bailouts in the future.
     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora