As if bankers and politicians don’t have enough to worry about when it comes to public opinion and financial reform, the Senate has been debating whether or not to outlaw naked credit default swaps. (Sounds pornographic doesn’t it? I can assure you it is anything but.) Ask consumers if they care and they’ll say “naked what?” But tell them it has something to do with Wall Street firms and they will say they don’t want any more funny business from the mega Wall Street banks.
The good news for community banks is that odds are we will come out of this wild ride of a debate on regulatory reform with our reputations intact—and, in fact, enhanced. Here’s a little of what they’re saying about us on both sides of the aisle.
“I am doing my best to make sure that we don’t increase the burden on the small guys who are already highly regulated and who didn’t cause this crisis in the first place. Rather, this is about leveling the playing field for the small community banks by making sure that big banks and other non-bank financial institutions can’t continue to game the system.” Sen. Claire McCaskill (R-Mo.)
“The reason the community banks have a very important role to play is that they’re close enough to the ground that they can evaluate the opportunities much more effectively than often a large, distant bank can. So they’re ready to make loans that a big bank might never even consider. And so community banks are essential to our small businesses.” Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)