Last week, as the great financial reform debate went into extra innings, temperatures were rising and everyone was tense and tired. When the conference finally adjourned, one senior Wall Street analyst told me, “Well, you guys (community banks) did great in this bill—we got our butts kicked. They should fire all the lobbyists that represented Wall Street.” That’s a quote; I’m not making it up.
But that’s how it is in Washington. When one drama ends, another unfolds. Let the finger pointing begin; it is a time-honored Washington, D.C., tradition.
The temptation on the part of some to finger point is understandable in a way. It’s what we used to do when we were children. Now that the financial reform conference is over and the result is known, those who did not do so well will give in to the temptation to cast blame on others to deflect their own shortcomings.
But ICBA is a stand-up organization representing stand-up community banking institutions. That is why I love the community banking industry and have spent most of my adult life in it. The plain and simple truth is that we won more than we lost, but lose we did on some important issues. Our response to that is not to point fingers and cast blame, our response is to get up and engage and fight another day and fix what we need to fix. And that is what ICBA will do, not because it is expedient, but because it is the right thing to do. It is the culture of community bankers. We will make no excuses. We gave it all we had; we left nothing on the field.
So, let others cast blame wherever they will. At ICBA we will take pride in our accomplishments, and we will continue to work for the best interests of community banks as this landmark legislation moves into the regulatory arena.