Help Community Bank Voice Blossom in Washington

2013 ICBA Washington Policy Summit, Washington, DC

Spring is just about my favorite time of year in Washington. The weather warms and puts an end to the winter chill. The cherry blossoms bloom and bring new life to the city. And hundreds of community bankers swarm Capitol Hill for ICBA Washington Policy Summit meetings with lawmakers to secure a future for our beloved industry.

Serene, isn’t it? While meeting with members of Congress and regulators about financial policy is not exactly a springtime stroll through the park, it is absolutely critical to our industry’s survival. Any one of the challenges we community bankers face would have any industry reeling. Collectively, they are a mortal threat.

Our government-supported competitors—including too-big-to-fail financial institutions, credit unions and the Farm Credit System—enjoy taxpayer-funded subsidies and advantages. Meanwhile, community banks face increasing and unnecessary regulatory burdens as well as the prospect of draconian Basel III capital guidelines. Only by directly engaging policymakers can we effect needed changes to our financial and regulatory systems. That’s why we’re in Washington, today and every day—to ensure community banks can continue serving their communities as they have for generations.

This week’s summit in Washington has been a huge success, particularly with the introduction of the Brown-Vitter TBTF Act (S. 798) to combat both too-big-to-fail and community bank regulatory burdens. But community bankers do not have to be in the nation’s capital to make a difference. ICBA makes it easy for those back home to make their voices heard in Washington—all you have to do is go to our “Be Heard” grassroots website. From there, it’s easy to send an email message, make a phone call, or even tweet your member of Congress on some of the community banking industry’s top policy priorities.

So whether you are in Washington, D.C., Washington, Mo., Washington state or anywhere else in this great nation of ours, I strongly encourage you to engage in the discussions that will determine your future. This is your industry, your franchise and your responsibility. The season is here, and the outcome is in your hands.

2 thoughts on “Help Community Bank Voice Blossom in Washington

  1. Glad the Congressman are getting educated by real people. Also happy to see more emphasis is being placed on Community Banks. I believe all the Independent banks should emphasize more community involvement and to educate their employees and customers the importance of shopping locally and with their Banks customers. After all, with the Communities, there would not be any Community Banks

  2. Dear Cam Fine and company at the ICBA,

    My account as a whistleblower at the FDIC ought to get your interest. I headed up the large bank oversight program at the FDIC until I made numerous whistleblower disclosures about risks building up in the large banks prior to the banking crisis and unwillingness of senior officers at the FDIC to reign in the banks. Senior officials abdicated their mandated responsibilities as they were subject to “regulatory capture” by the politically influenced Jamie Dimons of the world.

    I documented everything and made my complaints well known to the FDIC Chairman, the Ombudsmen, and Inspector General, as well as the Director of Supervision. As one might expect, my voice was muted and I was ignored. My key duties were taken away in retaliation. I took my complaints to the Office of Special Counsel and Merit Systems Protection Board was shockingly not considered to be a whistleblower so that the government could deny me an opportunity to have a hearing whereby my evidence could then become available to the public. This all took place during the months leading up to the presidential election in November 2012. Obviously, because White House admin handlers desired no news to leak out that could be damaging to the administration.

    Cam, I believe you are well aware of secret handshakes and alliances by politicos. You are well aware of Washington Post’s Editor, Robert Kaiser’s secret deal with Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd to get access to information from Congress that was not made available to any other members of the public. Naturally, the Washington Post is uninterested in investigating my allegations and account since no WaPo journalists wish to take on a story that may be at odds with the White House and information sharing pact it cultivated with WaPo’s Kaiser.

    That brings me to ICBA. Since my account is all about how community banks got short-sighted by federal bank regulators all throughout the banking crisis and its aftermath, one would think the ICBA would want to take an unbiased look at what I have to say. It appears, however, that I may be wrong, if you believe you will jeopardize your secret handshake and agreement you have with Congress and the White House.

    I believe my account deserves to be known by your member banks.

    Unfortunately, I have come to learn that a lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on. It is now time to reform government by instilling transparency in government affairs and allowing the truth to be told by insiders and whistleblowers like me.

    You ought to encourage members to check out my blog at http://govwhistleblower.wordpress.com/

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