I was not a big fan of the President Bush’s $700 billion plan to bail out Wall Street and the banks but virtually all of this money has been repaid to the U.S. Treasury so on balance, the move probably kept the economy from falling off the cliff. On the down side, it made it easier for President Obama to launch his trillion dollars stimulus. People became inured to these huge sums.
Banks have recovered from the disaster of 2008 but their stocks remain near historic lows.
Ben Bernanke, a conservative capitalist, tends to get rave reviews from liberals and criticism from conservatives.
We learned that Texas governor Rick Perry was not ready for prime time when he went after Ben Bernanke during his first day on the campaign trail for the Republican nomination for president.
WASHINGTON — American banks have made significant strides in boosting their financial health since the recession, but the same cannot be said of their lending activity, especially for home mortgages, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said.
In a speech Thursday, the Fed chairman gave America’s banking system a generally clean bill of health, citing stronger capital and leverage ratios, better credit quality and improvements in a number of “key systemic risk measures.”
“Overall, they present a picture of a banking system that has become healthier and more resilient,” he said in prepared remarks delivered by satellite to a conference in Chicago.
So why aren’t banks making more loans?
Apart from “navigating an economic recovery that has been halting at times,” Bernanke said, banks have imposed tighter lending policies while demand for loans has been weak and credit quality of potential borrowers remains impaired.