President Barack Obama met with top financial industry executives Monday. The session was behind closed doors, but it was no secret what message Obama was delivering to the bankers: Get back to lending.
The President gave a preview of what he was going to tell the bankers in a “60 Minutes” interview on CBS Sunday evening. “I did not run for office to be helping a bunch of, you know, fat cat bankers on Wall Street,” he told Steve Croft.
Clearly irked that big bank executives whose jobs had been saved by government bailouts have turned around and awarded themselves big bonuses, Obama wants the bankers to be thankful for the helping hand and recognize that they have obligations to their fellow citizens. He wants them to do more lending and help the economic recovery gain traction.
President Obama is said to be pressing the big banks to increase lending to small businesses. He also wants more participation in the administration’s program to help homeowners modify their mortgages and avoid forclosure.
RBR-TVBR observation: People in the broadcasting industry saw the financial crisis mounting long before most Americans knew it was happening. Lack of credit brought radio and TV station trading to a near halt well before the ad recession came along with the deteriorating national economy. We don’t know how much success the President will have jawboning the bankers, but we in broadcasting certainly hope he makes some headway.