Thursday, June 24, 2010
Letters To The Editor
Wall Street reform:
Something happened on the way to Wall Street reform. The federal legislation now in the final stages of Congressional approval was supposed to address the causes of the recent financial crisis and reorganize the way Wall Street does business to protect taxpayers from a future crisis. While the legislation does address some important concerns, it imposes tremendous new burdens and restrictions on traditional banks like mine that had nothing to do with causing the crisis in the first place.
In short, this bill really hits our community, and its impact will not be positive.
By taking the widely recognized and agreed upon need for financial reform and directing it more at traditional banks, the legislation undermines the very banks that are needed to support economic growth and job creation. The bill that passed the Senate contains 30 new or expanded regulations that apply to community banks, and many of the regulations are not even remotely connected to the financial crisis. All these new burdens and restrictions will make it harder for bankers like me to make loans to consumers and small businesses in our local community.
For example, the Senate bill contains an amendment that mandates government controls on the price retailers pay for accepting debit cards from their customers. This has absolutely no connection to the financial crisis and is little more than a subsidy to giant retailers at the expense of community banks and consumers.
Another example is the proposed new consumer financial regulator.
The authority granted to this new federal bureau is so broad and ill-defined that it essentially puts government in the business of deciding what services are right for bank customers. A bank like mine could reasonably conclude that it is not worth offering some banking services that are specifically designed for our customers because the services don’t have the bureau’s stamp of approval.
This kind of invasive oversight undermines the essence and strength of community banks — namely, the relationship we have with our consumers. How can we serve our communities if we can’t tailor products to meet the specific needs of our customers?
Then there is the fact that even though the new consumer rules would apply both to banks and non-bank lenders, enforcement against non-banks would be weak or nonexistent in many cases. There is not a strong system for examination and enforcement of rules for non-banks like the one state and federal regulators use to examine banks like mine. How will this legislation protect consumers from mortgage brokers or other financial entities outside the traditional banking industry?
Even more astonishing is the fact that this new consumer bureau is giving no authority over securities transactions. This bears repeating: The very essence of what separates Wall Street from traditional banks — the buying and selling of stocks and bonds — is not even covered by the new agency. It is very difficult to see how this legislation can be referred to as a “Wall Street reform bill.”
Bankers support financial reform, including some of the key provisions in this legislation. But, this bill goes way beyond these needed reforms and heaps even more red tap and restrictions on banks like mine that have always put our customers first. Congress has missed the target of reforming Wall Street firms and brokers that caused the recent financial crisis and have instead hit the traditional banks.
As a result, our customers and communities will suffer. Is this the kind of reform consumers had in mind?
MS is blessed!:
As jobs have been evaporating in Mississippi, and nationwide over the past two years, it is a blessing to hear Toyota will be staffing its Blue Springs plant this fall, with full production in 2011.
This past Friday, a local politician from California was complaining about Mississippi’s anti-union citizens having robbed California of “their” Toyota assembly plant.
If one views California as a whole, the entire state is a disaster and they have lost far more employers than Toyota, with their ultra progressive agenda and higher taxes.
Toyota’s main decision to invest their future in Mississippi, besides the lack of a choke hold on our better labor force by trade unions, goes back to 2004 when our Governor Haley Barbour pushed hard for needed Tort Reform in Mississippi.
Many may not be aware, but when Knoxville, Tenn., and Marion, Ark., were anxiously awaiting the announcement of which city would land this treasured piece of commerce, their jaws dropped and many asked, “Where the “heck” is Blue Springs, Mississippi, and why there?”
Toyota considered several locations but Mississippi offered not only a corporate friendly climate, good citizens and government but also the fact that Mississippi offered a shelter for frivolous law suits.
Governor Barbour was recently noted by the non-partisan “Governing Magazine,” as the “Best Governor in the Fifty States, period!”
As a resident of North Mississippi, I have witnessed the resulting hardships as more and more companies, especially in the furniture-related markets, closing at alarming rates.
Toyota’s Blue Springs plant announcement is a blessing to the hard working folks of North Mississippi and I, for one of many, want to thank “America’s Best Governor,” Haley Barbour, for a job very well done!
Bobby Dee Myers
Tend to oil spill:
With all the terrible oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, it urgently needs to be tended to without delay.
Use all those people who are out of work drawing unemployment checks. Put them to work cleaning this mess up. BP oil should pay for all of it, not us.
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