Week 3 of Denny's "Let's Get to Work" jobs tour kicked off today with roundtable discussions at a credit union in Vancouver and a community bank in Chehalis.
A variety of issues were covered at each stop including the mortgage crisis, fraud prevention and financial regulation. At each roundtable, however, the talk always returned to the need and best methods to get credit flowing once again so that Southwest Washington businesses can grow and create jobs.
"For a long time credit was too easy to get, now it's too difficult to get," Denny said. "We missed the balance."
The day began at IQ Credit Union in Vancouver where Denny sat down with leaders of Southwest Washington's credit union community. Those in attendance said one of the major hold-ups in getting credit flowing again are the many new rules and regulations imposed in the wake of the financial crisis, guidelines imposed on all banks despite the fact that by and large, credit unions and community banks had very little to do with the problems caused by corporate banks and Wall Street run amok.
"I think we can bounce back and continue to grow," said Don Harkema, Chairman of the Supervisory Committee at Fibre Credit Union in Longview, "but it won't happen until the government makes laws that are good for all of us."
"These aren't the banks that caused this mess," Denny said. "Community banks and credit unions, by and large, played by the rules, they did things the right way, and now they're paying the price for the greed of Wall Street and big banks gaming the system."
Denny's short term plan for getting credit flowing back to Main Street includes reinvesting the billions of dollars in returned TARP funds into credit unions and community banks, which will enable them to extend credit more freely to local businesses. In the long term, Denny will fight for comprehensive Wall Street reform to create a stable and secure financial system.
"I thought he had a great understanding of our finance issues and I thought he was well prepared and asked some very thoughtful questions," said Roger Michaelis, President & CEO of IQ Credit Union. "We were all able to explore some key issues so I thought it was a very worthwhile way to spend an afternoon."