Photo: In this May 5, 2012, photo, Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway smiles on the exhibit floor where Berkshire products aer showcased, prior to the annual shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb. (AP photo/ Nati Harnik)
Big banks have done lots moaning lately. Every day, it seems, bankers are boo-hooing about financial regulations cutting into their profits. The bigger the bank the louder the sobs.
To replace lost revenues banks are charging new fees and eliminating services that previously were free. Sometimes the new fees spark a hail-storm of protest and the banks back off. Like last year’s failed debit card fee.
But are the banks really as bad off as they want us to believe?
Several reports in the last few weeks indicate the credit crunch may be easing. Banks may be making loans again after too many months of sitting on their vaults.
For way too long creditworthy small businesses have had a difficult time getting the financing they need to grow and create jobs.
If reports of an easing credit crunch are true, it’s about time. Now, if we can convice the big business to start spending some of the record profits they’ve been hoarding, we might see a real dent in the jobless rate.
Banks continue to make it hard for entrepreneurs to borrow money, but here’s some good news — the U.S. Small Business Administration today announced the extension of a loan program created to help veterans start new businesses.
Patriot Express, a piliot program that has provided more than $560 million in loan guarantees to thousands of veterans, has been extended for three more years, SBA said.
Bailing out banks is proving to be a money-maker for U.S. taxpayers. Whether or not you agree with the politics of the bailout, there’s no denying the Troubled Asset Relief Program has paid off for the U.S. Treasury.
Most of the money has been repaid, although a handful of banks have yet to pay us back for keeping them alive.
“Of the $205 billion the Treasury doled out to 707 banks, $137 billion has been repaid. From the 61 banks that have fully repaid, the Treasury has earned a tidy $13 billion profit,” Forbes.com reports.