Category >> Editors Column

Apr 01
2012

Giving youth its due

Posted by Bill Streeter in Editors Column

There’s a lot to be said for experience. It’s not overrated. But for a minute or two, we’d like to point out that youth is sometimes underrated by those who are, shall we say, no longer young.
Mar 01
2012

Wonderful life or strange world?

Posted by Bill Streeter in Editors Column

You couldn’t have scripted a starker contrast than two presentations at ABA’s National Conference for Community Bankers last month.
Feb 01
2012

Don’t handcuff judgment

Posted by Bill Streeter in Editors Column

The thing that most frustrates bankers about the overlapping realms of regulation and supervision is not the compliance part, difficult as that is. It’s the usurping of their judgment. Unnecessary rules and inflexible assessments hand over judgment to the keepers of the rules, so that even when there is wiggle room, bankers’ hands are tied.
Jan 01
2012

Regulation is not ethics

Posted by Bill Streeter in Editors Column

At a holiday party last month, an acquaintance asked a pointed question about banks. A well-informed person, she was aware of banks’ arguments that overregulation was keeping them from making loans, but she was somewhat skeptical of that argument. When told that indeed such was the case, she responded: “Well, how can banks be made to act ethically without regulations?”
Dec 01
2011

Strength in matchsticks

Posted by Bill Streeter in Editors Column

Everyone nods when speakers promote industry unity. Working together makes sense. Unfortunately, the emotional pull of “We’re different” can overpower the intellectual argument, at least for a time.
Nov 01
2011

If Steve Jobs had run a bank…

Posted by Bill Streeter in Editors Column

…would you have heard a peep about fees? This was the man who got the world to stop ripping off the “greedy music companies” and to pay for songs downloaded from the Apple iTunes store instead.
Oct 01
2011

Use it, or lose it

Posted by Bill Streeter in Editors Column

“Not everyone thinks they are cut out for political involvement.” That’s the opening line of a box in this month’s cover story (p. 30). It’s true enough as far as it goes. Not everyone is cut out for a singing career, either, or for being a Navy Seal. You need to be able to carry a tune for the first, and be able to swim and be willing to fight for the second.
Sep 01
2011

Much done, much to do

Posted by Bill Streeter in Editors Column

If you were accused of something you didn’t do, would you stand mute, or refute the allegation? The answer should be obvious. “Truth will out” doesn’t mean one shouldn’t do everything possible to assist the process.   
Aug 01
2011

Death by a thousand regs

Posted by Bill Streeter in Editors Column

It’s not like banks didn’t know this was coming. Still, all the stories about the one-year anniversary of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act have made it abundantly clear that an onslaught of new rules and regulations has begun. Many of the 3,000 new Federal Register pages written so far to implement pieces of the law have dealt with the more arcane areas of financial services not directly related to traditional banking. But that will soon change.
Jul 01
2011

Double whammy

Posted by Bill Streeter in Editors Column

The marketplace shows no mercy. It can’t—it doesn’t work that way. That fact is often lost on policymakers as they deliberate laws, rules, regs, advisories, and sundry other means to make people and organizations do what they think ought to be done. That attitude has become critical for two reasons: 1. government involvement in business is at a modern high and rising, and 2. the speed of change in business has rarely been greater.
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