EXCLUSIVE: Vice President Biden Says US Banks Not Doing Enough for Americans

By Lindsey Ellerson

Mar 18, 2010 5:41pm

Vice President Biden said today said the nation’s large banks are not doing enough for the American people and the Obama Administration is trying to focus on small community banks to jumpstart the economy and allow small businesses to hire new workers.

From our interview:

TAPPER: Are the banks doing enough?

BIDEN: No.

TAPPER: And what do the banks owe the American people?

BIDEN: Well, I think the banks owe the American people the responsibility to give them a fighting chance, particularly small businesses.  But, look, here's what's happened.  The banks now are solvent.  The big banks, they're solvent.  And if you're a big company, if you are, you know, a major oil company or a major chemical company or a major medical company you have no problem getting money and expanding…So what we've that's why the president has said, we want to now take $30 billion of that money, which   almost all of which is paid back and we're going to get it all back from the so-called TARP, the Troubled Asset fund that went to the big banks, and move it to main street.  Give incentives to the medium sized small banks.

When you own a, when you own a hardware store in Claymont, Delaware, you don't go to Bank of America to get your loan.  You go to the local bank.  And the local bank is having trouble because a lot of those local banks have a lot of investment in real estates, in mortgages and the like.  So you've got to give the banks, the small banks, the capital to be able to lend it to get themselves in the position where they feel secure they can lend to you.

That's the other reason why, Jake, we put in a, you know, a $5,000 tax credit for small businesses if they go out and hire a new employee. They're going to be hiring a new employee six months, eight months.  You ask in the surveys, yes, we think we're going to be in a year.  And we've got to move that up.  We've got to jump-start the economy.  And but, you know, it's hard.  When you don't have a job, man, when you don't have a job, it's a depression.

For a full read-out of our conversation, click HERE.

-jpt

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