December 13th, 2009
03:57 PM ET
3 months ago

'It's not all the president's fault,' Suze Orman says

Washington (CNN) – On the eve of a White House meeting where President Obama is expected to encourage the nation’s largest lenders to loosen up credit, personal finance expert Suze Orman says Obama should not get all of the blame for how some banks have behaved in the last year.

“It’s not all the president’s fault,” Orman said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“You can pass every law that you want. You can try to do anything in the world – give these institutions money - if they don’t help their customers, what are you going to do about it?” Orman told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

Related: Obama adviser slams Wall Street

“I think a big part of this problem falls right back to the banks especially those with credit cards,” Orman also told King.

Asked what she would say if she had a seat at Monday’s meeting with the heads of the nation’s largest banks, Orman let loose.

“I would say: ‘Bankers, what in the world is the matter with you? You took taxpayers’ dollars in order to survive. You are giving out bonuses now. You are acting like nothing is wrong. Some of your stocks have increased in value from their low[s]. However, you are not serving the people that you should be serving.

“In my opinion, bankers,” Orman continued, “you are serving your own bottom lines and shame on you! And if you don’t get your act together, if you don’t start helping those that need loan modifications, if you don’t start helping those that need [small business] loans. . . if you don’t help those that really need you, then we’re going to have to do something about it.’”

Orman added that she did not know what the solution was to get banks to loosen up credit for consumers and small businesses but she suggested the possibility of a windfall profits tax. That, she said, might provide the incentive necessary to get lenders to do what the White House and many members of Congress want them to do to help turn the economy around.


Filed under: Extra • Popular Posts • President Obama • State of the Union • TARP
soundoff (188 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    If I ever meet the banker who just for no reason other then greed razed my interest rate on my credit card to 29%,
    I will hurt him or her and feel no guilt !

    December 13, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Woonsocket

    The only reason Orman is going down this irrational road, contrary to her usual reasonableness, is that Obama is a gay sympathizer and that fact now clouds Orman's judgement.

    December 13, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. R.B. AZ.

    We feed the banks with our hard earned cash. Put the squeeze on the banks, take your money out and buy gold or silver, pay off your credit cards and then cut them up never to have one again, what they charge in interest and other fees is plain old fashion "consumer rape", and when "WE" decide we've had enough of it maybe we'll start to do something about it. I promise when their stocks (profits) start to go south they'll have to wake up!!!

    December 13, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Alan

    Suze is right on the money. The US government bailed the banks out but the bankers and there board of directors have not got the message. A windfall profit tax might be just the answer!

    December 13, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    What I don't get is how banks have the NERVE to accept the bailout, but haven't been lending money to businesses, when that was a big part of the reason why they were loaned the money in the first place!

    If you or I didn't follow through on an agreement with a bank, they'd be after us in a heartbeat!

    Time for the banks to stop being such greedy SOBs and start helping the country that bailed their fannies out!

    (BTW, I've been with a credit union for over 20 years; now THEY know how to behave responsibly and help their customers!)

    December 13, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. chris l

    absolutely the fault of the ditherer and chief. Electing someone with no leadership skills, thin skinned, arrogant and basically no valid experience to even hold the highest office of the land have landed us in this disaster. Thank god all the anti American Libtards will be voted out of congress in 2010, and 2012 will be the cherry on top when the ditherer gets voted out. Cant come soon enough.

    December 13, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. glen beck is off his meds again

    Shes right and that is why the president is having a meeting with the heads of these banks and telling them they better start lending. He is doing all he can to fix the mess bush left him, but it will take a while. I see the economy turning around, I got a job back in the mortgage industry, and I am busy, if you want work get off your butt and get work

    December 13, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Go Figure

    Howie: Read my lips ... No New Taxes.

    December 13, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. Nancy

    to CJL: you need to take a course in basic economics.

    It's not the way you describe it at all. Banks create money by giving loans. Banks however tend to be procyclical while the government is counter-cyclical. There are people with great credit that cannot get loans or can only get loans with an outrageously high interest. Meanwhile alot of banks have alot of excess reserves which they are being too stingy with to invest or help other investers with.

    Banks right now are only catering to their "best customers" which are most likely big companies. But what have we learned so far in the last two years? That alot of these big companies are crashing. Do you now understand the failed logic with banks?

    Of course banks should be more careful with who they lend to. The zero down mortages are done with and I'm sure that's a thing in the past but you cannot penalize normal people who did nothing wrong. There are numerous banks still collapsing as a result of their misjudgement while leaving room for big banks to monopolize which is not a good thing.

    December 13, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. Cindy

    I remember months back... even Donald Trump was ripping the banks too.

    We don't want regulation? We don't want Socialism? The banks are demonstrating pure Capitalism at it's finest. We get what we deserve.

    December 13, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Ben Dover

    I agree with Suze. The best way to solve this problem is through the back door.

    December 13, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Stu

    The mortgage crisis had its roots under Carter, was worsened by moves Clinton made, was helped by Obama pushing for mortgages to people who couldn't and wouldn't pay their loans, and a host of other factors. But everyone blamed Bush. So now we should excuse Obama for anything that happens on his watch? All of this economic stimulus nonsense and free healthcare is nothing more than pork barrel spending at its worst combined with a quick decline into socialism.

    December 13, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Jay

    "It's not all the president's fault"... How about "It's not the president's fault at all – He inherited this mess and is doing his best to fix it, but unfortunately it takes more than a couple of months to clean up a mess that took a decade to create."

    December 13, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  14. RM

    Some of the responsibility should be shouldered by the consumers themselves by walking away from any kind of credit cards proposals to lure into more complicated financial situations.

    December 13, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Jimmy

    Anybody with half a brain knows that under 8 years of President Bush and his Republican thugs the country took oneheck of a hit. President Obama inherited a heap of Republican messes!!!

    December 13, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Mike

    And we should just lend money again to people who can't pay it back?

    December 13, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. A. Smith, Oregon

    Under the pressure and extortion of absolute FEAR, Bush-Cheney gutted funding to Public Schools, Police Departments, Social Services and Veterans Affairs to maximize the funneling of funds to their buddys in the defense department, the 'war' effort and Cheney's personal friends in the defense contracting business's.

    Critically needed funding to America's dilapidated infra-structure, public education, police and fire departments, library's, bridges, harbors, electrical grid, electrical production, national highways, transportation, canals and levees all went largely unfunded and badly in need of repairs and updates for 8 long years under Bush-Cheney.

    The current Government Spending bill begins returning Federal funding back to critical domestic needs which were completely avoided and completely overlooked by Bush-Cheney for 8 long years.

    It will take several years of spending into America's domestic infra-structure before each of the critical needs are met. Another 5 years of spending into America's domestic infra-structure to update its aging electrical grids, electrical production capacity and transportation needs for the future.

    As long as each of those goals are met with small positive steps each year, there is nothing to blame President Obama for in his continued efforts to rebuild America after the 8 years of horrific damage done by the Bush-Cheney administration.

    December 13, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. LAM

    This is ludicrous!! We got ourselves in this mess from loaning money to people who could not afford it (thanks to pressure from our government) and now we are telling the banks they need to start lending again!? Are these people clueless!? I don't agree with the lack of sensitivity on the part of the banks, wrt their pay structure, but I am also not going to put up with the president, who knows nothing about money or economics, telling people what to do! Orman, if you are so smart why are you not running a bank instead of selling books?

    December 13, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Annie

    Banks have raped and re-raped the American consumer. They have instilled scam after scam. They have promoted excessive fees on everything and still managed to give themselves outrageous bonuses. People are fed-up.

    December 13, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. jimmm

    "The banks should tell the president to take a hike and stick to their instincts based on common sense and mathematics."

    -------------------------------
    Seems to me that's what got us into this mess to begin with.

    December 13, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Former Republican now proud Dem! Obama 2 Termer!

    the Republicans after passing banking deregulation to enrich their buddies now those same poeple are holding the American economy hostage, and you wonder why the American people were against giving the banks so much money in the first place most peple saw this coming! we knew they would stuff their coffers and bury their bad business first before helping Americans in need! The Republican party is hell bent on claiming innocense and convenient amnesia! why they were the ones who let the banks do whatever they wanted and created the first stimulus package to their buddies on wall street! The Republicans are holding America back economically and politically! This is no patriotism far from it, its sabotage, Americans wake up!

    December 13, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Jackie

    Shake your finger in their face and yell "shame on you" all you want. The joke is on us, the consumer. If I just gave myself a l0 million dollar bonus ,I really wouldn't care who shook their finger in my face!!
    Happy me!!!

    December 13, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Tony in Maine

    I think Orman has been reading what Obama will say. :-)

    I cannot believe the venomous hatred for Obama I see here on this board and elsewhere – but if you call people on it, they deny it. I'm opposed to censorship, but there are times I think duct tape could be used to advantage.

    Barack Obama hasn't been President for a year. He inherited one H*ll of a mess and it's not going to be fixed over night. Especially with the party of No blocking every move in the Senate.

    Whether or not that mess is GW's fault is immaterial – I think a case can be made against both Clinton and Bush for deregulating the slimeballs on Wall St. The economy is a screaming mess and greed is at the bottom of it. By slamming the bankers, he will put a spotlight on part of the problem. It will still be a problem.

    December 13, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Greg, MN

    Why wouldn't banks be hesitant to lend? America is dependent on China buying our debt and every recent indication is that they want paid back, while the US gov'y spends another 1.7 trillion, plus another 1 trillion on a health care debacle.

    The inevitable is inflation and higher interest rates, and who wants to be holding loans that can not be repaid. The recession is far from over as the US debts mounts with Obama's spending.

    Spending is not the way out of this, nor is overlending.

    December 13, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. linda glenn

    Republicans want obama to fall!!

    December 13, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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