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. duckunder

    Guess you Obama haters would rather be in the middle of a depression right now. He did what he had to do and what every leading economist said needed to be done. No, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, and Palin are not leading economists, the only check book they are worried about are there own. Feel sorry for the poor people that actully believe these idiots know anything.

    December 13, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Dave

    Banks are not making and sell products. They only have to deliver the money from the product makers to product consumers and yet they manage to have the lion portion of that money. That is counterproductive and should be made illigal. Country should impose strict regulations on banks instead of begging them to be nice.

    December 13, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Robert

    If you can't pay cash for something you don't really need it or deserve it. It's absolutely crazy for any business to take out a loan just to pay their light bills or keep stuff on the shelves. Pay for what you need or stay out of business. It's crazy..if everyone did what alot of business' do today everyone would be going to a pawn shop to pay the food bill or the car payment. It's just crazy,.

    December 13, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Luke

    Peter S. you need to identify your source...according to the WSJ more bankers identify themselves as Democrats than Republicans!

    December 13, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Scott

    Suze Orman is dangerous. Her basic level advice which I've heard on various shows is perhaps not bad for most people most of the time. But generally speaking, she's just not very sophisticated. And if these quotes are accurate, she's also foolish.

    If the main thing she has to say is "All you care about is your bottom line" and she has no understanding of the convoluted issues facing banks, (Lend money, BUT, shore up your leverage and balance sheets), then she shouldn't be sitting down at any table where solutions are being discussed.

    Scott

    December 13, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Gbiggs

    Curious, how people consider Obama's spending a singular reason for the current debt – when in truth Obama inherited the torch from 8 years of Bush's spending.

    I'm not necessarily defending Obama's policy, nor shuttling blame around. I believe our memory shouldn't behave so singularly. The scope of our current issues runs a lot longer than a year.

    Perhaps an element of people's debt and credit woes, run in parallel to our short term memory?

    Example: Many banks run programs with "Free trials" that begin charging based on amount in savings, percentages, etc. They do so quietly until a person remembers they are getting billed for something without benefit – then they cancel. How many times does this happen to everyone over the country?

    December 13, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Stephen in Texas says

    Where were all of the spending hawks during the Bush years when we jumped into a war of choice and Bush chose to give tax breaks to the richest Americans?
    Obama's TARP makes perfect sense to me and business do this thing all the time. It's called investing, it's called buy outs, it's called expanding the market.
    Where is the America that sent a man to the moon during the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement and when all the riots were taking place across the country?
    I wish the Obama bashing hypocritcal conservatives would STFU. Do something positive for once in your life.

    December 13, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Brian in St Paul

    Suze is a personal finance adviser and does a fairly good job at that. But she is NOT an economist and should stop acting like one. Last night she said on national television that the feds need to raise interest rates so that banks will start lending again. Any economists out there agree with me that it sounds like she doesn't have the first clue with that statement?

    December 13, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. John

    I sit back and laugh at this whole thing, mainly because I'm Canadian. I too have felt the pinch of what is going on, although I look at what's happening on CNN and tv, and how every American I see is so disgustingly patriotic. It's quite simple, put your tempers and your guns away, and stop thinking that you can roll over everybody with your military might.

    December 13, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. Rod

    Why is it that ever ytime I hear a Republican speak all I hear is " Let them eat cake".

    December 13, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. J.C. - Independent 4 Public Option

    Wall Street has probably the most sophisticated models and talks about corporate and personal finance. Look what happened? Ms. Suze Orman tells us common sense that we should have learned in public school education.

    December 13, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Jeff in South Jersey

    We need to bring back the Glass-Steagall Act and prohibit the Big Banks from playing the Wall Street Lottery with OUR money, and get back to the business of servicing us rather than stealing from us. We also need to stop Big Corporations from sending OUR jobs overseas and reset some of these outrageously stupid trade agreements, so we can once again thrive as an economy. Until then, we will continue to go down the drain.

    December 13, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Mickey

    Of course all this pain isn't Obama's fault...one need only look to the FAILED policies of the Bush Administration to place the blame squarely where it needs to be placed.

    Reagan was mentally ill, and so were his policies, which are looked upon as the "bible" of FAILED Republican economics.

    This was carried over with the Bush Administration.

    December 13, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. HarryB

    "If the main thing she has to say is "All you care about is your bottom line" and she has no understanding of the convoluted issues facing banks, (Lend money, BUT, shore up your leverage and balance sheets), then she shouldn't be sitting down at any table where solutions are being discussed.

    Scott"

    Sorry, Scott, but you're dead wrong. Undoubtedly, banking is difficult. That's why they pay their CEOs an enormous amount of money, and if they do an adequate job, pay them enormous bonuses. We need to get back to reality and award for performance. In many cases, these guys can make a simple matter difficult. I once had an employer who tod me that a customer "Must be a genius, because I don't understand a word that he's saying". As customers, we need to demand more lucidity from those in power.

    December 13, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Alan

    Former Repub now proud Dem: you must also have amnesia since it was the Clinton Admin that approved and directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make those ridiculous "no-doc" loans to assist low-income, no-income folks the opportunity to live the American Dream of owning a home much bigger than they could have ever afforded. This is why the banks have such bad balance sheets. But then, you may have forgotten that bit of history.

    December 13, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Freeman

    Republicans are amazing! Do they actually believe what they post here? Obama is to blame for everything negative that has happen to this country? These are the same people that believe that Sarah Palin governor of Alaska for all of a year and a half is more intelligent and more qualified to be President. What idiots?

    December 13, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. betsmeier

    This is for stu. You are wrong. Read my lips the mortgage crisis was under GW not Obama. And let me ask you a question. Has Capitalism worked lately? Nope it hasn't. It's left this country in a mess. No regulations on the banks. And worse is the tax cuts Bush made when we are in the middle of two wars. Really makes a lot of sense, especially since the cuts were for the wealthy.

    And if I hear one more person continue to call the health care bill socialism I think I will scream. Read my lips, the VA is the largest socialized medicine in this country. Plus anyone who has been in the military has socialized medicine. And then we have the seniors with medicare, that' too is socialized medicine. Give me a break. Every person in this country has a right to medical care whether it be free or lower premiums for the ones who can afford it.

    December 13, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Phil W.

    Seems like "STU" is the only one who actually connected the dots and followed the trail of responsibility. I am appalled at the venom spewed in these comments when so many words aren't spelled correctly. It really takes away from the intention of a basically good comment when the spelling errors get into the way. People, we are all part of the problem, and we all need to be part of the solution. HOWEVER...I would like it very much if there weren't so many people so willing to allow others to spend my grandchildren into the poor house. Remember...the government can only give to you what it has already taken away from others. It makes NOTHING, it creates NOTHING, and it has NO RESOURCES OF IT'S OWN. It can only take. Until some of you remember that, we are all going to continue to be in this mess.

    December 13, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. Ray Fisher

    This is correct, the President did not create this mess and our instant gratification society refuses to be patient and allow him to repair. The conservatives need to sit down and shut up!!!! Georgie & co. stole us blind and the low life traitors refuse to admit their treachery!!!

    December 13, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. Charles

    Banks are now charging most of their credit card customers interest in the 29% range, up from around 7%. They are tacking on fees for everything imaginable. The result in the short run: lost of fresh cash for the banks. In the long run: defaults in massive numbers. Look for the defaults to begin in the next 30 to 60 days. By May, the banks will be crying again.

    December 13, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. W l Jones

    The president is only reponibly for spending is on national security ,so do not bring neither Mr. Bush nor president Obama in this recession.

    December 13, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  22. WIlly Brown

    Obama owns it. Come on media quit trying to cover for the empty suit you made out of this lack luster guy.

    December 13, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  23. Geoff

    "Chris I";,

    If you can't tell the difference between the decision making process and dithering than you are an idiot! Cheney and his swashbuckling style of decision making is why Afghanistan and Iraq are a mess right now.

    December 13, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. jack

    Banks are in business to make money by lending out money. It does not make sense if they do not lend out money, if they do not make money, they will not be in business very soon. The question for Ms Orman is "why wouldn't the banks lend money?". She does not provide the readers an answer. She should not just condemn the banks without finding out why these banks are doing what they are doing.

    December 13, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Mike in Texas

    So Thune says the Republicans didn't do a good job in regards of spending but look at the Democrats.

    Is that like saying. I struck out 3 times but another guy struck out 4 so he is worse than me?

    Their is a huge misconception that Republicans are fiscally responsible.

    Also anyone thinking of voting Republican because of spending, remember this. Republicans are still going to be deficit spenders. They are not going to balance the budget and run a surplus to pay down the debt. Don't be fooled. They will spend alot as well.

    December 13, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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