December 13th, 2009
03:57 PM ET
7 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. J.C. - Independent 4 Public Option

    Even Greenspan said he did not expect greed to have played such a tremendous part of our financial system. How do you add greed in a sophisticated model played by economists and financiers around the world and particularly on Wall Street? We should leave room for greed and uncertainty by using the optimal solutions only as reference points.

    When bankers know the government will bail them out, they will repeat the disaster again and again as they are always the winners. A percentage of the bonuses they pocketed should have been profits and thus corporate incomes taxes for our Treasury. Instead they made lots of money out of consumers with all the fine prints or no prints, and hid profits as bonuses. No wonder individuals paid most of federal income taxes, not corporations.

    I think Ms. Orman is a great educator for many people as they need to be reminded of the obvious.

    December 13, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. Santos

    Republicans just will not stop about the "history" of Dems supporting Fannie Mae /Freddie Mac loans to unqualified people. Obviously the Dems deserve some culpability there.. But what about the repeal of the Glass Stegall Act? That was Phil Gramm's brainchild and he was a darling of the Republican Revolution during the clinton years (I know since Clinton signed the bill Republicans wash their hands of it. But ask yourself: would a Democratic congress have introduced that bill?) That was more damaging than the Fannie Mae relaxation of rules since you had all these commercial banks trying to be hedge funds, and new derivative products to suck money out of the mortgage business. And the cozy agreement with the Bush administration with the investment banks allowing them to have incredible leverage, ask yourself, could that have been done under a Democratic adminisration? Republicans, have you ever done wrong (yes)? And have Democrats ever done anything right (yes)? Lets work together Reps and Dems this country needs honesty not politics.

    December 13, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    She is right. We Americans should revolt against all the banks who give out bonuses but fail to help Americans. The government should not insure these banks.

    Geoff. I agree with you Chris I is an idiot and a traitor to America.

    December 13, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Phil W.

    Nice try, "Ray", but it is obvious that you missed the ENTIRE POINT. It is not just the conservatives who need to button it, but your group as well. Remember, the saying goes something like this: "The man to fear is one who assumes no risk from his decisions." As soon as the government comes up with a plan that includes them, along with us, then I will be more likely to consider supporting it. Ask your Democratic friends if they are taking part in the new medical plan? If not, WHY NOT? Are they planning for your financial future, or their own? Do you get it now? Probably not...

    December 13, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Banks are looking for loop holes to spend the money in bonuses and thank God this administration is plugging up those holes and we all need to report each and every bank that doesn't follow regulations.

    December 13, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. JP

    The root cause of the current recession started with congress trying to social engineer by passing laws that made banks loan to people who should not have gotten loans.

    December 13, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Change

    Credit Cards and runaway consumerism is the slavery of the 20 and 21 Century. I owe, I owe, so off to work I go. People have mortgaged their life away at interest rates double the legal loan shark threshold. Another day older and deeper in debt, I owe my soul to the company store, only now it's the credit card that owns your future work and your life.

    December 13, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. Former Republican now proud Dem! Obama 2 Termer!

    This is for Alan: Hey there is plenty of blame to go around the Republican controlled congress passed laws that allowed for the derugulation of wall street. If Clinton was involved in any fannie and freddie stuff its because the watch/gatekeepers of our treasury the voters had put in congress (Republicans at the time)did not work for taxpayers but to enrich themselves and their wall street buddies....Face it, we got into this mess because once again the Republicans lied and misled the American people into allowing deregulation and see what it got us! Give it up, most Republican ideas are failed ideas! Economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, Foreign Policy, health care(not paying for republican congress passed medicare part D etc) its ok to be dumb Republicans...just dont try to run/ruin the greatest country God ever gave to humanity/mankind!

    December 13, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. T Schmidt

    I am so tired of this . Have you ever heard of the saying the Buck STOPS HERE. On top of that he made so many BS promises during the campaign. He is the president and he is repsonisble. And for all those Democrats with OCBS (obsessive compulsive Bush Syndrome), Your wonderful Bill Clinton is up to his hips in responsibility in this financial collapse. BOO HOO its Obama's problem

    December 13, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. ANGELA MCEWAN

    I thing, the goverment should have their own bank to serve the american people and let these private banks go to hell, they are worthless, my mother have perfect credit and her credits cards interests have increase fron 5% to 17%.

    December 13, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. tee

    LOL the left cracks me up! The Dems can't even agree on major issues, been in control since 2006, blame Bush for everything and now says Mr Fix All Obama has no owndership in the banking mess....priceless. This is getting OLD! I wasn't a fan of Bush but Obama is making Bush look good!

    December 13, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Dick

    All the republicans in Congress should be sent to Guantanamo Bay.

    There are the worst for this country.

    December 13, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. mike ross

    look I love this country! this is the best place in the whole world. I think we should not attack our prez: bush made a lot of mis-steps in his term: one listening to chenney: but were here now! for eight yrs the bush admin. spent billions a day for eight years and not one gop said a thing about that at all. so were in this mess now trying to get out. have anyone! anyone! ever thought for a moment its just all the top bankers, amer.car makers top gop, top dem, all big busi. just got to damm greedy, takin all those back door deals and now this prez and his admin. is going to stop them. and the media is exsposeing them all? so let not the gop or the dems turn this into in-fighting we should not look like other countries. the worlds is watching us!!! let this prez. do his job it will take sometime we need to get this right!! don't let only what you hear by the news media effect what you think about our prez. . I would like to know who you are polling? not the people? just the gop and the dem,s not whole amer. mike ross. detroit mi.

    December 13, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. Phil W.

    PS- For "John, the Canadian"...what exactly do you mean by the comment "Put your guns and tempers away" ? Maybe you are used to your government making your decisions for you, but those of us here are intent on making sure we have the RIGHT and KEEP THE RIGHT to make our own. If that includes my firearm and the training to use it, then SO BE IT.

    December 13, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Bob

    Such a simple mind. What qualifications does Suze Orman have to give our President, not to say our Nation, financial advice? She is a walking, talking financial advising contradiction who's advice tends to be poor at best. Focus on what you are best at ... gossip.

    December 13, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. tpot

    Apparently this "expert" isnt aware of the FDIC pressing banks on capital adequacy in view of all the crap on their books. Its and interesting populist position to blame the banks. Sure the banks, along with the Barney and Dodd and Wall Street investors created this mess but the banks cant take unusual risk again. They need a qualified repayment assumption or we're back to bailing them out again. To the person who said card rates average 29%, get a life. Average rates are around 16%.

    December 13, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. JT the Show Me State College Freshman

    Suze is very much right on this assumption about this not being all the president's fault.
    I believe that if you want to see who is really at fault here, all of us should take a good look at our mirror.
    Fact: While the gov is 12 trillion in debt, which is unacceptable, the amount all of us owe individually as a whole nation (307 million people) is over 55 trillion; most of that is credit card debt on stuff we cannot afford. Guess who is going to have to pay all of that off, thats right, my generation. We're going to have to work hard now and forget our SENSELESS political partisan bickering.
    Unfortunally, President Obama had no choice but to stimulate the economy; every professional, leading economist said it was the only way to avert a catastrophic meltdown. This mess was caused by decades of greed on all of our parts, and it is going to take way more than a year before everything is fixed. The only way we can start fixing it, is if we start changing our filthy spending habits.

    December 13, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Lauren

    Consumers have been hit hard from all directions..,..just another day in America!

    December 13, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  19. frank a Vet

    the DEMS caused the mess....by easy lending laws with Frank and Doded.
    the hide as cowards behind Bush blaming him.
    Obama can't fix crap....... he made this mess worse and took advantage of it by giving away our money
    let me be clear ...Obama is the one placing us at the brink
    the economy will fix itself if left alone....no credit to Obama

    December 13, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. Mitch

    FACT: America has become a snake-pit of scams.

    December 13, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. Bea

    This is an ongoing cycle that is getting totally ridulous. President Obama stop trying to help people. People do not want help with unemployment benefits. The corporations are crying broke, but really have the resources to keep people employed. The corporations are riding on what the media is saying and what weak minded Americans are believing. If the media don't stop reporting wrong statistics given by who know who because media don't ever give a name to these numbers this country is going to continue to suffer. The media and major corportation are going to take the blame for this as well as the outcome of the war. The media is definitely not giving our troops hope.

    December 13, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. Former Republican now proud Dem! Obama 2 Termer!

    With the Reckless, constituition ripping minded governance we got from the Republicans we wouldnt have to be worried about debt to China that would be the least of our problems...having a country that works or even still existed after the plunder of Republicans Bush and Cheney, we would be on the verge of Nuclear war as every country would have made good on their threats to take us out! Republican BAD, BAD, BAD! Funny I would rather have a president that cares if i got a good education, job to feed my family and great health care. At least our children and grandkids would at least be able to afford great health care to live and pay off our USA debt started by poor planning Republicans.! With the Republican doctrine, its all about WAR, WAR, WAR! Yet OLE MITT would never send one of his 5 boys to go fight for America, yet he wants my boys to go! Wow what true Patriotic bunch!

    December 13, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Grrr-awful-o

    Two thoughts:
    1. If banks' fiscal behavior during his presidency is not all Obama's fault then it wasn't all Bush's fault during his presidency either, right? [hypocrasy detector question]
    2. During Obama's administration, and the democratically controlled Congress, we have had nothing short of an orgy of spending. The republicans were bad but the democrats are breathtaking! THIS is going to go down as Obama's and the democratic congress' fault 100%. Not George Bush's fault.

    December 13, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    That's fair. Obama's fault 50%, Pelosi and Reid's fault 50%.

    December 13, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  25. tate

    This lady was fired twice by two different firms. Now she gives advice if you listen to thid idiot you get what you deserve. Of course Owhiner will listen to this ding bat. Bank are for profit. Community shake down artists like owhiner dont understand that. Guy running our country could not get a job at my firm. What a sad joke he is

    December 13, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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