December 13th, 2009
03:57 PM ET
6 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. Al

    You know, the aggravating thing about all this is that back when the Bush government proposed these bailouts, leading economists and average Americans all said "Bad idea. These greedy companies will just come hat in hand, and then squeeze out the customer again. And watch, they'll start bonusing each other again in no time."

    And they've done all three, just like predicted. What you need is government regulation....strong regulation like we have here in Canada. The kind of crap you guys are going through doesn't happen up here, because we're far more regulated, and the consumer way more protected.

    December 13, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. Alex

    Now everyone is acting like Sunday Morning Quarterback, now everyone is giving opinion about what the president was supposed to do. When you have a fire in your house you spend what ever it's necessary to repair your the house. He needs to invest and spend money in order for this economy to start moving. Salving and cuts is not the solution. This guy have an incredible job and I believe everybody need to help. Stop complaining and do something.

    December 13, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. terry,va

    Nothing is ever the "chosen ones'" fault. When is the media going to quit kissing his behind? Obummie is going to have the banks give risky loans like Dodd and Franks did and we will be back where we started. Obummie and his lot are idiots.

    December 13, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. GuyInVA

    How strange. As I recall, it WAS all the president's fault when the economy took a downward turn during the Bush administration. Strange how the media can change its collective mind like that (or at least change the opinions they put on the air).

    December 13, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Fitz in Texas

    HELLO.....this is Obama's now. His campaign was all about "hope and change." He was going to part the Red Sea and save us all and fix all our problems. Now lets see The President start standing behind his words, because as of today he's pretty failed us all.

    pssst......the Democrats have been in control since 2006.

    December 13, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Clearly Departed

    Just more evidence of why these bailouts were a bad idea in the first place...and both Bush and Obama can take credit for it.

    December 13, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Sally

    There are many, many people who can't get loans who have good credit. I am shocked that anyone would think that that kind of banking deserves applause, huge bonuses, or any kind of sympathy from the average American. We are not asking the banks to approve bad loans...we are asking them to do their job of weeding out the wheat from the chaff and open up the banks for the people rather than making a bundle by charging utterly outrageous interest rates and late fees.

    December 13, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Bert K.

    We should have learned from Reaganomics that you cannot just hand out money to the rich and hope it will come back. Strings need to be tied to our money. How stupid it was of us to give our tax revenue to the rich by lowering their income and capital gains taxes and ever think it would result in jobs and Trickle-down like water. Same is true with these bankers and credit kings. We need to add a big club, the size of double taxes, when the rich and powerful take our money and fail to payup as expected.

    December 13, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. chris l

    really? 3 Months to decide to send 3/4 of the troops that your general asked for? Really? 3 months to name his freakin dog? Really? Gives a speech that he is going to send the troops and in the same breath has the gall to set a specific date withdrawl? Really? The ditherer and chief is just that, a ditherer who has only known how to vote "present" throughout his life and is now attempting to lead this once great country with a vote of present. The ditherer is the epitome of Liberals- -WEAK, COWARDLY, SOCIALIST, PATHETIC

    December 13, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Phil

    Alan is correct. It simply amazes me how many people want to just blame republicans if they are democrats and blame democrats if they are republican. Can we all be a little more intelligent. The Clinton administration set all this in motion. Absurd lending practices so people who can't afford a certain type of house, but all of a sudden could is the fault of those programs and practices from the banks. Fiscal discipline would imply no bank should have completely compromised its underwriting lending practices. What ever happened to 20% down to get into a significant loan for a house. That would require, heaven forbid, people to actually save, pay attention to what they are getting themselves into, and act in a more responsible manner. Lack of individual responsibility is more to blame than the Federal government. Please don't forget the entire federal government is only a fraction of our GDP and entire economy. Everyone tries to blame someone – individuals need to blame themselves for getting in over their heads even if a lending institution said it was OK to do so!

    December 13, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. over65havingfun

    amazing what great analyzers, love aging and reading the next generation of folks with profound answers. will keep using the va and socialized medicine, they are doing fine by me.

    December 13, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. b franklin

    Attention Ray Fisher and all of the others that seem to hold only Bush and the Repubs accountable. Your party has held congress for more than 3 years now, and your party has had both the White House and Congress for nearly a year. Exactly when do you take ownership of the problem. When I took my most recent job, I inherited the problems that came with it. I know this going in. If Obama is the genius that so many of you think he is, shouldn;t he have known this going in.
    Also, didn't This Administration hire some of the very people that helped create this mess (Geithner). Lastly, this administration said it would be transparent and would not hire anyone from special interest groups.....neither is true. Who is the liar in chief now?

    December 13, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. Nevada dude

    Well thank you Captain Obvious. now that we got that straight, how about also saying that the banks have us by the you-know-whats because they have so many senators in their pockets. look at how lieberman is holding the whole health care debate hostage. how many senators do you think the banks have on their side? well, lets see, banking centers are in North Dakota, Idaho, Connnecticut, Delaware, Georgia and North Carolina. you do the math.

    December 13, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. ted

    here is what i did. defaulted on my creditcards about 3 years ago. my credit was crap anyway. this past year collections were going to sue me. i paid off all my cards in cash with no interest from the time of default.i also paid all my outstanding debt off, only about $5,000. i then opened up a credit union account in march '09. saved all i could for about 6 months. put money down for a NEW house. by this time my credit score was just enough to qualify for a mortgage loan. i have no credit cards, fresh credit history, nice big house at a great price,not dealing with a major bank. rent out 2 rooms so my mortgage payment is about half. my girlfriend has a couple of credit cards should we need one for car rental or hotel reservation. i hope to never pay another bank fee ever again. default and pay later worked 4 me.

    December 13, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    We don't need a "windfall profits tax," all we need to do is threaten either to rescind the bank's charters to operate, putting them out of business immediately, or to remove the FDIC protection, and watch while people close all their accounts.

    December 13, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  16. TCM

    PRAGMATIC – for appetizers, how about the $100k's of kickbacks both Dodd and Obama received, during their tenure in congress under Bush. via Raines at Freddie Mac...Their wreckless threatening of lenders to make low or no interest loans to minorities and those that couldn't possilby afford the note....all to avoid extortion-type lawsuits brought by Obama, via ACORN...the problem is here, Praggy, no matter how much obama and his blissfully ignorant supporters are proven wrong, or corrupt...the media whitewashes it...and covers for him....so.....no salvo, that's best suited for libs who don't know when they're wrong...Obama...Valorie Jarrett, Desiree Rodgers...big holders of real estate in Chicago...hmmm.right where the Olympics were to be...oops...no games..but that's ok, they also have controlling interest in real estate around the new GITMO...perhaps you should do you homework instead of kool-aid swilling....and being blindly allegiant to the biggest fraud in the history of this nation.

    December 13, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. back to basics

    None of you get it, the real problem is with the American people, you know, the ones who keep voting the congressmen back in office. The congressmen who are owned by wall street. Blame yourself first!

    December 13, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. TCM

    betsmeir – exactly, but it was at the hands of Dodd, Obama and others who brought suit against lenders for not giving low interest, high risk loans to those who couldn't possibly afford them, mainly minorities....they promptly received 100's of thousands for their unscrupulous work; knowing full well, as Barney FRank lied through his lispy teeth, that they were creating a mortgage timebomb...which crashed the markets and started the chain reactions of financial meltdowns around the globe...just how uninformed are Obama supporters? The extent of that seems to be without boundaries!

    December 13, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  19. Mike in NYC

    The depressed level of lending to small business is due mainly to low demand. The large majority of small enterprises do not have enough confidence in their short-term revenues to take on more credit.

    Would banks willingly pass up the opportunity to make 4-5% on mortgages and business loans instead of paltry Treasury yields?

    "Populists," to use a tired word, are a penny-a-hundred nowadays.

    December 13, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  20. Moki, Tucson

    The Banks in this country are destroying the good will of the American people with predatory practices and it has cost our country dearly.

    The purpose of people joining together to create any country is to provide an adequate measure of safety to it's citizens–not to guarantee a fat profit for corporations and banks. It is hard to feel safe in a country when the banking institutions are doing everything they can to squeeze every last nickel out of you with deceptive and unfair practices. How many millions of people in this country have been driven out of their homes and forced into bankruptcy because of hidden fees and confusing, deceptive mortgages and loans? If these banks were a foreign power bringing this kind of suffering to our citizens, we would rightfully declare war on such a power.

    I say regulate the Banks and bring them to their knees or nationalize.

    December 13, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  21. Brunton

    Its not any Obama's fault. It is right wing freaks telling him to take it easy on the bankers. Listen, if its let them fail, then fine. Bush didn't do that, he just let them continue their fake economy. In fact, Al Gonzo sued every state AG in the country to prevent them from enforcing bank and mortgage fraud laws which makes Bush an abettor to those crimes. The CIA and FBI both told Republicans in Congress and Bush as far back as 2002 that their behavior constituted a threat to national security. Since we propped the banks up, Obama and his team have a duty to do the things we need them to do to prevent this crap from happening again. In the meantime, right wing baby boomers need to shut up, it was their ignorant voting that got us here and their retirement that got saved with the bailout.

    December 13, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. phoenix86

    All we ever hear from Obama is that it's not his fault.

    December 13, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  23. Jack in OH

    OF COURSE she is going to defend Obama. She's a lesbian.

    December 13, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. Hammerer

    Obama wants the banks to lossen up loans to samaal businesses regardless of their credit history. That is the same problem that the governmentgot into with Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae that started this whole mess.
    You would think that if he is nearly as smart as the media has lead us to believe thast he would at least learn from past mistakes.
    I guess not.

    December 13, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    yeah............keep blaming bush like a child

    December 13, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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