Iowa Banking Superintendent predicts “a long slog”

The Legislative Oversight Committee invited the state banking superintendent and three Iowa bank executives to testify this morning.  The bank executives are from three banks which have received TARP/CPP money (the federal bailout bucks approved by congress in September). 

Today's meeting (of course) started about half an hour late as Senate Republicans on the panel were in a separate, private meeting (they call them caucuses) at 10 o'clock when the Oversight Committee meeting was to commence. The CEO of West Bank, who happens to be the chair of the Iowa Bankers Association, testified, but indicated he was speaking for the "collection" of banks. The first man to testify was the state banking superintendent, who offered this sober assessment of the economy when asked by a legislators to predict the future.

"I think we're in for…a pretty long slog through this thing and I don't know if it's going to be a year or two years or three years," Iowa Banking Superintendent Thomas Gronstal said.  "I do think that as you compare Iowa to the states around us and the rest of the states in the nation is probably as well positioned to deal with it as anyone, but if layoffs continue to increase, if crop prices decline, if people jsut hunker down and remain in a fearful state that they don't want to do anything, it's going to take us a long time to turn this thing around." 

The presentation from Gronstal and West Bank CEO Tom Stanberry was fascinating to a geek like me.  Listen to it here.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.