Banks Don't Need To Be Forced to Lend
Banks are in the lending business: They do not need to be forced to lend. And contrary to popular and political opinion, banks have not stopped lending. Despite the recent financial market turmoil, a declining GDP, and an increase in loan-loss reserves, commercial bank lending actually grew $336 billion, or 4.9%, from August to Dec. 24, according to Federal Reserve data (see chart above). While lending dictates or other restrictions may be tempting, the Obama administration must discourage Congress from imposing them on recipients of TARP investments.