North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan was on the Colbert Report last night.
He said something I didn't think was perfectly correct. He said,
Well let me tell you that we don't have. We don't have banks that are too big to fail and we don't have failing banks. A big difference. You know what they do in North Dakota? Banks do banking the old fashioned way. They take deposits and they make loans. Before they make a loan they sit across the table to find out whether somebody can repay it. That's banking the old fashioned way.
This is obviously a serious subject. A lot of people have lost their jobs. A lot of people lost their homes. People have lost hope. We need to put this back together. You don't do it by creating institutions that are too big to fail and have them load up on things like "credit default swaps" and run the country into the ditch and then say to Washington, "by the way, we want a big old bailout from you."
Again, go back to North Dakota. Our banks didn't do that. There aren't any bailouts because they don't need it.
Banks in North Dakota may do banking "the old fashioned way," and they might not have taken as much bailout money as a lot of other states' banks, but we do have some banks in state that have taken TARP bailout money. Here's a list:
(Source: Propublica.org )
|State Bankshares (Profile)||Fargo||Bank||$50 million|
|BNCCORP (Profile)||Bismarck||Bank||$20.1 million|
|Security State Bank Holding Company (Profile)||Jamestown||Bank||$10.8 million|
|BlackRidge Financial, Inc. (Profile)||Fargo||Bank||$5 million|
$86 million in bailouts in North Dakota. Was Dorgan wrong?
Not really. I seriously doubt any of these banks "needed a bailout," so Dorgan is probably technically right. I suspect these banks just saw an opportunity to get some help in tough national/international financial times, so they jumped on it. I haven't looked at all these banks books, but I checked out BNCCORP's last two quarterly reports, and they didn't look like they needed a full-on bailout.
With that in mind, I wonder how many of these banks are run by typical Republicans who complain about government handouts and then are the first in line to get a bailout check even thought they probably didn't really need it.
Overall, I thought Dorgan did well. Colbert's show is a tough venue for a government leader to try to make a good impression, but he did.