Dian's Column
Dian's Archive


No Joke: Funds Up Funds Down

By Dian Vujovich

There’s no fool like an April fool but no kidding, things are getting a little bit better out there. Really. Honest.

Why just the other day I was writing about consumer confidence levels being horribly low and now, miracle of miracles, reports show that they’ve edged up a smidgen. Okay, a smidgen isn’t very much but the move is still an upwards one.

A Reuters story yesterday reported that U.S. consumer confidence rose to 26.0 in March. That’s up 0.7 from its February reading of 25.3. That Feb. number is an all-time low for this index that’s been tracking confidence since 1967.

As far as how on-line readers think the economy is doing, the results of a poll taken last week of some 2,000 people who responded to a SmartBrief on Leadership question. (www.smartbrief.com) might surprise you.

The question was: Do you believe the economy is in better shape than the media reports it to be? And the answers: Over 61 percent thought that the economy was healthier than the media portrays it.

And then there’s all that bank loan stuff.

Who amongst us ever thought that the banks would return or repay the gov part—or for that matter all— of the money they received in bailout kinds of aid in 2008? Well, to date four of them have.

If you recall, last fall The Treasury Department decided to fork out $250 billion to over 500 banks. Most of the money was earmarked for the 25 largest banks around. The intent? That all banks were to use the funds to increase their lending. They haven’t–but that’s another story.

The good news part is that four regional banks have returned their moola. Signature Bank of New York returned $120 million, Old National Bancorp of Indiana returned $100 million, $90 million came back from IberiaBank of Louisiana and California’s Bank of Marin Bancorp has returned $28 million, according to The Washington Post.

Of course there’s more to this than meets the eye. For more details check out http://www.washingtonpost.com

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

[ top ]