A couple dozen people showed up outside the Roundhouse this morning in support of a proposal
by state Rep. Brian Egolf
, D-Santa Fe, to move public deposits of the giant financial institutions that helped cause the financial crisis and subsequent recession.
Egolf's proposal, House Bill 66
, got some national play in the Huffington Post
the other day.
"It's not going to be Brian Egolf going around giving big bags of cash to [local] banks
," Egolf said, waving his arms as though he were wielding invisible moneybags, and drawing a laugh from the crowd.
"If [the study called for in his bill] comes back with the result that there aren't any [local] banks that can handle this, then that's the result."
SFR asked how Egolf could have confidence that community banks would behave more responsibly than, say, Bank of America
, which holds at least $1.4 billion in state government deposits. Especially given the recent FDIC takeover
of Santa Fe-based Charter Bank.
"I have tremendous confidence. Charter Bank got caught in a in a federal regulatory vice grip
," Egolf said. "There's a lot more to the story about Charter Bank than they just got shut down."
Alan Hoffman, a businessowner
who organized the press conference and rally, says federal regulators' overreacted in assessing Charter's loan portfolio. "It's the pendulum swing," Hoffman says. "For eight years they regulated nothing
Also in attendance: Santa Fe Alliance executive director Vicki Pozzebon and Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association executive officer Kim Shanahan (who's holding the "State $$ in State Banks" sign, above).
Not surprisingly, Egolf has the support of the Independent Community Bankers Association, whose lobbyist, Domonic Silva stood by his side. State Sen. Tim Keller, D-Bernalillo, cosponsored Egolf's bill. And Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Hidalgo, signed on this morning, Egolf said.
Egolf also sent US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner an email about his proposal, although, he tells SFR, "I don't know for a fact that he read it
Egolf says he knows Geithner from when they both worked under former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers
, for whom Geithner served as undersecretary for international affairs.
The bill will go before the House Business and Industry Committee before moving on to House Appropriations, Egolf said.