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Harsh jabs for Obama

February 19, 2010
Filed under From the Editors

INDIANAPOLIS — President Obama received some harsh jabs from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s chief economist during the Motorcycle Industry Council’s recent meeting at the Dealer Expo.

The economist, Martin Regalia, said he would’ve liked to have the president take “Economics 101” before he arrived at the White House. “He missed a little bit,” Regalia said of Obama.

His remark came in response to a question from the audience: When will banks start to lend again?

Long answer short: Lending will gradually increase within the next six months. In the six months after that, Regalia believes banks will begin returning to their normal lending levels.

While that’s good news, what Regalia was really getting at was his belief that things could be much better. He referred to the old Clint Eastwood flick, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” in addressing the current and future economic outlook. While there are some improvements, the economist believes there have been some “horrendous decisions.”

In fact, Regalia singled out the banking tax proposal Obama laid out last month. Regalia explained that since banks are intermediaries, they’re going to pass on those increased prices to the people who borrowed from the banks, which will in turn delay the time until banks feel comfortable in lending again.

For more on Regalia’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” see the upcoming issue of Powersports Business.

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