Liberal Group praises impact of state’s small banks – Kurt Bauer says study flawed.

Group praises impact of state’s small banks

The 17 small Wisconsin banks that received TARP money from the federal government increased their lending and have played a valuable role in helping to stabilize the state economy during the recession, a study released Friday by the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future.

The Glendale-based liberal think-tank concluded the study shows “the resilience of Wisconsin’s small banks and their ability to use TARP funds effectively demonstrate that proactive intervention by government is a critical tool for restoring Wisconsin’s prosperity.” The report said the performance of the biggest banks trailed smaller banks in the percentage of loan growth from September 2008 through September 2009.

Kurt Bauer, chief executive of the Wisconsin Bankers Association, said he was glad the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future acknowledges “that Wisconsin banks play a vital role in business and job development, and thus, an economic recovery.” But said the study’s findings on the big state banks that received Troubled Asset Relief Program capital are in dispute. “I think the measurement of total lending is more complicated than IWF recognizes,” Bauer said.

Way to go, buddy. Thanks for the early Christmas present.

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