Transcript from Unit 3: Intimate Economics panel discussion August 20, 2015
At Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft as part of the Moving Units project
Daniel Tucker: This event came out of a desire to dig into some of the themes of the exhibition some of which Aldy has kind of laid out. Some of those themes include a strong emphasis on culture and economics. But I was wondering what do we mean when we say local economy? We often mean that we want to have a connection with others. We want to have a connection with the people who grow our food. The crafters that make our tools and the innovators of the technologies that we utilize everyday. This impulse seems to me to be ultimately to be about intimacy with other people. and these presenters are extremely qualified to help us explore how local economic activity and infrastructure can support or discourage that deeper bound of connection. the stacks of this subject matter run very deep and they run in many directions. There is a farm I recently visited in upstate New York where the farmers spoke about the delicacy of their long-term relationships. How they have to be sure how they say hi to their neighbors because they know they are going to see those same neighbors every day for the rest of their lives. Then it also extends to communities here in louisville such as the severe “economic” isolation of parts of West Louisville which was described by Samuel Watkins, president and CEO of Louisville Center Community Centers. So I think that we are going to be able to explore the sort of different edges from saying hello to severe economic isolation that this subject matter can touch upon. So I’m going to introduce the panelist one by one all at once and then I’m going to pose them two questions. After that i’m going to let the panelist speak to each other for a little while and then we are going to open up to you for the remainder of the time.
Steven Trager who is the chairman and CEO of Republic Bank and the President and CEO of Republic Bank Corp where he remains actively involved in the operation of retail management of Republics 40 banking centers of Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Ohio and Tennessee with total assets of 3.5 billion and 1 billion in trust assets. Mr. Trager currently serves on the boards of Bellarmine University, the Louisville Regional Airport Authority, The Fund for the Arts and the University of Louisville Board of Overseers and was recently recognized as the “Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Man of the Year” and the “Entrepreneur of the Year” in southern Ohio and Kentucky by Burnston Young.
Then at the end of the table, Carrie VanWinkle is the socially responsible investment advisor for natural investments LLC and she’s also the co-founder of Slow Money KY so she’ll be speaking tonight with these two hats on. Carrie has dedicated her life to building a sustainable and just community both locally and globally. Her work as an investment advisor is a pivotable part of this work by empowering individuals and families to both achieve their financial goals and have a positive impact on the world through social responsible investing. Seeing the importance of access to capital support healthy growth in small businesses and inspired by what other slow money groups around the country were doing to support their local sustainable food economies Carrie brought together a number of key stakeholders in the Louisville metro area and co-founded Slow Money KY. Now in its second year, Slow Money has catalyzed nearly $100,000 in loans between individuals and local sustainable food enterprises, many of whom are farmers.
Beth Thorpe is the lead coordinator of the Louisville Timebank. Beth came to Timebanking with the idea that people in communities needed meaningful social connections to thrive. The Louisville Timebank was just becoming established by founder, Jennifer Turner, in the winter of 2012 as Beth arrived in Louisville and she promptly became involved with running the Timebank. Drawing a life experience of successful business ownership and lifelong commitment to social justice she has been able to help the Time Bank continue to grow its membership and support the framework that connections hundreds of Louisville Timebank members through building a community of sharing, trust and friendship by exchanging services of time and talent.
We’ll hear more about these people’s’ work tonight.
So what I’m going to do first is pose a question individual to each of the speakers. We are going to start out with Carrie.
Carrie, much of the Wall Street side of finance results in maximizing profits for people who are already rich. How does socially responsible investing differ from that model?
Carrie Vanwinkle: Such a simple question, Daniel. Part of what we are talking about is intimate economics and for me in connection within economics… so to answer that as simple as possible I think of air and I think of music lessons and I think of the soil. Socially responsible investing is conscious of these things and helps investors engage on a global level to a local level in a way that they are conscious of the company they are investing in and how they impacting the air locally, regionally, nationally and beyond.
I was thinking of a local example, so with the other hat on as volunteer with Slow Money KY, ya know, we support local food businesses and I think about the farmer who I know who can now send his daughter to music lessons because we’ve helped him boost his sales. He was able to expand his growing season and now that he generates more income his daughter’s going to music lessons now so thats a very intimate economic impact that we have not only by eating what he growing and nourishing our families and ourselves but then how it has an impact so closely in our community in these really special ways.
That’s related to what I do with my work in socially responsible investing. One of our more exciting private investments that we are working with right now is Iroquois Valley Farms and they’re in thirteen states; they are either buying and preserving organic farmland or they’re buying conventional farmland and converting it to organic in Iroquois Valley with the intention of descending generations into the future so their business models not only built fiscally sound for the current investor but also to support generational farmers in staying on that land and working it into the future in a healthy way. And we’ve worked with them, my colleague Andy Loving and I, have worked with them to identify Kentucky farms which they purchased their first farm last year which was really exciting. So that’s more of a national investment but has a local impact on us as well.
Daniel Tucker: Alright, Steve as I understand it, following industrialization the finance industry grew to take charge of society’s savings allowing individual wealth to be available in large bundles in the form of credit and in return for interest, they helped in getting savings out from “under the mattress” of society. Over time that sector of the economy, of financial industry, has grown disproportionately to the rest of the economy. What can you say about the scale of both financial firms and the sector in general and how a locally owned bank, like yours, can work in a way that is more connected to local needs?
Steven Trager: Well first of all, I wish that it was still that simple; I can only pray that it was still that simple. As certain financial institutions have challenges because we rely on federally insured deposits the government has a right to regulate what we do and they have created somewhat rigid standards that do inhibit our ability to exercise some judgement. With that said, as a local institution, we seem to have more flexibility because we are local than large national institutions to exercise some judgement as it relates to the local economy and the people interact with. At Republic Bank because we are local we kind of fit in a nice sized range. We are big enough that there’s no product, service, technology, whatever the case may be, that we can’t compete with a large market institution. But what we do is we try to couple that with products that enable customers to transact financial transactions electronically without extensive human interaction if that’s what folks choose to do and at the same time enable them to have human interaction that influence those transactions if that’s what folks do choose to do. So we are kind of a hybrid model in that regard. And from my perspective never underestimate the value of human interaction.
If you look at us, I mean we don’t make loans anywhere else, we make loans to local people in the markets that we serve. That’s for two reasons: number one, ya know there is part of it that is doing the right thing, maybe that’s apart of it. We are a “for profit” corporation so protective of ourselves and that’s our calling card that’s the value proposition that we bring in that our customers know that because we are local, number one, they can hold us accountable. If im not treating people properly they can come to events like this and hold me accountable because I can’t hide from local people. So they can influence those transactions and it concerns me because there’s a generation that many of whom would rather transact business without human interaction, and there’s a place for that but don’t ever underestimate the value of human interaction because we lend money to people and part of the component or characteristic that we are looking for is we want to lend money to people that we know. That we can see their place of business, that we can interact with them, we can see the way they live; that is such a valuable component.
From a customer’s standpoint, don’t make a mistake about it, we aren’t a small institution anymore and we do have some conservative standards with human interaction our customers can impact the decision. Make no mistake, if you are going with a large out of town, whatever product or service it is, that human interaction cannot influence the transaction so that’s kind of the meaning of the local nature from my perspective and it does have meaning and I think some people realize more than others. But to us and to our customers I think it’s very, very significant.
Daniel Tucker: So Beth, I want to ask you to emphasize the time part of the Timebank idea. “Money rich, time poor” is the expression which arose in Britain at the end of the 19th century, to describe groups of people who whilst having a high disposable income through well-paid employment have relatively little leisure time as a result. Today there’s a growing prevalence across class lines of being “time poor”; of being stretched thin. I don’t intend to ignore class differences, but I’m curious about the way the Timebank asks people to think about time and if the way that you ask people to think about time could increase their time instead of just becoming another thing them to juggle or administer in their daily lives?
Beth Thorpe: Thank you. We do live in a time where time is stretched more thin, I mean, people/Americans work a lot of hours. We’ve changed a lot since I was a kid– I’m almost 48. What was a full day of work has changed but more members work too, I mean, it’s a rare– although Louisville there’s couples that don’t all, ya know, there are still women that don’t work here. It’s still kind of a city that isn’t quite as expensive. You don’t have the commuting issue. I have friends that live on the east coast and commuting is a large part of their day so the whole “time-poor” concept I get that, definitely, but in the Timebank– ya know, sometimes people will say to me “I don’t have time to be in the Timebank, I’m really busy, I just don’t have time” but what I like to them is that being in the Timebank is not the same as you’re just volunteering. It’s reciprocal and for many members when they are really busy and going through really busy times other members can be supportive.
There’s a member who just recently who said “I am going to have the busiest fall ever would you, while you’re making dinner if it’s appropriate freeze portions for me?” So this is work you are already doing. You are already making dinner and she would eat anything so she now has a full freezer ready to go while she’s really busy and no else really did extra work. Ya know, having someone let your dog out while you’re working late things like that, it’s a lot of the exchanges that go on in the Timebank sometimes the misconception is that you do this very big service. That there’s something you do for work; and it could be, some people do that but most things are very normal: going to the grocery store, picking somebody up, taking someone to the airport, those short of things. And so it’s activities that you’re already doing probably. Or things that are easy for you and you don’t even think of them as work. I can set someones computer up like that and to someone who is not used to that it takes them all day then they’re frustrated and heading back to the Apple Store or something. It’s magic to them but to you you’re like– well we’re done.
One of the Timebank does require, as far as that time is something that you have to put in and a bit of relationship building. Really what goes on at the Timebank are building those relationships up and once you have them we have had members that have had big crises and they have big support in that time. Kind of the building blocks of what really goes on.
One of the things that we’ve really seen in Timebanking is that it’s very different when someone gives you something opposed to when you buy it. It builds relationships, makes friendships happen and in Timebanking there’s a quote used that’s by Stephanie Rearick, who runs Dane County Timebank in Madison, Wisconsin, she’s a big figure in the Timebanking world she helps people start them she helped start it here. She said “Why scramble for crumbs when together we can all have pie?”. And so Louisville Timebank members have a gift for you. It is time for pie! We think panels are boring, sometimes, so we like to break it up a little bit so there’s members coming down; there’s pie for everyone and there’s a bunch of different kinds. [Timebank members serve the audience pie.]
So everyone who is actually at this event who just worked is earning time credit from the Timebank and the people who made pie are earning credits for it and we have a lot of pie left.
Daniel Tucker: Alright so, the next question I’ve got for you, and this is the last one, is going to be for everyone. You each can take as much time as you want to respond to it but it’s really just based upon the premise of this panel: “Intimate Economics”. Which is that people want to be connected to others and have real sense of control over their own lives. You can see this sort of impulse, this desire, to control your own life at the local level. You can see this expressed across the political spectrum. You can see it in “Occupy Wall Street”, the Tea Party, and Sustainable Food Advocates. On some level what this suggests is that there is a psychological or an emotional solution to what we call an economic problem. So what I’m wondering about is if you could reflect on how you’ve see this impulse towards “Intimate Economics” play out in your work and what you think the real prospects are to make this become a key feature in our economy moving forward? Feel free to elaborate and give examples.
Beth Thorpe: I think more people are rooting for more connection, in general, I think it’s something a bit of a cliche but we are a society that moves around a lot. And we used to have families and they lived around us and I believe here in Louisville there is a bit more of that then in places in some places in the countries, which what I believe gives Louisville it’s nice flavor, but still what you can see is happening where maybe a generation or two ago there would have been maybe five or six siblings. Catholic families were more popular but we are now we are a couple generations into the “single kid family” or couples with no kids and you do two generations with no children or one child that means no aunts, no uncles and no cousins and I think people are looking for ways to build those relationships up. Years ago people would have known more people in their community and the people that they knew would own businesses and you’d walk in and you knew them and they know your family and they know you and that makes a big difference.
Now we go into pretty faceless stores and the idea of a “non-teller bank” is kind of freaky to me but in Timebank a lot of times when people hear about the Timebank they’re like “oh you do work for each other it must be like bartering, right?”. But Timebank actually has a lot deeper origins than that. It’s more of a social justice and it’s more about building relationships and it creates friends and builds connections and intimacy and family-like relationships. I’ve seen at Louisville Timebank that people have their lives change completely. People who were very lonely who aren’t anymore and it’s really beautiful to watch actually and people even call Timebank their family just because of the support they give each other.
Steve Trager: Well that trend is correct. It relates to people’s’ needs for human interaction. Just look at real estate trends in this community: something just came out in the last two days that said 40205s were the hottest zip codes in the country and I think that’s measured by how quickly houses sell when they go on the market. I’m 55 and my generation and my parents generation had the aspiration to live in the suburbs, have a yard, be in a neighborhood, be near a mall. That was the aspiration back then but today’s generation it is completely the opposite: small house, very close in, a place where you can walk to stores. That’s why if you look at the real estate market today there’s such a disparity in location. If you have a house out in Prospect, outside of the Watterson, and you look at the price per square foot it’s about half and houses out there stay on the market for an incredibly long period of time. If you look at the Highlands, Crescent Hill and St. Matthews, which include 40205, those houses sell immediately sometimes for over the list price. So that says to me that people want an opportunity to closely connect with other people and want to walk places. I talked with someone today in Norton Commons. Norton Commons is far out but the concept is the same: they have small houses, everything is self contained, there is a school there, a church there, a YMCA there. People really like that.
In our business specifically, I think, one of the most frustrating things is that we are so heavily regulated. It really inhibits our ability to exercise judgement as it relates to people. We can still do some of more than probably a big bank and we have to fight through those regulations to do it but, boy, it’s because everyone is held to such a rigid, common, federal standard. We have folks that come to me and say “ I want to borrow this much money for this reason” and I call and say “look this guy/gal is going to pay us back, I want to give them the loan” but it’s embarrassing what we have to go through to do that today. We can do it but the steps we have to go through. We still have to go through a lot of documentation steps so I think all financial institutions are held to that same standard but it is incredibly difficult. The good news is that we still do it but we have to go through a bunch of steps to do it.
Carrie Vanwinkle: So I spoke a bit about this earlier but the example I really want to focus on now is Slow Money KY which is volunteer network of borrowers and lenders that focuses on supporting local sustainable food businesses. Like Daniel said in the introduction for this event, many of the farmers that make sense for our area, smaller scale farmers, but we’ve supported other kinds of businesses, too.
The model right now we bring people together, potential borrowers with potential lenders, and that investor may lend one to five thousand dollars at 2-5%, 5 would be the most. And we make the terms directly so we call it “peer to peer lending” which keeps it legal. Basically once you know someone then legally you can lend to them with interest. So we help get people to know each other and build relationships and they take it from there. We give them a little bit of a toolbox to support them in doing that successfully but they set up the terms, like with a farmer for example, one of the farmers we support had at least two investors and he wanted to extend his growing season by building a greenhouse on the farm close to Oxmoor Mall and that would allow him to continue to employ the people working on the farm longer which was great for them. It was the first year that he was able to start a Winter CSA so families got freshly, local grown vegetables during the winter and that’s a great part of his business now. That is thanks to these two investors and it was a pretty modest loan, I don’t think it was even $10,000 but it made a difference to him. And the foundation, like the Timebank, is the spirit of it is to reconnect and rebuild relationships and that’s the foundation of local economy like Steve was saying. We are really exciting for the possibility of other ways that we can get money flowing to local, sustainable food enterprises and we are just getting started and we’ve actually crossed the $100,000 mark.
Daniel Tucker: So at this point what I would like to invite you all to do if you have any questions for each other of things you want to follow up on, things like that, now is the time to do that. And then we can open it up to the audience for any other questions.
Beth Thorpe to Carrie VanWinkle: I actually have a question for you: who else have you funded locally?
Carrie VanWinkle: So another example is that you may have heard of Kiva Zip which a really amazing online platform where you can provide zero interest loans to people all over the world but more specifically in the United States we are one of the few cities in the country who are a “Kiva Zip community”. So we partner with Kiva Zip, we found Andre Barber who is this amazing farmer in Hardin County which is about an hour away. So he’s done some great work in Louisville already by bringing fresh produce here. So what was happening is that Andre had one truck and sometimes he was making multiple trips per day back and forth to bring in the produce and that was insane. What we helped him do was raise $10,000 and bought a box truck and he is able to bring a big load at one time. So just one other example.
Daniel Tucker: I guess one other question I’ll pose is that the farmer transportation example made me think of is in that instance there was a practical solution but there is a way that some of these projects bump up against some of the limits the of “local” in some ways. That it is not practical to do distribution at a certain scale and in some instances it’s not practical to do it in an international scale or it could be environmentally devastating or there is a consequence to that which is why people turn towards local. There is also the inverse of that, where maybe it is not practical to do certain kinds of economic activity at a local scale. I guess I’m wondering if any of you can speak to that while we are here talking about this. What are the limits of the local from your perspective?
Steve Trager: Well, you know, one of the rolls that we play is we can’t fill that niche so it’s wonderful that there are folks filling that niche for that $5-10,000. That’s a very refreshing opportunity to help people out, I think that’s just a wonderful thing. And some people that’s what they need; they need that $5-10,000 to accomplish some of those things. You know, when you get bigger dollars involved, obviously we have rigid standards and some of those standards are a good thing because you have some folks with a dream and have great idea and when they come to a bank, you know, obviously we are engaging based on our experience this person’s ability to repay.
Based on our experience we don’t approve every loan we get although we wish we could approve every loan that we get because we measure based on our experience and the kinds of things we look at in return experience we can guide a person to say, ya know, we don’t think that’s a good risk. If it is not a good risk for the bank that means that it’s probably not a good risk for the borrower. In the mortgage crisis of 2008, 2009, 2010 one of the challenges were that there were certain financial institutions out there that made a fee on the loan and then shipped the loan so they didn’t have skin in the game so they didn’t really care what the risk was to the borrower or on that loan. That’s a dangerous thing, that’s something that we bring to the table because, as I mentioned, if it’s a risk to us it’s more of a risk to that borrower so by making a borrower go through so many analyses it helps that borrower understand why it’s important for them to make certain risks and maybe not take another risk.
Carrie VanWinkle: I would say one limit, from a financial advisor’s perspective, is if a client came up to me and said “I really want to support the local economy, I want to move all of my retirement money to local investments” I would say diversification is one of our tools. So I still interpreted this “Intimate Economics” though like personal economics. So it’s still a consciousness that we are beginning to have again or have in a new way about how our personal economy, for example, where we shop, where we are invested whether it is across the world or local like Carmichael’s Book Store. How our personal economy impacts the world and is that the impact that we want to have. So from my perspective there it is creating a range of investment strategies that are appropriate and are financially sound, which aren’t all local, I’ll create that impact that that investor wants to have.
Daniel Tucker: So at this point we will open it up to you all for any questions that you have for our panelist.
Audience Member #1: In your introductory remarks you referenced Sam Watkins, his comments and some other comments that I’ve heard recently talk about 9th Street being the big division of lots of things and part of that is the investment in dollars. The money goes from West Louisville to other places but it doesn’t come back to West Louisville the same way. So what can groups like this do to help equalize that out and to do better in the way that we spend locally to help folks who are perhaps on the margin make a reasonable living?
Beth Thorpe: Yeah, that is a huge question. I can’t actually speak so much to actual dollars because that’s not what I do but I can speak a little bit about Time Banking. One of the things when we first started Time Banking we thought we could be everywhere in Louisville and we were really hoping to be in West Louisville and all through areas that had less money, where more children were on federal school lunch, that kind of thing. One of the things that we really found that was really frustrating and it made us realize that, number one, we couldn’t just helicopter in and say “look we have this amazing thing and this will fix it all for you” because that doesn’t work. We realize that people need to self organize and that people in a lot of those areas work a lot, actually, there is an incredible amount of work in the poor and they’re on the bus and that kind of goes back to the first question that was given to me about time. If you work two jobs and you take the bus in Louisville to get there you do not have time to Time Bank and that brings up some other things.
We have started reaching out to the Smoketown area that has more organizations they’re supporting, like “Kentuckians For the Commonwealth” and “Smoketown Vision”. We are starting to build those relationships there and help them do that. We are trying and we are trying to work it out. I feel very strongly to not go into it as I am going to fix all of your stuff, I think that happens a lot. I don’t live there and a big time of Time Banking is self organization. Everything that is done in Time Bank is done by Time Bank members. So if anyone has connections to those neighborhoods and people want to be a coordinator there and run Time Bank I am into it. I just wanted to throw that out.
Steve Trager: Sometimes there is more talk than action but I will say this: there is a lot of dialogue about “West of 9th”. Way more dialogue than there has ever been, and while talk is cheap sometimes, I will tell you it is starting to stick. There is more attention, people are talking about it, there is results to show for it for some of the things that have happened in the West End. YMCA has a proposed project in the West End, you’ve got the African American Heritage Museum in the West End. It’s starting to stick. It is one of those things that the more you talk about it the more over time things can begin to happen. I’ve been to more forums and I’ve been more west of 9th more in the last three years than I was ever the first fifty two years of my life. So it is starting to happen and it is on everyone’s radar.
A controversial topic in this town is busing. There is nothing more expensive and anti-local than busing. We’ve raised our kids in Oldham County and so we had a school in the neighborhood in Oldham County. All of my kids friends lived in and around them and they went to school with them. With busing the whole theory is that we are moving the people around everywhere so it’s tough to cultivate a neighborhood and pride a neighbor so it is a controversial topic. I see it both ways but that’s a very anti-local theme.
Carrie VanWinkle: I just wanted to add that I am very excited that I got to be apart of Community Foundation these last two weeks and Community Foundation is really leadership on what some other foundations around the country are doing. They have these huge amounts of money that’s invested outside of the community aside from what they give in grants to the local community. So the Community Foundation is looking at how they can take portions of those investments and actually use those to invest locally. More of the money that they have are using to it locally.
Daniel Tucker: Building on this discussion, something that I will add to my previous question is that in this idea of localism or intimate economics, I should say, that it is weird that you find it being expressed and called for across the political spectrum that you have Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party and Sustainable Food Advocates. All of them saying “we want to control our own live in the local level”. There is something sort of weird about that because it doesn’t necessarily happen that often where there is a similar impulse that is found across the spectrum. There are a few ways to think about that. One of the ways is to say that our conception of the “political spectrum” needs to be tweaked if all of these people are sort of in agreement that they want localism or local economics. Another way to look at it is that we, sort of, don’t know what we are talking about. That there is a call for something, but that there is not a thorough examination of what it would take to have a thriving local economy. One of the main barriers, it seems to me about that is that there is not often a close examination of what the starting point is in society. So if the starting point is uneven then we are starting from a position of inequality. Then you can’t start piling local economics projects on top of that inequality and reverse the historical trend that is underneath it. So that is just something I will share as a thought in relations to what your question was.
And a resource I will offer is that there is a organization that is called Civic Economics and they do research that is at the neighborhood level on how dollars circulate. It’s really useful for having practical discussions on how to actually address this in a number of different neighborhood contexts that isn’t a uniform solution saying ‘this is our blanket solution’ but can actually actually ask what sort of assets are at work in this neighborhood and which ones are not, and if we do introduce those resources or assets then how would that money flow and circulate? So it really allows you also to understand this in a practical way. So any other questions?
Audience Member #2: Can you talk about the concept of the commons?
Beth Thorpe: In Time Banking there is research that is done on this but it is called “The Core Economy”. “The Core Economy” is your grandmother taking care of your grandchild, it’s people watching other kids, it’s people working on a gardner in the neighborhood. All those things that are sort of for the commons or all those connections that keep our air clean, takes care of our kids, takes care of our old people and our GDP does not take it into consideration whatsoever. So that is very valuable all those relationships you built in that garden, absolutely. The Core Economy accounts for billions of dollars. There was some research that was done recently where a man said “I could not afford my wife, I could not pay her and she kept up with everything and if I had to pay everyone to do all of those things there is no way I could afford it”. Just something to think about. For me it is kind of a women’s issue where women have done a lot of unpaid work for millennia and we do a lot of the volunteer work still. It’s very common and it still trickles down where women don’t get paid as much because we just give it away, it’s the nice thing to do.
Audience Member #3: There is an emerging concept called “glocal” which the local and the global and it feels like you are beginning to hit on some of the concepts of that it is not one economy but it’s economies and each of us have the right to have our own worldview to participate in the economies that support those values and so that we aren’t moving towards one of those but that are moving towards multiple options of the ways of which we want to live our lives. An interesting conversation is happening is between the global economies which are large corporations, multinational corporations and local economies and it’s the space the between them. It’s the conversation that they’re having that is really the place of emergence. So what I would be interested in is what would you all say to one another about what you hope for each other and what you dream?
Beth Thorpe: Local banks are so important. We bank with the Credit Union but local banks will be the ones to save our hineys if the economy goes bad again.
Steve Trager: You look at the foreclosures in Louisville, KY during their peak, I think is Jefferson County in 2010 they were 350,000-400,000 foreclosures or something like that. Ninety-five percent of them were not at local banks. They were all Wells Fargo, they national mortgage lenders and I deal with it all the time. We have to compete and we have to have somebody come to us and say “I can get an 8th of a point better at this place” and then they have to go through the mess they have to go through and I think hopefully I have enough value to judge that but then they have a problem with getting their mortgage released and they don’t know who to call. You look at those foreclosures to that point. We have some size, we can compete in this regulatory environment. How can a small bank do it? They cannot do it. First of all they can’t exercise a lot of judgement so that kind of throws them into the pull of competing with everyone else. These regulations are challenging, although we can handle it a small bank, unfortunately, will not be around.
Daniel Tucker: So Beth, do you have a prompt or a challenge?
Beth Thorpe: I will just add that I love what Slow Money KY is doing, ya know, there is all these farmers and this five to ten grand really does make a difference and it is really good to see them doing that. I am going to hand of the microphone though because I feel like I am talking too much.
Carrie VanWinkle: So I would like to say, I am also a member of Time Bank, although not the most active member I love when I get to be a part of it and have some great interactions so thank you Beth for taking the leadership and really keeping it alive. My challenge would be to just keep going and to cheer you on because I know it is a lot of work and it really is making a difference in the community and it has potential to really grow and create greater impacts.
And Steve, I would just say thank you for how Republic Bank supports local business. Capital is required to support our local economy and that is cannot thrive without capital flowing and the local banks are so critical in the flowing capital. My challenge would be to you, which I’m sure you do this all of the time, but to educate people about the power and the possibility for local banks and what they do and how they impact us. I feel like it is one of those areas that we are really clueless about and we need to be better educated about it.
Daniel Tucker: I would offer a challenge to you all. I am glad Carrie said “capital” and one of the things I would want to challenge you all to think about is that there is a lot of different “capital” that is represented across this table and I think we all need to do a little bit more work to understand how they interact with one another. Like, what the limits are for each form of capital that we are putting out in the world and reproducing but also what the possibilities that they have if we combined with other projects and other practices. If we were trying to be comprehensive in this panel, there are a few other stages in the local economic spectrum that we could be grappling with but we can’t always be comprehensive so we have these three great panelist who represent the spectrum for us. I feel like there is work for all of us to think about for ourselves what is it specifically that I am doing and how could it relate to some of these other kinds of operations.