'Evening News' Highlights Community Bank Success

     Capitalism works when parties make responsible business decisions. Just look at the First National Bank of Orwell in Orwell, Vt.


     “CBS Evening News” showcased fifth generation bank president Mark Young of the Vermont bank during its Oct. 9 broadcast. CBS correspondent Michelle Miller showed the rules the bank voluntarily practiced that kept it from falling victim to the mortgage crisis like so many Wall Street banking institutions have in the past six months.


     “Founded in 1832, things move at a more measured pace here,” Miller said. “But with $35 million in assets and notes on 400 mortgages, it’s still 20 percent down on every loan and no reselling or exotic lending schemes.”


     Young’s methods weren’t mandated by government regulation or oversight, but by standard banking practices. Young also evaluates the character of borrowers the bank loans to.


     “And like all those generations before him, Young puts his 5,500 customers through tough financial screening, but also the character test,” Miller said.


    Young’s bank loaned to one individual who was denied by other lending institutions.


     “Take David Crane, who’s building his own home on his own land,” Miller added. “As a young self-employed plumber, the big banks rejected him.”


      Young’s bank provided a blueprint for a free market economy.


     “If you can pay the customers a good rate of interest, if you can help your customers and have some money left at the end of the year, what’s better than that?” Young said.


     Young’s capitalist success story comes during financial troubles that Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez and some in the U.S. media have declared to be the failure of capitalism. But that’s not the case, as Philip Johnston explained in a column for the Telegraph (U.K.)

     “The financial crisis does not represent a failure of capitalism but is the consequence of a series of blunders, both economic and political, and an illusory belief that the expansion of credit and the creation of wealth are one and the same thing,” Johnston wrote for the Telegraph (U.K.) on Sept. 30.