Bankers often express dismay at the hoops they must jump through to please regulators, legislators, and a host of interest groups.
An irreverent new book aims to put the situation in perspective for borrowers and nonfinancial types in general.
The author says the book serves two purposes. First, he says, it explains how the knee-jerk reactions of legislators to the loan problems of the 1980s effectively cut off the credit supply. Secondly, it attempts to explain how borrowers can get loans.
Numerous examples of what are said to be actual loans are included, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent. In fact, the author's name - "Addison Parker" - is a pseudonym; he refuses to tell who he really is or, though he claims to be a banker, whom he works for.
(Even the book has two names. The hardcover version, to be available next month, is "Breaking the Bank: An Insider's Guide to Obtaining Business Loans." The paperback, already published, is "How to Obtain Business Loans: Your Insider's Guide." The publisher is PT Publications, West Palm Beach, Fla.)
In one example of how bad the situation is, the author describes the grading process for loans. On substandard loans, he points out that even a loan that is paying interest and principal on time can be put on nonaccrual status, making it a "performing nonperforming asset."
That pessimism about performing loans is replaced by a flood of optimism when it comes to past-due loans. Says the author, "Reasons persist why they are kept on the books and not immediately charged off as a loss (although I can't think of any at the moment)."