Community Bank Investment Can Spark US Growth: John Malone

Friday, 29 Apr 2011 | 12:29 PM ET

Investing in community banks would be one way to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and business formation, Liberty Global Chairman John Malone told CNBC Friday.

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"The media in New York says loan demand is not strong. Well, they’re talking to Jamie Dimon," said Malone, whose cable and entertainment company is based in Englewood, Co.

"Large corporations have tons of dollars (and) access to the bond market. Where there is loan demand and no supply is in the small local communities that have always been the bulk of the job creators."

Malone said he speaks to many small entrepreneurs in Colorado who would love to expand, but can't because their community banks can't lend. Some entrepreneurs even turn to him.

"I have to tell people I’m not personally a bank and I can’t say endless grace over three dozen small loans to friends of friends of friends," said Malone, who is the biggest private landowner in the U.S.

America, he said, has "entered a global, competitive world but we don’t have, from the top, a global competitive strategy. Our political system is frozen in terms of figuring that out."

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He likened the situation to "a patient with chronic pain going into a doctor and instead of trying to figure out what is causing the chronic pain, just takes some pain-killer. Pretty soon they get addicted to the pain-killer," he said.

The "only adult in Washington with freedom of action is probably the Federal Reserve and they are doing what they can to keep this economy going," said Malone. "But it is tough for the Fed to offset a very serious deficit problem."

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