Building an airline demands understanding the crucial role of financial institutions in our economy, and the complicated relationships between capital, borrowing, and business growth. One key to Cape Air’s success has been a very conservative borrowing position Dan has taken over the years; the company carries very little debt. Rather than borrowing heavily to finance purchases, he has reinvested profits, managing the balance sheet to remain strong while continuing to expand.
This is the type of fiscal prudence he brings to the state budget.
But Dan’s involvement in this sector extends far beyond Cape Air.
He presently serves on the board of trustees of one of the largest mutual savings banks in Southeastern Massachusetts, a community-based, independent bank with a mortgage portfolio of more than a billion dollars.
He formerly served on the board of directors of a locally owned commercial bank, and was the lone vote against a merger that was part of a large consolidation, arguing that the bank had the stability and responsibility to remain in local hands.
He also served on the New England Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston for five years.
If we have learned anything over the past 6 years, living through an economic crash and deep recession, it is that a healthy – and ethical – financial services sector is essential. This devastating experience is also proof positive that government must play a strong regulatory role, and that financial institutions that remain invested and connected to the communities they serve must be supported.
Through this crisis, mutual banks and credit unions have had far fewer foreclosures than larger lenders, supporting neighborhoods and businesses with sound loans that encourage growth and stability. Government must play every role possible to support those community expressions, for example by making sure that deposit insurance regulations don’t favor the largest institutions, and by creating ways for government to backstop smaller local banks to create more lending capacity, and more competition.