Georgia businessman says bailout stopped economic crisis

Moments after he was the recipient of the first Georgia Ethics in Business Award, Jim Blanchard took the stage at the annual leadership conference he hosts with Columbus State University.

But Blanchard, the retired Synovus chairman, didn’t deliver one of his homespun inspirational talks to the nearly 900 people in the Columbus Convention & Trade Center for the fourth annual Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum.

Instead, he used his nearly 40 years as a banking industry executive to analyze the reasons the United States economy found itself on the brink of collapse late last year. While acknowledging a host of factors, he pointed directly at one root cause.

“I would tell you the culprit is not necessarily manmade,” he said. “I believe the cause of the tsunami, the recession and the crisis is the longest period of the lowest interest rates in the history of the country.”

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