The Kronies are back with a video about the Export-Import Bank, one of the federal government’s largest corporate welfare programs. While the video is less than subtle, it makes the rent-seeking and deal-making surrounding the Bank very clear. Fortunately, the Bank’s charter expires on September 30 of this year. Ex-Im will cease to exist unless Congress votes to reauthorize it. CEI’s Iain Murray recently weighed in on the Ex-Im fight here.
Cronyism is far from the Export-Import Bank’s only problem. It also has enormous opportunity costs. There is only so much investment capital to go around. Every time Ex-Im secures favorable financing for a debacle such as Enron or Solyndra, or a sound company like Boeing or Caterpillar that doesn’t need taxpayer help, a deserving company elsewhere has to pay higher interest rates, or may even be denied financing altogether. The Ex-Im Bank’s portfolio is currently in the neighborhood of $140 billion. This is an enormous amount of capital being politically directed, instead of market-tested. Here’s hoping Congress decides to end the Export-Import Bank this fall.