BOSTON (11/12/08)--Massachusetts credit unions met with state House Speaker Sal DiMasi and other lawmakers to discuss concerns about the $700 billion rescue plan for the financial system. The rescue plan would pump billions of dollars into big banks, giving them financial room to devote funds to marketing and lowering interest rates for loans, while credit unions and community banks would be put at a competitive disadvantage, they told the Boston Herald (Nov. 11). Dan Egan, president of the Massachusetts Credit Union League, said "credit unions don't have access to that money. The larger banks can do what they want with that (federal) capital. It makes them stronger." Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is earmarking billions of dollars for the nation's largest banks to push lending, even though some of them are not in peril, Egan told the newspaper. As a result, smaller banks and credit unions are in a "disadvantageous position" because they can't access the bailout funds, he said. DiMasi's "economic summit" meeting was with financial institutions and insurers. DiMasi told the Herald local financial leaders there made it clear that distribution of bailout funds should include smaller institutions, even those that are financially healthy.