Monday, January 19, 2009

Did Bank Lending really Increase in 2008?

Seems difficult to fathom, but according to this repot at Bankstocks.com lending actually increased 5.7% last year. Now I think the catch is that this only includes Commercial Banks so the likely credit available to the markets declined as a lot of finance companies disappeared last year. As the article points out, why is Congress so busy harassing Com'l Banks on lending amounts as they seem to have held up well?

  • Contract law and political posturing aside, since the recession began in December 2007, commercial bank lending rose 5.7%, impressive given the sharp economic contraction. Moreover, lending increased in all categories but home equity lending. And compared to the prior year? Commercial and industrial loans grew at about half the 11% rate in 2007, but total real estate lending grew just 0.6% less, and consumer loans grew at the same 8.9% rate, according the Federal Reserve.
  • the Fed’s recent Consumer Credit Report (January 8, 2009) suggests that commercial banks are taking market share from finance companies, savings institutions, and especially securitized asset pools, which continue to contract materially. Until confidence is restored, closed securitization markets will inhibit improved residential mortgage and consumer credit availability.

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