Monthly Archives: March 2011

Why Credit Creation Will Return

Negative loan growth is a very important issue since many believe only when the “banks start lending again” will the U.S. economy recover.

Each week, the Federal Reserve releases its H.8 report detailing the assets and liabilities for the U.S. commercial banks. Although the weekly change in total loans may swing positive or negative, this report (excluding the impact of an accounting change in March 2010) has shown a clear negative trend in loan growth since 2008. During the recent downturn, various critics of the sector used this data to draw conclusions ranging from the extreme (“the banking system is broken”), to the misleading (“the banks are not lending”). Read More»

U.S. Banks Buck a Powerful Q4 Trend (And Why it’s Bullish)

The U.S. banks reported a very solid, albeit messy, fourth quarter, completing the first year of what we expect to be a three year recovery. Of interest, this quarter saw the banks buck a very powerful historical trend in credit, as credit losses (or net charge-offs, NCOs) declined in Q4 versus Q3. This bodes very well for not only the durability of the credit recovery, but also for bank stock prices. Read More»

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