08 April 2009

Bank Credit Growth Drops Precipitously

The Growth Rate of Total Credit at all US Commercial Banks is dropping precipitously as can be seen from the chart below.

This is a negative indicator for most banks involved in the actual business of banking, even as the spreads between Fed money and money on loan widen.

Advantage goes to those banks who are gaming the markets, also known as trading profits, which is probably the opposite outcome which Tim and Ben would desire, if they were thinking about it.

Should banks be trading in the markets at all for their own accounts? We think not.

Glass-Steagall should be reintroduced as quickly as possible to get the banks back in the business of banking. It is a profound disappointment that the Obama Administration with the Democratic leadership have done little or nothing to reverse the speculative trends in the money center banks.

That they have been the recipients of huge campaign contributions from these same banks make the situation all the worse, for how can one stand on principle when the outcome is at odds with your stated objectives, and you are taking money from those who favor that outcome?

If you wish to get the banks lending again, stop giving them hot money and a free ticket to the speculative gaming tables where the rules, or a lack thereof, are in their favor.