Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Anecdotes from the Fed

...also known as "The Beige Book".

Mixed reports, but it does provide some justification for the Fed's tenacity in lowering rates. Since the price of money (a commodity) is more or less standardized by the Fed's setting of interest rates, "LENDING STANDARDS" becomes a massively influential variable in predicting where the economy will go.

So, this portion of the report held great interest for me:

"Credit quality was reported to have deteriorated, on balance,
since the last report. Increased delinquency rates were noted
by New York, Philadelphia, and Cleveland, while Kansas City
reported that loan quality remained lower than a year ago.
Widespread tightening in credit standards was reported,
especially on residential and commercial real estate loans. In
general, banks were reported to be tightening credit standards
in the New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City,
Dallas and San Francisco Districts. In addition, Boston noted
that standards remain tight on commercial mortgages, while
Philadelphia indicated that banks are limiting lending in this
category. Richmond indicated tighter standards on residential

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