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Bloomberg reports today that big banks may scale back lending further exacerbating the current economic slump:

This is a nightmare for the country,” said William Isaac, who was chairman of the FDIC from 1981 to 1985. Banks will “raise what capital they can, then they’ll slow down their growth and stop lending, and what should be a mild recession becomes a much more serious one.”

The biggest danger to the economy is that to preserve their ratios, banks will cut off the flow of credit, causing a decline in loans to companies and consumers. Banks have already raised $136 billion in capital, based on data compiled by Bloomberg, and cut dividends. More stock sales and payout reductions are likely to follow, says analyst Meredith Whitney at Oppenheimer & Co.

Isn’t that why they call it a “credit crunch?”

Citigroup, Wells Fargo May Fuel Recession by Curtailing Lending
Mark Pittman, Alan Katz and David Mildenberg

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