The new U.S. Financial Data report out today from the St. Louis Fed shows that bank loans to business are still falling. This fits what we hear from entrepreneurs, that large banks have been systematically reducing availability of working capital loans for small companies—likely an unintended consequence of the Treasury bailout programs that make it bad business to make any loans that are not salable to the government.
The chart above shows that the lion’s share of the more than $100 billion (left scale) cut in total bank business loans since last fall is attributable to large banks (right scale). Small banks that do not have full access to the Treasury programs are still making loans.
Banks lend money to small companies, not big ones. Job gains (and losses) come from small companies, not big ones. That’s why this chart tells us we are going to see another lousy job report next week. I think we still have several months of job losses ahead of us before employment turns up again.