Banks that focus on traditional activities such as loan-making and deposit-taking are losing ground to those that offer new, complex services, such as securitizing consumer loans and brokering swap agreements for business customers. This shift in the industry has implications for bankers, bank supervisors and customers.
These government-sponsored enterprises continue to make headlines because of their explosive growth and resulting heavyweight status within the nation's financial system. Critics fear what would happen if one of these giants were to fail—or even stumble. Supporters say that the risks are overblown and that the benefits to homeowners are underappreciated.
Anyone who sets any kind of policy can appreciate the dilemma that faces those trying to prevent construction in floodplains: Is it better to stick to the rules—no matter how harsh—or to exercise discretion under certain circumstances?
In the cover story, find out why some bankers are encouraging Congress to raise the ceiling for insurance on deposits to $130,000 from $100,000 per account. Opponents point out that in the wake of the last increase, the S&L crisis occurred.
Reforms enacted after the S&L crisis have yet to persuade holders of jumbo CDs to monitor their banks' risky practices.
What may happen if the coverage ceiling is lifted.
Examinations and capital requirements are the current pillars of bank supervision. Some people now want to draw on the markets for further assistance in controlling risk.
The diagnosis on banks is comforting, despite a few weak spots here and there and an economy that's slowing down.
Easy access to FHLB funds has helped community banks stay afloat in today's competitive markets, but could pose a risk to the FDIC's insurance fund.
Commercial paper has become a force to be reckoned with in the U.S. money market. It comes with risks, though, that shouldn’t be papered over.
It’s been used for years as a predictor of future interest rates, but these days, the yield curve is being used to predict recessions, too.
On the surface, the recent rise in the number of past due loans appears to pose a significant threat to bankers’ profits. A more thorough review, however, shows that the trend is nothing to be alarmed about.
Banks will play an important role in 21st century financial markets. And you can take that to the bank.