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Recent St. Louis Fed Banking and Economic Research

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Community Banking in the 21st Century

The Federal Reserve System and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) hosted the second annual community banking research and policy conference, “Community Banking in the 21st Century,” on Sept. 23-24, 2014. Community bankers, academics, policymakers and bank supervisors discussed current challenges and opportunities facing community banks. Research of note was presented, along with the findings of a new comprehensive survey being conducted this spring and summer with the participation of community bankers across the country.

U.S. Income Inequality May Be High, but It Is Lower Than World Income Inequality

While income inequality in the U.S. is high, it is much lower than income inequality across countries. A more significant problem for America may be wealth inequality—the growing disparity in net worth between those at the top and everyone else.

Despite Aggressive Deleveraging, Generation X Remains “Generation Debt”

The average member of Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980) today owes about 60 percent more debt (adjusted for inflation) than his or her counterpart of the same age did in 2000. No other generation’s average debt burden increased that much between 2000 and 2014.

Comparing International Bond Yields

Spanish and Italian government bond yields are not directly comparable to those of U.S. Treasuries because the bonds are paid in different currencies.

The Cost of Chasing Returns

Market mistiming reduces profits.

What’s Behind—and Beyond—the Default Rate on Student Loans?

Deferment or forbearance may be masking the true student loan default rates in recent years.

The Deleveraging of U.S. Households Since the Financial Crisis

While households decreased credit card debt between 2007 and 2010, the process varied by education level between the extensive margin (how many households borrowed) and the intensive margin (how much households borrowed).

Delinquency Rates on Credit Card Loans at Historical Low

Credit card loan delinquency rates are at historical lows, even lower than during strong economic times such as 2004-06.

The Great Recession Casts a Long Shadow on Family Finances

The gains made in income and net worth of the typical American family in the 1990s and 2000s were erased by the Great Recession. Economically vulnerable groups fared even worse.