Pieces of Eight: News Bulletins from the Eighth Federal Reserve District

Clarifying CRA

Bankers befuddled by the recent—and extensive—revisions to Community Reinvestment Act regulation can turn to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis for help.

Beginning in February, the Fed will sponsor free seminars on the new CRA regulation in cities across the Eighth District. Two different seminars will be offered: a half-day seminar for small institutions—those with less than $250 million in assets or whose holding companies have less than $1 billion in assets—and a full-day seminar for large institutions.

Officials from each of the federal supervisory agencies will be on hand at the seminars to explain the new regulation and answer any specific questions you may have.

If you would be interested in attending a seminar, call Diana Judge of the St. Louis Fed at (314) 444-8751 or1-800-333-0810, ext. 8751.

A Devil of a Time

A difference in political views wasn't the only thing keeping Congress and the president from reaching an agreement on the federal budget deficit. The two camps also squabbled over which deficit projections to use in their calculations—those from the Office of Management and Budget or those from the Congressional Budget Office. The two sides finally settled on using the CBO numbers.

In his article, "The Devil is in the Budget Details," featured in the January issue of National Economic Trends, St. Louis Fed economist Christopher Neely explains how tiny discrepancies in the OMB and CBO numbers can snowball into significant differences over time.

For example, the current difference in the two offices' average real growth projections stands at a mere 0.2 percent, with the CBO taking the more conservative stance. By Neely's calculations, between 1996 and 2002, the CBO's slightly lower estimate would translate into a deficit that's $29 billion greater than that projected by the OMB for the same period.

"We need to keep in mind that these are very small fractions, but of very large numbers," Neely says.

For a copy of the NET issue featuring Neely's report, call Debbie Dawe of our Public Affairs office at (314) 444-8809.

The ABCs of Homebuying

Those looking to help educate first-time homebuyers now have a new tool at hand: an educational video called "Both Borrower and Lender." The video program is divided into four segments, which run about 30 minutes each. The segments are:

  • Financial preparedness
  • Types and terms of mortgages
  • The mortgage application process; and
  • Settlement and closing

One to 30 copies of the video are available for $12.95 each including shipping; 31 to 99 copies are available at $11.45 apiece including shipping. To place an order, call VIDICOPY at 1-800-708-7080.

Success Story: District Business Failures in 1994

Rank Among 50 States District State # of Failures per 1,000 Businesses
22 Tennessee 9.4
23 Kentucky 9.4
30 Missouri 7.9
32 Indiana 7.8
38 Arkansas 6.8
40 Illinois 6.7
47 Mississippi 5.2
National Average   12.0

NOTE: Figures have been rounded.

SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Dun & Bradstreet


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