FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile Takes a Back Seat to Bernanke
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The FDIC reported its quarterly banking profile Tuesday morning, but I did not see any coverage on financial TV for what I believe is the status of the balance sheet for the U.S. economy.
According to the report, FDIC-insured financial institutions earned $34.7 billion in net income in the fourth quarter down from $37.6 billion in the third quarter. Earnings continue to be buoyed by the reduction of loan loss provisions and rising noninterest income, not by a significant increase in interest income from new loan issuance as tight credit standards continue.
Year over year net income was up 36.9%, but net interest income, the life-blood of the banking system, registered a $2.7 billion (2.5%) decline. This is a sign that the "Great Credit Crunch" continues.
I will drill down into the FDIC data in subsequent posts focusing on the impact to the housing market, money center and regional and community banks. I will say that community banks remain reluctant to lend to developers and home builders as legacy C&D loans remain elevated at $203.9 billion at the end of 2012.On Tuesday, the stock market regained some of Monday's lost ground, as Fed Chief Ben Bernanke re-iterated his pledge to continue QE3 and QE4 until the unemployment rate declined to 6.5%. Bernanke concluded that Fed policy was helping the housing market recovery and Tuesday's housing data supported his opinion. Tuesday began with the January readings for the S&P Case-Shiller home price indices. The 20-City Composite, the one I focus on, showed that home prices rose by 6.8% in 2012. The index shows that home prices are still down 30% from their June/July 2006 bubble peak, despite an 8% to 9% gain since the March 2012 low. If you bought your home at the beginning of the new millennium your home has appreciated by 46.0%.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV