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Beginning to Gauge Maria’s Effect on Puerto Rico’s Economy
Just two weeks after most of Puerto Rico dodged the proverbial bullet, missing the brunt of Hurricane Irma, the island was devastated by Maria?one of the ten strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record. Making landfall on September 20, 2017, the storm caused not only massive physical destruction and tragic loss of life but also widespread and persistent power outages, shortages of potable (and even nonpotable) running water, and disruptions to telecommunications and travel, among other issues. With the storm boosting costs and disrupting activity, the short-term economic impact is clearly ...
U.S. Virgin Islands' Economy Hit Hard by Irma and Maria
In the ten months that have passed since Hurricanes Irma and Maria ravaged the Caribbean, much interest has been focused on Puerto Rico and its roughly 3.3 million American citizens, who weathered the largest blackout in U.S. history. However, far less attention has been paid to the U.S. Virgin Islands, even though St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, and a number of smaller islands suffered comparable devastation. This is partly attributable to their much smaller population: the U.S. Virgin Islands (“Virgin Islands”) is home to roughly 105,000 people—1/30th Puerto Rico’s population. Even ...
Are Banks Being Roiled by Oil?
Profits and employment in the oil and natural gas extraction industry have fallen significantly since 2014, reflecting a sustained decline in energy prices. In this post, we look at how these tremors are affecting banks that operate in energy industry?intensive regions of the United States. We find that banks in the ?oil patch? have experienced a significant rise in delinquencies on commercial and industrial loans. So far though, there appears to be limited evidence of spillovers to other types of loans and no evidence of widespread bank losses or failures in these regions.
Trends in household debt and credit
Since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis, consumer financial and borrowing behavior, once considered a relatively quiet little corner of finance, has been of enormously increased interest to policymakers and researchers alike. Prior to the Great Recession, there was a historic run-up in household debt, driven primarily by housing debt, which coincided with a speculative bubble and sharp rises in home prices. Then, as prices began to fall, millions of households began defaulting on their mortgages, unable to keep up with home payments, and greatly contributing to the onset of the deepest ...